By Norman Midgette
We are living in an age of amazing claims. Some have been kidnapped by beings from another planet and whisked away in a UFO, or so they claim. Some claim their spirit left their body in death, drifted around the ceiling of the operating room, and then re-entered their body and they lived again. Some claim to have spoken directly to God and Christ or to have seen Mary or an angel from heaven. Some claim they were at the point of death and were miraculously healed or had some dread disease and upon attending the services of a faith healer were completely cured.
Claims are a dime a dozen but proofs are another matter. Furthermore, there are some things people claim that you have no way to “disprove.” Let none of these things bother you. Just keep your eye on what really matters and here it is.
So you talked with an angel or saw Jesus Christ! Is that going to change the demands of the gospel or prove you are a Christian? Cornelius had a vision and saw an angel but he was far from being a saved man (Acts 10:4; 11:14). While Saul was still persecuting the church he “saw” Christ and “heard a voice from his mouth” (Acts 22:14). At this time in his life Paul later said he was the “chief’ of sinners (1 Tim. 1 :15).
Now suppose you really believed you were healed miraculously by being touched by a “faith healer.” Is that going to change one command of Christ? Let us suppose you have been taught, and you believe, you were saved by faith only. Is the fact you think you were healed with or without a faith healer going to change the command of Christ to “repent and be baptized for remission of sins” (Acts 2:38)? Is anything that you do in this life or that happens to you in this life going to change one word in the Bible? When you look in the Bible at people that really were healed, that healing had nothing to do with whether they were in the family of God or saved. Take as examples Naaman (2 Kings 5:8-14) or Jeroboam (1 Kings 13:1-6). Naaman was a Gen-tile and Jeroboam a renegade Jew filled with wickedness. They were both healed, one of leprosy and the other of a withered hand. Neither these cases nor any in the New Testament made anyone closer to God nor proved they had his fellowship.
No matter what you claim you have seen or has happened to you nothing effects what God said you must do to be saved. If you believe you had a barbecue feast with a thousand angels or played handball with Moses, you would still have to repent and be baptized to be saved (Mark 16:15, 16). You would then need to live a faithful life, according to the gospel, to go to heaven (Phil. 1:27; Rev. 2:10).
Interestingly, it is usually those people who are not following the Bible who try to give credence to their spiritual lives by these claims of external experiences. Your concern should not be about seeing angels but about obeying the gospel because that is the only thing that can save you and give you fellowship with God (Rom. 1:16).
Guardian of Truth XLI: 6 p. 13
March 20, 1997