I wrote in an earlier post (Freedom Week, maybe?) about being mad at God. One of the large reasons I felt this way was because I felt He had failed to come through on His promise for signs, miracles, and wonders. They’re supposed to follow them that believe, right? It says so in the Bible!
Mark 16: 15 – 20 (ESV)
15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.
The disciples went everywhere and preached and God confirmed their words with signs. So what about me? Where have the healings been? Where are the miracles? I’ve been in situations where I’ve prayed for people. I did a six-month outreach program where we literally witnessed 40 hours a week, for goodness’ sake! Why didn’t God show up?
Earlier this week during lecture, Amy said something about how the power of the holy spirit is supposed to accompany the preaching of the gospel. I agreed. The significance of that statement didn’t really sink in until a few days later when I was praying and realized I’ve never preached the gospel in my life. The Way seemed to want to spread “the gospel of Jesus Christ is not God” or something. And personally, every time I’ve gone out it’s been with the intention of maybe inviting someone to a Bible study to learn more, or take a class. I’ve taken the apologetics route and discussed creation with people, or I’ve talked about the goodness of God with people. That’s great and all, but folks, it’s not the GOOD NEWS.
The GOSPEL, that we have been set apart for relationship with the Creator of the heavens and the earth since before time itself, that that relationship was broken and plunged us into death, but that GOD FIXED THE PROBLEM BY SENDING HIS SON TO DIE ON THE CROSS TO SAVE US, WIPE AWAY ALL OUR SINS AND BRING US BACK INTO RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR FATHER AND INTO EVERLASTING LIFE AND WE DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING TO EARN IT, somehow or other I’ve missed that part. How have I missed that part!?? It’s the best part!!!! The simple gospel is sooooooooo beautiful! Dang. (As my super-adorable roommate and Paraguay-bound group mate has taken to saying. It’s too cute. I’ll try to get a video.)
Signs, wonders, healings were meant to accompany the gospel. The good news. If I haven’t actually been preaching the good news, I shouldn’t be terribly surprised that I haven’t seen signs and wonders. What a conviction. Yikes. But also, what hope! I can start brand new, with expectation, today! Now, I know there’s a lot more too it than that. I know believing is a thing and need is a thing (in the case of miracles) etc. etc. But boy! Talk about clearing a roadblock. The chorus of a song by United Pursuit (called Simple Gospel, I believe), has been my theme for the past few days.
I will rejoice in the simple gospel.
I will rejoice in you, Lord.