Question:

A friend of mine seems to think that it is possible for someone to raise from the dead now. I thought that Jesus was the last person to do that. He seems to think that I am underestimating God's power. I believe that God can do anything, but I don't think Ge will raise anybody from the dead simply because there is no need to do so anymore. Do you know the answer? 

Answer:

Actually Paul raised a young man after the resurrection: "And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, "Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him." Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed. And they brought the young man in alive, and they were not a little comforted" (Acts 20:9-12).

But your friend is playing a common trick of exchanging what is possible for what is actual. It is possible for God to end the world tomorrow, but that possibility does not then mean it will actually happen.

Yes, it is possible for God to raise people from the dead. He has demonstrated that power in the past and promised to do so one day in the future. "Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth -- those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation" (John 5:28-29). The question is never God's ability. The question is if God has chosen to do so in these times.

In the past raising people from the dead was not something arbitrarily done. Many people died and were not raised. Only a few were raised. Those raised were do so to accomplish a purpose. Usually it was to show that the person involved was a prophet of God and that God was using him to deliver a message.

So the real question is: Where is the evidence that God is doing it today? Because while God can do as He pleases, He stated that miracles would cease. "Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away" (I Corinthians 13:8). Thus it isn't a question of what God can do, but believing what God said.

People in charismatic religions are much like the Israelites who were told to go into Canaan to conquer it. When they refused and said they would rather die, God told them that they then would die in the wilderness. Some then decided that they should go any way. Moses warned them that God would not be with them. He already told them what to do, but they demonstrated their disbelief by going, and they were killed as a result. Today people refuse to believe that God said He would stop giving people the ability to do miracles. Thus, they continue on claiming that they have the ability -- though no evidence exists that it is there. As Jesus warned, "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Matthew 7:22-23).