Welcome to CAF (I see you only have a handful of posts).
I was defending the Catholic Church to a protestant who believes his “healing ministry” proves the authenticity of his church, using Mark 16:17-18 as biblical proof. “Signs and wonders will follow those who believe.” . . . What is a good response to his claim that the miracles he witnesses daily prove his point that he is part of the true church?
Let’s assume the guy’s name is “John Doe”. Here’s what I’d say . . .
John. The verses you are alluding to, say . . .
MARK 16:15-18 15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
There ARE QUALIFICATIONS with such teachings. PROVISOS that are explicitly brought out elsewhere in Sacred Scripture.
Here is what Mark 16 DOESN’T say . . . .
Not Mark 16:15-18 (Phantom Verse) ONLY Signs and wonders will follow those who believe. And IF these signs and wonders are seen, then and ONLY then, will we KNOW if they have a saving relationship with God. And if they don’t have these signs, we will know you are NOT in a relationship with God!
John. You NEED to preach a FULL Gospel. And the ONLY place I can find a FULL Gospel is in the Catholic Church (not necessarily from “Church men”, but from the official teachings of THE CHURCH).
John. That’d be the Catholic Church that Jesus founded.
Notice ALSO John what Jesus warns against.
MATTHEW 7:20-24 20 Thus you will know them by their fruits. 21 "Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’ 24 "Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock . . . .
I’m pretty sure I know how John will respond to the above (he’ll change the subject and try to rail against “works” – this is what they are frequently taught to do in their traditions), but go ahead and get that far and come on back (or PM me) and we can go deeper into this issue.
Or if you already HAVE gotten this far, let myself and the readers of this thread know that too and I (and I am sure others) will offer some further suggestions then as well.