Modern Day Miracles
by Heath Rogers

Modern day usage has somewhat cheapened the word "miracle." When a patient enjoys an unexpected recovery from a disease, it is called a miracle. When a family is unharmed in the path of a storm, it is called a miracle. When an athlete makes an amazing play to win a championship, it is called a miracle. The Bible does not use the word "miracle" in this way. In the Bible, a miracle is an event that contradicts known scientific laws. These events are always understood to be a manifestation of the existence of God.

I do not deny that miracles took place in the Bible. I do deny, however, that these miracles take place today. I make this denial because I have yet to see any so-called miracle today that bears any resemblance to any miracle I can read of in the Bible. Those who saw Jesus and His apostles work miracles could not deny that genuine miracles had been performed. They sometimes tried to discredit the miracle (Luke 11:14-15), sweep it "under the carpet" (Acts 4:13-17), or destroy the evidence (John 12:9-11), but they never denied that remarkable miracles were done. Those who lived during the time of the apostles also knew the difference between a genuine miracle and a fake. Acts chapter eight records the conversion of Simon the Sorcerer. This man had astonished the people with his tricks. However, when Philip came to their town, they quickly saw the difference between real miracles and fakes. Even Simon was amazed at the things Philip was doing (Acts 8:13).

The miracles that were done by Jesus and the apostles were extraordinary. The news of these signs and wonders spread like wildfire, attracting large crowds (Mark 3:7-12). If these kinds of miracles are being done today, why aren't we hearing about them in the news? One would think CNN, FOX News, and the other networks would be providing daily reports of the amazing deeds done by miracle workers. Instead, the only place one can hear about such things is on these miracle workers' own cable television programs.

Show me one person who has been raised from the dead. I don't mean a person who has been brought back to life on the operating table. I mean one like Lazarus who had been dead for several days and was already buried (John 11:39). There have been three recent hurricanes that have caused property damage and loss of life. Why didn't one of these so-called Spirit-gifted people stand on the shore, proclaim "Peace, be still," and calm the storms (Mark 4:39)? Why don't these miracle workers take their powers to the hospitals and perform their works openly (Mark 3:1-6) upon people that we know (Acts 3:1-10)? If you want me to believe, don't tell me about how someone I will never meet was healed or raised from the dead. I have plenty of friends and loved ones who can be healed. Perform the miracle on someone I know, so I can know a genuine miracle has been done, and I will believe.

Why all the fascination with miracles? The spiritual maturity of some people is so shallow they are more interested in the splash than in the substance. The same thing happened in Jesus' day. Many of the Jews followed Jesus because of His miracles, not because of who He was. When His teaching proved to be of more substance than they could stand, "many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more" (John 6:66). This was a sad event, but, to their credit, at least they were fascinated with real miracles. Today, some gullible people are fooled out of the contents of their bank accounts with reports of total strangers being cured of unseen diseases. These kinds of things are not miracles, but when someone prefers emotion and outward display over the plain teaching of Scripture, he stands to lose something more valuable than the contents of his bank account. He loses his eternal soul.