Forty years ago, I had the foolish notion that if I was healed, it would cause unbelievers to repent and believe in Christ. Whenever somebody offered healing prayers at a meeting, I went to the front to receive my sight. When nothing kept happening year after year, I became angry with God.
Now I realize just how foolish I had been. Look at the many cases throughout the Bible when the Lord did miracles. For example, he brought Israel out of Egyptian captivity and through the Red Sea on dry land. He led and guarded them with a pillar of cloud each day and a pillar of fire each night. God gave them manna and quail to eat in the desert. Even their clothes and sandals never wore out during forty years of traveling. With all these incontrovertible miracles, people still grumbled and refused to trust the Lord.
Elijah and Elishah performed a total of twenty-four miracles, yet the Israelites soon turned away from God. The Lord fought for Israel many times, yet they abandoned him once they were no longer in peril. Though they initially believed, it didn’t have any lasting effect.
The same thing happened when Jesus multiplied food for five-thousand men, plus women and children. He fed more than four thousand on another occasion. Yet people wanted to make him a king so he would grant their own worldly wishes. They also followed him for the free food rather than because he was the messiah. When Christ didn’t fulfill their dream of booting the Romans out of Israel, they had him crucified.
When Christ rose from the dead on the third day, he showed himself only to his disciples. Why? Because only they would follow him no matter what the cost. The fickle crowds would either mock or try again to make him a king. The temple rulers would also plot to kill him once more since he posed a threat to their leadership.
I noticed too that all the periods of miracles in Scripture were as confirmation of God’s prophets, disciples, and his son. They weren’t meant to convince people of the truth but to confirm it. Though the faith healers of today claim to make people well, nobody has yet shown incontrovertible proof of limbs growing back or new eyes growing in a person’s head.
So how do people come to faith in Christ? The Holy Spirit draws them through the preaching of the Gospel. This is why Christ said those who believed without seeing him would be more blessed than Thomas and the others to whom he showed himself.
I wrote extensively about how a house church leader led me astray and how the Lord directed me to the truth in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Check out this marvelous testimony of God’s providential guidance at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Virtual Bookworm Publishers.