Have Miracles Ceased?

Text: John 9:14-34


I.         Several denominations teach the continuance of miracles

            A.        Proofs offered are based on emotional feelings and indirect evidence (I know a person who heard a person claim they saw ...)

            B.        The standard appealed to is what a person thinks is right

            C.        To oppose is taken as the same as calling the person a liar

II.        Many of our problems is what do we mean by a miracle?

            A.        A miracle is not just an unusual event. Example: A person running for mayor with no hope of winning, suddenly finds himself in office. This is NOT a miracle in the biblical sense of the word.

            B.        A miracle is not just an awe inspiring natural event. Example: The eruption of a volcano is not a miracle. Nor is the birth of a baby a miracle.

            C.        A miracle is a sudden interruption of natural events

                        1.         The healing of the blind man in John 9

                                    a.         Not a normal occurrence

                                    b.         Immediate results

                                    c.         No recovery time

                        2.         The healing of the man with a withered hand in Matthew 12

                                    a.         Not a normal occurrence

                                    b.         Immediate results                   

                                    c.         No recovery time

            D.        Bible words - Hebrews 2:4

                        1.         Signs (semeion) - A mark signifying or certifying as being from God

                        2.         Wonders (teras) - An omen or event designed to attract attention

                        3.         Miracles (dunamis) - A force that makes signs and wonders happen

                        4.         Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Who was behind the miracles, causing them to happen

III.       For many reasons the Bible indicates that miracles have ceased

            A.        The purpose for miracles has ended

                        1.         The recording of miracles were to cause belief in Christ - John 20:30-31

                        2.         But how do we know the apostles and others of that time taught the truth?

                        3.         Hebrews 2:1-4 - Miracles showed that the apostles were from God and were teaching the truth

                        4.         Mark 16:20 - Their words were confirmed by the signs

                        5.         The proof is only needed once

            B.        The need for miracles has ended

                        1.         John 14:26 - The Holy Spirit was sent to teach and remind the apostles

                        2.         John 16:12-13 - The apostles were not ready to understand everything, so the Holy Spirit was sent to teach them

                        3.         The apostles wrote that teaching down to help us remember - II Peter 1:3, 12-15

                        4.         Once written, miraculous reminders of the past were no longer needed - Jude 3

            C.        The means of being allowed to perform miracles has ended

                        1.         Mark 16:14-20 - The apostles, not all believers, were told they could work miracles (note pronoun change in Mark 16:16)

                        2.         Passed on to some believers by the apostles laying on hands - Acts 8:14-19

                        3.         Notice that only the apostles could pass on the gift

                        4.         Paul plainly states miracles would cease - I Corinthians 13:8-13

                                    a.         Not end of world - Hope and Faith would not endure

                                    b.         James 1:25 - The New Testament is the perfect law

                                    c.         II Timothy 3:16-17 - The word perfects the follower

IV.      There is no evidence that miraculous gifts continue today

            A.        No solid proof. When the Jesus and the apostles did a miracle, it was obvious to all.

            B.        It did not require belief in the observers, it often caused belief - Acts 13:12