Why Doesn’t God Perform Miracles Today Like He Did in the Bible?

In response to this question, I’ll post the article The Position that Miracles Ceased, from the Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. Then I’ll follow by explaining that we can see miracles of God today, through studying Bible prophecy fulfillments.

The Position that Miracles Ceased. Both positive and negative arguments are offered for the position that the special gift of miracles ended with the time of the apostles.

Proving Present Miracles from the Past. Logically there is no connection between past and present miraculous occurrences. Even during thousands of years of Bible history miracles were clustered in three very limited periods: (1) The Mosaic period: from the exodus through the taking of the promised land (with a few occurrences in the period of the judges); (2) The prophetic period: from the late kingdom of Israel and Judah during the ministries of Elijah, Elisha, and to a lesser extent Isaiah; (3) The apostolic period: from the first-century ministries of Christ and the apostles. Occurrences of miracles were neither continuous nor without purpose. Theologically the three great periods of miracles have certain things in common: Moses needed miracles to deliver Israel and sustain the great number of people in the wilderness (Exod. 4:8). Elijah and Elisha performed miracles to deliver Israel from idolatry (see 1 Kings 18). Jesus and the apostles showed miracles to confirm establishment of the new covenant and its deliverance from sin (Heb. 2:3–4). That miracles occurred at special times for special purposes is no argument that they will exist when these conditions no longer prevail.

Changeless Attributes; Changing Acts. God never changes, but his program on earth does. There are different stages of his redemptive plan, and what is true in one stage is untrue in another. We no longer are required not to eat some forbidden fruit (Gen. 2:16–17). We need not offer a lamb as sacrifice for sins (Exodus 12). We no longer are led by the twelve apostles and Paul; rather we have God’s final revelation in Scripture. Note that 2 Corinthians 12:12 calls miracles “the signs of an apostle.”

Promises to Apostles. Jesus did promise that miracles would continue after he left, but he did not say they would endure until his return. It was specifically to the apostles that he made the statement of John 14:12. The antecedent of you in that promise is the eleven who were with him. His promise to give the Holy Spirit’s baptism, with which came the gift of tongues, was only given to the apostles (Acts 1:1–2). Only the apostles received the fulfillment of this promise at Pentecost (Acts 1:26; cf. 2:1, 7, 14). Nonapostolic instances of tongues witness the salvation of the first Samaritans and Gentiles and those on whom the apostles laid hands (cf. Acts 8:17–18; 2 Tim. 1:6) or in the presence of an apostle’s proclamation (Acts 10:44; cf. 11:15). The reference to special “signs of an apostle” (2 Cor. 12:12) make no sense if these gifts were possessed by anyone other than the apostles or those on whom Christ and the apostles conferred the gift.

Desire Does Not Prove Fulfillment. There is a desire for ongoing miracles, but not all felt needs are real needs. Job received no miracle cure. Nor did Epaphras. Nor did the apostle Paul, who earnestly desired to be healed (2 Corinthians 12). The moving testimony of Joni Earickson Tada includes her search for a miraculous recovery before she came to terms with the ways God had decided to use her as a quadriplegic.

When compared with the periods that prompted miracles in Bible times, there is no actual need for sign miracles today. Miracles confirmed new revelation (Exod. 4:6; John 3:2; Acts 2:22). But the Bible is so much more than the New Testament saints possessed, and it is complete and sufficient for faith and practice. Pentecost does not need to be repeated, any more than Calvary and the empty tomb.

Though miracles can manifest God’s greatness, glory, and deliverance, he accomplishes these things in other ways. The heavens declare his glory and greatness (Psalm 19; Isaiah 40). Spiritual deliverance is accomplished in the power of the gospel (Rom. 1:16). God works through general and special providence without suspending natural laws (see Miracles, Magic and).

Even when there is an apparent need for divine intervention, there are things for which God never performs a miracle today. He does not delay the appointed time of death (Rom. 5:12; Heb. 9:27). This does not mean God never will supernaturally intervene to solve the problem of death. A time has been appointed for it at the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15). Meanwhile we await bodily redemption (Rom. 8:23)—the miracle of the resurrection.

Geisler, Norman L.: Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. Grand Rapids, Mich. : Baker Books, 1999 (Baker Reference Library), S. 469

Note:

“The Problem of Sign Gifts. The claim that apostolic sign gifts still exist fails to distinguish between the fact of miracles and the gift of miracles. The view that sign miracles ceased with the apostles does not demand that God has performed no miracles since the first century. It argues that the special gift of doing miraculous feats possessed by the apostles ceased once the divine origin of their message was confirmed.”

Geisler, Norman L.: Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics. Grand Rapids, Mich. : Baker Books, 1999 (Baker Reference Library), S. 470

Through the study of fulfilled Bible prophecy, people in this period of history have more opportunity to see miracles from God, than anyone who lived during the times the Bible was written. The following articles document miraculously fulfilled prophecies from the Bible:

Daniel’s Seventy Weeks:

https://www.gotquestions.org/seventy-weeks.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/seventy-sevens.html

The Prophecy Concerning Cyrus:

https://www.gotquestions.org/Cyrus-Bible.html

The Prophecy Concerning Tyre:

http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=1790

The Prophecy Concerning Sidon:

http://www.givingananswer.org/articles/prophecy.html

The Prophecy Concerning Petra and Edom:

http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/fulfill.shtml

The Prophecies Concerning the Jewish People:

http://www.josh.org/resources/apologetics/answering-skeptics-detail/?id=34517

In conclusion, “miracles occurred at special times for special purposes” in the Bible. And we have more access to miracles of God today, through studying Bible prophecy fulfillments, than anyone did during the times the Bible was written.

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