Summary: Jesus said the supernatural Signs and Wonders are to “accompany those who believe” (Mark 16:17a NIV), and they should be fully understood by every Christian that they are to accompany them wherever they are.
Many within the church believe that after the Apostles died and their writings were collected in the New Testament, the place of Signs and Wonders in evangelism has passed, and Christians should not pursue them today. This does not mean miracles don't happen. It just says they are not the typical or normal way ministry is to be done.
You can often hear it said that the healing ministry of Jesus and the Apostles was unique. Miracles, it is often heard said, were not done by Christians in general, but were the signs of the Apostles exclusive authority, and when the Apostles died out, the signs died out.
There are also those who claim that Signs and Wonders were merely for authenticating the Bible, and now that people have the Bible, Christians don't need them anymore because Signs and Wonders don’t produce a real faith in an unbelieving heart.
In the first century church effective evangelism and witnessing happened when the disciples received “power” from Holy Spirit to be God’s “witnesses” for Him, not only in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria but even to the “ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:6-8 NIV) Signs and Wonders are included in the “power” which the Disciples received from the Holy Spirit for effective witnessing.
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8 NIV)
Power for Evangelism
One day just prior to Jesus ascension, the Disciples came to Him with a question concerning the time that He would restore the kingdom to Israel. Jesus said to them that, although it is not for them “to know the times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority,” they will be given “power” to take part in a different kind of ‘kingdom restoration.’ Throughout the Book of Acts, it is shown that effective evangelism and witnessing is often the result of Signs and Wonders. An example of this is when Stephen, “a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people” (Acts 6:8-9 NIV).
In Good Company
Jesus said the supernatural Signs and Wonders are to “accompany those who believe” (Mark 16:17a NIV). The Greek word “Para-koloutheo” translated “accompany” means to follow very closely. “Para” is a primary preposition that means “near,” “from beside” “in the vicinity of.” The Greek word “Koloutheo” comes from “Keleuthos” which means “a road;” “to be in the same way with.” It is used elsewhere in Scripture and translated into English as “attain,” “fully know,” or to “have understanding.”
Signs and Wonders should be fully understood by every Christian that they are to accompany them wherever they are, and whenever they proclaim the great news of Jesus Christ. They are legitimate tools of effective evangelism.
The Apostle Paul often used Signs and Wonders as a "demonstration of the Spirit's power" (1 Cor. 2:4) when he proclaimed the Gospel message. In one instance, as he was standing before the Proconsul (the representative of the Emperor), a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Elymas “opposed” him as he tried to share the Gospel. Paul;
“filled with the Holy Spirit…looked straight at Elymas and said, 'You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun.' Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand.”
Signs and Wonders were used to open his heart to trust in the saving message of the Gospel. When the “proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord” (Acts 13:7-12 NIV). By seeing the miracle take place, he was amazed at the authority of the teaching.
Throughout Scripture Signs and Wonders are consistently united with the preaching of the Word. The book of Exodus shows the ability of signs and how God works through miracles to produce faith.
“Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The Lord did not appear to you?" Then the Lord said to him, "What is that in your hand?" "A staff," he replied. The Lord said, "Throw it on the ground." Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. Then the Lord said to him, ‘Reach out your hand and take it by the tail." So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in His hand. "This," said the Lord, "is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers -- the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob -- has appeared to you." (Ex 4:1-6 NIV)