As an evangelist, part of my mission in life, is to preach about Jesus to people. I have had the privilege of going all over the world to preach the Gospel. When I preach in Muslim nations and hold up my Bible with its black leather cover and gold-edged pages, the Muslims in the audience hold up a copy of the Koran with a black leather cover and gold-edged pages. What right do I have to say that my book is the truth? The answer: Miracles.
When I preach about Jesus. I tell stories about the miracles Jesus did in the Bible. I tell them, as it says in Hebrews 13:8, that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” I announce that if Jesus is truly alive, He will perform miracles. Then I pray for the sick in the name of Jesus. After we pray, I invite people who have been healed to come to the platform and testify. Often dozens and sometimes hundreds of people come forward to share they have been healed.
In my ministry I have seen blind eyes opened, deaf ears hearing, and cripples walking. These miracles prove that Jesus is alive today. The Bible says that God confirms the preaching of His word with miraculous signs (Mark 16:20). When I ask people to take the leap of faith and surrender their lives to Jesus, thousands pray with me to receive salvation. Many of them do so because of the miracles they have seen with their own eyes during the service.
The Story of the Ethiopian Mohammad
One time I was preaching in Metu, Ethiopia. Ethiopia is about 30% Muslim and there is a high concentration of Muslims in Metu. The Muslims in Metu were not happy that I was going to be preaching about Jesus in their town. Some Muslim young people followed our team around and tore down the posters that we put up to announce our Gospel festival. At one point, these youth started a riot and threw stones at our team, with one of the stones breaking the windshield of our publicity vehicle. Because of the public disturbance, the police were called in. The Muslims blamed the riot on our team (not that that made much sense, since it was our own equipment that was being damaged). Seventeen of our team members were thrown into jail, and we had to hire a lawyer to help us get them free. Despite these problems, the festival still went forward.
However, on the first night we were disappointed because not many people attended the service. Since all our posters had been torn down, very few people knew of the festival. After the service, I prayed and asked God to do a miracle. The next night, a crippled man attended the service. This man was well known in the community, as he was always seen hobbling around on a stick and asking people for money. When we prayed for the sick that evening, Jesus touched this crippled man and he suddenly began to walk. He held his crutch up in the air and ran up to the platform to show everyone what had happened. He kept shouting, “Jesus healed me! Jesus healed me!” We asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Mohammad.” Immediately, everyone in the crowd knew he was a Muslim. Because he was healed, word began to spread that Jesus was healing Muslims. The next night, the crowd size doubled. The following night, it doubled again. By the end of our five-day festival, over fifty-five thousand people were gathered on the field to hear about Jesus. Many of these people were Muslims who wanted to see Jesus do miracles.
Miracles are a vital proof of God’s existence.
Healing evangelist Reinhard Bonnke believed that some Christians put too much emphasis on logic and not enough emphasis on miracles. He preached:
The church has too often trusted scholarship, genius, logic, and philosophy. According to 1 Corinthians 1:27, God has chosen the foolish things to confound the wise. The apostles did not preach logic, they preached the power of God. Far too often, Christians become like lawyers in a court. We argue about Jesus to get a positive verdict on Him. This is human wisdom. Jesus needs no defending. You don’t need to defend a lion, all you need to do is open his cage. Jesus will be the judge of all the earth. We are not called to be lawyers or attorneys or barristers, we are called to be witnesses. Jesus said, “You are my witnesses.” A witness only tells what he has seen or experienced. He does not give speeches, he does not debate. The witness becomes a living piece of evidence. The living Jesus needs living witnesses. I want to be a living piece of evidence that Jesus is alive.
Bonnke witnessed thousands of miracles during his years of ministry in Africa. The miracles he witnessed made his faith unshakable.
Many apologists emphasize the miracles of Jesus but fail to defend the idea that miracles can happen today. In fact, there is little difference between the attitude of the cessationist (Christians who believe that miracles only happened in Bible times) and that of an atheist with regard to miracles that happen in the present: they both think that miracles do not happen. Cessationists make this mistake to avoid the difficulties of answering questions about why some people do not receive miracles and why some miracle stories appear to be hoaxes. They also want to avoid being lumped in with faith-preachers who they see as flamboyant conmen.
But the argument against miracles is often an argument from a lack of experience. Atheists often say they have never witnessed a genuine miracle. However, once someone experiences a genuine miracle, his or her personal experience is a powerful proof of God’s existence. Healing evangelist Mike Francen says, “A miracle settles the issue.” Once someone sees a miracle with her own eyes or experiences a miracle in his own body, there is no more argument about the reality of miracles, and by extension of the existence of God. It is difficult for an atheist to talk a believer out of his or her deeply held beliefs when the believer has had significant experiences of God. Personal experience is much stronger evidence then a philosophical argument. As one evangelist said, “A man with an experience is not at the mercy of a man with an argument.”
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About the Author: Dr. Daniel King is a missionary evangelist who has traveled to over seventy nations in his quest for souls. His goal is to lead 1,000,000 people to Jesus every year through massive Gospel Festivals, distribution of literature, and leadership training. Because of his experience and research on evangelism, he is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts in mass evangelism. As an evangelist, he has a deep interest in using apologetics to convince skeptics that God is real.