About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

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Death And Decay Rule

 

Warning!  If you are of the hyper-faith, health and wealth persuasion, you will not like the following.    

 

Many Christians think the reason why Jesus healed every sick person who came to him was because He loved them.  They therefore expect Jesus to heal them too because He loves them.  Hebrews 13:8 is often quoted to support this idea.  It says that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Note the verse says that Jesus is always the same.  It does not say His ministry remains the same, yesterday, today, and forever.  Jesus Himself does not change, but His ministry has changed since He ascended into Heaven.  Therefore, things Jesus does in His present ministry may differ from things He did in His ministry while He was on earth.    

 

Jesus' earthly mission was to represent His Father to Israel and the world.  All that He did in His three year ministry, including healing people, was to support this mission.  Acts 2:22 tells us that Jesus' miracles were signs to prove His claim that He was sent by God.  These signs would help people to believe in Him. (John 2:11, 7:31, 12:37 )   

 

I agree that Jesus loves us just as much as He loved those we see in the Bible, but love wasn't the only reason why He healed people.  It's like when God sent Moses to rescue Israel from Egypt.  The miracles Moses did were signs that God had sent him.  When Jesus healed people, each healing was a sign that God had sent Him to that person.  The motivating factor behind Jesus healing the sick was to get them to believe in Him.  So love is not the only issue here.

 

To understand this issue properly we need to go back to the Adamic Covenant found in Genesis 3.  God specifically told Adam that if he disobeyed Him, Adam would die.  Adam disobeyed and so God introduced "death and decay" into creation.  The technical term for this is "entropy", meaning, "the tendency for all things is to decay and die."  God's judgment came to creation in the form of death and decay.  From Genesis 3 onward, all things, including humans, decay and die.  This may be depressing to some, but sooner or later we will all die, and probably by an illness.  That has been God's plan since Genesis 3, and nothing has changed this, not even the cross of Christ.  Without exception, all things decay and die.

 

Jesus' death on the cross "paid the price" for all aspects of our salvation, of which there are many.  Notice I said, "paid the price".  The price has been paid in full for our salvation, but as yet, we haven't received all of what Jesus paid for, which includes healing and health.  To date, we've only received an installment of our full salvation.  (Ephesians 1:14)  The curse of decay and death seen in the Adamic Covenant of Genesis 3 will be nullified only when Jesus does away with death at the end of this age. (1 Corinthians 15:26-28)  Until the day comes when we receive all of what Jesus paid for on the cross, death and decay rule over us by God's choice.    

 

In the meantime, we suffer from time to time with various illnesses, some worse than others.  Sometimes, by His sovereign choice, Jesus steps into our lives and heals us.  Other times He doesn't.  It's not totally a matter of our faith.  It's a matter of His sovereign choice as well. (Romans 9:16)  Therefore, we can't expect or demand to be healed of every sickness that comes our way in this present age. 

 

Back in the early 1970's, a good brother in Christ named Virgil, pointed out what God said in Exodus 4:11 about our infirmities.  I was in a bit of a hyper-faith mode back then, so I didn't take this verse as seriously as I do now.  God says, "who makes him (man) deaf and dumb?  Who gives him sight and makes him blind?  Is it not I, the Lord."  Have you ever thought that God might have made someone deaf or blind?  It's clear to me, one who has been "legally blind" from birth, that God made me legally blind.  In light of this, who am I to argue, complain, or demand anything different from God?  I can certainly ask for healing, as I have, but whatever the outcome, I rest in His sovereign decision.  That's faith

 

I'm not suggesting that Jesus won't, or doesn't want to  heal you.  He can, and He does, but not all of the time.  I would have been dead at the age of five if Jesus had not healed me of juvenile diabetes.  At the same time, He left me with bad eyesight, which has made my life difficult in many ways. 

 

I'm also not saying that every illness that comes our way is a direct decision from the mind of God, although according to Exodus 4:11, some illnesses are.  We get sick because we are fallen people in a fallen world. We also get sick due to our own poor choices.  I'm simply saying that we cannot expect or demand healing from Jesus.  We are in a period of time where God's judgment as seen in the Adamic Covenant of Genesis 3 is in effect.  That will only change at the end of this age when Jesus buries death for good.  Only then will  Christians experience total health, because we will no longer have this body of death and decay.  Until then, we trust our lives with our Lord Jesus Christ in both sickness and in health.     

 

 

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