The Way To The Kingdom of Heaven
The Way To The Kingdom of Heaven
“ A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign , but none will be given except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away.
Matthew 16 : 4
One day the Pharisees and Sadducees approached Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. Jesus did not give in to their demand instead. pronounce the above passage.
With the advent of the Charismatic Movement , crusades with signs and wonders became very popular. It has become the main attraction of many Charismatic and Pentecostal movement. With the influx of charismatic movement, also the Prosperity Gospel of Health and Wealth arrived.
I believe God is still performing miracles today but there is danger in using miracles, signs and wonders as the major tools in evangelistic crusades. I believe that the Word of God is still the most powerful evangelistic tool in any era as it is written in Romans 10:17; “ Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard though the “Word of Christ.”
There is danger in using signs and wonders as evangelistic tools because the person’s conversion to Christ through this mean might not lead to genuine repentance. The person came to Jesus because he experienced his physical healing not because he has seen his utter depravity, he has seen the blackness of his sins, the depth of his carnalities, the filthiness of his soul. He has not see that he is completely lost and hellbound, without any hope apart from Christ
True evangelism has proper foundation. Display of “Signs and Wonders” is not a firm foundation in evangelism. The Word of God must be preached in every evangelistic activity. The “Word of God” is still more powerful than signs and wonders when it comes to evangelism. It is the Word of God, the one that pierces the darkness of a sinner’s heart
And leads him to genuine repentance. As it is written in Hebrews : 4:12
“For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than the double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit., joints and marrows, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
I fear that many who came to Christ through “signs and wonders” and “Prosperity Gospel” have not been led to genuine conversion because they have not come to Christ’s terms of true conversion and repentance. The blessedness of possessing the Kingdom of God starts with being poor in the spirit as it is written in Matthew 5:3;
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven .”
Here is an excerpt from Pastor John MacArthur’s book “The Only Way To Happiness.“
Becoming poor in the spirit is the very first thing that must happen in the life of anybody who ever enters God’s Kingdom. Nobody ever entered on the basis of pride. The doorway is very low and only people who crawl can come in. In other words Jesus is saying, “You won’t be filled until you are empty. You can’t be worthwhile until you are worthless.”
What does poverty of spirit mean ?
Being poor in spirit is being absolutely incapable, totally dependent on grace. We became poor in spirit after we realized our utter depravity and sinfulness, that we are hellbound, without any hope apart from Christ.
The Kingdom of God is for those who had seen themselves as vile sinners, and whose hearts were tremendously broken upon realizing how much they have offended God.
Remember Isaiah 66:2 ;
“This is the one I esteem,
He who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my Word.”