A lazy resting-place for the would-be propper-up of continusmaticism is to demand a single verse that states, in so many words, "When John dies, the following gifts cease:..." Absent such a verse, the theological sluggard claims victory and goes back to his careening sleepwalk.
Like most (all?) questions, this one has been answered often from various angles. I wanted to have a specific post with this particular answer, so I reached back over seven years to this post, then this one, for the following excerpts slightly edited.
Adrian [Warnock, who's tried for years to iron-lung Charismaticism] then says,
I have also not seen [cessationists] give good explanations regarding the experiences so many of us describe or the benefits that those who speak in tongues receive from them. If the cessationist is correct, then the charismatic is, by definition, either deluded or demonised!My first, honest, non-sarcastic response to this confession was to wonder how many cessationist books Adrian has read, and which ones; and how many cessationists he's talked with. But never mind that for now.
The question is simply answered.
Suppose you say, "Oh, look! A cat!" And you point to a snake. So I go fetch a textbook that we both respect, and I read, "Cat: mammal, possessed of four legs, a tail, a head, lots of fur, and an insatiable appetite. Purrs when petted." Then I say, "That thing you're pointing at doesn't look anything like a cat. At. All."
What do you say? "Yeah, but maybe it's a furless, legless, reptilian cat who never purrs! Or maybe it's just warming up, and one day it will be a cat! You have to give me a good explanation of what it is, or I'll pick it up and call it a cat!"?
No, actually, see: I really don't have to. I've demonstrated that it isn't a cat. In so demonstrating, I have demonstrated that, if you do pick it up, you won't be picking up a cat. My work is done.
You meanwhile, might call yourself a "Cat-ist," and run about, waving the viper over your head. You might persuade 100, 10000, even 1000000 or more people to do the same. "Cat-ism" might become the fastest-growing movement in the world, all of you waving slender, wriggling, scaled, cold-blooded, fork-tongued, lidless "cats" over your heads. You might "prove" your case by producing academic "Cat-ists" who produce literary passages describing cats as slinking ("Aha!"), and curling up ("Oho!"), and wrapping themselves around their owners' legs ("QED!").
You can call the thing in your hand whatever you like. You can get millions to call it the same. It still won't be a cat, and any decent description of a real cat will be a "killer verse" to your movement.
And what of identifying the actual thing you're holding? If I keep looking through my nature guide, I'll find several things that are long and thin and wiggly. It might be a worm. It might be an eel. It might be a snake. Ah, that's it: a snake. What kind of snake, though? Maybe I can't identify the exact species of snake you're pointing at. But I know that there are various venomous vipers about, and that's reason enough to worry. I advise you that it's best not to pick it up until we're sure what it is.
Doesn't that make good sense?
But at any rate, even if you pick it up, and suffer no immediate harm, and report that it gives you warm emotions to hold it, I'm still going to insist that you not call it a cat. And particularly, if you are going to take a job as a veterinarian, and tell others how to acquire and care for animals, I'm going to urge you in the strongest terms to get your head straight about the differences between cats and snakes. You really could hurt somebody with your wretched advice.
Finally [of the challenges from Charismatic Adrian Warnock]:
Most importantly of all, if the Bible never intended that we get the impression that gifts are for today, why are there not any real "killer verses" to make it clear to us that this is not the case?There aren't? I believe I've given and/or linked to several such verses, already.
Every description of tongues and prophecy in the Bible is a "killer" verse . Allow me to allude to our "standard of proof" discussion from the previous post.
Every description of a real cat is a "killer verse" to anyone who wants to wave a snake around and call it a cat.
Similarly, anyone who wants to babble and burble, and call it tongues; or pop off gauzy generalities or inaccurate predictions and call it prophecy, is condemned and rejected by every Biblical description of the real, legitimate phenomena. No such widespread, well-documented phenomena as described in the Bible has ever characterized post-apostolic Biblical Christianity, from the second century to the present day. The charismatic movement has tried with increasing desperation for one hundred years, and so far the best it has come up with is an attempt to redefine everything, covering up its consistent failure by trying to define-down the Biblical exemplars.
And there is no Biblical explanation why this should be so—unless what Paul announced as future to him, in 1 Corinthians 13:8-10, is past to us.
Which, I submit, it is.