I was reading the Bible the other day, I know, I’m in the minority (and apparently that includes Christians as well), and I passed over some things that just jumped out at me. I remember back when I was in college that I used to have great conversations with people about spiritual matters. Of course they were also great because a lot of them were ignorant conversations. I’m not knocking them, we just didn’t know as much as we think we did. That’s the great thing about knowledge, education, etc. The more you learn the more you realize the less you know and knew.
But we used to talk about how if people saw miraculous signs, then they would defiantly turn their lives around and live for God like He desires for the whole human race to do. Of course now I realize that that is not true in the slightest. I was reading John 12 the other day and specifically the verses 28 -30 and 37. And those verses actually back up the fact that people don’t need signs to ‘get saved.’ John 12:28-30 says, “Father, glorify Your name.”
Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.” Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake.
You see, the voice of God Himself came from Heaven and still people missed God. And that was back in a day with no technology. Imagine the same thing happened today. Even less of the people would be inclined to believe because they would pass it off as something else-loudspeaker or something. We are just such a disbelieving people. I remember reading a book by Ravi Zacharias and in it he talks about the idea of if God Himself descended from the clouds and stand in the sky and actually tell us to follow Him. He says, and I concur, that we might be obedient to follow Him for a little bit, but after awhile, we’d push away, really questioning if that was God, if it was us, if it was real. Then we’d go our own way and do our own thing.
Of course, I’d have to wonder if we’d even do that. I mean, some of us would, but I think some of wouldn’t. I believe it was Julius Huxley who said that his generation and friends so embraced evolution not because it was right in their eyes, but because it gave them a justification for their immoral behavior. I think, like Julius Huxley, some would not follow because, like now, they prefer their own way, their own lifestyle, over God’s. And that lifestyle happens to be a sinful, rebellious own, and thus, they prefer their sin over God’s righteous ways. So not even the physical manifestation of God Himself in the clouds would persuade us to change our lives for good. Some it might, some not so sure.
The other scripture, John 12:37 says, But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him. See, not even miracles guarantee that a person will turn their life over to God. It’s been said that healing is the dinner bell for the lost, i.e. healing brings people to hear God’s Word but it does not get them saved. Miracles and the physical voice of God is not what gets people saved, what turns people around. It’s the Word of God.
Some people put so much emphasis on miracles of worship or other things, and those and other things are important and have their place. But it still remains that preaching the Gospel is the number one way that a person believes and is saved. Throughout the Word of God it states this over and over. One scripture that comes to mind is “How will they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” It doesn’t say a miracle worker, or a worship leader. It is the preaching of the Word that gets people saved. I’ve heard it and seen it happen. I’ve seen people get saved when the message isn’t even preaching on salvation. He’s talking about something totally different and non-related, yet still a person ends up desiring Christ to be their savior. That’s the power of the Word of God.
I’ve heard it said that the Word of God is so anointed that a person could get saved reading the genealogies. Now you may not believe that, but I do. Haven’t seen it, but I believe it. It’s the Word that gets people saved, so preach the Word.
In closing, I remember hearing a story of a preacher who asked a traveling minister to come and speak with a man who was an atheist because the preacher talked to him all he could with no avail. The traveling minister met with him, with hesitation, and just let the man talk. And this man went on and on about being an atheist and saying how he didn’t even believe in God so why would he believe in Jesus and so forth. The minister just looked at the man, gave him on scripture (from Ephesians I do believe) and told him he couldn’t help him and he was going to burn in Hell. Sounds harsh doesn’t it? The traveling minister agreed. Of course he explained, that if the guy didn’t even have faith to believe in God that he couldn’t have faith to believe and accept Jesus. So he gave the man a scripture and prayed that one scripture would get into his heart and spring roots and so grow. As it happened, the traveling minister was back in the area about six months later and found that same man who had been so adamant about his atheism and denial of God just showed up one day at church and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.
It wasn’t about miracles or healing, though those are good, but it’s about the preaching of the Word. That’s what Jesus said to do. Go into all the world and preach the Gospel. That’s our first commandment, our first commission, the Great Commission, so go forth and fulfill it, knowing that it is the Word that draws men to God.