By: Gordon Richardson
This is a question that has plagued many minds in our organization. When we see churches specializing in signs and wonders and not in the salvation message that will bring a lasting change in lives, it seems like the cart is before the horse.
John 19:10 states, “For the son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” 1 Timothy 1:15 says, “this is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save
sinners, of whom I am chief.”
Miracles and signs and wonders were never intended to be pushed ahead of the Great Commission (Luke 24:47) “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem.”
Now to answer the question, do miracles bring lasting results? I have a brother who was healed of leukemia, but never went on to live for God. In fact, the man who specialized in this healing ministry, Bro. Brannon, soon left the true message and went into false doctrine. Let’s take the history of Israel to find out if miracles brought lasting results. The Red Sea opened and Israel walked through on dry ground, but this didn’t impress Israel very deeply. They soon forgot and backslid in spite of that great miracle. The walls of Jericho fell flat, but soon afterwards Israel fell into corruption. Thank God Lazarus was raised from the dead, but soon the Jews sought to kill him and Jesus.
Miracles and wonders have never had a lasting impression. The only thing that will impress a wicked society is a rain of righteousness and a revival of holiness among God’s people. People who walk in clean and pure separated lives in a wicked generation stand out as a light. Full of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. They beam in the darkest night, (Hosea 10:12) “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.”
Noah’s ark didn’t float because of some great sign or wonder. It floated because it was built according to the pattern that God gave Noah. The architect of the universe gave him the precise plans. The church also was given the precise plans. (Ephesians 2:20) “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.” Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 3:11, “For other
foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” The church will float if it goes according to the pattern God gave to the church.
The children of Israel were never delivered out of Egypt through signs and wonders. It took the blood applied to the door post. It took obedience to the plan or message that God gave to Moses. The first order of business when the man was let down through the roof in the book of Mark and was brought into the presence of Jesus was to forgive sins. The Lord spoke to the man and said, “thy sins be forgiven thee.” Then he said, “take up thy bed and walk.” Why did he say first thy sins be forgiven thee? I believe it is because God’s first order of business is to forgive sins. Miracles are an added blessing that comes with the gospel.
Yes, I believe in miracles, but I believe the greatest miracle happens when we preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified, with the beautiful Acts 2:38 message, and people are brought to conviction for their sins, then God fills them with his Holy Ghost. And people are set free by the power of God. I think it is time to get our head out of the clouds and see the power in the good old fashion message of Pentecost. We don’t have to look for the mystical signs and a new wonder. The greatest sign and wonder is that Jesus died and was buried and rose again the third day. Jesus told the Pharisees that were requiring a sign, (in Matthew 12:38-40), “that there shall no sign be given to them, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was
three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” That sign in itself is good enough to transform the whole world and bring life changing miracles to any life. The signs and wonders will follow if we put Acts 2:38 back out in front and not be afraid to let people know what we stand for. I say let’s proclaim the message of truth and stand for it.
(The above material appeared in the June 1992 issue of The Gospel Tidings magazine.)
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