Why did spiritual gifts cease?

I don’t think they did… but certainly the situation in later centuries was not as it was in the first century.

John Wesley, who of course lived too early to have an ax to grind about matters Pentecostal, said this in his sermon No. 89, called “The More Excellent Way:”

It does not appear that these extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were common in the church for more than two or three centuries. We seldom hear of them after that fatal period when the Emperor Constantine called himself a Christian, and from a vain imagination of promoting the Christian cause thereby heaped riches, and power, and honour, upon the Christians in general; but in particular upon the Christian clergy. From this time they almost totally ceased; very few instances of the kind were found.

The cause of this was not (as has been vulgarly supposed) “because there was no more occasion for them,” because all the world was become Christian. This is a miserable mistake; not a twentieth part of it was then nominally Christian. The real cause was, “the love of many,” almost of all Christians, so called, was “waxed cold.” The Christians had no more of the Spirit of Christ than the other Heathens. The Son of Man, when he came to examine his Church, could hardly “find faith upon earth.”

This was the real cause why the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were no longer to be found in the Christian Church — because the Christians were turned Heathens again, and had only a dead form left.

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About Nick

I’m a pastor, a writer, musician, and recovering lawyer. Blessed to serve the people of Harvest Time Church as Associate Pastor. I direct the discipleship ministries there and occasionally they even let me lead worship. In my spare time I enjoy losing to my wife in Words With Friends.

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