Q. I’ve heard ministers of God claim that when they refused God’s call he sent tragedy into their lives even as far as killing their loved ones. They cite Jonah as an example of how far God can go to get someone to obey his call. Is this an accurate description of God? Also Eph. 4:11-13 says the gifts of the Spirit are given until we can all reach a unity in faith etc. Does the church have to get to this point before Christ can come for us in the rapture or is it as a result of the rapture that the church reaches this unity thus leading to an end of the gifts?
A. It’s not for me to pass judgment on the details of another person’s calling. In my case it was my obsession with material wealth that had to be taken from me. I do have a hard time believing that God, who cannot punish one person for the sins of another, would kill a man’s loved one for his refusal to heed the call to ministry.
In fact, Jonah had the sailors throw him overboard specifically so they would not die because of his disobedience (Jonah 1:12). I’m guessing there must be more to these ministers’ stories than they’re telling you.
Ephesians 4:11-13 is not about Spiritual gifts in the sense that Romans 12:4-8 and 1 Cor. 12:4-11 are. I believe Ephesians 4:11-13 explains the five ministries that are necessary in the Church for it to achieve unity and maturity in the faith.
According to 1 Cor. 13:8-12 the gifts of the Spirit will cease when we are made perfect and see the Lord face to face, which means at the rapture. And the only condition we have to meet before that can happen is reaching our full number (Romans 11:25).