Summary: Are Signs and Wonders For Today?
Jesus boldly proclaimed at the start of His ministry; "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor." (Luke 4:18-19 NIV)
Jesus taught that His personal ministry while on Earth was to be the ongoing ministry of the future Church. The Church has been empowered and anointed to do the same; "As the Father has sent me so send I you." (John 20:21 NIV).
The preaching of the Kingdom is closely linked with the ministry of miracles. Jesus said that the same Great News of the Kingdom that He preached is to be preached until all the nations have heard it, "This gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all the nations; then the end will come." (Matt 24:14)
In order to do that it requires that the message be preached the very same way He did. Jesus tells us those who believe in Him will “also do the works that I do." (John 14:12) He said the message that the “kingdom of heaven is near” would be proved when the disciples “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,” and “drive out demons.” (Matt 10:7-8 NIV)
After Peter and John were released from prison for sharing the Great News of Jesus, they “went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.’ (Acts 4:23 NIV). They decided that the best way to get the message out to all the people was to pray and ask for Signs and Wonders to validate their message. (See Acts 4:29-31)
Are Signs And Wonder’s For Today?
Some believe that after the Apostles died and their writings were collected in the New Testament, the place of Signs and Wonders in evangelism was past, and we should not pursue them today. This does not mean miracles do not happen. It just means they are not the typical or normal way ministry should be done. Many say the healing ministry of Jesus and the Apostles was unique. Miracles they say, were not done by Christians in general, but were the signs of the Apostles, and when the Apostles died out, the signs died out.
There are those who claim that Signs and Wonders were merely for authenticating the Bible, and now that we have the Bible, we don’t need them anymore because they don’t produce a real faith in an unbelieving heart. It is also believed by some that the “power” of Holy Spirit is primarily to encourage and strengthen when sharing the Gospel or to transform lives. Healing’s and "Words of Knowledge" were simply a "door opener" for the preached message. Therefore, it is reasoned, God talks to us only through the Bible.
I have often found it interesting that when I ask those in ministry who are adamant over this how they knew they were called to ministry, they would say that they just “knew” in their heart that is what God wanted. In other words, they had a supernatural encounter with God that gave them the confidence to know that He called them yet they don’t believe God still moves supernaturally in Signs and Wonders today!