“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but . . . a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7
Have you heard the analogy of the person asking God to rescue him during a flood? He first receives a warning to evacuate and the neighbors offer to take him in their car. He decides to stay, believing that God will save him. When the water begins to rise, a man comes by in his canoe and calls to him to get in. But the man says, “No thanks, God will save me.” As the water rises higher, a police motorboat comes by and later a helicopter. He also refuses their help and dies by drowning.
When in Heaven, the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”
And God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”
I’m not sure how many years ago it was when I heard that story in church. It seemed like a silly story. Why wouldn’t he accept such obvious help?
The man died because of his idea of faith. His faith was in God, not in people and their manmade things. He expected God to miraculously save him by circumventing human involvement, forgetting that God works through people to fulfill His purposes.
Some Christians claim they do not need to social distance or wear masks. We’ve been told that we don’t have faith if we wear masks. They add that “God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear.” This is true, however, the entire verse says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). We see taking precautions and preventative measures as biblical (see my post: A Faith-Based Approach to the Coronavirus) and the use of that “sound mind.” Faith is obeying God’s word, so we do what is right even if it’s difficult.
Some are skeptical about getting vaccinated. We believe the vaccine is an answer to prayer. Some are concerned because it was manufactured so quickly. However, we believe that has been an answer to prayer too. The statistics also bear witness to its effectiveness. In July it was reported that with 58% of America fully vaccinated, over 99% of those who were dying from Covid-19 were unvaccinated people and that less than 1% of vaccinated people were dying (Business Standard, 2021, July 5)
, 2021, July 5.
God gives humans the ability to make boats and helicopters which can save people from floods. He also gives humans the ability to develop medicines and vaccines to save lives.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one (John 10:28-30 NIV).
All people, everywhere, experience revelation from God about Himself. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20). Some receive clearer revelation than others. Jesus said, “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin” (John 15:22). Sadly, because people are sinful, they tend to marginalize God or completely negate Him, suppressing what He reveals (Rom. 1:18-20).
Some people experience a dramatic encounter with God on their life’s journey that brings them to salvation. Consequently, it is easy for them to know the moment that they have become a “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17). For many others, salvation is not a clearly identifiable point in time. However, even though they cannot pinpoint when it happened (and may even misidentify the timing), the miracle of their behavioural change makes them know that at some point they must have been “born again” (John 3:16). They might not even know these terms, but, if explained to them, they will identify with them.
Many other people who have believed in God and His Son, have ended up falling away. This is because they never fully understood. Instead, they believed in their own notion about God and His salvation. Consequently, they had never come to be justified by God and born again.
Paul told the members of the Corinthian church, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Cor. 13:5). From his words, we can deduce that merely thinking that you’re in the faith is no real evidence of actually being in it. However, being spiritually joined to Christ, so that He lives within you, is Paul’s definition of whether or not someone is truly in the faith.
Evidence of Salvation
God’s word has a range of evidence that can help a person identify whether or not they been saved from spiritual death to eternal life. Here are just three of them:
An inner witness. One evidence that you’re actually in the faith, with Christ dwelling within you, is an inner knowing. Paul writes, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children” (Rom. 8:16).
A supernaturally changed life. Another witness to true salvation is a supernaturally changed life. This is because Love Himself has joined Himself to that person. Jesus said, “…whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a fount of water springing up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
A witnessing life. There’s an overflow about God and His goodness that comes from the mouths of those who are saved. This is because God, and what He has done to save us, really is good news. After all, Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:38).
Caveats Concerning Salvation
Not all Christians excel in all of the above evidence. That said, to live their new life to the full, they ought to grow in each of them. Also, although the fruit of a person’s life is usually the clearest evidence of salvation (or the lack thereof), many loving, generous, and pleasant people are unsaved. Conversely, there are many saved folk who are caught up in selfishness, worldliness, and sin. Consequently, we don’t always know who has been saved, therefore, we must not simply assume that someone is or isn’t.
On another note, not everyone who has been saved has understood that biblical faith gives assurance of salvation. Consequently, despite being justified by God, these folk may, at times, because of sin and feelings of unworthiness, feel unsaved.
Assurance of Salvation
God has gone to great lengths to lead people to a faith that saves and to assure them of their salvation. For example, the apostle John says in his gospel, “…these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). Then, in a letter to believers, John says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13). God clearly wanted people to believe and, having believed, be assured of their salvation.
Assurance of one’s salvation is often found on the journey of discipleship. For, even after someone is saved, they will continue to receive revelation about their salvation. Consider what Paul had prayed for the Christians in Ephesus: “[I always pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may grant you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation [that gives you a deep and personal and intimate insight] into the true knowledge of Him [for we know the Father through the Son]. And [I pray] that the eyes of your heart [the very center and core of your being] may be enlightened [flooded with light by the Holy Spirit], so that you will know and cherish the hope [the divine guarantee, the confident expectation] to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints (God’s people), and [so that you will begin to know] what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power is in us who believe” (Eph. 1:17-19a, Amplified Bible).
Are You Saved?
All people have sinned against God, nevertheless, because of His great love for the world, He offers salvation as a free gift to everyone who repents and receives Jesus as Lord of their life. For He sent His Son, Jesus, to live a perfect life and take our sins upon Himself so that we could be acquitted. Having risen from the dead and ascended into heaven, Jesus offers mercy and new life to all who humble themselves and come to Him.
A false prophet flirts with a beast who is in love with a prostitute and the result is that 100,000 die in a plague in just 3 months. And, that’s just the beginning!
The Characters in America’s Version of Revelation:
President Trump plays ‘the beast,’ an evil and power hungry leader.
The evangelical church plays ‘the false prophet,’ a spiritual leader that endorses the beast.
The “almighty dollar” plays ‘the great prostitute,’ an economic system based on greed that uses governmental power to that end, even at the expense of human dignity and life.
Vice President Pence plays a ‘witness’ that has lost his witness because he has become ‘lukewarm.’
COVID-19, a ‘plague’ sent by Jesus Christ, exposes each of the characters for what they are.
A proper interpretation of the book of Revelation makes it abundantly clear that President Donald J. Trump is America’s very own manifestation of ‘the beast’ of Revelation 13. Furthermore, the current economic spirit behind the “almighty dollar” is ‘the great whore’ of Revelation. And, sadly, America’s evangelicals have been the ‘false prophet’ in this tragedy. A plague, which, according to Revelation 6:8, is one of many forms of judgement that are sent by Jesus (see Rev. 6:1).
Here is a brief breakdown:
Just as the beast of Revelation is ridden by the prostitute, President Trump is driven by the need to have a successful economy in order to stay in power, even at the expense of people. Rather than being submitted to Almighty God or even the rationality of science in the face of a pandemic, President Trump is driven by the “almighty dollar.” Nothing can curb him to care for people ahead of power.
Just as the beast is endorsed by the false prophet, President Trump is endorsed by many evangelicals who love him more than truth, justice and morality. He has been so enthusiastically embraced by so many in the Church that he essentially sits in the Temple speaking as though he is God. Rather than addressing his waywardness, as any true prophet would, these religious leaders and their flock defend him and prophesy sweet lies about him and the future of America.
Just as the beast is empowered by Satan, the father of lies, President Trump is notorious for his constant and flagrant lying.
Just as the beast has a lust for power that knows no bounds, Trump has lied and cheated to hold onto power, even to the point of being impeached.
Just as the beast is full of pride, President Trump never admits to his errors. All is “perfect.”
Just as the beast blasphemes God, President Trump does so by claiming allegiance to God and His people, yet living contrary to God and refusing to repent.
Vice President Pence has been the “picture perfect example” of the good American evangelical as he reinforces their God-sent leader’s views. He is the evangelical’s ideal political Ken-doll who supports and excuses the beast despite his immoral, in-humane and illogical political stances. Like the false prophet that he also represents, Pence looks ‘like a lamb,’ but speaks ‘like a dragon.’ Actions speak louder than words and not wearing a mask shows his allegiance.
COVID-19 enters America and sets up the true makers of Fake News to be exposed for downplaying the virus.
COVID-19 sets up the President to make a choice, which he says at one point is “the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make.’ And, over the course of time, he has chosen to dismiss science and instead risks people’s lives, promoting his sentiment on issues because he doesn’t like the cost to the economy.
COVID-19 sets up lukewarm and deceived Christians, who are supposed to be “the light of the world,” to look foolish because they continue to blindly back Trump.
Blind Evangelical Church
If you are an American evangelical, then it is very unlikely that you will recognize the correlation that I have made between the book of Revelation and your current experience. This is, in part, because of the false teaching of dispensationalism that has dominated evangelical thinking over the years. It is so removed in its misinterpretation of Revelation that it has made the prophecy completely useless to Christians who are adherents of this false doctrine. While the Bible explains men like President Trump as being ‘the beast,’ most Christians in America have been robbed of the understanding and comfort that Revelation has for them in the face of such a person. This lack is a judgment on their churches for not testing this doctrine that has been so forcefully espoused by so many over the years.
100 000 Die Under the Beast
As beasts go, President Trump may appear tame. However, 100,000 Americans have died in three months and most of the deaths are due to his bungling of the Coronavirus pandemic. This is directly attributable to his pride and lust for economic success and power instead of having a heart for the American people. What’s more, in the face of these numbers, he continues with his childish pride by not wearing a mask, when wearing a mask protects others from what we might unknowingly have and inadvertently spread. It is an example for others to follow as a way of caring for one another.
Clearly, God has been busy using this beast, who is full of pride, as a means of judgement on a nation full of pride. Yet, still, many remain persistent and even belligerent in their unmasked pride (pun intended). In the process, He is also judging His own people for the choice that they made in Trump, and, having made him their choice, for their reluctance to hold him accountable. Instead, they have excused him at every turn and, as a result, he has become the nation’s nightmare. He might have been less brazen had he not had the kind of undivided loyalty that he has received from the evangelicals from the get go.
How Should Christians Respond?
Toward the Beast:
Repent! Jesus must be your first love, not a politician. Also, repent on behalf of your brothers and sisters in Christ and those of your nation that have unswervingly embraced him. And, pray for all your leaders, especially President Trump, for God’s mercy is able to reach him, even as it reached Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. Then, when elections come, don’t disregard the character of the candidates, for, in so doing, you have already been bitten once.
Toward the Prostitute:
Americans love the “almighty dollar” and many American Christians love it too. Revelation has this to say to them, ‘I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of [the great prostitute], my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues”’ (Rev. 18:4 ESV). You need to repent of the love of money, for the word says, ‘Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”’ (Heb. 13:5). Also, ‘For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs’ (1 Tim. 6:10).
Toward the False Prophet:
Like the Bereans in Acts, test all ministers of the Word of God by the Word of God. For, it is as a result of a lack of this that many false teachers and false teachings have crept in. And, having become established, they have led this generation to embrace a beast who has led them into a full-blown plague.
Learn from these words of Jesus in Revelation to the church in Pergamum: ‘But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth’ (Rev. 2:14‑16).
What have your spiritual leaders taught you to think and practice that is contrary to God? Do you constantly excuse President Trump? Do you love money at the expense of people’s lives? Do you wear a mask out of reverence to God, who has given sanctity to life and who commands us to love our neighbour? Whether you follow the beast or the Lord Jesus Christ will be seen by how you think and what you do. You might need to repent of allowing yourself to be marked with ‘the name of the beast,’ which, in Revelation, symbolically indicates who your allegiance is with in both thought and action.
Toward the Plague:
Do not be presumptuous like good King Josiah was by getting in the way of God’s judgement. Wear a mask, wash your hands and social distance until the plague is over. If you contract the virus, realise that you are not necessarily being judged. As a Christian, this is a test of your faith. If you are lacking faith then ask God and He will give you the faith and grace needed for the experience. He will carry you through it to the other side, whether to be with Him, which is far better, or with your family, which, God willing, He may consider to be better for now.
Toward the Lukewarm Witness:
Let’s begin by looking to see to what extent we are lukewarm witnesses. Let’s also realise that we don’t all have the same pressures. Then, let’s pray for our own needs and for grace for our brother. That said, my word for Vice President Pence is, ‘Do not be deceived, “Bad company corrupts good character”‘ (1 Cor. 15:33 NIV). Love your neighbour and wear a mask! If you are a witness for Jesus Christ, ‘Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould’ (Rom. 12:2 PHILLIPS). And, that can often include the Christian world. Be a Daniel or a Shadrach and put your neck on the line for your faith.
May we all soberly look at what God is doing in our own nations and all around the world at this time. And, let’s keep praying for grace for one another so that we can represent Him well as His ambassadors on earth.
We have an opportunity to be the light in a dark time. Some Christians believe their faith will protect them from the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are complaining at our governments for passing laws to hinder our movements. Even if you have lots of faith and are feeling fine, you could still be carrying the virus without your knowledge. Faith, which comes from God’s word, teaches us how to behave when there is a contagious disease. Leviticus and Deuteronomy have many verses dedicated to clean and unclean things.
Faith in God’s Word
God’s people were given instructions that they had to obey concerning contaminants on their bodies, clothes, vessels, and walls of their homes. There were many instructions for washing, but those things that couldn’t be saved were broken or burned. People who were deemed unclean for different reasons were to distance themselves for a time. If the person had a contagious disease, they were sent outside of the camp and the priest had to visit that person outside of the camp to determine if they were still contagious or not.
Undeniably, washing and distancing are biblical practices, so let us spread love and not germs.
What of those who don’t hear of Christ? Is God unfair?
No, because God’s word says, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one” (Rom 3:10-12).
The text shows that mankind is innately unrighteous, without understanding and disinterested in God. Therefore, just as God would not have been unfair if He had never sent Jesus and given us the gospel in the first place, He is not unfair to any who do not get to hear the gospel now.
We can be thankful that God is not fair with regard us in our sin, because, if He was we would be forever separated from Him and without hope.
In fact, God has already made Himself plain to everyone through creation, but our indictment is that we refused to acknowledge Him.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Rom 1:18-20).
GOD CHOOSES THE BLAMELESS OF HEART
“I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jer 17:10).
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jer 29:13).
“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him” (2 Chron 16:9).
BLAMELESS BY FAITH
So, how is it that God chooses those who seek him with all of their heart if we have established that mankind is innately disinterested in God and that none seek after Him?
God can overcome our disinterest by initiating contact with us. And, He did this by sending His Son to die on the cross for our sins and by sending this message into all the world so that the message would interest people and lead them to hopefully believe. And, where people respond by faith in His message, He is pleased and He credits them with righteousness, just as Abraham was credited when he believed.
So, because none of us are blameless in our thoughts and actions, being righteous by works is impossible. Furthermore, we have emotional and intellectual obstacles in our hearts that prevent us from coming to faith in God, therefore righteousness by faith is impossible. However, God’s word is able to overcome these obstacles and allow us to believe with our hearts.
Where God’s message to you is believed, He credits righteousness. Have you allowed God’s message of love and His offer of forgiveness a chance in your life?
Because of sin, the wrath of God has existed against mankind. And, it continues to be stored up for judgment against those who are not reconciled through faith, especially against those who have rejected the Gospel.
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36).
The necessity for Christ to come as a propitiation (to satisfy God’s wrath) is evidence that God’s wrath existed prior to the rejection of the Gospel. And, where it says “the wrath of God remains on him”, the term “remains” confirms that God’s wrath existed toward mankind prior to Christ. It is clear then that God’s wrath is not brought about by the rejection of the Gospel, but by our natural rebellion, though, no doubt, the rejection of God’s Son would add immensely to God’s indignation.
So, though God’s just wrath has been satisfied by Jesus’ sacrifice, those who do not believe on His Son will nevertheless have to face His fierce judgment, because His wrath continues to abide on them.
BENEVOLENT, BUT RIGHTEOUS
God’s wrath is hard to imagine because He is kind to those who He is angry with. “He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt 5:45). Nevertheless, God (and Jesus since His ascension) has been judging the peoples of the earth throughout history and, in the end, He will bring all before His throne for His final judgment.
Therefore, we should warn people who haven’t believed in God’s Son as their substitute, for their sins to be forgiven, not to think that His goodness towards them means that He won’t judge them in His wrath, because He most certainly will!
I believe that John the apostle reflects the general will of God toward us when he says, ‘Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers’ (3 John 1:2). Having said that, contentment without these is often necessary too. Also, ‘prosper’ here does not mean ‘gain great wealth’, but that things may go well.
Prosperity is Not Everything
Prosperity is like health. They are blessings, but they’re not everything. Paul left Trophimus ill at Miletus and Timothy was instructed to take wine for his stomach and his frequent ailments. Nevertheless, that does not mean that we cannot trust the Lord for healing nor does it prevent us from teaching others to do the same too. But, it does show us that God may allow us to go through unpleasant experiences while we are still in our fallen bodies and in this fallen world.
Similarly, expecting God to prosper us is not abnormal as long as it does not override a greater expectation that God will most certainly give us the grace needed for whatever the circumstances are that He permits.
Contentment is Better
So, though prosperity is a blessing, nevertheless contentment without prosperity is far better than prosperity itself. In Php 4:11-13, Paul says, ‘Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.’
Clearly prosperity is a blessing, but it should never be the goal. Instead, our goal should be faith with contentment.
“MOUNTAINS, FALL ON US…HILLS, COVER US” are words that have echoed in history, and the echo has not ended.
BUT, WHOSE WORDS ARE THESE?
The prophet Hosea spoke of Israel’s impending judgment with these words: “The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, shall be destroyed. Thorn and thistle shall grow up on their altars, and they shall say to the mountains, ‘Cover us,’ and to the hills, ‘Fall on us'” (Hosea 10:8).
Just as the prophet predicted, it came to pass that God judged Israel (the northern tribes) by the hand of the Assyrians.
On His way to the cross there were women who were weeping for Jesus. “Turning to them Jesus said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, “Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!” Then they will begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us,” and to the hills, “Cover us”‘” (Luke 23:28-30).
It came to pass that Jesus, being at the right hand of God, came in judgment in that same generation and destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70.
ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD
“Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?'” (Rev 6:15-17).
Just as surely as the previous judgments occurred that were foretold by the prophet Hosea against Israel and by Jesus against Jerusalem, along with countless other judgments by God and His Son throughout history, so too will this final judgment occur against all the people of the world.
SEVERITY OF GOD’S JUDGMENT
Consider the severity of God’s judgment if death by falling rocks and mountains is preferable to facing ‘him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.’
WHO CAN BE SPARED?
Because of His great love for us, God is not willing that any should perish, let alone face judgment. In fact, in order to rescue us, the full severity of God’s righteous anger toward us was experienced by Christ on our behalf. By Jesus’ sacrifice, justice and wrath were fully satisfied in order that through faith and repentance no one need face God’s judgment.
“He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).
In short, yes, it is quite normal to get sick and not be miraculously healed. And, while there are definitely some who are not healed when they could have been, it will relieve many to learn that it is Biblically normal not always to receive a miracle.
Reasons Why Many Are Not Healed
Here are a few reasons why many do not find healing:
Just as when He was in Nazareth, Jesus cannot do miracles where there is unbelief.
Mat 13:58 And he did not do many mighty works there (His hometown of Nazareth), because of their unbelief.
Our Faith vs God’s Gift of Faith
We don’t need lots of our faith. We simply need a Rhema word that imparts a gift of faith from God, and it need only be the size of a mustard seed.
Luke 17:5-6 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
Sin, Consequences and Punishment
While Jesus healed “all” who came to Him or who were brought to Him regardless of their past behavior, subsequent to His ascension He clearly allowed and even brought sickness upon His own because of their behavior. Where sickness is brought on by sin and there is no repentance, we cannot expect healing.
For example, some were sick and even died because of their the attitude that they had around the Lord’s Supper.
1 Cor 11:28-33 Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world. So then, my brothers, when you come together to eat, wait for one another—
Others were warned that they would receive sickness as a punishment if they did not repent of evil. Jesus is not going to immediately heal such a person without repentance.
Rev 2:22 Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works
We Only Taste Now What We’ll Later Eat
We are told that we can have a taste of the powers of the age to come. Constant healing and wholeness is not tasting, but a meal. This meal has been paid for, but is reserved for His coming.
Hebrews 6:4-5, having tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come.
Premature Expectation for Constant Physical Wholeness
While Jesus demonstrated His kingdom in its fullness when He came, which meant ALL were healed and even the dead were raised, nevertheless the kingdom will only completely manifest this fullness at Christ’s return. Until then we can receive tastes of the things to come, but clearly the Spirit did not come to exactly fully replicate Jesus’ healing ministry through the Church, because otherwise He failed.
Remember too, though He does heal our bodies even now, the fact that Jesus healed the blind was also as a sign that He would heal the spiritually blind, and that He healed the sick was a sign that He would heal the spiritually sick, and that He raised the dead was sign that He raises the spiritually dead.
While these were signs of power over the physical, they pointed to His power in the spiritual. And, clearly He has chosen to attend primarily to our spiritual need first through our rebirth, then to the renewal of the mind, and only at His coming will we receive our new glorious bodies.
Rom 8:23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
2 Cor 5:2-4 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling … For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
Sick and Unhealed Saints in The New Testament
Besides those being disciplined, the Bible clearly shows that even the best of saints were sick and not miraculously healed. Consider –
Php 2:26-27 for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
1 Tim 5:23 (No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.)
2 Tim 4:20 Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left Trophimus, who was ill, at Miletus.
Jesus’ Expectation for the Church
Jesus had an expectation that we would care for the sick in His Body, the Church, and not necessarily heal them. Take a look:
Mat 25:34-6 Then the king will say to those on his right, “My father has blessed you! Come and receive the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world was created. When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me, and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear. WHEN I WAS SICK, YOU TOOK CARE OF ME, and when I was in jail, you visited me.”
Furthermore, Jesus clearly understood the normality of sickness and physicians.
Luke 5:31, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do.”
Does God Still Heal Today?
Yes! But, He has a far greater agenda than running a healing Drive Thru.
Psalm 41:3 The LORD will strengthen him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to health.
Whether you will be healed miraculously now, or naturally now, or at His return, your healing is coming.
2 Peter 3:9, The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness…
Whether we receive a miracle, or are comforted in our hope, ‘in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us’.