The answers to these questions can determine whether you live or die
Recently, I was heartbroken upon hearing about a pastor who had made a public announcement regarding an aggressive cancer that was likely to take his life unless he received a miracle. The announcement of his illness was heartbreaking, but his theology and the way he requested prayer from his friends, family, and church members may have been even more heartbreaking. Of course, when you are facing a prognosis such as his, it would be completely overwhelming. There was essentially no hope from a medical standpoint. He said many things that were powerful. He said he was going to fight. He said he was going to do everything medically possible to get better. (I am always positive about people doing everything in the natural world along with prayer. I believe that anything that fights against sickness is of God; therefore, I am always for doing everything medically possible). However, in his kindhearted attempt to comfort others during his own storm, he said these words: “My life is His, and whatever the outcome of this is, we are trusting Him.”
At first glance, that does not sound like terrible theology. Also, it is easy to critique someone’s words when they are going through the problem and you are not. I went through and watched many updates from him, his wife, his church family, and read many of their comments and even sermon series about going through difficult situations to try to get a grip on his theology. When asked how people should pray, he didn’t say, “Pray that I live and not die and that I overcome this illness through the Word of God and the name of Jesus, which has promised me total healing.” He more or less asked for strength to endure this no matter the outcome, and he asked for prayer for his kids to be strong during this trial.
I want to be incredibly careful, as this wonderful man is still going through this trial, and the story is not yet over. I am hoping and praying that he is filled with the knowledge of God’s will so that he will accept God’s total will to heal him. I do not want to be insensitive, but at the same time, I want to boldly say what needs to be said. So many people are afraid to directly deal with this because it might offend. Let me tell you something: If I am dying of something and there is a cure, but I wrongly believe there is no cure (even though there is)–in fact, I am totally convinced there is no cure and your idea is just plain false–I want you to keep telling me about it, demonstrating it to me, and sharing success stories–even if I am being stubborn about it. Who knows? One day, maybe the light bulb will go off, and I will get it. If you love me, you will tell me the truth, even if I don’t want to hear it.
Did you know that it is always God’s will to heal? Many do not know that. They get weird ideas from people who base their theology not on the Bible but on experience. There are two types of Christians. One group takes their experience and lowers the Bible to the level of their experience. (The Bible should always have the preeminence over your experience). The second group will look at the Bible and compare it to their experience. If their experience does not match the high standards of the Bible, they will ask the hard questions: “If Jesus is truly alive, and He promised that He would never leave us nor forsake us, then why does it seem that I’m alone.” They will ask, “If the Bible promises me healing, then why is my experience not in line with God’s promise.” They will not settle for less than God’s best. They refuse to lower the Word of God to their experience and try to explain away the hundreds of passages that promise divine healing. Instead, they do as Abraham did, and they refuse to consider their own bodies. As my dad would say, it is not that Abraham pretended that he didn’t have an old body when He accepted God’s promise. The Scripture says that he considered not his own body. What does that mean? It means that he took God’s promise as higher evidence, and he refused to consider his own body as higher evidence than the promise of God (Romans 4:17-21).
We must do the same thing. If God’s Word promises us divine healing, but our bodies say we are sick, we do not consider our body as enough evidence to doubt the promise of divine healing. So let’s answer some hard questions. Why? Because these are life-and-death questions. The difference between whether you live or die when you face a circumstance like this is based upon what you believe the answers to these questions are. I know this, not because I studied a book, but because God raised me up off the death bed. I’m glad I had the right answers to these seven questions. If not, I would not be alive to write this.
I was on the mission field when suddenly an unknown disease hit me. It made me go totally deaf. I went into total kidney failure. I went into total liver failure. I had a massive heart attack. My lungs were under attack. I was down to seventy percent oxygen, and my brain was being attacked by meningitis even as I battled a fever of 105.5. The doctor told me I would not survive the weekend, and there was nothing he could do about it. But in the midst of this storm, I refused to consider my own body or the report of the doctor. I went to war, speaking God’s Word over my body. I also had a broken ankle that happened six days before this experience.
Six days after being told I had a death sentence, I walked out of the hospital with no heart damage, no brain damage, no liver damage, no kidney damage, and no lung damage. I was totally healed. As a bonus, they checked my broken ankle to see how it was doing before I left. It had been in a cast for 12 days, and was supposed to need 6 weeks. It was totally healed, and I left the hospital with no cast and healed of a deadly disease. Did it come easy? No, I had to fight for my life. I prayed through. I spoke the Word. I refused to accept the news of the doctors.
It took three days for my kidneys to be healed from kidney failure, which shocked the doctors. It took three more days for my liver to be healed from liver failure. I had to speak the Word of God all day and night for six days until total healing came, but my belief was founded not on my feelings or my experience but on the Word of God.
How you answer the following questions could one day mean life or death for you. Therefore, I am writing this series.
- Is healing truly for all?
- Why do some who really have faith not get healed?
- Does God heal some people by taking them home to heaven instead of healing them on earth?
- Can sin keep a person from being healed?
- How does one get faith to be healed?
- Is it possible to have plenty of faith to be healed and yet fail to receive from God?
- Is divine healing provided in the atonement at the cross for everyone who believes?
It is our belief that Jesus provided healing for everyone at the cross. It is our hope that every person who reads through this series of writings is filled with faith and will receive divine healing in his or her physical body from whatever ails him or her. Agape International’s official stance is that healing is for everyone–just like salvation is. During this eight-part series, we will answer the questions mentioned above in detail, using Scripture. We welcome your questions, rebuttals, different points of views, and we will do our best to answer your questions actively during this series. You may post your questions on any of our social media postings in the form of a comment, or you may send an email directly to the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure that the subject says, “Questions for Your Healing Series.” We will either include your first name and direct question in the series blog, or we will simply answer the question in due course as the Biblical text that we cover automatically answers the question.
Psalms 103:2: “Who forgives all my sins and who heals all of my diseases.”
Psalm 107:20: “He sent his word and healed them.”
1 Peter 2:24: “By whose stripes we were healed.”
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President, Agape International
Until Every Tribe Has Heard