One of the signs that God reveals through His people is the raising of the dead, and it’s happening all over the world right now. Surprised?
I just watched a video of Pastor Bill Johnson from Bethel Church in Redding California; and in it, he said something that gripped me: “Why did Jesus raise the dead? Because not everyone who dies dies in God’s timing….It’s time we adjust our theology to be consistent with the person of Jesus Christ. He messed up every funeral He attended, including His own.”
Why do we in the church just explain death away? “Oh, it must have been God’s will.” Instead, we should be pursuing God for radical demonstrations of power in the earth! I’m sure there are a million reasons why God sometimes doesn’t raise the dead even after prayer, but that should not deter us. God is a person and He is sovereign, but He invites us to reason with Him. In the Scriptures, we see Moses reasoning with God and convincing Him to relent from the judgment of death He had decreed:
Exodus 32:9–14 – “I have seen these people,” the LORD said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people. Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them. Then I will make you into a great nation.” But Moses sought the favor of the LORD his God. “O LORD,” he said, “why should your anger burn against your people, whom you brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out, to kill them in the mountains and to wipe them off the face of the earth’? Turn from your fierce anger; relent and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel, to whom you swore by your own self: ‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and I will give your descendants all this land I promised them, and it will be their inheritance forever.’ ” Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened (NIV, emphasis added).
This is the kind of reasoning I’m talking about. I recently spent some time engaging in an eye-opening online forum of atheists. I saw people crying out for a sign and no sign was given them. No matter how many testimonies I shared, it wasn’t enough. No matter how much credible evidence I offered, they found a loophole to shoot it down. What these atheists need is not evidence, but rather first-hand experience! We, the Church, need to be demonstrating the power of God–not just in our churches, but in the market place! Why? Because the atheists won’t come to your church!
Christians all over the world are demonstrating the power of God no matter where they go. It’s happening in America too, but far less frequently. Whether you (like me) are a person who looks for opportunities to demonstrate God’s power or you fit the status quo of mediocre Christianity, we need to collectively repent as a nation for our overall apathy toward the Great Commission that Jesus gave us.
Let’s go into all the world! Let’s heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the leper, and cast out demons! Let’s prophesy, work miracles, and free the oppressed in the name of Jesus! And let’s do the more practical things too–feed the hungry, care for the widows and orphans, give to the poor, and care for the stranger! And let’s do all of it in the name of Jesus!
This world needs to see a movement of Christians who are demonstrating the love and power of God–not just some isolated instances and anecdotal evidence. Let’s BE the Body of Christ and truly reveal Him in America!