The gospels and Acts tell us that roughly 2,000 years ago the miraculous was often witnessed as irrefutable evidence of the truth of the gospel to those who never heard of Jesus—that He is the promised Messiah and Savior of the world. Today, however, such miracles are practically non-existent in most churches in the West. It was in the West where the gospel was planted centuries ago and from where it eventually began to spread to the Third World through “the modern missionary movement” of recent history.
Today in the West, however, new believers born and raised there come to Jesus not because of a miracle they experienced—as portrayed so often in the gospels and Acts—but rather simply because they accepted Jesus after hearing the gospel preached. Evangelistic Christian movies produced in the West are based primarily on powerful apologetics. (I confess I’m an admirer of C. S. Lewis with my academic background of physics and experimental psychology.) But they generally do not depict the kind of irrefutable miracles described in the gospels and Acts. Such miracles are not “respectable” in the empirically-based, technology-driven culture of the West. Moreover, such miracles rarely if ever occur there. That is now the reality in the post-Christian West.
But in the Third World where thousands of unreached people groups are in fact resistant and hardened against the “religion of Christianity” imported from the West, the miraculous can in fact still take place as irrefutable evidence to them that Jesus is the only way to the One True God. That of course is what is plainly witnessed in Acts when the gospel was taken to the idol-worshiping Greeks and Romans, not to mention the Jews and the Samaritans. And today during these very Last Days during which every unreached people group especially in the Third World must be reached before the end comes, this very same miraculous evidence can and is being witnessed again.
The key for this to happen is for indigenous gospel workers to be trained according to the Scriptures. If we diligently and carefully study the accounts of miraculous healings and demons being cast out in the gospels and Acts, we will discover important biblical principles for ministering to the sick and oppressed effectively and fruitfully in Third World missions for the Great Commission to be fulfilled during these very Last Days. Today such principles are not taught to missionaries sent from the West to the Third World.
If indigenous gospel workers in the Third World apply these principles, they will be able to heal the sick and cast out demons on a consistent basis—as evidence to those who never heard of Jesus that He is in fact the one and only Savior of the world.