For those of us who grew up in church we may have been taught about miracles so long that we just accept them but can you explain what a miracle is? If someone were to come up to you and ask you why you believe in miracles what would you say?
How would you respond to someone who says:
I don’t believe in miracles I believe in science
What is a miracle?
“A miracle is a special act of God that interrupts the normal course of events” A miracle is an act of God to confirm the Word of God through a messenger of God. (Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, I don’t have enough faith to be an Atheist, pg 201,202)
Atheist Anthony Flew says, “ A miracle is something which would never have happened had nature, as it were, been left to its own devices.”
World view is an important part to understanding if someone will accept miracles or not. If someone believes that this universe is self – started and self- contained and you are not willing to look at the aspect of their even being a God then no amount of evidence or proof will convince them otherwise. (You need to start with “Is there a God”)
If, however, you believe that there is a God that not only started this universe but also has the power to step into this universe anytime He wills, then you will see the miracles that are taking place.
So we first have to understand the reason that many people can look at the same evidence and declare two different things is because of a persons world view. This does not mean that one can just say this is just people seeing it from there perspective and that neither is right or wrong. We have already established that truth exist so if truth does exist then one has to be right and one has to be wrong. Before you look at any discussion and think that you are open minded you must realize that you have a view of the world that is hindering you from seeking or seeing the truth that is right in front of you.
Lets examine a few objections people have about miracles.
Objection 1 : Natural Laws are unchangeable.
People say that natural laws are unchanging therefore miracles are impossible.
But just because they say natural laws are unchanging does not mean they are. Natural laws are what happen consistently and therefore we call them laws and not theories. Even evolutionists believe everything started from nothing and that goes against science because everything has to come from something.
We say the Law of Gravity because we know if you throw something up in the air it will come down. If you fly in a Plane you are not breaking the Law of Gravity you are overpowering it. If we being humans can alter the natural laws, then certainly God can intervene and overpower them as well.
Answer to objection one: God is not changing the laws of nature but overpowering them.
Objection 2 If something cannot be explained scientifically then it is discredited
I summarized Hume’s argument which says that a wise man believes the majority of the evidence therefore you should not believe in miracles. The argument says that if something cannot be observed over and over again than it cannot be true. They want life to always be predictable and explainable but that is just not reality.
The Origin of the Universe only happened once but everyone believes it happened.
The Origin of Life only happened once but no one is refuting that we are all here.
Your Birth only happened once and that is not something you or your mother would want to continue to experience just so you could prove it true.
Lottery winners or other prize winners win things usually only once in their lifetime but they happened and we can prove them true even though they cannot be repeated.
Science is about proposing theories and then testing those theories to see if they are true. Science follows many things, like macro evolution for instance, that has never been observed, or verified scientifically.
It is not if an event happened once but do we have good evidence that it happened.
Answer: Miracles by definition are rare events; if they happened all the time then we would call them natural laws. Many things in our world cannot be explained scientifically but we accept them as true.
Objection 3: Miracles are mythological
The thought is that the early Christians came up with these myths to help teach us important truths they stand for. This is not an objection necessarily by those who do not believe in God but by those who do. They try to make the Bible more believable to a modern world but in doing so they actually destroy the historicity and the authority of the Bible. Stories like that of Creation and that of Jonah are turned into mythological events with a purposeful story because they are too hard to believe.
1 Corinthians 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
Our belief is in the miracle of salvation that Christ not only died but He rose again. Jesus Critics acknowledged His miracles when He was on earth because there were too many and too many witnesses of them to refute He did miracles.
Answer: The miracles that are recorded in the Bible were seen by many witnesses and written as historical and not mythological stories. To discredit miracles would destroy Christianity but there is no proof that they did not happen.
Why miracles are important
1) Miracles glorify God
John 2:11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
John 11:38-44 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
We need to remember that Christianity is about Christ so miracles are to display God and His Glory. It is one of the ways you can tell if a miracle is from God simply by seeing who it glorifies.
2) Miracles proved who was telling the truth
Acts 2:22 Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—
Hebrews 2:3-4 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, 4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
In 1 Kings 18 Elijah took on the prophets of Baal and proved which God was true through a miracle.
1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word.
Someone is lying to you just like they were lying to the people in Elijah’s day. The Bible itself is a miracle. Written over 1500 years, 40 different authors, 3 Continents in 3 languages same story. We know the Bible is different from all other religious books because God miraculously brought it together so we would know which religion was telling the truth.
People on one hand want God to do something so great that they will know He exist but on the other hand they do not want anyone, including God, telling them how to live. God did not overpower people who did not want to be bothered by Him but for those who really want to know who God is and how He operates, He gave us His word so we can know the truth.
For those who don’t care or do not want to know than they can easily set the Bible down. God used miracles to show that it was Him speaking and since His word is written we do not have to always expect miracles like are written about in the Bible.
“We are not saying that God cannot do miracles today, or that he never does. As the sovereign Creator and sustain-er of the universe, he can do a miracle anytime he wants. It’s just that he may not have a reason to publicly display his power the way he did during biblical times because all of the truths he wanted to reveal have already been revealed and confirmed.” (Norman Geisler and Frank Turek, I Don’t have enough faith to be an Atheist, pg 216)
3) Miracles were given to help people believe in God
John 6:2,14 And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”
John 20:30-31 Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
The Bible does not even list all the miracles that were done but enough were written for us to believe. In Luke 7:18-23 The Disciples of John reported back to him all that they had seen to reassure John that Jesus was the Messiah.
How many times have we heard someone say if God would just show up and do this and that I would believe.
What would God have to do, that He has not already done, to help you believe?
Seeing Miracles will not automatically mean you will believe
Exodus 8:19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” But Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he would not listen to them, as the Lord had said.
Matthew 16:1 And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven.
We just said that Jesus did a lot of miracles and in fact the chapter before this Jesus feeds 4000 people. So the miracles were well known and seen and yet that did not stop the Pharisees and Sadducee’s from asking for more miracles.
The Danger of False Miracles
2 Thessalonians 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,
Matthew 24:24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
God does not do miracles for entertainment purposes. In Luke 23:8 Herod was hoping Jesus would perform for him when He came to stand trial before him.
Exodus 8:6-7 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt. 7 But the magicians did the same by their secret arts and made frogs come up on the land of Egypt.
I share this with you because in the last days many will be led away by false prophets so you have to remember a few things about miracles so we know they are from God.
How to know if a miracle is from God
God: Does it point to God or to the one performing the miracle?
Truth: Does it contradict God’s Word ?
Others: Was the miracle done so people might believe in Christ?
Gods ultimate purpose is the salvation of mankind and to have an eternal relationship with us.(John 3:16-17) All the people Jesus healed and raised from the dead have died since He healed them. Many talk about miracles as something to make this life more complete but in the end we all die. So miracles soul purpose is for God to prove to you that He loves you and wants a relationship with you. He does miracles so that you can know who is telling you the truth.