Summary: In the midst of the glorious, powerful church of Acts, where signs and wonders were frequent, not all of the people were healed all of the time. Why? Let’s consider that question as we look at the story of Stephen.
SUPERNATURAL #7: WHY SOMETIMES PEOPLE DON’T GET HEALED
INTRO TO THEME:
• The theme of the Book of Acts is found in Acts 1:8: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me.”
• That word power comes from a Greek word, dunamis, which refers to the supernatural, explosive power of God. The early church was supernatural!
THE SUPERNATURAL CHURCH IN ACTS:
1:4-5 - Jesus told the disciples to wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit and power
2:1-4 - the Holy Spirit fell on the day of Pentecost with fire, wind and power
2:14-41 - Peter preached one sermon and 3,000 people were saved
2:42-47 - many wonders and signs were done through the apostles
3:1-10 - Peter and John healed the crippled beggar who sat by the temple gate Beautiful
4:29-31 - they prayed for boldness, and the building was shaken
5:12-16 - many signs and wonders done by the apostles – Peter’s shadow healed people
5:17-21 - an angel delivered the apostles from prison
THE BIG IDEA: In the midst of the glorious, powerful church of Acts, where signs and wonders were frequent, not all of the people were healed all of the time. Why? Let’s consider that question as we look at the story of Stephen.
PERSONAL STORY: When I first got saved, my grandma got very sick with cancer, and I prayed for her healing, and yet she still died. I wrestled long with the question of why.
“8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen. 10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke. 11 Then they secretly induced men to say, "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God." 12 And they stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes; and they came upon him, seized him, and brought him to the council.” (Acts 6:8-12).
• Here is Stephen – who served tables – being used by the Lord to do signs and wonders
“54 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!" 57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; 58 and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” (Acts 7:54-60).
• Notice that Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit, experienced an open Heaven, saw the glory of God, had a vision of Jesus, and yet he still died. No angel came to deliver him!
• After being stoned, he wasn’t healed, and he wasn’t raised from the dead.
• Many times in Acts we see miraculous healings and deliverances.
• But sometimes, the people didn’t receive answers to their prayers.
EXAMPLES OF OTHERS WHO WEREN’T HEALED OR DELIVERED:
Before we consider the WHY question, let’s look at some other examples in the N.T.:
• Five chapters later in Acts (12:1-2), James (John’s brother) is killed by King Herod.
• 1 Tim. 5:23 - Pastor Timothy had stomach problems and frequent illnesses
• 2 Cor. 12:7 - The Apostle Paul had a thorn in the flesh
• Paul and Timothy were both great men of God, and yet they had negative experiences.
TEACHING FROM SECOND CORINTHIANS:
• This letter was written by Paul, with the help of Timothy (2 Cor. 1:1-2).
• This whole book is all about finding God’s comfort in the midst of suffering…
“3 All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5 You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ… 8 I think you ought to know about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and completely overwhelmed, and we thought we would never live through it. 9 In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead.” (2 Cor. 1:3-9).