I am for it!
You have to be a fool, or a man with a cruel heart, to be against it. Tell me, who doesn't want their loved ones restored to full health? Who doesn't want their family to be well? Who doesn't want pain to end?
I have a quiet sister. She is 53 years old and she hasn't said a word in 51 years. Her name is Laura Lee Weeks and she has Rett's Syndrome. I hate it!
Rett's Syndrome has imprisoned my sister in a body that doesn't work: She can't walk, she grinds her teeth, she slobbers, and she wrings her hands. Laura has been like this ever since I knew her. Over the years my mom and dad have faithfully fed her, changed her, and wheeled her on and off her school bus - - they have shown me what unconditional love practically looks like through their daily, hands-on care for my sister Laura.
About 25 years ago my dad brought over to our house a couple that believed strongly in the "gift of healing." In fact, they felt moved by God to pray for my sister to have a complete healing. As a family we gathered around and held hands while they prayed, cried, spoke in tongues and they even left an audio tape of the book of John to be played all night while she slept. They believed that God's word had healing power.
My sister was never healed.
I wondered why? If this couple had the gift of healing, why wasn't Laura healed? When Jesus healed, as in the case of the crippled man by the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-15), people were healed completely! But not my sister - - she still slobbered and sat. The couple told my dad that possibly someone in our family did not "have enough faith."
"If there is a hint of doubt," they said, "faith won't heal."
Really???? That is awfully cruel to tell a caring family; because that means my sister's predicament is our fault. We failed her, and every day she is left in that body to rot, our weak faith continues to fail her. Tell me, how do you live without doubt? My dad was not pleased...in fact he felt manipulated by this couple and didn't invite them back. Over the years the subject of healing has fascinated me, I want to know the truth of it; and also, as a pastor it is my duty to teach it correctly. And...I HATE MANIPULATION WITH A PASSION! Let me ask you...
* How do you feel when you see people like Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland raking in dollars off the back's of the desperately ill by telling them to come to his "Miracle Crusade?" As I read the bible, Jesus just walked down the streets and touched people without fanfare, and without cool white suits. (Did you know, when Jesus died, he only owned the shirt off his back?)
* How do you feel when the local mega-church offers secret biblical techniques to "increase health & wealth" in your life? Have you ever noticed, those same pastors who passionately preach total healing still seem to die? Rather ironic...
* Snake handling pastor's consistently give up the ghost even though they are convinced rattlesnake poison won't kill them!
A few years after the incident with my sister, I was taking care of a wheel-chair bound man named Billy. He wanted to be healed so bad he could taste it - - it is all he talked about. In fact, he watched hours and hours of Christian TV, praying, weeping, crying, hoping he would be healed. He was convinced he had "enough" faith. I would care for him three days a week to try to help him strengthen his leg muscles to walk. But his effort were lack-luster because he was sure that the next Benny Hinn crusade was going to be the one. It wasn't. He was crushed.
Some Charismatic Christians wonder why I don't preach more on healing? They actually have the gall to assume, "I think it is because you are scared of the power of God and the work of the Holy Spirit." Scared? Why would I be scared?
Why would anyone be frightened of seeing their broken & diminishing sister jump out of her wheel chair, smile, dance and talk? What is so scary about that? I would love that, "Bring it on!" But still, she sits!
I think we have a bigger issue to deal with before we consider the topic of healing: SIN. It is killing all of us, and if a person does not deal with it directly they will never be healed in the future heaven. Those who die in Christ, will be raised in Christ. Those who die in sin, will remain in their sin. That is the real issue.
My problem with the topic of physical healing is that it misses the mark. Sure you can attract a crowd by offering them the world; but will it end at the cost of losing their soul? Sure you can promise healing, but only God can produce it. And what if he doesn't, will people trust anymore of your promises? Probably not....just ask Billy.
Some will ask: "Why can't you have the best of both worlds: sins forgiven and physical healing?" You can...but it must come in God's way and in his timing. Our job is to declare the gospel, his job is to forgive. If chooses not to heal, which he most likely wont (Read 2 Corinthians 4:16-18), our job is to endure with joy.
Romans 8:23 says we groan while we wait. Wait for what? Brand new bodies - - and let me tell you, I want to be first in line to trade my current one in.
No, wait, my sister Laura should get to go first. She has waited long enough!