A boy named Roy loved stories about Jesus and the miracles he did. He read the Bible like a child and believed every word. One day he sat under a tree, reading the passage in John where Jesus said, “He who believes in me will do the same things I do, and greater things.”
“Hey, I believe in Jesus!” Roy exclaimed excitedly. “That means I can heal people just like He did. I could even open blind eyes, and raise the dead.” The miracles God could do through him if he believed seemed limitless.
Unknown to Roy, two men in black suits stood by a fence nearby, plotting as they listened to him talk. They sneaked up on him with a balloon and popped it in his face.
Roy was so startled, he dropped his Bible. “What’s going on?”
“You’re taking the Bible too literally,” they replied. “God doesn’t do miracles anymore, so stop acting like a fanatic before we really make you jump.”
“How? With more balloons?” asked Roy, shocked beyond belief.
“No, but as God’s thought police, we’re here to correct you,” said the first man. “God frowns on having fun, you know. To follow Christ, you must take up your cross.”
“You mean, like, ‘Nose to the grindstone’?” asked Roy.
“Yes, you have to strain your brain to do God’s will,” said the second man. “Don’t expect God to suddenly empower you with some unknown tongue or prophecy because He dispensed with such things a long time ago. Today we have developed more mysterious ways to know His will, through mind-boggling inventions such as television, telephones and the Internet.”
“Raw human intellect is His current tool for reaching the masses,” added the first man. “He doesn’t use signs and wonders anymore.”
Roy hung his head. He felt as if the rug had been pulled out from under him. To think that God didn’t do miracles anymore made him so depressed, he stopped reading his Bible. Soon he found himself attending the balloon poppers’ church, which had many rules for pleasing God. You had to dress a certain way and talk a certain way. If they dropped by your house, you had to let them inspect every room for dust or clutter. This resulted in many a sharp rebuke to those who failed to perfectly obey their “shepherd.” Any hint of rebellion served as a sign that you weren’t saved.
Roy feared that if he left the church, he’d go to hell, but he couldn’t stand to stay because the regulations were killing him. Then he remembered a book he’d read one time about praising God amid the worst of circumstances. Desperate to reconnect with God, he began to do just that. As he searched for things over which to rejoice, he happened to find his Bible. He opened it up and found himself staring at the passage in Matthew 7:15, which warns believers to beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, “but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”
The next verse said, “You will know them by their fruits” (meaning the results of their teaching). Roy cross-referenced that verse with the passage in Galatians 5:19-22, which compares the works of the flesh to the works of the Spirit.
According to verse 22, the fruit of the Holy Spirit is “love, peace, and joy.”
Roy realized he hadn’t experienced much love, joy, or peace in a very long time. He had only felt fear, but Jesus promised comfort to his followers through Holy Spirit whom He said would teach them “all things.” (John 14:26).
The fruit of his church’s teaching invalidating the modern use of spiritual gifts, had made Roy very sad, but he knew God didn’t want him to be sad.
“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full,” Jesus told his disciples in John 15:11.
Jesus told the lukewarm church in Revelation 3:14-21, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hears my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
In other words, it had to do with having a personal relationship with Him, not about obeying man. Roy also read the scripture in Hebrews 13:8, which says that Jesus Christ “is the same yesterday, and today and forever.”
If so, then He hadn’t changed His mind when it came to doing miracles, Roy decided.
His original disciples took Jesus at His Word and bore good fruit. The wonders they did in His name caused many people to be saved.
“God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with diverse miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost…” (Hebrews 2:4)
“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (I Corinthians 2:5)