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Signs and Wonders
June 12, 2006
Many times when I turn the television to a station that is airing a message by some pastor, invariably I will hear the statement, "Have you received your miracle today?" In other words, has God showed the awesome signs and wonders to you like he did for Moses and the Apostles?
If God wrote the words "I am God your creator, please worship me" in the night sky so all of the world could see it, would this produce faith in God? I seriously doubt it. Some of the world would claim that is was just an unusual formation of comets and the words formed were just an illusion of the eye just like you can stare at a cloud and see images formed by the cloud. Others would say that this was the work of UFOs and aliens trying to trick us. Signs and wonders should produce faith but they really don't.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God Romans 10:17 The only thing that produces faith in God is hearing His word. Signs and wonders can accompany the hearing of the word and thus validate it.
God sent 10 plagues on Egypt before Pharaoh relented and let the Israelites go. Did any of these plagues cause the Egyptians to cry out to God for mercy? Even after Pharaoh let the people of Moses go, he went after them to kill them. This seems foolish after the horrible devastation that God had already wrought on Egypt. The Egyptian population seemed to have no fear of the consequences of their actions. In fact, they acted like God didn't even exist. This resulted in their destruction.
Many people of the world today live their lives as if God did not exist. They try to explain our existence either through evolution or that we are the offspring of alien beings. God could not possibly be the reason for our existence their so-called rational minds reason.
What is the greatest miracle of God in our today? It is the fact that He takes a spiritually dead person and revives them with the Holy Spirit, which gives them everlasting life in heaven with God. This gift of life is received by faith in Christ's death on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. There is no greater miracle than salvation because, even if we die, we will live.
The church today does not focus on the redemptive work of Christ. Instead they focus on earthly things such as how you can make your bank account grow by planting your "seed" money. According to this prosperity gospel, if I had $10,000 to invest, it would be far better to give it to the church instead of buying a certificate of deposit because a CD only yields 4% to 5% interest while giving to the church will yield thousands of dollars. What happens to the faith of those who are suckered into this "prosperity gospel" and give their money expecting a great reward and they end up just getting poorer? In this case, the people are expecting financial signs and wonders.
I know a pastor who called one of these ministries and told them to send him a $1000 and, in return, he would send them a $100 so they could plant their "seed" and reap the harvest. Needless to say, the pastor never got his $1,000. This prosperity gospel takes the focus away from the cross and Christ crucified for our sin to materialistic things of this world.
The other thing that many churches focus on today is to be physically healed of some ailment. I know people are healed today by prayers and those healings are miraculous. However do these healings produce faith? In some cases they do. It is my guess that this faith is a result of a combination of hearing the word of God then receiving the healing. The fact is God does choose to heal some people while others He does not. God has his reasons.
One of life's great mysteries is that God will heal some people and choose not to heal others. There is one type of healing that He offers to everyone. He offers to everyone the gift of eternal life and all who receive this gift receive the ultimate healing when their physical bodies die.
In response to my page Do Miracles Produce Faith at An Unseen World, Jeff Randle had this to say:
"I had a quick comment for you. I read your "Miracles" page. I do not know your background or your experiences but I wanted to tell you that in case you have had no experience in the gift of "working of miracles" or in healing... what you wrote is tragically true! The Lord uses me to heal people from time to time and on not-so-rare occasions, also to operate in the "working of miracles". My point is: I have personally witnessed what you wrote about. Years ago, no one could have convinced me that even if someone sees a miracle before their eyes... that person would not believe because of the miracle. But... a few years later and I have seen that almost every person that witnessed me work a miracle or heal someone HAS NOT FOLLOWED JESUS AS A RESULT! A good number of the people started to follow Him but when life got rough... many abandoned Him. Just like the 9 out of 10 lepers that Jesus healed. So sad."
Jeff has experienced first hand that miracles, signs and wonders do not really produce faith. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Heb. 11:1
In the story of Lazarus and the rich man, the rich man asked Abraham to go back to Earth and warn his brothers about hell so they would not have to experience it. Abraham told the rich man, 29 Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' 30 And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' 31 But he said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.' " Luke 16
Again, signs and wonder do not produce a saving faith. You have to hear the word of God. How many church members today spend their time reading and hearing the word of God?
There will be many church members (they occupy a pew but they are not saved) who do not know Christ as Lord and Savior who will be deceived by the antichrist. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 2 Thess. 14
Remember, just because you have seen a sign, wonder, or miracle, doesn't mean it came from God.
Copyright 2006 by Gary Goodworth
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