"Is casting out devils a sign of a true Christian?" (Alleged Contradiction #E5221)
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part.
See also: Luke 9:49-50
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
The sings Jesus mentioned did follow the early church very prominently 1 as Jesus claimed in Mark 16:17. However, God can work even through unsaved men to accomplish His work, and some unsaved men apparently have cast out devils in Jesus’ name according to Matthew 7:22-23, but Jesus never said this was impossible. As a side note, we have no reason to believe that the man referenced in Mark 9:38-40 was unsaved, since Jesus said the man was “on our part,” though he was not at Jesus’ location.
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- Acts 28:3-9, Acts 9:39-41, Acts 16:16-18 ↩