Saturday, April 6, 2019

Does God Promise Physical Healing In This Life?

        The Charismatic Movement is known for its emphasis on people having the ability to perform sign gifts that were originally conferred to the twelve apostles by the Holy Spirit. One of the miracles believed to remain operative today by a number of people who subscribe to continuationism is faith healing. 

         The purpose of God occasionally using the apostles as vessels to work signs and wonders was to verify that they were indeed His messengers. These men could not simply use sign gifts whenever they pleased. The problem with the idea of modern-day faith healers is that nowhere does God in Scripture guarantee complete healing from every sickness or injury.

        As a matter of fact, the Apostle Paul nowhere mentioned having the ability to heal when speaking of his companions who had illnesses:

        "But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need; because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick." (Philippians 2:25-26)

        "Erastus remained at Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus." (2 Timothy 4:20)
        Paul nowhere even mentions having the ability to miraculously heal himself of bodily ailments:

        "Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

        To spell matters out more bluntly, Paul had requested prayer and recommended the use of medicine to Timothy:

        "No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments." (1 Timothy 5:23)

        If sign gifts were supposed to remain operative after the ministry of the twelve apostles, then it surely is strange how Paul could not miraculously heal individuals that he mentioned in his epistles. It would be nonsense to suggest that he lacked the faith in God to perform supernatural works.

        This health and wealth teaching that is prevalent among charismatics is not only unbiblical, but also spiritually dangerous. Countless Christians throughout church history have passed away due to organic diseases. While it is one thing to say that all healing comes from God, it is quite another to say that He promises to take away all our problems in this life. What if a man renounces his faith just because his health continues to deteriorate?

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