As I travel across the country speaking and evangelizing, I often tell stories that illustrate God’s work within our ministry. Stories of hardened criminals and gang leaders who come to our crusades with the intent of causing trouble, but instead find themselves convicted by the Holy Spirit and asking God for forgiveness. Other times I relate testimonies of miraculous healings — both physical and spiritual — that take place.
Almost without fail, after I share these testimonies of the Spirit’s power, people come up to me with amazement in their eyes. “I can’t believe how marvelously the Lord works in your ministry,” they tell me. “I’ve never imagined that God works in that way.”
Then come the inevitable questions: “Do you really think God works the same way today that he did in the New Testament? If so, why don’t we see him doing those things in our church?”
The answer to the first question is easy. “Of course he does,” I tell them. “Since the day I became a Christian I’ve seen no distinction between what I read about in the book of Acts and what I experience in our ministry.”
The second question gets a bit more personal, and at the risk of giving offense, I answer, “Perhaps the reason you don’t see God doing mighty works is because you don’t really believe in a mighty God. He doesn’t work miracles if he is not expected to.”
My listeners are taken aback, of course, because it is not the answer they expect but it usually gets their attention. I try to encourage them with the Word: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 12:8). The same Holy Spirit who walked with the disciples, healing and working all kinds of miracles, is walking with us today.
Jesus has promised that anyone who believes in him will do the works that he did; in fact, he says they will do even greater works (see John 14:12).
Nicky Cruz, internationally known evangelist and prolific author, turned to Jesus Christ from a life of violence and crime after meeting David Wilkerson in New York City in 1958. The story of his dramatic conversion was told first in The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and then later in his own best-selling book Run, Baby, Run.