Wednesday, July 20, 2011

People are NOT healed all the time, why we still pray

It is a fact that people are NOT healed, all the time by God; those who argue this is NOT a fact, is in denial. It is indeed a fact that not everyone is healed by God all the time no matter how hard we pray. As Christians, if we claim 100% success rate all the time, we are NOT doing God a favor, rather we are doing Him a disfavor. God NEVER promises unconditionally He will heal everyone in his present life on earth. Many verses can be cited for support of God heals, but none is saying that God promises unconditionally to heal everyone or for anyone all the time. As a minister in healing, we should refrain from stating that there is such an unconditional promise. If God does NOT heal all the time, should we still pray for healing?

It is NOT just healing
But it is also a fact that it is NOT just for healing, that we do NOT get a 100% success rate when we pray. We pray for many things and all sort of things; if you can have 100% success rate over long period of time, or near to it, let me know, maybe you can pray for me! Let me point out that it is therefore, improper to deemphasize praying for the sick any more than praying for other matters (job, life-time partner, money, shelter, and food or deliverance). In other words, the lack of 100% success rate is NOT limited to praying for the sick.

How do we explain, NOT all are healed?
Yes, it is true NOT all are healed when we pray for them; it is because God NEVER promises unconditionally to heal all, in their present lives on earth.

The redemptive works of Jesus Christ on the Cross are of 3-folds, spiritual, physical, works (or purpose). For understanding of this, please read my separate article, “Works of redemption by our Lord”. Basically, under physical, the body is being referred to, and my exposition in the article is that full redemption of the body is NOT intended in our current living on earth.

Full redemption comes after we pass on or when Jesus comes back (rapture following it), when we take on our incorruptible body. After The Fall, it was NEVER intended Man shall live forever in his earthly body; he is destined to die, so that he can take on the incorruptible body. That is why there is NEVER an unconditional promise in Scripture that God heals. You see, if God did give an unconditional promise to heal, then it will be God MUST heal, and if God MUST heal, then Man cannot die, and when Man cannot die, Man cannot take on the incorruptible body that Jesus talked about, and that scripture will NOT come to pass.

That, Adam and Eve would eventually died, did NOT stop God’s caring for them
After Adam and Eve sinned against God in The Fall, as decreed by God, they must die in accordance to the commandments God gave them in Gen 2:16-17.

And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (Gen 2:16-17)

The death was referring to both spiritual death and physical death. Spiritual death means to be separated from God by being thrown into the lake of burning fire in Hell to remain there, separate from God for eternality. But physical death must happen so that spiritual death can be entered into. That was why Adam and Eve must NOT be allowed to eat of the fruit from the Tree of Life anymore, and so, be put out of the Garden of Eden where the Trees of Life were found. Those wanting to have fuller exposition of The Fall, can read my separate series on “The Fall”.

But that, Adam and Eve would later (a few hundred years later) died (physical death), did NOT stop God from caring for them. Below are some verses indicating God’s care for the first family, after the Fall:

The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. (Gen 3:21).

When Adam and Eve fell, they only made for themselves, leaf covering - Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves (Gen 3:7).

Outside of the Garden, subsequently, Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. (Gen 4:1-2).

After Cain murdered Abel, and Cain was banished, Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” (Gen 3:25) When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Adam lived 930 years, and then he died. (Gen 5:3-5)

Thereafter, it was and is still the same
It is the same today, despite we are still going to die physically, God still cares for our physical and emotional well-being. It was prophesied by Isaiah in Isaiah 53, and it came to pass when Jesus walked on the earth as a man, and did that (cared), on behalf of the Father God.

The prophecy: Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:4)

The Fulfillment: When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.” (Matt 8:16-17)

Jesus did only, those which the Father God would have done, and that included caring for the physical and emotional well-being of Man, while he (Man) lived: Jesus gave them {the Jews of His time} this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. (John 5:19). “I have testimony weightier than that of John {the Baptist}. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me. (John 5:36). They did not understand that he {Jesus} was telling them about his Father. So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. (John 8:27-28).

Many healing accounts in Scripture
There are many accounts of healing in Scriptures, showing God did care to heal and make people well. Below are just examples from the Book of Matthew alone:

The “are you willing” leper healed: A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cured of his leprosy. (Matt 8:2-3).

Servant of “Centurion of great faith” healed: 5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.” 7 Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.” 8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour. (Matt 8:5-10,13)

Peter’s mother-in-law healed of her fever: When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. (Matt 8:14)

Demons cast out and all sick THERE were healed: When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.” (Matt 8:16-17).

Jesus healed all kinds of sicknesses and diseases: Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. (Matt 9:35).

Jesus’ disciples also healed various sicknesses, including expelling demons: He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. (Matt 10:1). Jesus’ instructions - As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. (Matt 10:7-8).

Although here, there was no direct mention of healings done by the apostles, in Acts 5:16, it was recorded many sick, demonized and demon-possessed people were healed by the apostles.

Jesus healed daughter of a Gentile (we can pray for non-believers to be healed): A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. (Matt 15:22-28).

Jesus healed many at one seating, the mute, the crippled, the lame, the blind, etc: Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. (Matt 15:29-31).

This is why I pray for the sick for healing
I reiterate, it is NOT that God MUST heals or God WILL heal; it is God can and does heal. And we should pray for the sick on the following grounds:

1. God cares for the well-being of Man while he (Man) lives on earth
2. God can and does heal. He healed in the past, and currently still heals.
3. Jesus when He walked on the earth, did that, and it was part of His manifesto (see Luke 4:18-19), and as followers of Jesus, we are to do the same.
4. It is a good way to love our neighbours.
5. Generally, healed soldiers of God are better soldiers.
6. It glorifies God when testimony of His healing is shared.
7. It edifies the Church.
8. It is good works, it is bearing fruit, and we are commanded in Scripture to do good works and bear fruit.
9. Divine healing is one of the signs and wonders and miracles that God said will accompany His gospel.
10. Sickness is NOT good.

Of course, all of us would like to see higher success rate out of our ministry of praying for the sick. With a right heart attitude, this is absolutely right, for our love and compassion desire more people be ministered and healed; but ultimately, God decides who He will heal; and people can be, NOT healed, for any one or more reasons. If it is one success out of 7 attempts, I am more than willing, to pray, even if it is one out of 77, I will still pray.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions - Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them {for that instance} were healed {by the Apostles}. Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out (Acts 5:16-19).

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