Readers' Forum

"Is God the Source of Sickness?"

I enjoy many of your articles and the sound biblical principles brought forth, but would like to respond to recent articles and editorial comments in the October, 2007, edition concerning cancer, sickness, and suffering.

Is God the source of sickness and disease? Does He give individuals cancer, heart problems, and other conditions? Does He afflict us bodily?

Hebrews 1:3 reveals that Jesus is the will of God in purpose and action. In observing the ministry of Jesus in the Gospel accounts we find one who without exception responded to individuals who came to Him in faith with healing and wholeness. There conversely is not an instance where He placed sickness on anyone. Matthew 4:23 reveals His trifold mission-teaching, preaching, and healing. Healing in the words of our Lord is the children's bread. In Luke 13 in ministering to a woman with an arthritic condition He referenced the source of her illness in saying, "whom Satan hath bound." and further loosed her from that bond. Acts 10:38 tells us how Jesus went about doing "good" and "healing" all that were oppressed of the devil. The Bible equates doing good with healing and sickness and disease to the devil-not God. Even as our mortal, natural bodies recognize, sickness is an adversary, not a friend.

Does God use sickness and disease to teach or humble us? According to 2 Timothy 3:16, He uses the Word to teach us and Hebrews 12:5 reveals that "the exhortation which speaketh unto you," is His vehicle for chastening. The Bible teaches in James 4:10 we are to humble ourselves and in James 4:6 that He gives grace-not sickness-to the humble.

The statement by Jesus in Matthew 8:3 in response to the question of His willingness to heal is forever established by His words, "I will, be thou clean." 3 John 3 shows forth the nature, the character and the desire of our Father, "I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health" As a natural parent my desire and will for my children is health, not sickness. And I would add that if it was determined in a court of law that I had purposefully inflicted my child with a dreaded disease to teach or improve them, I would be sentenced-and justly so. To suggest our heavenly Father would do so is inaccurate.

As believers we are called to rightly, not wrongly divide the Word of Truth. The Bible, not experience, is our final authority. Must Christians suffer? Absolutely, yes-persecution, keeping our flesh under, walking in submission are all types of suffering but the Word reveals that Jesus not only bore our sins but took our diseases. Matthew 8:17 declares that "Himself" took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses. The Word tells us in Galatians 3:13 that, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us" and Deuteronomy chapter 28 clearly describes sickness and disease as part of the curse.

Throughout scripture the Lord is portrayed as One who heals. To his covenant people in Exodus 23:25 he said, "I will take away the sickness from the midst of thee," and declares to us in Hebrews 8:6 that we now live under a better covenant established upon better promises. In taking His people out of Egypt (a type of our redemption), Psalm 105:37 revealed that, "there was not one feeble person among their tribes". Today, Mark 16 directs us to lay hands on the sick to recover and in the fifth chapter of James the Bible gives instructions to obtain health, not sickness.

Are we to embrace or receive sickness and disease as a gift? Matthew 7:11 and James 1:17 say God gives good and perfect gifts-not evil and harmful gifts that shorten lives and bring misery to humanity. Rather than embracing and accepting disease we as the Body of Christ are told to fight the good fight of faith and apprehend those things that Jesus already has purchased for us at Calvary. 1 Peter 2:24 says, "by whose stripes we were healed," and in the fifth chapter of 1 Peter to resist or actively oppose the devil and his works. James 4:7 declares, "resist the devil, and he will flee from you," and to that end we have been given the name of Jesus that is above all names. Mark 11:23 tells us to speak in faith to mountains that oppose us, not let them fall and overwhelm us. To passively accept cancer, for example, directly contradicts what the Word of God teaches. Our rightful position as blood bought children of God, temples of the Holy Spirit is instead to enforce the victory the Lord Jesus has already decided.

In conclusion, a house divided against itself cannot stand. God does not heal some while afflicting with sickness others. There is not any sickness in heaven to send and His will for the earth is as it is in heaven. The will of God for all is salvation, which according to the original Greek text includes deliverance and healing.

Our risen Lord who 2000 years ago brought blessing including healing, wholeness and health-not sickness and physical affliction-is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

Pastor Ken Rahne
Victory in Jesus Family Church
Claremont, NH

Readers, here is one response to the October article, "Why Do Christians Suffer?" Do you have a response-or a response to the response? How far does the sovereignty of God extend?

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