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Today’s Issues, From a Biblical Perspective!

Why are Christians so sick?

Posted by truthtalklive on August 11, 2008

On today’s show Stu interviews Dr. Larry Webster www.lwebster.org .

After the show today check out the podcast at www.wtru.com .

Stu wants all of you guys to check out  James 5: 13-18.

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56 Responses to “Why are Christians so sick?”

  1. F. L. A. said

    Why?
    Why not?
    Is it not to some degree the fate of all to suffer and go through trials and tests?
    It teaches humility and mortality in the one who is suffering and a lesson in patience and faithfulness for everyone else, and should the afflicted recover, a greater appreciation for life thereafter. And should the afflicted die, as long as said Christian was a “good” Christian, then they get to go where they wanted to go anyway, just faster than originally planned.

  2. r. andrews said

    My mom is recovering from Alzheimers on a nutritional diet but occasionally has stomach bloating issues partly due to not walking for the last few years. Anything to help with bloating?

  3. smart one said

    everyone gets sick

  4. Ivy said

    Christians are sick because they live in a world cursed through the first Adam’s sin.

    Decay, destruction, and death will nip at our heels until we shed the old corruptible body and put on the new incorruptible body – when we are caught up with Jesus Christ, the last Adam, who has conquered sin and death.

    Make sure you take your vitamins and eat right until then.

  5. ADB said

    Christians are no more immune to disease, illness, injury than anybody else. There’s no biblical promise of good health. Our route to good health is the same as everybody else- eat and drink in moderation (gluttony and drunkenness), get some exercise, try not to smoke. That’s about it.

  6. Maz said

    To be honest I’v struggled with this question for a long time. Why have I seen so many of my Chrisian friends die of cancer. Why did my brother-in-law die of leuchemia, he was given two years to live and he got nine….but he still died of it at 56. I have prayed for many people, layed hands on them as the Bible says and prayed in the name of Jesus for healing, and there is no difference. These are Christians. I don’t question God, but I do question myself and the reason why we don’t see many healed and miracles happening today. I know there are those that say there are miracles happening in certain ministries and revivals, but are they REAL. I really question some of these claims.
    I’v just read a book by an M.D., Dr. Brad Burke, who examines ”Does God still do miracles today?”, it has helped me understand something of the way God moves today but I am still not sure whether Jesus still heals today as He did when He was on the earth. Were these healings and miracles just for then? Or should we see the same thing happening today?
    Is the Church not spiritually ‘fit’, are we lacking in real faith? I’d like anyone elses thots on this.
    Marks gospel says, ”…you shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover..”
    So why aren’t they? Just a few questions I personally would like help with.

  7. Maz said

    I must add that my sister had an aggressive form of cancer up and down her spine three years ago and she had to have one of the strongest chemos over a period of four months. She came through that and I thank God for that. She has been free from cancer for three years now. But was it due to the chemo or was it God healing her? It may have been both, I don’t know. But right now I have a dear Christian friend who has just celebrated her 50th birthday and she had ovarian cancer earlier this year which chemo seemed to eradicate. We praised God for her healing. But a few weeks ago she got secondary cancer in her lungs. She now has four weeks to live. How do I pray? With my past experience of praying for people with cancer I feel my prayers would be pointless. But I know it is never pointless to pray. We must pray. But it’s hard in this kind of situation. I’v asked others to pray, I’v even sent prayer requests to America to the Lakeland Revival. (You’ll do anything to get an answer!)
    I just want to see God do something miraculous today. Am I expecting too much from God when the BIble says ”Nothing is impossible with God”?

  8. jAsOn said

    Maz,

    First and foremost, I think we must say that God never promised that believers would certainly be healed from all their earthly infirmities in this age, but we will be fully physically healed in the age to come. So, I think it is wise to allow this understanding to guide us in our interpretation of some of the obscure passages that (at first glance) might seem to indicate that believers will be healed of all their physical infirmities in this age. Considering the passage in Mark, note that verse 20a says this, “And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.]” So we can interpret the signs that accompany them were in major part, to establish belief in the resurrection. Note the preceding verse 14, Christ rebukes their former unbelief at the witness of resurrection from the mouths of the women.

    I don’t think we can say that the point of the accompanying sign of laying on hands and recovery is intended to be comprehensive.

    James also mentions something like this:

    Regarding James 5:” 13Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 17Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. 19My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”

    I think this passage notates the very importance of the relationship of prayer and having our desires fulfilled. I don’t think that the testimony of the rest of scripture allows for us to say that James is giving some fail-proof prescription for gaining healing. I think what we can take away from this passage is that faithful prayer, healing, and forgiveness are linked somehow. How you ask, well that’s a much bigger question, and a very simplistic answer would be that any physical healing that we do receive in our time on earth was bought on the cross, but unlike our spiritual healing (justification) we receive through the atonement, it isn’t guaranteed until the age to come (in our glorification). We must remember that when the Bible speaks of salvation, it is for the believer eventually a comprehensive event that the NT writers break down into three parts, justification, sanctification, and glorification; that’s why we see different ways in which they speak about salvation: we have been saved, are being saved, and will be saved.

  9. Maz said

    Jason: Thanks for that. I accept all you say. I think it is a very complex subject and I for one will never really understand how God works in our lives especially when it comes to sickness and healing. I do believe I have been saved, spiritually, and I am being saved by the ”renewing of my mind”, and that I will be saved when I receive my new body, either at death or at Christs coming for the Church.

    What would you say about ”..by His stripes we were healed.”? Christians tend to use this verse to say that Christs stripes brought physical healing.

  10. jAsOn said

    Maz,

    You said in #7, “But was it due to the chemo or was it God healing her?” I would tend to say, yes, both. I think that any healing we do receive is gracious and has been purchased by the blood of Christ, and that also goes for any healing that unbelievers experience. So, I tend to believe that God is certainly capable of healing without the use of ordinary means, but I do think it is out of the ordinary for Him to do so; He uses medicine and medical treatments as a means to our physical healing. I even believe that the work that doctors do (when it is done for the purpose of healing the sick) is a shadow of the healing that will be completed in the consummation of the Kingdom in the age to come, in other words, their work is a way for God to show us the “already” part of the Kingdom that we experience in this age.

    As far as how to pray, or what to pray, this is probably where our theologies are played out most clearly. I think I would do it something like this, “Lord, Creator of the universe and all that is in it, I know you are powerful enough to reach down with Your sovereign hand and heal my friend; you created her, Father, so please glorify Yourself by manifesting the healing that we believers will eventually experience in full in eternity by healing her fragile body today so that people can look and say, Yahweh God is great, there is no other god like Him. I also know that all Your purposes are perfect and that they are all holy, so that even in her death you will somehow glorify Yourself, even if I am never able to understand it. Please make me and my friend more like Your Son Jesus as I pray and through whatever situation that transpires. I know that the power of pray is not in my eloquent words but in the power of Your Spirit to do all Your holy will. You are a good and faithful God who keeps all of Your promises. In Christ’s name, amen.”

    That was just off the top of my head, and know that God can heal even a second from physical death, and I even now submit it for your friend.

  11. Maz said

    Jason: Your the first on here to bring tears to my eyes…thankyou, that was beautiful. I am going to e-mail your prayer to her. She has trusted the Lord with her future whatever that may be, and she has been brought closer to Him through it all. I guess, at the end of the day, whether she is healed or whether she is taken, she will be healed. It is just sad for all her family, and especially her husband (they have no children) he ofcourse doesn’t want to lose her. He lost his mother and father not long ago, and his brother died young due to an accident, so he has suffered some tragic things in his life.
    All we can say is that ”all things work together for good to those who love God.”
    Thanks again.

  12. jAsOn said

    It is always a pleasure to bring words of encouragement. I wish I did that more often 🙂

    I can’t imagine what they must be going through, and even though we have hope in the future resurrection, we still are capable of (and have a God given right to) great and real mourning when we encounter suffering and trials. In the future, I will pray for them as Maz’s friends.

  13. Maz said

    Jason: Thanks. God bless you!

  14. ADB said

    Maz,
    I’m very sorry about the grave illness of your friend. Jason has pretty well summed earlier what I would have said. I’m not that old, but it doesn’t take too long in the ministry, or life in general, to know that God can and does heal some people in this life while others only receive it in the resurrection. I for one wish I knew the why, but that knowledge is “way above my pay grade” as they say. That family will be in my prayers.

    Best Wishes

  15. Maz said

    ADB: Thankyou and God Bless.

  16. Barney said

    Re: post #10

    So why, if your “prayer” is efficacious, would you not pray it secretly and let God have all the glory?

    I suspect I know the answer but I’ll refrain from commenting further out of respect for Maz’ friend’s condition.

    Barney

  17. jAsOn said

    Who said the prayer it self was efficacious? And, don’t you think that the more who heard of God healing, the more glory He would receive?

  18. Barney said

    You did. Why not pray secretly?

  19. Jeff42 said

    Jason,

    I think Barney is referring to the middle of post #8 where you were quoting Scripture. 😉

  20. jAsOn said

    The point I’m trying to make is that the prayer by itself is not effective in the sense that it causes the actions it is requesting for whom the prayer is being made.

    It seemed to me that you in # 16 were assuming that…perhaps I assumed wrong, and you did not make that assumption.

    Certainly, the prayer of a believer is effective (in the sense noted in James 16) but if you make a study of how prayer “work” in the entire bible, you shouldn’t come away believing that God is in the palm of our hand awaiting our instruction. I’m not suggesting that you have said this but in evangelicalism in America today, this seems to be the unconscious underlying theology of prayer that many have.

    So if I may re-phrase your question, “So why, if [God does answer “prayer”s], would you not pray it secretly and let God have all the glory?”

    And I answer again in this way, don’t you think that the more who heard of God healing, the more glory He would receive?

    Consider this.

    Whether one hales from a monergistic theology of God’s providence or not, prayer really is a difficult thing for us finite creatures to wrap our minds around. As a matter of fact, we can’t wrap our minds around this idea, and I don’t think god intends for us to. All He would have us know about prayer in this age He has reveled in His Word and we can ascertain through our collaborative review of the historical, biblical and systematic theologies of prayer.

    Prayer can be illustrated in this way. When I pray it is a bit like me throwing my self with my earnest desires against the immutable Rock of God’s will and he chips away at my desires so as to make me look more like His Son the Christ, in Who’s Image I have been re-created.

    In obedience to His command for His children to come to Him in prayer, I humbly submit my requests, mediated by the righteousness of Christ before His throne, expecting him to do all His holy will, and wait for Him to work all things together for good, for those who love Him.

  21. Maz said

    Didn’t Jesus pray verbally….otherwise we wouldn’t have had them recorded? There is, ofcourse the instance where Jesus prayed at the tomb of Lazarus and He prayed to His Father, ”Father, I thank you that you have heard me, and I knew that you hear me always, but because of the people who stand by I said it, that they may believe that you have sent me.” And then He cried with a loud voice, ”Lazarus, come forth!” And we all know what happened. But did He have to shout? Lararus was dead, would he have heard? Was His Father deaf? Ofcourse not. Jesus cried with authority and power so that the dead would be raised and that the people would know that He had power even over death.

  22. Barney said

    “And I answer again in this way, don’t you think that the more who heard of God healing, the more glory He would receive?” – Jason

    If God heals someone miraculously, how is it more glorious because we witnessed you “praying” loudly in a public place?

    It serves someone to pray in this manner, but whom does it serve? You said yourself that either way, healing or no, God’s will is done. So, why not pray secretly?

  23. Maz said

    There is a difference when someone prays for others to hear and agree in that prayer, and someone who makes long prayers to be heard like the Pharisees spoken of in Matthew 23 v 14 ”..and for pretense make long prayers..”. It’s not how loud or audible a prayer is but the motive and reason behind it. Ofcourse you can pray silently aswell, it all depends on the situation. But it is what is in a persons heart that God hears.

  24. ADB said

    Let me add one more perspective to this. From a purely pastoral level, people sometimes need to hear their name lifted up in prayer. It certainly comforts and reassures those who are suffering in some way to hear another person lift them up to God in prayer. From my perspective where I spend quite a bit of time with those who are sick or elderly, I can reallyl appreciate this. Is a verbal prayer more or less effective than a silent one? That is pretty much a silly question to me because the active agent is God, and I just don’t think his response is influenced by the exact form of the prayer.

    Best wishes,

  25. jAsOn said

    Barney,

    You said, “loudly” I don’t think volume is an issue here. 🙂

    I think you are missing the point, or I’m not making my self clear. God is glorified through healing whether anyone prayed for it or not, but if Maz is sick and I pray for healing, and God heals, then He is glorified by the witness of her healing, and in addition to that, He is glorified even more when believers are encouraged by seeing prayers answered.

  26. jAsOn said

    good thoughts ADB

  27. F. L. A. said

    The prayer of JAsOn made Maz cry tears of joy and gratitude, almost like a form of therapy, healing the emotional hurt like a soothing balm upon an injury of the soul.
    Is this not reason enough for JAsOn to have displayed the prayer for all to see?

  28. Maz said

    Yes, prayer is not just an intimate communing with God, but with and for each other. It’s something that can knit Christians together, because we are after all, family, with one loving Heavenly Father. It’s this sharing of one anothers cares and hurts that moves me to tears.

  29. Barney said

    I agree that prayer, individual or in a group can be therapeutic.

    Yes, Jason, publishing your prayer on this internet blog was using a loud voice. (imagine a smiley face here) Maybe it’s just that I just don’t like that style of praying in public.

    Sorry, Jason.

  30. Maz said

    Barney: So how else would Jason be able to share his prayer for my friend with me?

  31. jAsOn said

    Well Barney, I guess we will just have to disagree at this point.

    Consider this though, volume and audience size…not the same thing.

    Just because a prayer is public doesn’t mean that it is poorly motivated.

    The funny thing is, the first motivation for my typing the prayer was a theological one (almost a scholastic exercise), but by the time I had finished it, it was much more intimate and emotional, coming not only from my mind but my heart as well.

  32. Maz said

    Barney: Daniel was delivered by God from the lions….if you read Daniel 6 v 10,11, you will find out why he ended up in the lions den. He was not afraid to pray openly even though King Darius had signed a decree that no one should pray to any god for 30 days.

  33. Barney said

    The motivation for publishing your “prayer” was self-serving, then? That was my initial impression, too. I guess we do disagree.

  34. John said

    Mmmmmmm.
    I like the theory of Ferox in post#27 better.
    Whether his motivation was self serving or not[and I doubt that it was] this is the effect that it had on Maz, so….GOOD! Well done.

  35. Maz said

    Barney: There was nothing ‘self-serving’ about Jasons prayer. Not from my side of the fence anyway.
    Maybe you should search your heart to find out why you feel that way about it.

  36. jAsOn said

    Barney,

    I admit that I am prone to pride, arrogance, and selfishness, but I must ask why you were impressed to think my motive for witting the prayer down was self serving. If by that you mean, that I would get enjoyment from seeing others edified by the words I’ve have written (prayer I have prayed), then yes, it was self serving in that manner of speaking…I think we are supposed to enjoy seeing others made happy. It’s not wrong to seek enjoyment or pleasure, it just depends on what things we find pleasure in.

    “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. Or: The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever. Does Christian Hedonism make a god out of pleasure? No. It says that we all make a god out of what we take most pleasure in. My life is devoted to helping people make God their God, by wakening in them the greatest pleasures in him.” – John Piper

    My initial purpose in the prayer was to describe how I would prayer for a friend in dire physical need, and in a seemingly hopeless situation. It turned into an actual prayer for Maz’s friend, which served the purposes of strengthening mine and Maz’s faith, displaying our trust that Yahweh God can do all things He pleases, and petitioning God with our heart-felt desires, knowing that He is not obligated to do as we please, but we are changed in our minds and hearts as we tell Him our desires.

  37. Maz said

    Jason: Just thot I’d let you know that I have had an e-mail from my friend, Karen, who has cancer, I sent her your prayer and she said she has printed it off and put it in her Bible. She is having more chemo on Tuesday.

  38. F. L. A. said

    The light of friendship is like the light of phosphorus, seen plainest when all around us is dark.

  39. jAsOn said

    Thank you…our prayers will continue.

    FLA, agreed.

  40. F. L. A. said

    We could throw in some prayers of our own…or would this be too blasphemous?
    What would it hurt?

  41. Maz said

    F.L.A: It all depends who you are directing them to….as far as I am personally concerned I could not say my Amens to anything that is directed to any other deity than to our God. if you have prayer requests we could certainly pray for you….I guess it is up to the Moderator what is allowable on here as far as prayers go. I pray for you anyway. (And John).

  42. F. L. A. said

    We pray to the Christian God on behalf of Christians that we know, believe it or not.

  43. Mike S. said

    F.L.A.
    Have you thought about the fact, that if the “Christian God” does exist, and what He tells us is true, then there are no other God(s)? “gods” maybe but they are all under His control? What do you do then? Just wondering…

  44. Maz said

    F.L.A: How can you pray to God when you deny Him as your Savior and Lord?

  45. jAsOn said

    Believe it or not, It is difficult for me to oppose what others believe, even if I know it to be untrue (some who have been involved in the same discussions I have on this blog might be surprised that I would say that). So, FLA, on a strictly human level, I confess that I appreciate the care and concern that would be encapsulated in the offer of your prayers, but with Yahweh God, Creator of Heaven and Earth in mind, with Maz, I must say that, if you’re not praying to Him, then the only thing of eternal significance that your prayer will “cause” or effect is the hardening of your own heart against Yahweh God.

  46. Barney said

    Re: 36

    Jason, you admit in post 31 that your motivation was self serving. A scholastic exercise is what you said. In my opinion that type of prayer is always self serving.

    Sorry.

  47. ADB said

    Barney,

    I think you are really stretching things at this point. Simply looking at what he said, you have to be actively looking for something insincere to find anything to criticize in it.

    Best Wishes

  48. jAsOn said

    Barney,

    Either I am not communicating well or you just don’t read all of the content of my posts.

  49. Mike S. said

    ADB
    I think you just pegged our friend Barney/Fred.

  50. Maz said

    Barney: You seem to choose to ignore the last part of Jasons post #31.

  51. Barney said

    Re: 48

    Probably.

  52. F. L. A. said

    Sorry that I did not respond sooner, but I was too busy playing and having fun.

    Mr.Sears, Yes, I have considered such possibilities[Briefly], but realize that I do not believe everything within the Christian Bible[Whatever the version] to be literally true, and nor do I believe that your theological belief system was the first in existence in this world[History proves otherwise], which places your deity in an interesting position, yes? To me, your deity is but one among many within this universe.I think of those Bible verses quoting God as saying that he is to be the only one to be worshiped only really applies to his own people, the Hebrews and Christians and that those similar quotes produced by men are examples of pride, or within a worse case scenario, an example of people trying to establish control over others.

    How, Maz? Why could I not? This is one of the benefits of being polytheistic.
    Go back and look up post#460 on the “What does Mormonism Really Teach?” site, listed under “Mormonism”.Perhaps you shall understand what I meant, this time around.
    Did you think that we would pray to our OWN deities to help your Christian Friend? Why would we do this? She is not one of their own! So………would you like us to try and help, or not?

    JAsOn, I appreciate your appreciation, on a human level.As I mentioned above, there is also the factor of prayer helping on a psychological level, if Maz’s Friend knows that others even in distant lands are praying for her well being, it is libel to have therapeutic effects on her.

  53. Maz said

    Ferox: To pray to the God of the Universe as if He is only one in many is idolatrous and He would not listen to such prayers. And seeing that God loved the whole world (not just Christians) and died for the whole world that they may believe, it is obvious that God wants everyone to worship Him, and HIM alone, for He IS the only God whatever the peoples of the world choose to believe in. And considering that He is the Only God that chose to die for His creation, He is unique. What love, that Deity should choose to become one of His own creation (yet still sinless in nature) and subject Himself to the cruel hands of those He wanted to save. This is the awesome love of our God and Father……..there is no other intimate relationship in any other religion like it. I’m sure you will correct me if I’m wrong.

  54. F. L. A. said

    Oh he wouldn’t listen would he?
    I was under the impression that he listened to everything from everyone all the time. Alright then, we shall not try to help by offering our prayers, if you think that he would be so fickle.
    I would correct you if I thought that you might listen and take what I typed you with somewhat serious consideration, but I believe that you would give it the same consideration that you gave to all evidence supplied supporting evolution and an ancient Earth.

  55. Maz said

    F.L.A: I would say this, that God does hear the prayers of those who aren’t Christians if they are sincere in wanting to know Him, but as you really don’t acknowledge Him as God I cannot see how He can answer unless it’s from a sincere and searching heart for the truth.
    God is certainly not fickle, the Bible clearly tells us He does not change.
    Would your correction be in harmony with the Bible?

  56. F. L. A. said

    No, but this should not always matter.

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