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Thinking Theologically about Sickness and Healing, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
September 12, 2022 7:05 am

Thinking Theologically about Sickness and Healing, Part 2

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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September 12, 2022 7:05 am

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Suffering is a common burden to bear. Countless people are dealing with pain, sickness, and physical setbacks. Yet it makes us wonder, when people of faith pray for healing, why doesn't God provide a miracle? In the next portion of the series, we'll be dealing with the mysterious topic of miracles. To be absolutely accurate, we'll be consulting God's Word as the final authority. Chuck titled his message, Thinking Theologically About Sickness and Healing. I want to step into it reasonably and cautiously and carefully.

I don't want to hurry it, so I think we'll need to spend more than one session in it. I'll turn briefly, if you will, to 2 Corinthians chapter 11, and for the sake of clarification, 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 four possible sources of phenomenal events, such as healings as we have described them. 2 Corinthians 11 is a chapter written with passion by the apostle Paul to people he loved dearly and deeply, the believers in Corinth. Verse 2, I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. He writes, by 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. 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 leading some of you to Christ. I've had the opportunity of introducing to you the joy, the privilege, and the gift of eternal life, and therefore my heart is linked with you in that spiritual experience and in your growth. I agree with Paul, verse 3, I'm afraid. I'm afraid lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, 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 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 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 underscore it now, I believe in divine healing. I simply don't believe in divine healers. I don't think I've ever ministered to anyone more disillusioned than those who had been promised healing by a healer, and they were not healed, and they in fact have died. And so it is my very real world that I bring to this subject, admittedly, and it's my own human limitations as a man and as a minister that I speak on the subject that is profound. And even when I'm through, I will admit there is enormous mystery in it all. For the sake of simplicity and time, let's limit this list of sources of phenomenal events to four.

Can we do that? I think when people speak of some kind of phenomenal manifestation as I analyze it, 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 are 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 is a remarkable healing of the physical part of it. There are occasions when illnesses are relieved simply by the removal of that which was troubling an individual.

So the healing is self-induced. Second, the phenomenon could find its source in highly charged emotional meetings. It would fall in the category of mass hysteria or mass hypnosis. Let's face it, very gifted speakers and preachers can do amazing things with suggestible audiences. I have seen it and heard it with my own eyes and ears. I have been in such meetings.

I have witnessed it happen. The, quote, healing of the spirit often is the result of what could be otherwise called brainwashing, mind-bending techniques known by those who know how to move an audience, and many are extremely experienced in that. Third, the source could be satanic. As you read in 2 Corinthians 11, as the serpent deceived Eve, his concern was that they in Corinth might have their minds led astray. Demonic forces ape the work of God. When will we ever learn that when Satan is involved in something, it is more often in the realm of light than it is in the realm of darkness. It looks right. It sounds good.

It seems plausible. And yet it is to the core satanic. Lucifer revealed himself as the angel of light, not the angel of darkness. He is not an ugly, grotesque creature with a red epidermis. He is a handsome, intelligent, brilliant, incredibly impressive being. And his demons the same.

He woos us and wins us with logic and persuasion and intellectual arguments and reasonable approaches. And it is not until one is caught in the trap of it that he realizes, or she may realize, that it really is in fact of the devil. So some of it is satanic.

Not all of it, perhaps not even most of it, but some of it comes from the realm of the enemy. And fourth, God does it. 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. That is why we pray your will be done, Lord, in this case. Lord, I pray for this child. Lord, I ask for the life of this baby.

Lord, I pray for my friend. I ask for my mate. I ask for this parishioner of mine, for whatever may be the subject. And we pray believing that God heals and can do so.

I have a wonderful mental list. Perhaps I should someday write them all down of individuals that I have known, prayed for, loved through times of great threatening sicknesses. And they are now specimens of health.

When the doctors in many cases simply gave up on them. And the Lord healed them. So please do not walk away from this hearing, from this session saying Swindoll does not believe that God heals. I do.

I do with all my heart. But I am skeptical of many of the healings where people are telling others that God has done this. I just wonder if he is the source of all of it.

I do not believe he is. Now, this has led me to do an in-depth study of the problem of sickness. And for the next few minutes, perhaps for the better part of our time in this first session, I want to present six foundational facts regarding sin and sickness.

And bear with me. It may not be a lot of information about the Holy Spirit during this time, but it will give you a theological foundation upon which to think. And God knows we all need to think theologically. We need to understand our God and how he has put us together and how it relates to the whole realm of sickness because they are interrelated.

It will help you come to an understanding in your own study and in your own observation of others. So let me walk my way through this and share with you these facts. Here's the first one. Primarily, there are two types of sin.

Original and personal. Let's begin there. There are two types of sin. Primarily, there is original sin.

I'll explain that. And then there are personal sins, and I'll explain that. Original sin is traced all the way back to the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve, the first couple, yielded to the temptation of the devil, and in the fall into sin, they introduced into the human race a corruption, a pollution that has spiritually ruined humanity. This is called Adamic sin, original sin. The sin nature. It is impossible to be born into this world without it. We get it from our parents who got it from theirs, who got it from theirs, all the way back to Adam who acted as our federal head. When he sinned, sin passed upon and polluted the stream of humanity.

Now, that is not my idea. That is from the Scriptures. Look at Romans chapter 5, verse 12. Let's get the facts on one side and let's put the Scriptures on the other so that they're side by side compared to one another. This will help you understand the whole realm of healing as it relates to the problem of sin and as it relates, of course, to death. Romans 5, 12. Therefore, just as through one man, sin entered into the world and death through sin, so death spread to all because all sinned.

It's not a very pretty picture, but it's true. The old hypothetical question, if Adam, if Eve had never sinned, would they have lived forever, is answered easily, of course. God's plan for them was a plan of innocence and perfection. His hope for them was such.

Let's put it that way. His desire was that they walk with him throughout their lives, that they not yield to the temptation to eat of the knowledge of the tree of good and evil. They disobeyed. And as a result, not only did sin enter the life, but the body became, if you will, diseased. And death was introduced into the human race. It is all connected with sin. Had there never been sin, there would never have been sickness, there would never have been death.

See how he puts it? And so death spread to all for all of sin. That's original sin. Because we have this Adamic nature within us, we commit personal sins, which would be in the realm of disobedience. Romans again, chapter 3, verse 23.

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Personal sin is an individual matter. Adamic sin is universal. When you sin personally, I do not necessarily sin. But we all have a sin nature, which we come by from birth. We are sinners by birth, and therefore we become sinners by choice. In acting disobediently, we carry out the fruit growing from the root of Adamic sin. Because deceit rests in my nature, I deceive.

Because disobedience rests in my nature, I rebel and disobey. I'm not proud to admit it, but I at times come to a red light, and it stays red longer than I think it should, and I am not justifying it. Sometime I run it. I should not run it.

It is dangerous. I've told my kids, don't run red lights. Every once in a while, I run a red light. Every once in a while, I get stopped by a man who has a uniform on and reminds me and has ways of reminding me not to do that. But because I am a rebel by nature, I am a rebel when I am living my life, and occasionally I act it out, and I sin.

And so do you, like I. There is original sin, and there are personal sins. Keep those two clear in your mind as we go to the second. Original sin introduced sickness, suffering, and death to the human race. Original sin, which we got from Adam, introduced sickness, suffering, and death to the human race. Ezekiel 18, 4, the soul that sins shall die.

1 Corinthians 15, 21, turn there. For since by man came death, that man, of course, would be Adam, the first man. Verse 22, as in Adam, all die. The graveyards are full of tombstones related to the fall of Adam, every one of them. Because sin entered the human race, there was introduced to the human race, suffering, sickness, and death. Job says in 14, 1, man is short-lived and full of trouble. So true. Had there never been original sin, how wonderful life could have been.

So much for the hypothetical hope. There has been sin, and it will continue to pollute the race. As beautiful and lovely as your little baby may be, your child is born with a nature, and that nature brings disobedience, sickness, suffering, and will one day bring death. Fact number three. Often, now here you've got to think.

Here we need to concentrate. Often there exists a direct relationship between personal sins and physical sickness. Not always, but often there exists a direct relationship between personal sins and sickness. Numerous examples are found in the scriptures. I want you to turn to one that is notorious. It is David, Psalm number 32.

Please turn back. It's a notorious example of a man who sinned with Bathsheba. This, if we could call it that, famous sin has been left in his legacy as a part of the heartache of his life, but the struggle the man went through while hiding the adultery and the hypocrisy and the murder of Bathsheba's husband, all of that built to such a place that he became literally sick. And then he finally came to terms with his rebellion, with his disobedience, and 32 is his testimony, Psalm 32, 3 through 5. Listen, when I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my, what is that word?

What is it? Groaning all day long. Through my groaning, the man is suffering because he has disobeyed his God and he has refused to come to terms with it and in his conscience, which is eaten away with guilt, he is groaning and he is physically wasting away. He lost his appetite. He suffered from insomnia. He could not think clearly. He was a poor leader of the nation. His home was coming apart. How often was it, verse 4, day and night your hand was heavy upon me. My vitality, that's his energy, was drained away as with the fever heat of summer. And then he says, Selah, this is a musical pause, a word that I sometimes translate pause and let that sink in.

Imagine that kind of life. If you've ever been there, you don't need any help from me and most of us have been there. A period of time where we did not deal with the sin that was going on and we were what we called miserable and the misery didn't leave until we came to terms with our wrong. Verse 5, finally, I acknowledged my sin to thee. My iniquity I did not hide. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord and look at the result. Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin.

Isn't that wonderful? It was guilt that made him sick. It was guilt that drained his energy.

It was guilt that took away his happiness, his smile, his ability to think, his leadership skills. It was guilt that gave him the groanings all day long because in this case, not all of them, but in this case there was a direct relationship between personal sins and sickness, physical, emotional sickness. Another example would be 1 Corinthians 11, verse 30.

Turn to the New Testament. The Corinthians again, it is in the context of the Lord's table and they had perverted this blessed occasion of worship by coming as a group and getting drunk and eating too much, guilty of gluttony and hardly remembering the significance of the table of the Lord. He says to them, to their shame, 11, 30, for this reason many among you are weak and sick and a number have died. Your sin has resulted in weakness and sickness and even death. Now remember in such cases, the confession of sin begins the process of healing.

It doesn't necessarily mean it is instantaneous, though I have seen occasions when it is. More often than not, it starts, it turns the suffering around and moves the person back toward a healing and a recovery. Our topic today is thinking theologically about sickness and healing. You're listening to Insight for Living. Chuck Swindoll is presenting a study on the Holy Spirit titled, Flying Closer to the Flame. To learn more about this ministry, we invite you to visit us online at Each of these programs can be found on the Insight for Living website, and by utilizing this great resource, you'll have all of Chuck's teaching right at your fingertips. But perhaps today you're looking for something more tangible, like a book to read. Well, Chuck wrote a full-length volume called, Embraced by the Spirit. It parallels the teaching series in many ways, but Chuck goes into far greater detail in the book. The subtitle will give you an idea of what you can expect, Embraced by the Spirit, the Untold Benefits of Intimacy with God.

To purchase a copy right now, go to slash store. As we conclude today's program, I'd love to invite you to become one of our monthly companions. The steady financial support from our monthly companions has accelerated our pursuit of an audacious God-sized dream.

That is to bring Insight for Living to all 195 countries of the world. We refer to this mission as Vision 195. And by becoming a monthly companion, you can have a ministry of your own by participating in Vision 195. To sign up right now, go to slash monthly companion, or you can donate when you give us a call.

If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. And to give a one-time donation, visit slash donate. In March 2023, Insight for Living Ministries is hosting an unforgettable journey to Israel. Carefully plan to deepen your understanding of the Bible and draw you closer to God.

Here's Chuck Swindoll. For thousands of years, no place has been more meaningful to God's children than the land of Israel. The rugged landscape reminds us to find refuge in God alone. The fertile valleys invite us to follow our shepherd. Jerusalem's position at the very center of the world announces the good news of Christ to every nation. And now you can see Israel with Chuck Swindoll and Insight for Living Ministries, March 5th through the 16th, 2023. Every time I visited the Holy Land, I returned home with a refreshed heart for God and a renewed vision for the world.

Really, I mean it every time. And so I want you to have the same life-changing experience. To learn more, go to slash events. Or call this number 1-888-447-0444. Insight for Living Ministries Tour to Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend.

I'm Bill Meyer. Chuck Swindoll continues his message called, Thinking Theologically About Sickness and Healing, Tuesday 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.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-26 16:39:50 / 2023-02-26 16:48:27 / 9

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