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Thinking Theologically about Sickness and Healing, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
September 9, 2022 7:05 am

Thinking Theologically about Sickness and Healing, Part 1

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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September 9, 2022 7:05 am

Flying Closer to the Flame

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When someone claims to be healed by God.

When the spiritual leader who professes to have the gift of how do we determine what's real and what's manufactured.

On one hand, how do we celebrate God's obvious healing touch, and on the other.

When we push back and expose those who were spiritual charlatans. These are difficult questions and today on inside the living Chuck Swindoll begins a three day study that's intentionally prepared to help us develop discernment. Chuck titled his message thinking theologically about sickness Bibles together to first trip to verses one through five begin reading at the first verse of first Corinthians 2 and when I came to your brother and I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified and I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling in my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of man but on the power of God. This was perhaps the world's greatest evangelist we know them today.

As the apostle Paul, take a good look at Paul and what you see.

Did he come to Corinth or anywhere else for that matter, with a lot of hype did you have a slick image in a packaged presentation or his words rehearsed carefully, and his emotions always intact perfectly choreographed with his words. Is there anything revealed here about this man or his ministry that would lead you to believe that he brainwashed people into believing his message, or the miracles that he performed John White in his book, when the spirit comes with power, describes how such brainwashing can occur. Your rights if you want to manipulate people work on their input levels screen the gospel that them for a while then to keep them off balance, switch to a quiet intimate joke or two, then start shrieking again. Your audience will soon get a high anxiety level and be putty in your hands a little later Dr. Whitehead's to manipulate a large number of people you need to exhaust them to bombard them with levels of sensation. They are not accustomed to expose them to concepts that frighten them to humiliate them and make them feel guilty and hopeless, while still offering a new and magical idea crowd effect will be on your side and that the crowd tends to carry individuals along with what insightful words could brainwashing explain the conversions. The miraculous healings or even the general influence of Paul's ministry will have course, not could explain. However, what's happening in the ministry of many so-called healers who peddle the Holy Spirit today couldn't explain what's happening in the big meetings and large seminars of someone your following right now. Think about it.

Think about it hard list as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your mind should be led astray from the simplicity of devotion to Christ.

Let me give you an illustration you may have heard me give before Johnny Erickson dived into the Chesapeake Bay of strong athletic young teenager only seconds later, Johnny was paralyzed from the neck down completely helpless and still underwater rescued from drowning by her sister. The doctors could not rescue Johnny from the paralysis that swept across her body. Johnny ultimately came to accept the fact that she could not be healed medically. But oh what about God didn't Christ heal all kinds of paralysis and sickness. The more Johnny thought and prayed about these things. I listen carefully. The more she became convinced God would heal her to. So she brought together a group of friends and church leaders and set up a private healing service the week before that service.

She publicly confessed her faith telling people watch for me standing on your doorstep soon I'm going to be healed on the scheduled day. The group read scriptures anointed her with oil and prayed in fervent faith today over 30 years later, Johnny is still a quadriplegic. She did everything right and seem to have met all the condition yet she was not healed was Johnny denied this miracle because she didn't have enough faith. You know, some believe that others say she wasn't healed because of unconfessed sin in her life and still others quibble over the healing technique she used promoting. Instead, their own three-step process, but today I ask you, what do you think. Thousands traveled around the world seeking those who claim to have the gift of healing. Testimonies of people declaring they have been healed by the spirit abound. Special anointed cloths have been sold that were said to have healing power. I ask you again what you think. Are these things real and what about the use of medicine.

Should we trust God alone for healing. Does God heal. If so, is there a particular method we should follow and always what about those who are not healed. What about Johnny Erickson.

The issue of the spirit and divine healing. Today is a highly charged, hotly debated, one that more often than not leaves people feeling lost Lauriston unanswered.

If you're having trouble finding your way, come with us today as we seek some clear direction compass God to study the Bible with Chuck Swindoll. Be sure to download his searching the Scriptures. Studies by going to Chuck titled today's message thinking theologically about sickness and healing. Ours is a world of enormous pain and hurt.

I am sure that each one of us knows an individual who this very moment is in an enormous time of struggle and trial, perhaps physically, perhaps mentally or emotionally, or a combination of the above. We are also aware that there are some who today claim to have been healed instantaneously from their pain. They tell remarkable stories of an instant turnaround in their lives as perhaps they attended a meeting or they were in touch with a certain individual who almost with magical powers is able to speak the word and they have recovered.

On the other hand, we we know others who have and I certainly know others who have attempted to find healing in their lives with no success.

They are among the most disillusioned individuals especially if they have been around folks who tell stories on the other side.

I know individuals who struggle with deep depression for two, three or more years and they long to pull out of it to get beyond sometime the depression is so deep it requires hospitalization.

Medication long hours with therapists who assist them in their in their recovery. Some struggled greatly with thoughts and even attempts at suicide, so all of this creates the struggle within us to come to terms with the healing work of the spirit. Those of us who think often struggle more than those who don't and I don't say that with any sense of pride, the price we pay for being informed and curious and concerned.

It is a heavy one. What other people.

It seems would prefer simply to overlook many of us cannot and so it drives us to do deep study into the realms of information as set forth in Scripture and spiritual books, Christian writing and we we attempt to find answers that we do not have in ourselves. We believe just as much in the living God. We certainly want to serve his son and bring honor to the spirit of God who lives within its but we admit the fact that there are some who would like to be healed just as much as those who have been, but it has not happened so we struggle with why we wonder how come how some could be relieved of an addiction almost overnight, and others live with it for the better part of their life. We wonder why our loved ones aren't relieved changed in healed rather than dying with some dread disease. I know people right now in the church that I serve who in this place of worship would would wish that God would touch their lives and bring them back to a place of recovery that they once knew.

I also know individuals just as dedicated as the others who have found healing and relief and all of this creates within us to the difficulty of giving an answer.

Certainly it does for those in leadership. Dr. John White in a book entitled, when the spirit comes with power begins this book by describing several different and unusual event. What occurs in Malaysia. Another one in Ohio yet another in Argentina. He describes these events rather carefully, though briefly, and they because they fall in the category of phenomena things that occurred which could not be explained in in in human ways. The question is where those things of God or were they not. Dr. White does sort of summarizes the stories with this paragraph. Asia, North America, South America. These are three stories that I know about. Personally, I could also recount episodes from Africa and Europe and there appear to be hundreds if not thousands of similar occurrences around the globe. What does what does it all mean where are these reports what are these recent reports of extreme emotional reactions and unusual behavior currently observed around the world among Christians of various theological persuasions. Reports of great weeping laughter shaking extreme terror vision falling, being being drunk with the spirit and other revival experiences something is certainly going on is Dr. White and that something seems potent. Is it revival is it from God. We must be cautious in evaluating new religious movement.

Many new movements are mediocre and if you extremely dangerous false fire burns fiercely, an angel of light still spreads his wings and the elect continued to be to see and then he concludes too often, however, we rely on rumor to determine what is going on. Sometimes our fear causes us to condemn too quickly, especially concerning something new and spectacular, but is there a baby in the bathwater God himself has been known to act spectacularly so that there is always a danger of missing him in our skepticism.

He is still at work in the world.

We are engaged in this series on the Holy Spirit that intimate side of the spirit of God is not your standard type of series on the Holy Spirit. I willingly and freely admit, however, it is one that gets deeper and goes further than one would often hear from a person of my persuasion and by that I mean an evangelical Bible loving minister who is not charismatic, theologically, and yet I am unable to pass off all these things with a shrug or to simply claim that they are all of the devil or to glibly turn away and ignore them. I have to think about and occasionally I have to give answers that deal with that tough question why why is it that that person was healed and my loved one is not. Why did we need to go through the hell of my wife or my husband's pain and finally his or her death. When a neighbor of mine in a matter of weeks is back on his feet and happier than ever in his life is a price we pay for being thinkers and it is that we must dig deeply into the book of truth to find answers and even when we do some of it remains mysterious. I must tell you before you get your hopes up.

Even what is intellectually gifted as Jonathan Edwards this the 18th century intellectual who graduated from Yale at age 17 and became Congregational minister and in many ways shape the thinking of his century admitted this. It has been very observable, that persons of greatest understanding and who had studied most about things of this nature have been more confounded than others. Some such persons declare that all their former wisdom is brought to naught, and that they appear to have been babes who do nothing. I confess to you, there are times I feel that and I must admit that I will not hesitate to say there are realms of the subject. I do not know, and perhaps never will know there are some things I simply even after lengthy study can never explain with dogmatism.

All that having been said I want to step into this segment of the Holy Spirit in his ministry of healing which is by the way pack with enormous emotion on every side. I want to step into it reasonably and cautiously and carefully.

I don't want to hurry it so I think will need to spend more than one session in it a turn. Briefly, if you will to second Corinthians chapter 11 and for the sake of clarification. Let me let me come right up front with you and tell you why I want to be cautious about it and then I want to share with you what I would call for possible sources of of phenomenal events such as healings, as we have described. Second Corinthians 11 is a is a chapter written with passion by the apostle Paul to people he loved dearly, deeply, the believers in Corinth verse two. I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. He writes about the way as a pastor I feel deeply the same feelings as Paul who writes these things. I am jealous for you, you who are under our ministry and within the scope of our influence. I'm jealous for you with a godly jealousy.

Jealousy, for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin that's my hope. I have had the privilege of leaving some of you to Christ.

I had the opportunity of introducing to you the joy, the privilege in the in the gift of eternal life, and therefore my heart is linked with you in that spiritual experience and in your growth. But I agree with Paul.

Verse three. I'm afraid I am afraid lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness in your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. I don't know of a pastor worth his salt who doesn't struggle with that. That same fear. If you wonder what I worry about when I think and worry about you as people within the scope of my ministry.

It is that sort of thing I worry about what you turn to in your in your aches in your heart aches in your brokenness and in your need for relief because there are so many offering answers which will only deceive and disturb and bring greater confusion and perhaps even deeper suffering at the same time I admit there is a living God, who certainly has the power to heal. I have said all of my ministry and I underscored now.

I believe in divine healing hi simply don't believe in divine healers, for I have never seen a healer will go with me to the hospital and heal floor after floor of individuals who were sick, they don't do that they won't do that, the living God, who is as much alive here as he is in the hospital rooms of the sick around the world has a mysterious plan of life, and at times it includes suffering, sickness, and even disease and death, and in light of that, I am not able to ferret out the difference between the two. I do not know why he sovereignly chooses to heal one and not another. But that is his choice. That is his right. I must minister to both for the sake of simplicity, in time, let's limit this list of of the sources of phenomenal events before we do that, I think once people speak of some kind of phenomenal manifestation as I and analyzing and as I have witnessed some of it firsthand. I believe I could put a list together of four sources that they come from. In no particular order. Let's just list them number one would be the manifestation could be self-induced. The healing so-called healing could have a psychological explanation. It might not be an alleged healing. It might be a real healing. It could have taken place because of the conscious because it was consciously or unconsciously self-induced psychosomatic illnesses or numerous doctors tell us all the time. Many of them come from disturbed emotions. Many of the illnesses and when those emotions are healed. There was a remarkable healing of the physical part of it. Second, the phenomenon could find its source in highly charged emotional meetings it would fall in the category of mass hysteria or mass hypnosis the quote healing of the spirit often is the result of what could be otherwise called brainwashing mindbending techniques known by those who know how to move an audience, and many are extremely experienced in that third the source could be satanic. When will we ever learn that when Satan is involved in something, it is more often in the realm of light that it is in the realm of darkness. It looks right. It sounds good. It seems plausible, yet it is to the core satanic and forth God doesn't God does the healing.

No true evangelical that I know who loves the Scriptures and believes the Orthodox theology of evangelical faith questions the power of God to heal your listening to Insight for living in the Bible teaching of pastor and author Chuck Swindoll.

Our topic today thinking theologically about sickness and healing. There is much more teaching ahead, so be sure to join us again next time. If you like to learn more about this ministry, we invite you to visit us before we close today I want to remind you that every Sunday morning Insight for living is privilege to present the live worship service from Stone Breyer Community Church in Frisco Texas where Chuck serves as senior pastor. The sermon the check presents on Sunday mornings doesn't run parallel with our current teaching series here on Insight for living so it's material you've never heard before. Plus the live stream includes congregational singing and sacred music as well. So you get to participate in the entire worship experience for all the details on the live webcast go to If you're looking for some reading material to deepen your walk with God. We want to recommend a classic from Chuck titled growing deep in the Christian life. Whether you're a new follower of Jesus, or you been a Christian for decades. Chuck's book will help you grasp the major theological doctrines that define our faith look for the book titled growing deep in the Christian life. When you go online to or ask for the book when you call us if you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 from its founding in July 1979 until this very day Insight for living has never missed delivering a single broadcast. And that's because we've enjoyed a partnership it's built on trust with people like you, other than our grateful listeners who give. There are no large churches or institutions, underwriting, or expenses so thank you so much for your generous support to give a donation today. It is a call if you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888 or go online to and healing Monday on Insight for living. The preceding message thinking theologically about sickness and healing was copyrighted in 1993 and 2003 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2003 by Charles R.

Swindoll, Inc. all rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited

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