Healing and the Bible
By David J. Stewart
There are many misled religious people today who errantly think it is God's will to heal every illness, every disease and every injury. Nothing could be further from the truth of God's Word. I've actually had some screwball religious people tell me that I ought to discard my pain medications, trust God and I'll be physically well again. But they don't have the faith or ability to heal me. They talk the talk, but they can't walk the walk. They talk as fools. They actually blame the suffering person for not having enough faith. What a rotten and malicious thing to say to a person in pain. They are ignorant of the Scriptures and living in a fantasy world. There is a fine line between faith and foolishness.
The Bible contains plenty of examples of people who became ill and suffered long, or died from an illness. In fact, God made some people ill and killed others. The Apostle Paul said that some people were dying because they were eating the Lord's Supper unworthily (1st Corinthians 11:30). Some were even dying.
Paul had a thorn in the flesh that God would not remove (2nd Corinthians 12:7). Most Bible scholars believe that the thorn Paul endured was a physical ailment, such as a problem with his eyesight, but we don't know for certain. Paul said that he left his friend, Trophimus, at Miletum sick (2nd Timothy 4:20). Why couldn't Paul heal his friend? In the book of Acts, Paul was able to heal the sick (Acts 28:8). By the close of the New Testament, it is evident that the Apostles had lost any power given by the Lord to heal the sick.
Yet, James 5:15, teaches, "And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." So we learn from this Scripture that it is God's will sometimes to heal the sick. We know it is not always God's will, because death is the natural result of sin (Romans 6:23). If it were God's will to heal every ailment, then no one would ever die and everyone would be healed. It is a dangerous thing to teach that faith always results in healing, because Biblically it doesn't. Faith resulted in death for Stephen in Acts 7 and death for James in Acts 12. In John 11:4 Jesus said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby." Clearly we see here that some sicknesses are unto death and others are for the glory of God. James 5:15 is speaking about the type of sickness that is for God's glory. That is, God is glorified when there is healing in response to the effectual prayers of the righteous.
Benny Hinn has been sued for making false promises of healing. Many people died in Oral Robert's time because he said they didn't need any medications or a doctor. That's the insane Charismatic Movement of Oral Roberts, Benny Hinn and Pat Robertson. I once heard a religious couple say that a person who is baptized in the Holy Spirit won't need to get surgery. That is an evil thing to say because it is completely false. Surgeons are a blessing from God and surgery is often necessary. All the prayers in the world won't replace the need for a skilled surgeon if it is God's will for one to get surgery.
Sometimes God will heal a person without the need for a doctor, but no one should ever delay in seeing a doctor, because people have died from simple flu-like symptoms. Again, there's a fine line between faith and foolishness.
Not going to a doctor is like asking God to send you a taxi when there's a bus right in front of you. God gave us doctors to help us heal. Religion has spawned more nutcases than anything else in this world.
If you're sick, go to a doctor. If you need a blood transfusion, get it! If you need surgery, do so! Don't let some Jehovah's Witness brainwash you into letting your loved one die because of a lack of medical help. Don't let some Charismatic wacko convince you that doctors aren't necessary. Thank God for the medical profession. If you are sick, you don't need deliverance as the Pentecostals say, you need a good doctor. I remember hearing a religious women maliciously tell someone that pain killers are only for drug addicts. What a rotten thing to say to a person suffering in constant pain. Religious people are some of the most hypocritical, judgmental and hateful people in the world, which is why the Bible condemns them for their self-righteousness (Isaiah 64:6; Mark 7:7-13).
Folks, Colossians 4:14 tells us that the Apostle Luke was a "physician." Paul took Luke with him to assist on some of his missionary journeys. Only a whacko would say that Christians don't need doctors and surgeons. Certainly, God is still a prayer answering and miracle-working God. James chapter 5 tells us that the prayer of faith shall heal the sick; but the Bible clearly evidences that the Apostolic gift of healing had ended by the completion of the New Testament. No one has the authority nor right today to demand that God heal anyone.
Paul left his friend, sick, because Paul could not heal him. 2nd Timothy 4:20, "Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick." All Paul could do was pray to God for the man and then call a doctor to come help him. This verse exposes the entire Charismatic Movement as a fraud. 1st Timothy 5:23 tells us that Timothy was often sick, "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities." This is in stark contrast to the teachings of Charismatics and Pentecostals throughout the world today. They are false prophets.
In Pastor Max D. Younce's excellent book, I'M SO GLAD YOU ASKED!, he states:
God has allowed mankind to learn much about science and medicine. He has given doctors for our benefit. God expects us to use the blessings of medical knowledge He has given us. In James 5:14-16 we find the elders anointed with oil (medicine) and prayed. That is what God wants us to do today. Use the medicine and knowledge available, and bathe it with prayer.
God can and does step in, at His will; but it is not through the phony “faith-healer” procedures that are so prevalent today. When God heals, He heals completely and without charge! It is always right to appeal to the “Great Physician.” He is always in!
“And the prayer of faith shall heal the sick, and THE LORD (if it is His will) shall raise him up...”
SOURCE: Dr. Max D. Younce, I'M SO GLAD YOU ASKED!, Volume 2, pg. 225; ISBN-13-978-0-9815225-8-6; Morris Publishing.
Surgeons are a blessing from God, just as are auto-mechanics, veterinarians, farmers and other professionals. When our car breaks down, we don't go into our prayer closet and expect to come out and our car in miraculously repaired. No, we either drive or have the car towed to a repair shop. The same is true medically. Don't ever let anyone try to belittle you because you have a health problem. I know a 57-year-old man who lives in Hawaii, who told me that people used to make fun of him because he had polio. People can be so mean and cruel. It's because they don't know the Lord, or know Him but don't draw close to Him and fail to exemplify Jesus Christ in their life.
Anyone who tells you that you don't need a doctor is a religious nutcase. God gave us doctors to help us. At the same time, the Bible plainly teaches that we ought to call for the elders of a local New Testament church to pray for those who are sick. God does oftentimes heal the sick, and if they've committed a sin which brought the illness, God will heal them. However, it is NOT always God's will to heal someone who is sick and we must trust God's judgment.
If the doctor's have done all they can and God has not answered our prayers for healing, then we should except the situation and continue to pray until we feel led by the Holy Spirit to stop praying. The Bible and religion couldn't be further apart than they are nowadays. Phooey on religion, just give me a King James Bible! In John 5:39 Jesus said, SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES!
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