Do Miracles Exist?
Are you one of those “I’ll believe it when I see it” people? Many of us are like that. But don’t forget that just because you have never seen a rare white rhino doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I saw one! We are all skeptics at first about things we have no experience with until evidence begins to mount up or we have a personal experience that changes our minds. However, some refuse to consider evidence about supernatural phenomenon because they have been told “it simply does not exist.” Or they have warned that there are evil dangers connected to believing they exist. The most difficult beliefs to change are those that we hold because someone has convinced us that it is God’s opinion. After all, who wants to argue with God, right? Christians today have a variety of perspectives on the validity of signs.
First, some believe that signs and wonders ceased at the end of the apostolic age, around the end of the first century. This popular view, called cessationism, is an elaborate set of arguments based on reason but lacks explicit support in scripture.
Second, some believe that signs and wonders ceased because they belonged only to the earliest centuries of the church. This view holds that signs were only needed until we received the Scriptures. The reasoning says that since apostles were sent to write scripture and the signs validated scripture, once we had the scripture, we no longer needed apostles or miracles. Jewish teachers in Jesus time taught the same thing concerning the Old Testament Scriptures. They said that Prophets were given so they can write scripture and miracles attested to the validity of the prophets and their words. Once they had the Old Testament, there was no need for prophets or miracles. One of the charges brought against Jesus was that he led people astray with signs and wonders.
The third view Christians have is that signs and wonders faded and ceased as leaders of the organized church opposed them. This view has some credibility. This was the view of John Wesley of Methodism. It’s true that if people are taught something is wrong, they avoid it.
The fourth view is that signs and wonders have NEVER ceased. This position is supported by Scripture and throughout church history. We have reliable documents written by credible sources from every century of church history that demonstrate that signs, in fact, have never ceased. I have read these original documents myself, and every church historian knows they exist. But often they just don’t talk about them in church history class or books. There is clearly a bias against anything supernatural.
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