Are Miracles Still Occurring?
The Bible is replete with instances of God’s representatives working miracles. It is fascinating to read through Scripture and see the various miracles which were wrought by their hands. A common mistake people make, though, is reasoning that since miracles were performed in “Bible times,” then they are still being worked today. Such a conclusion is unwarranted. A few facts will help one understand the Bible’s teaching on miracles.
First, the purpose of miracles
was to confirm the words
of the speaker (Mark 16:20
; Acts 14:3
and Hebrews 2:4
). When people (in the 1st century) saw the miracles Jesus and His apostles worked, that was confirmation enough that they were endorsed by God (John 3:2
; Acts 28:4-6
Second, the ability to work miracles
could not be imparted (passed on) by just any Christian. Only an apostle could impart the ability to work miracles (Acts 8:18
). Since miraculous ability could not be attained unless an apostle laid their hands on an individual, logic demands that when the last apostle died, the means of passing on miraculous ability ceased. In addition, this means with the death of the last person (on whom an apostle laid hands), then miraculous ability, in totality, ceased.
Third, the duration of miracles
was never intended to continue indefinitely. Paul made this clear in his first letter to the Corinthians. In 1 Corinthians 13:8-10
, he speaks of a time in which miraculous knowledge, prophecies and tongues would be “done away,”
when that which is “perfect”
comes. Some contend that ‘the perfect’ means when Jesus returns
, but the original grammar does not support such an interpretation. Really, Paul is saying when the Word of God is finally revealed, in its complete (i.e., perfect) written form, there will be no more need for miracles.
This article is directed at the claims made about biblical-type
miracles happening today, and is not so much concerned with when people loosely define incidents as “miracles”
(i.e., a baby being born; surviving a car wreck, etc.). All claims to the contrary, biblical-type miracles are no longer happening. We are certain there are those who disagree with this conclusion, but we will happily change our mind when they demonstrate their position by raising someone from the dead (John 11:43-44
; Acts 9:40
). Until then, we will just have to continue trusting the Bible.