The last few years when we visit our family in another state, we visit our home congregation. They are being taught now that if you say there are no "miracles" now, you are "limiting God". At first we thought this was the teaching of one man. Recently our daughter returned from a visit with family and told us that a visiting preacher made the same comment in an afternoon worship service. They don't give scripture for this assertion. When we visited and heard this comment, we told the one who delivered this message that "God limits himself" in regards to modern day miracles. It had no effect. Could you please give me suggestions for countering this assertion? I need to make sure my family members are made aware of the error of this teaching. They just don't discuss it with me. Please help me with this.
With the argument that you are limiting God by denying modern day miracles they are attempting to put you on the defensive. The reason that this is necessary is because they have no Biblical basis for their assertion. Your answer that God limits himself is a correct answer that can be Biblically supported. I received the same answer from a preacher who, when asked if he believed that a person who had not been immersed to the remission of sins was saved, replied that he could not limit the grace of God. I agreed with him, but challenged his conclusion by saying that neither could he extend the grace of God which was exactly what he was doing. God’s grace does not save those who do not do His will. Matthew 7:21-27. If it did, then all men would be saved (universal salvation), Matthew 7:21-27 is not true, and if the Bible is mistaken there then it may well be mistaken when it declares that God is, that Christ is Savior, and Heaven is prepared for His children. If not, why not? These men have an agenda. They either ignore the teaching of scripture or are ignorant of it. I do not believe that it is the latter. Their only chance for succeeding is that their hearers do not know the teaching of scripture on the subject and are not as noble as the Bereans. Acts 17:10-11. The only thing that will keep them from succeeding is faithful knowledgeable Christians constantly challenging them to support their conclusions with scripture and confronting them with the teaching of scripture on the subject of modern day miracles. Their opinions unsupported by scripture are absolutely worthless. In this case they are both worthless and wrong. They are wrong both scripturally and logically. If God is omnipotent and cannot control His omnipotence, then His “all power” is being constantly exercised. Since He has power to raise the dead, then all dead would be raised all of the time. No one has ever argued that no modern day miracles occur because man has the ability to limit God’s power. Thus, they are raising a straw man. Straw men are easy to kill. They will not have the courage to take on a man not made of straw.
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)