Saturday, April 26, 2008

# 247: An Intriguing Question

The question is this: Why is it in the complete Bible, many times, that God worked through His people with miracles, signs and wonders? Why is it that in our modern times, God through Jesus Christ does not use His disciples (you and I) to work miracles, sign and wonders?

We need them just as much now as ever, for several reasons: to confirm which churches are genuine and which are false. In Acts 14:3, it says, "Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly of the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous sign and wonders." Also, in Acts 11-12: "God did extraordinary miracles through Paul. Handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them." There are many more miraculous events that were done by not only Jesus, but also by the apostles and disciples.

Especially appalling is the visit of Pope Benedict XVI and all the attention he is getting. He represents the largest and most non-Christian church in the world. I heard it said that there are one about one billion Catholics in the world. How can so many people be so naively gullible? The Catholic Church is made up of 99% man-made rules, which have nothing to do with what the New Testament teaches. Why doesn’t God expose the garbage they teach and practice? Of course, they did a great job themselves with the pedophile scandal. And because of those crimes against the innocent, a large number wised up and left the church; still, the vast majority hang on to the ungodly Catholic traditions.

I don’t understand how an all-powerful God can let this ungodly religion continue for almost 2,000 years. Several extraordinary miracles performed by God’s disciples, pointing to all the false teachings they are wallowing in, could bring that church to its knees for good.

But when it comes to not having the ability to perform supernatural healings on demand to all in need, especially to the most severely afflicted, all the Christian churches are guilty, even this author. I don’t mean the "healings" performed in specific churches that no one but a few know about, which I believe are not healings when they are confined out of the public eye.

My question is this: What are we doing, or not doing, that is the reason why God through Christ is not working (or cannot work) miracles in all of Christianity? I am aware that this is an ungodly planet, with America leading the way. What about people who call themselves part of the Christian community? Well, it is sad to say, but they/we, with all our religious busybody works, are also ungodly according to the New Testament.

That seems to say that we must not be doing what we are supposed to be doing, and are doing what we are not supposed to be doing. If that is not the answer, then it must be that Christians are so overwhelmed by the complexity and businesses of modern life, that regardless of how much effort we put into our personal Christian lives, it is not enough to meet God’s minimum requirements. But you would think that of all/few of the dedicated Christians in the world, God would use some of them to display His supernatural qualities.

We must remember that He is a supernatural God. But still, we see the lives of many people who were worldly and sinners’ change into people who believe and live by Biblical standards. The only thing: Tthose changes do not prove that they are of supernatural origin. Even atheists could and do change from bad (unbelievers) to good (love of neighbor), without any supernatural help.

Could God have left this planet because of all the ungodly things we engage in (things which have nothing to do with God)? Well, that thought contradicts Hebrews 13:5, where God said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." The question is, Did we leave Him and forsake Him by our having to keep up with our sophisticated culture? That seems to be the best answer of why there are no supernatural events, meaning events that can be captured on our video cameras for all to see.

Another possibility is that our faith is insignificant, thus not allowing God to work supernatural events through us. In Matthew 17:19-20, because Jesus’ disciples had little faith, they could not drive the epilepsy out of a boy. "Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, ‘Why couldn’t we drive it out?’ He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’"

I have to tell myself that just because God is not currently working the supernatural in the same way He worked in the New Testament, because of our weak faith, it does not invalidate His existence. It only requires more blessed faith on our part to believe in God and His Christ. How do we alienate ourselves from the ways of our modern world to a degree where we can receive the proper faith? These facts and unanswered questions frustrate me to the point of writing this post, with no conclusive answer. I know there has to be a God, and I know there was a Jesus Christ who lived 2,000 years ago, but why there is no evidence of supernatural works is realistic fodder for nonbelievers to throw at us.

I don’t even know if this post is worth publishing, other than to make my frustration known. If anyone has any helpful feedback, please leave a comment.


Jay said...

Good question Al.
When you consider the miracles in the apostles days do you think the people back then were more godly then they are now. I don’t think so. So maybe it has nothing to do with the condition of mankind. I had a miracle in my life, after my sugary what the doctor saw inside me he said he never seen anything like it before, he had no explanation of what happened but it was exactly what I was praying for. A lady in our church has just gone through a medical crises, it was so critical that the doctors are amazed that she is not dead and that she is surprisingly doing so well. Our church went into a prayer mode when this happened and God answered this prayer. She gives God and prayer the credit, to all of her doctors. They have no other logical explanation.
In third world countries I hear missionaries speaking about things happening that would change your mind that God is still in the miracle business. I don’t think God changes. He Tells us to ask. Then ask with the right motive. Then to trust that he knows best. I am going to continue to ask for God to meet the needs I see for myself and others around me and just accept how God handles it. My prayer now is that maybe God might show you a miracle that you will be able to share with your reading public. This isn’t to increase your faith Al but to give God the glory and praise. Jay

JC said...

Dear Jay, it is good to hear you are still around. Thanks for your comments. Concerning your first statement. You may be right, but looking at conditions in the world today, I don’t think so. Two thousand years ago, Christians may not have been more godly, but, for sure, they didn’t have the myriad of distractions which confront us in the 21 century. To keep our mind on God nowadays, as the Bible indicates is next to impossible. I personally have separated myself from every possible thing and activity that can divert my attention from loving God and neighbor, and still a large part of my day is used up to care for the basic necessities.

And to get down to your last comment about it is not necessary for me to increase my faith; continually increasing our faith is the most necessary virtue for every person who calls themselves a Christian. Once a person thinks their faith is as strong as it can be, there is no hope for a person with that demonic form of complacency. I don't really think you believe that way. My whole life, in spiritual and physical matters is giving all the glory and praise to God through my Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, I sometime think, I am giving praise to God when He doesn’t want it.

Now concerning supernatural miracles, I am sure you are aware that supernatural healings can be performed by people who use self induced supernatural powers, without God in the picture. I have seen this done several times by people who were no closer to God then my cat. Still they gave the credit to God. Now about miracles that are performed in church buildings. No doubt God did and can still work that way. Why don’t these healers come out in the open and show the world their healing power. As a young boy, my father told me to believe half of what I see and none of what I hear. That may be more true now then ever.

The type of supernatural powers I was specifically referring to in the post was, WHY don’t we see miracles out in the open where they can be recorded and documented for the world to see?

I agree, I also have heard of incredible miracles happening in countries like China and other countries that are underprivileged. These actually may be the work of the Spirit of Jesus Christ. That is fine. But remember the old but compelling adage “seeing is believing.” Don’t you agree with me, it would be the best thing that could happened on this planet if the supernatural world of God would be openly displayed to all, believer and atheist alike? Again, thanks for your comments, and I pray that God will continue to bless you with His best. jc