by Bill Nugent
In October of 2015 I met former Georgia state senator Michael Crotts. When Mike Crotts first ran for senator in 1992 he suffered a fatal heart attack and was rushed to a local hospital with no pulse or respiration. They forced oxygen into him but unfortunately intubated his esophagus rather than his trachea. The oxygen bloated his stomach and provided no air for his lungs. He had no pulse for more than half an hour during this ordeal.
Senator Crotts’s wife, Phyllis, was with him in the emergency room. She prayed loudly and fervently. The medical staff tried to dissuade her and said that if he ever came back he would have profound brain damage. She continued to pray and called others to have them pray. Michael Crotts was raised from the dead in answer to these prayers! It was not a resuscitation, it was a raising from the dead! He had no brain damage. He also had clear memory of what he saw and heard from God when his spirit was outside of his body during his death. He went on to serve six terms in the Georgia Senate. Today he travels and tells audiences about his experience of being raised from the dead by the power of Christ.
Have you ever wondered why Christianity spread so fast in the ancient world? Why would multitudes of people be willing to die as martyrs rather than reject Christ? Why would the teachings of an obscure Jewish rabbi go on to be the civil religion of the Roman empire, the dominant faith of western civilization and the largest religion by number of adherents in the world today?
We’re all familiar with Dr. James Allan Francis’s 1926 poem about Jesus that declares “All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings who ever reigned put together, have not affected the life of mankind, as powerfully as that one solitary life.”
Is the rapid rise of Christianity due to the teachings of Christ or is it also because of the miracles of Christ? To the untrained mind the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth seem idealistic, lofty and unattainable. However, the teachings of Christ are backed up by the miracles of Christ. Miracles of healing and raising the dead occurred in ancient times and they occur today in Christian gatherings where the Gospel of Christ is proclaimed.
It’s often been said that Christianity is a faith but not a blind faith. God has given supernatural witness to the divine inspiration of the Bible and the truth of Christianity. God expects us to look upon the miracles that He provided and respond to the Gospel in faith. Jesus said “the works [miracles] that I do in My Father’s name, these bear witness of Me” (John 10:25 NAS). Let’s take a look at some recent miracles.
In November of 2015, I met Mahesh Chavda, pastor of All Nations Church in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Mahesh is a prominent healing evangelist who has had remarkable miracles of healing occur in his meetings as he preaches the Christian Gospel. He related an instance that occurred in England in 1998. As he was teaching he suddenly received a word of knowledge from God. Mahesh heard in his spirit the name “Barbara.” As soon as he called out that name, a young woman named Barbara, who was born blind, received her sight. She ran forward to the front of the church in ecstasy.
An eye doctor from Belgium, Dr. Rik Van Nast, was present in the meeting and came forward to study the healing. He confirmed it in great wonder and admiration for the glory of God through Christ. Dr. Van Nast later led the effort to bring Mahesh Chavda and his team to conduct similar meetings in Belgium. Miracles also occurred in the meetings in Belgium.
You may have heard of the famous revival in Pensacola, Florida that began in 1995 under the leadership of John Kilpatrick that lasted several years. In the latter part of 1995 John Kilpatrick was ministering on the platform when he received a word of knowledge from God that a lady was present with calcified discs and spurs in her spine that were causing great pain.
As he spoke, John saw something like an eight inch long cylinder come out of his mouth and travel across the church sanctuary and strike the lady in the neck with such force he could hear a slap sound. The lady fell over and was instantly healed by the power of God! There were many other miraculous healings during the Pensacola revival. During this revival many thousands of people received Christ as Savior and began to follow Him as Lord.
There are many other examples I could give of miracles occurring in Christian meetings down through the centuries and in our own day. Millions of miracles have occurred that give witness to the supernatural origin and divine wisdom of the Christian faith. These miracles reach out in Christian love to a world fraught with skepticism and philosophical pessimism.
Jesus said that He “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28 NAS). This is a reference to the fact that in His suffering and death, Jesus took upon Himself the punishment we deserved for our sins. He paid our ransom. This is called the substitutionary atonement. Jesus was our substitute. He suffered in our place. He suffered a hellish death so we can avoid hell. “He, Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross” (I Peter 2:24 NAS). On this basis we ask for forgiveness of sins. I urge you to turn to Christ today and ask for forgiveness of sins on the basis of the death and resurrection of Christ.
Steps to salvation:
Jesus said “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).
Prayer to receive salvation:
“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
To receive the salvation that Jesus purchased for us at the terrible cost of His suffering and death on our behalf I invite you to pray this simple prayer:
“Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for sending Jesus, the promised Messiah, to die for my sins. I admit that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and I ask for your forgiveness on the basis of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit to empower me to serve you under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
If you prayed this prayer in the humble sincerity of your heart then you have received everlasting life, which includes power to live right in this life and entrance into heaven in the afterlife!