When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. Acts 8:6 NIV
Can we transform our cities simply by attracting a crowd of people to a building once a week to hear a well-prepared, inspiring talk from a professional minister? Of course we can’t! But that seems to be the focus of most pastors, including myself. Notice the crowds in Samaria were listening to Philip give an inspiring talk, but they only paid close attention because of the miraculous signs that also happened at the gatherings.
I am convinced that we must pray for the miraculous if we want to see real transformation in our cities and in our country. I really believe in teaching correct theology and explaining Scripture in creative and compelling ways. But our preaching is not enough. God’s power must be on display if we want to win over skeptics, atheists and agnostics. I don’t mind intellectual debates, but it is much easier to tell someone about Jesus after they have been miraculously healed of some disease.
I know many people believe God’s power is not available to us today as it was in the day of Philip, but I do. The number of stories told by Jesus, Paul and Peter that involve the intervention of heaven into the affairs of men on the earth are too numerous to ignore. The original recipe of church involved the spice of the miraculous and I am ready to add it back to the mixing bowl.
Let’s be sensible and let’s follow sound doctrine. Let’s commit to being “weird free” and not allow our behavior to distract people from their gaze on Jesus. Let’s aggressively pray for people to be healed and set free from bondages.
I believe America today is not much different than Samaria, Corinth or Ephesus. They needed the Gospel and we need the Gospel. I am convinced that people will listen closely to us as they did Philip if we will speak the plain truth in compelling ways and allow the miraculous to happen among us. Let’s pray for people to both hear the Gospel and to see the Gospel.