Summary: God’s Health Care Plan is discussed!
Health Care Plan
I want to address a subject that seems to be on a lot of people’s minds these days—health care. Almost everyone agrees there are aspects of the current health care system in America that need reform. Almost nobody agrees as to how to fix it. Town hall meetings have exploded with emotion. Friday Sarah Palin called Obama’s health plan “downright evil” In her speech she said, “The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ’death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ’level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care.” President Obama fired back yesterday saying, “Let me start by dispelling the outlandish rumors that reform will promote euthanasia, cut Medicaid, or bring about a government takeover of health care.” And the debate will go on.
Today I offer you a health care plan that rises above the current debate. What is God’s health care plan for His people?
God’s plan is very costly. Congress’s chief budget analyst estimates that the Obama plan would cost more than a trillion dollars pushing the deficit higher than it already is. But that pales in significance compared to the cost of God’s plan. What is the price tag on God’s health care plan? Nothing less than the precious blood of Jesus, listen to Isaiah’s messianic prophesy in chapter 53:4-5. “Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities;The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”
Now here is the good news about God’s plan. The premiums are already paid. This is a costly plan but you get it free as a gift from God.
God’s plan is quite simple. It can be communicated using a hand full of Bible verses. In contrast the House of Representative’s bill is over 1,000 pages long. God’s health care plan is actually understandable.
So, here are the provisions of God’s Health Care Plan. I believe by the end of the message you will be excited about the health care plan your Heavenly Father has provided for you. By the way, the bill has already been passed and the plan is in effect now.
Provision I: Your Physical Healing (James 5:14-15)
Look with me at James 5:14-15 “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”
What should I do when I get sick? I get some of God’s people to pray for me. I want you to notice a few specifics in this directive.
First, who is responsible to take the initiative in this situation? The person who is sick is supposed to start the process. The sick person is to ask for prayer. Often at the end of a church service we invite people to come and receive prayer, just to make it easy to obey this scripture. But the responsibility rests on the sick person to ask for the prayer.
Second, who is the sick person to call on for the prayer? In the New Testament elders are those who are recognized in pastoral leadership. This verse is not saying, “Get an old person to pray for you.” There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s simply not what this verse is saying. Why are these Christians told to get elders to pray for them? To begin with, they are to be under the leadership of elders. They are to be a part of a community of believers that are under authority. There is a popular movement right now that says, “I don’t need to go to church; I just need to be the church.” I agree that we need to be the church. I agree that we need to reach out to the lost in ministry. I even agree that there are a lot of shortcomings and imperfections in church as we know it today. What I don’t agree with is the conclusion that all that means I don’t have to submit to the authority of a local church. That plays right into the lawlessness that characterizes our society. This is really nothing new at all. It’s presented as if someone discovered first century Christianity for the first time. “They didn’t meet in church buildings back then so that must be the answer.” Of course they didn’t, they didn’t have any church buildings and didn’t have the means to get them. They also didn’t use cars or computers. The building is a neutral matter. Attitudes of independence and rebellion are not so neutral. Over the years we’ve seen a number of movements like this. The shepherding movement in the 70’s was very similar. The house church movement in the 80’s was another. The problem is not whether people meet in a home or church building. There are Home Churches that are that have sound leadership and are healthy. But there’s a problem when people simply don’t want to be under authority. The promise found in James 5:15 assumes submission to spiritual authority and connection to biblical community.