Summary: A Brief sermon on the present day Healing Ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ in the context of Church Growth
HEALING MINISTRY & CHURCH GROWTH
Healing constituted one-third of the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. It was also an integral part of the apostles ministry. However, in today’s church, divine healing is a much neglected or disputed aspect of Christian ministry. Most churches do not have any effective healing ministry nor do they teach and preach healing. There is no clear authoritative teaching on divine healing and people perish for lack of knowledge in this primary area.
Sickness and disease and incipient death being a common enemy, churches that pray for the sick effectively or otherwise, or for some other reasons are usually the most crowded and fastest growing churches.
Sickness and disease is playing havoc in the lives of the people of God today. Lives, careers, families and even ministries are devastated by ailments that cost hundreds and thousands of our money. Sickness and disease has come to be an accepted and expected way of life. Medical science and doctors, though a gift from God, have taken the place of the Word of God in homes. Cases of people not being healed despite strong faith and prayers, the illness and untimely passing away of those serving God, the fear of failure in prayer, instances of excesses and extremes have all added to weaken faith in Christ as the Healer.
There is very little knowledgeable and effective spiritual resistance to sickness. There is more faith in medical knowledge than in the God of knowledge. God’s Word has been set aside and the doctor’s word has become "yes" and "amen" today. People can reel off doctors and lab reports and medical prescriptions while they find it hard to quote few scriptures on divine healing. This unnatural state of affairs prevails today, because churches have failed to teach divine healing as a doctrine, as the children’s bread. There is no bible college or seminary that has a separate, extensive paper on healing.
Sometimes, it seems as if Christians would fight for the right to be sick simply because healing is taught outside their circles. We often come across Christians who prefer to die than change their stubborn ways. Christians do not resist sickness as they ought to, simply leaving everything to God:, with a brief prayer and without any serious study on this matter, while even some non Christian doctors would fight till the end to save a life. In truth many Christians owe their lives to doctors and all their talk about putting everything in the hands of God is plain talk and they have failed in not fighting the good fight of faith in this area of Christian life.
There is no doubt in the minds of any of God’s people that God can heal all sickness or disease. Even an unsaved person will assert that nothing is impossible with God. But the lingering, faith crippling, doubt is.......will God heal this time, in this case ? Incorrect teaching, genuine doubts from a casual reading of scriptures, failure to recognize and attribute certain diseases to the working of evil spirits, differing opinions from theologians, using scriptures out of context and experiences of failures, force God’s people to use the scriptures to apply to their conditions rather than to bring their experiences around to match the divine attributes of God.
Has the attribute of Jehovah Rapha, "I am the Lord that healeth Thee" changed? If it has, then we are in danger of standing on unsure ground concerning His other attributes precious and dear to us as, "The Lord our Shepherd" (Jehovah Roi), The Lord our Peace, (Jehovah Shalom) etc.
Church’s often fail to realize that sickness came after the fall, that the law given by Moses also associated sickness and diseases with failure to keep the law (Deut 28: 15-) Even the wonderful promises in the Old Testament are enough to overcome sickness. What a tragedy it is to fail to see the healing Christ as the same living Lord today. How sad it is when we fail to see the promises of healing become a provision in the New Testament. How sad it is to see terribly ailing ones being told by healthy and fine looking ministers that the healing scriptures refer only to spiritual healing. How sad it is when we are not filled with the compassion of Christ to such an extent that will cause us to minister healing by faith. However comforting it may be in the face of sickness., how sad it is to hear words like "It is all in the will of God" This is the religious equivalent of the unsaved man who will say, "It is all our fate!" This is the produce of theology without kneeology.
What pitiable laments are words lke these - "Who can understand God’s ways," or "Oh! His ways are so mysterious" - when the New Testament in the blood of Jesus commands us not to be unwise, but to understand His will, when we are enjoined to allow the mind of Christ to work in us, when we are given power over all the power of the enemy, when the Great Commission includes the casting out of devils and the recovery of the sick, when the Blessed New Testament includes God dwellling in us and walking in us! Away with ignorance and forms of godliness that deny the power and let us humbly learn and let Christ arise in His churches with the blessed bread of bodily healing