Sick? Why Doesn’t God Heal You?

Why Doesn’t God Heal All the Sick?

by Evangelist Robert L. Sumner

 

Robert L Sumner
Robert L Sumner

Divine healing is a widely debated subject about which considerable difference of opinion exists – and even greater confusion and misunderstanding. However, it would not be much of a Christian who did not believe in at least some form of divine healing, since the Word of God so plainly teaches it. As a matter of fact, all healing is at least indirectly “divine” healing. Sometimes God heals through natural means, such as doctors and medicines. But sometimes God heals directly and supernaturally in answer to prayer without any human instrumentality whatsoever. 

Several years ago – over a half-century, in fact – while preparing a Constitution and Articles of Faith for a church I was pastoring in Texas, I wrote the following for its doctrinal statement: “We believe that sickness is a proper subject of prayer; that God often miraculously heals the body in answer to prayer; that He often, but not necessarily, uses medicine as the means for the healing; that it is not always God’s will to heal.” I believed that with all my heart then; I believe it just as thoroughly today!  

In this message, however, I want to center our thinking around that latter statement: “It is not always God’s will to heal. Some devout but misguided Christians have mistakenly thought that all sickness is a form of chastening – the result of some particular sin in the life – and that it is always God’s will to heal. In their reasoning, if the sick one will confess his or her sin, honestly repent and turn from it, then God will heal. But this is definitely not what the Bible teaches! Note with me first, 

I. GOD DOES NOT HEAL 

 ALL THE SICK!  

Perhaps the Bible’s outstanding illustration of God’s refusal to heal pertains to the Apostle Paul. In II Corinthians 12:7-10, he testified: “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 

What Paul’s “thorn” was we are not told, aside from the fact that it was some trouble “in the flesh.” In other words, it was a physical problem, a crisis in his body. It might have been some form of eye trouble, since he obviously did have a problem with his sight. Writing to the churches of Galatia, he recalled: “Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me” (Galatians 4:13-15). Naturally, if he had 20/20 vision there would have been no need for someone in Galatia to offer an “eye transplant,” of course. Paul apparently was afflicted with opthalmia, a very common eye disease in the East. This may have been his thorn. At any rate, note the confession of his “infirmity of the flesh.” Or perhaps Paul’s thorn was a speech impediment, since we read in II Corinthians 10:10, “For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible” (emphasis added). 

Obviously, we are not told exactly what Paul’s physical infirmity was for the simple reason that God did not want us to have that information. If He had wanted us to know, He would have told us. Perhaps God did not definitely state the trouble so that all of us could find comfort and consolation in our own physical infirmities, of whatever nature they happen to be. The point of the matter is that on three separate, distinct occasions Paul cried to God for deliverance from this thorn. He said, “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.” Each time the answer was the same: “NO!”Paul, who had been used so greatly by God in the healing of others, could gain no deliverance for himself. God refused to grant him the healing others had enjoyed.  

Let me emphasize here that Paul was not to blame for that failure. It was not a matter of his weak faith, since few individuals have ever possessed the triumphant faith Paul had. Nor was it a matter of sin in his life. Of all the characters in the Word of God, Paul stands among the top in matters of holiness and purity. Neither was it a matter of being out of the will of God. Paul, the special ambassador of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, was walking hand-in-hand with God in devoted, consecrated service. Neither was it a matter of being made shipwrecked by Satan, as in the case of Hymenæus and Alexander. It just simply was not God’s will for Paul to be healed! 

As a matter of fact – and this may surprise you – thank God Paul was not healed! According to his own testimony, if he had been healed, he would have lost his humility and become proud. If he had been healed, he would have lost his strength and become weak. If he had been healed, he would have lost his power and become helpless. If he had been healed, he would have lost that portion of God’s glory which rested upon him in his suffering. Yes, how wonderful it was that God refused to answer Paul’s prayer with divine healing. Trophimus is another Bible illustration of God’s refusal to heal the sick. In II Timothy 4:20, where the Apostle Paul mentions various mutual acquaintances to the young preacher, Timothy, we read, “Erastus abode at Corinth; but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.” Paul, the flaming apostle, the mighty miracle-worker, the man of God extraordinary, the one who had even raised the dead, left his brother in the Lord, his co-laborer in the ministry, sick at Miletum. He did not heal him. Apparently he could not heal him. It simply was not God’s will.  

Timothy himself is still a further example. In I Timothy 5:23, Paul advised him, “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” Without taking time to answer those who find in this statement a justification for booze-guzzling, let me simply say that this medical prescription for a man in the first century is literally, “Drink no longer water alone, but mixed with a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” (No lover of intoxicating wine would stand for mixing water with his fermented wine, of course! Actually, since the drinking water in that region of Asia Minor was so strong in alkaline content, Paul was merely telling him to add some of the heavy grape syrup, always available in the area, to his drinking water as an aid to digestion.) But our point here is that Timothy had a stomach disorder – and God refused to heal him. Apparently, since Paul referred to his “often infirmities,” he was not only sick, but sickly.  

Just like Paul, Trophimus and Timothy, there are some today that God has refused to heal. This does not mean that they are more wicked than some who enjoy good health. Nor does it necessarily mean that God is chastening them, although He sometimes – yea, oft-times – does chasten through sickness. To put it bluntly, the reason God doesn’t heal all the sick – even the Christian sick – is because He does not want to! He has a purpose in that sickness and He means it for the afflicted one’s good. As Romans 8:28 conveys it, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” 

II. GOD’S BLESSING OF STRENGTH SOMETIMES  

COMES THROUGH SICKNESS! 

Remember what Paul said in II Corinthians 12:9, 10: “And [God] said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities … for when I am weak, then am I strong” (emphasis added). Paul was happy in trouble because his physical infirmity afforded an opportunity for divine strength. He discovered that the weakerhe became, the more powerful in Christ he could become. He testified that it was through this infirmity that the power of Christ rested upon him. That is, it covered him like a tent. The marginal note of my English Revised Version of 1881 states that the Greek for the phrase, “rest upon me,” is “spread a tabernacle over me.” Thus, with this complete baptism of God’s power upon him, he could triumphantly exclaim, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities!” 

Paul opened this epistle talking about this very thing. He wrote: “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer, or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. . But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (II Corinthians 1:5-7, 9). There is something about it: when you get down to the place where you are helpless in yourself, you find yourself in a position where it is mighty easy to trust the Lord and seek His divine strength! 

In Philippians 3:10 Paul wrote, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (emphasis added). Do not murmur or complain if God sees best to make you conformable to the fellowship of His sufferings. Instead, follow the example of the Word of God and rejoice. Romans 5:3-5 puts it this way: “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope; And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” 

Tribulation – no matter its form, even sickness – works patience. The idea of patience in this particular passage is that of steadfastness. So, as Paul and others have discovered, God’s blessing of strength frequently comes through sickness.  

III. GOD’S BLESSING OF FRUITFULNESS SOME-  

TIMES COMES THROUGH SICKNESS! 

How greatly the world has been blessed through the influence of suffering saints. I think of Fanny Crosby, who penned literally thousands of gospel songs and hymns, hundreds of which are still enjoyed around the world at this hour. It is entirely possible that no one would have ever heard of Fanny Crosby if it had not been for the fact that she became blind when only six months old and remained in physical darkness until her eyes were opened in Heaven’s brightness. I think, too, of Martha Snell Nicholson and the pages of beautiful verse which flowed from her pen. Yet she was bedridden much of her life, crippled for years with painful arthritis. The same was true of Annie Johnson Flint, another gifted saint whose pungent stanzas of Christian verse have blessed so many hearts and lives. She, too, like Martha Snell Nicholson, was afflicted with a bitter and painful arthritic condition.  

The truth of the matter is that some of our greatest hymns, poems and choicest pieces of Christian literature dropped from the pens of those who suffered most. Paul Hutchens, who discovered he had an advanced case of tuberculosis just as God was beginning to use him in great evangelistic campaigns, expressed it: “If blind Milton could write Paradise Lost; if John Bunyan in Bedford jail could writePilgrim’s Progress; if Luther imprisoned in Wartburg castle could translate the entire New Testament in the German language; if Robert Louis Stevenson, tubercular, suffering with sciatica, one arm in a sling, sentenced to absolute silence and darkness, could produce The Child’s Garden of Verses ; if Paul, confined to a Roman prison and chained to a guard twenty-four hours a day, could still proclaim the gospel – if these men under such mighty handicaps could and did dare to make progress and history, why should not we?” 

Remember the truth set forth by our dear Savior in John 15:2, namely, “Every branch in me that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” The husbandman does not prune the tree to hurt it with his knife, but to help it in becoming more fruitful. Unpruned vines and trees are not nearly as productive as the pruned. The same is true in the Christian realm. Dr. Walter Kallenbach was accidentally wounded in a Virginia hunting accident. Both eyes were shot out; pellets penetrated his skull and lodged in his brain, the latter resulting in seven months of complete paralysis. Pellets that penetrated the region of his gall bladder caused peritonitis and gangrene. The shots that went through his lung necessitated a rib resection. Lockjaw was another complication. For years the dear brother was confined to numerous hospitals where he underwent many operations, including several on his brain. Later he testified that the “why” of his sufferings – as he tried to minister the Word and serve his Lord in blindness – was a source of constant perplexing to him. But one day, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, he learned the answer. 

The caretaker of a large apple orchard called attention to one of the most profusely laden trees in the orchard, one so heavily burdened with fruit it forced the propping up of all its branches for support. How surprised was Kallenbach when the orchardist told him he had deliberately split the trunk of that tree wide open. Upon inquiry as to his motive for so doing, the husbandman replied: “We have learned that when a tree has nothing but branches and leaves, nothing but beautiful foliage and lumber, and no fruit, that if it is hurt, and wounded, then it will bear fruit.” Kallenbach then concluded: “Now I know why I have had to suffer and bear so many crosses, for how could I comfort you if I had never been comforted by God myself? Salvation is the source of my greatness; my sacrifices are my tests; and my service shall be my fruit.” 

Someone, I have no idea whom, wrote: 

“The vine demands strong purging

   If fruit is to be seen; 

The husbandman is urging 

   That branches be kept clean. 

He to the wall may pin us. 

   The vine may oft be bled: 

‘God will kill nothing in us 

   That is not better dead.’ 

“Have courage then my brother, 

   Though sharp may be the knife; 

The flesh may shrink and quiver, 

   And thou despair of life. 

God is at work within thee, 

   He will lift up thy head; 

‘God will kill nothing in thee, 

   That is not better dead.’”

 The thought that purging prepares for service is seen again in II Timothy 2:20, 21. There we read: “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” Yes, God’s blessing of fruitfulness often comes through sickness and trouble. 

Again, 

IV. GOD’S BLESSING OF PURITY SOMETIMES COMES 

THROUGH SICKNESS 

We said earlier that sickness was not necessarily a result of chastening. On the other hand, sometimes it is!  And, in cases of sickness which are the result of chastening, note the truth of Hebrews 12:10: “For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Chastening through sickness is intended only to make us “partakers of his holiness.”Peter was emphasizing the same truth when he wrote, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (I Peter 4:12, 13). 

He wrote again, “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (I Peter 5:10). The suffering is to make us better Christians, more settled, mature, established, strengthened. Job, whose name is almost synonymous with suffering and trouble, had the same testimony. He wrote: “But he knoweth the way that I take; when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10, emphasis added).Jehovah taught this same truth to Israel. Through His prophet Isaiah He said: “I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin … Behold I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 1:25; 48:10, emphasis added). In Psalm 119:67, the psalmist testified, “Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now have I kept thy word.” Many today have the same testimony about how physical affliction brought them back from the folly of sinful straying. 

As the poet expressed it: 

“He sat by a furnace of sevenfold heat,

   As He watched by the precious ore, 

And closer He bent with a searching gaze 

   As He heated it more and more. 

“He knew He had ore that could stand 

the test 

   And he wanted the finest gold, 

To mold as a crown for the King to wear,

 Set with gems of price untold. 

“So He laid our gold in the burning fire 

   Tho’ we fain would say Him, ‘Nay’; 

And watch the dross that we had not seen 

   As it melted and passed away. 

“And the gold grew brighter and yet

more bright, 

   But our eyes were dim with tears; 

We saw the fire – not the Master’s hand, 

   And questioned with anxious fears. 

“Yet our gold shone out with a richer glow 

   As it mirrored a form above, 

That bent o’er the fire, tho’ unseen by us, 

   With a look of ineffable love. 

“Can we think it pleases His loving heart 

   To cause us a moment’s pain? 

Ah, no, but He sees through the present cross 

   The bliss of eternal gain. 

“So he waited there with a watchful eye, 

   With a love that is strong and sure, 

And His gold did not suffer a bit more heat

   Than was needed to make it pure.” 

Finally, 

V. CHRISTIANS CAN GLORIFY 

GOD THROUGH SICKNESS  

There is an abundance of Scripture teaching this truth. Jesus, in explaining to His disciples about the man who had been born blind, said: “Neither hath this man sinned nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him” (John 9:3). His blindness was for the glory of God. When Jesus received word from Mary and Martha of Bethany that their brother Lazarus was sick, He said: “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby” (John 11:4). That this sickness was for the glory of God – as was the subsequent death and resurrection – is evident from the forty-fifth verse of the same chapter, where we read, “Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on Him.” The sickness of Lazarus resulted in the salvation of many, many precious souls. 

Death, like sickness, can bring glory to God. After Jesus had told Peter how he would die, John 21:19 says, “This spake he signifying by what death he should glorify God.” Do not despise physical affliction! Wise Solomon wrote, nearly three millenniums ago, “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small” (Proverbs 24:10). God has some good purpose in your trouble, you may be sure. If you are on a bed of affliction, take comfort in God’s promise: “For I reckon that the sufferings on this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us … And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:18, 28).  

It may be that you cannot see any good in your present trouble. Nonetheless, the words of Peter are still pertinent: “Rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (I Peter 4:13).Andrew Murray, a dear old saint of a past generation, wrote: “In times of trouble God’s trusting child may say: First: He brought me here; it is by His will I am in this strait place; in that will I rest. Next: He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as His child. Then: He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in the grace He means to bestow. Last: In His good time He can bring me out again – how and when He knows. Say: I am here – (1) By God’s appointment. (2) In His keeping. (3) Under His training. (4) For His time.” 

In closing, let me ask again: are you troubled with physical infirmities?  Thank God for them! “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thessalonians 5:18). 

UNSHAKABLE

“Unshakable Things!”

 By Louis T. Talbot, D.D. (1889-1976)

Long Pastor, Church of the Open Door  President, the Bible Institute of Los Angeles

And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Hebrews 12:27

 

Dr. Louis T. Talot
Dr. Louis T. Talot

It has been laid upon my heart to write about some unshakable things that stand in the midst of the confusion and changing scenes of this present day. No other word describes conditions everywhere like the word shaken. Everything has been shaken to its very foundations; this is true no matter where we turn, or into what realm we may enter. It is true of the financial world. People who, a few years ago, computed their wealth in six figures today have no fortune and barely the necessities of life. In these financial crises which are about us everywhere, more than one individual came to feel that the only way out of his dilemma was the unhappy way of self-destruction.  A survey of the political world will reveal the same conditions. Nothing is more unstable than present-day governments. Think of the situation in Palestine and China. Consider the odds against which the UNO is laboring.  Likewise, in the religious world many are at a loss to know what to believe in regard to the great doctrines of our faith. Few of the great verities for which multitudes have fought and bled are any longer considered worth contending for. The world of religions is a place of confusion, and similar to the financial and political worlds, is like a ship at sea without a rudder. 

My friends, these conditions in the world present an unparalleled opportunity to those who know God to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It would be a tragedy for anyone to go out of this life to stand before God without having used his time and talents in an honest effort to point men and women to “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Christian people need not be perturbed, no matter what the future may hold. These are some things that are unshakable – as unwavering today as they ever were, and I want, as an ambassador of the King of kings and Lord of lords, to urge you to link your life with these verities so that you may be as the rock of Gibraltar − unmoved in your faith and a shining light to others. 

THE THRONE OF GOD 

The first of these unshakable things upon which I wish to dwell is the throne of God. In Hebrews 1:8 we read, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.” We have seen other thrones topple and fall during two great world wars. Those that remain are becoming more and more insecure. We do not know what a day may bring forth. But there is a throne that is as unshakable as ever, and that is the throne of God. No matter what may take place in this world, or in the starry universe above, the throne of God in the center of the universe stands forever and cannot be shaken. Whatever his capabilities or lack of abilities may be, the man who acknowledges that throne and yields allegiance to it, will, even in this day, be as Mt. Zion which cannot be moved. The man who refuses to reckon with that throne, however learned and polished his life may be, will be spiritually bankrupt today and part of the chaos of the Christ-rejecting world. 

 

The trouble of our nation and the world is that we have turned away from God. All of our national and local problems are the inevitable result of our departure from His government. I submit to you that when men depart from the realization that they are under the personal control of the living God and that they must give a personal account for every word and every deed to Him, they naturally gravitate to the law of the jungle which says, “Do as you please; satisfy the desires of the flesh without regard for anybody. Let us eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow, we die.” That is the philosophy of life when God is forgotten, and behind the fact of a forgotten God there stands the explanation of crime and kindred ills that are sweeping our nation today.   

A man was riding along the road one day in a Ford when something went wrong and the car would go no farther. He looked at the engine, but could not find the trouble. He stood at the side of the road and stopped the first car that came by. It happened to be a Lincoln, and its driver said, “Well, what is the trouble?” “I cannot get this car to move,” the Ford owner replied. The man removed his gloves, took off his coat, and made a few moves beneath the hood and said, “Now start the car.” And sure enough the Ford was functioning again. The man had started back to his Lincoln when the one in the Ford said, “Pardon me, but what is your name?”  

“My name,” said the man, “is Henry Ford.”  

In this crisis hour we need the Creator of the world. The only hope is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In fact, we must choose between Him and chaos. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                               THE WORD OF GOD 

The second unshakable thing is the Word of God. We read in Psalm 119:89, “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” There was never a time when the Bible was attacked so fiercely as today, yet there was never a time when people had more reason to believe it to be the Word of God. Think of its fulfilled prophecies – prophecies concerning Christ, the Jewish nation, and the Gentile nations. Think of its marvelous unity. Think of its power to lift men from sin to fellowship with God. Water cannot rise any higher than its source, and the Book that can lift men up to God must come from God. Think of its indestructibility. All down through the ages men have been attempting to destroy the Bible, but it cannot be destroyed, because it came from God and therefore, like God, is eternal. The most scientifically correct book that this world has ever seen is the Bible. Science will never be able to disprove the divine order of the creation as recorded in the first chapter of Genesis.  

I love to look at those words cut into the stone outside of the Bible Institute building: “For ever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven.” In this day, when people have more reason to believe the Bible to be the Word of God than ever before, if a man says to me that he does not believe the Bible to be the Word of God, I immediately class him as an ignoramus. The Bible is the world’s best seller. I wish to urge you to build your life upon the Word of the living God.  

THE CHURCH OF GOD 

The third unshakable thing I wish to mention is the church of God. My authority for this statement fell from the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord made this statement after questioning His disciples as to whom the people in that day considered Him to be: He saith unto them, But who say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:15-18). 

The Lord Jesus built His church on the great central fact of Christianity, which is His deity. That is where the church stands: not on the example of Christ, nor on Christ as a good man or a great Teacher, but on Christ as the eternal Son of the living God. And because of that everlasting foundation, the church is secure for time and for eternity. Every local assembly worthy of the name church has that foundation. Liberal bodies that deny the deity of Christ are not churches but simply clubs. The one and only church, the church which Christ is building is made up of men and women who confess Christ as the eternal Son of God and are washed in His precious blood. It stands forever. Christ’s church is called “His body,” to illustrate the mystical union between Christ, the Head, and His people.  

One day I boarded a streetcar and sat beside a man who was reading his Bible. We began to talk and the man said, “To which church do you belong?” I answered by asking, “What is your church affiliation?” He replied, “I am a Methodist. I was born a Methodist and I will die a Methodist.” Then he repeated his question, “What is your church?” My answer was, “I belong to the church which is His body.” The man looked puzzled as he said, “That is a new one. I never heard of it before. When was it organized?” My reply was, “It was organized 2,000 years ago.” When he asked, “Where are its headquarters?” and I answered, “In Heaven,” the poor man thought I had taken leave of my senses. When the Lord returns and the church is raptured, the only one that He will recognize will be that church. 

THE CHILD OF GOD 

The last unshakable thing that I wish to discuss is the child of God. “He that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (I John 2:17). That was D. L. Moody’s favorite text, and he endeavored in life to put the will of God for him into execution. If you, by the grace of God, determine to do the same thing, you will abide forever. You ask, “What is the will of God for me?” The will of God begins with believing on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior. The Lord said to certain ones, “This is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life” (John 6:40). After you have come to know Christ as your Savior, then you may speak to Him in regard to the sphere of your service. It may be that God will have you to go to Africa, or India, or China, or to some other needy field. The will of God is not only the holiest place but also the happiest place in which to dwell. It is said that following a consultation with a specialist, at which time he had been informed that he was the victim of an incurable disease and had only a few months to live, Dr. W. B. Hinson, the great gospel preacher, walked out into the garden of his home which he loved. Looking at the mountains reaching their majestic heads heavenward, and gazing in the direction of the mighty Columbia River, watching the sun as it slipped behind the everlasting hills, he said, “When the mountains have forever ceased to be exalted in the towering strength above the cities of the earth; when the river has run its last mile; and when the seas have passed forever from the universe; when the sun has risen and set in all its beauty and glory for the last time; yea, when the moon and all the stars have forever ceased to give their light; when the mighty trees of the forest have shed their last leaves, and all nature has departed to its final rest, I shall live on, yes, I shall live on.” 

We have also read of the great sadness that came into the heart of a noted English pastor who had shepherded his flock for forty consecutive years. With deep emotion and with quivering lip, the pastor had resigned his pastorate amid the shedding of many tears in his congregation. The next day the sexton was standing under the gallery in the great auditorium when he saw the pastor come out and step behind his much-loved pulpit. For a moment he stood there in profound agitation, and then with a trembling but confident voice, he said, “I must sever my connections with this church.” Then looking to Heaven and thinking of his eternal union with Christ, with upraised hand, he added: 

But this I do know,

 We two are so joined,

 He can’t be in Heaven,

 And leave me behind. 

These are dark days, possibly the darkest we have known for many a year. Let us lay hold as never before with a firm grip of unwavering faith upon these unshakable things, and spend our lives making them known with all of their meaning to a poor, lost, dying world.

Dr Talbot’s sermon was published in The Biblical Evangelist where Dr. Robert L. Sumner is the good editor.  Published in Vol. 41, Number 1, January – February 2010 issue.

 

 

10 THINGS PAUL WAS PERSUADED ABOUT

Jesse M Hendley
Jesse M Hendley

Jesse M. Hendley was educated at Georgia Tech, Columbia Seminary, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. As one of America’s foremost evangelists, he has conducted numerous crusades throughout the United States and overseas. His 67 years of preaching include 14 years as pastor of the Colonial Hills Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA, which grew from 85 to 2,300 members under his ministry. For more than 63 years, he was the director of the Radio Evangelistic Hour gospel broadcast.
Dr. Hendley speaking of the Apostle Paul’s faith gives 10 things that he had become persuaded of that were true and would never be changed.

1) Death
Paul says, “I am persuaded that death cannot separate a child of God from the love of God.” We think about death and what it means. Or do we? A lot of people don’t. Some people who do think about it shudder, try to get away from it, do not want to think about it. It is because they don’t know Christ and the victory God gives over death! But we must MEET death, sooner or later, every one of us. We must
meet death alone. No one can go through that valley with us except the Lord Himself. If He is not with you, you WILL be alone. But the child of God can say, “Since God and Christ love me, I am persuaded that even death cannot break his union. It is an eternal bond that cannot be broken.” Christ conquered death when He died. He removed the sting from death when He died. Christ will
be WITH us, for He says, “I will never leave thee or forsake thee.” NEVER leave, NEVER forsake. He will NEVER leave us, so even death cannot come between us. Child of God, don’t be afraid of death.It cannot separate you from the Lord. He will be WITH you in death.

2) Life
The Apostle says, “There is nothing in life that can separate me from God.” A lot of people today do not want to live. For them it would seem easier to die than to keep on living. Just this week I had a call from a lady who didn’t want to live any longer. Her husband left her for another, didn’t love her anymore. The light of her life went out. She tried to take her life. She said, “Life isn’t worth living.” (Well, it surely isn’t, without Jesus.) Her mistake was that she had made a god out of a man. Don’t make a god out of anybody, not even our dearest loved one. We are to love our loved ones, of course. I am not minimizing that love. We need the love of others, and God has provided them for us. But we are not to make them THE GOD of our lives. Don’t let them have the place of GOD. When your husband is your GOD and something happens to him, you don’t have any God to look after you anymore. But when you love your husband AS YOUR HUSBAND, and love God AS GOD, then if your husband goes you still have GOD.Sometimes life is very hard, but nothing in life can separate a child of God from the love of God.These are problems, trials, tensions. Recently one of my loved ones’ blood pressure shot way up high all of a sudden, 185-200. The doctor made a series of tests, and what was the cause? Tension.Just the tensions of living, the problems, loved ones ill, constant cares of all kinds. The other day a doctor said that the two greatest enemies of the human race are overweight and tension, just rushing all the time with concern, till the wheels begin to grind with difficulty. There is the care of making a living. A businessman out there has to be fighting the business world every day to make a living. How difficult it is.There is the sin problem. People carry a burden of sin and unless they find the precious answer of the Blood of Christ cleansing them from sin, they go on under the burden.Then there are problems of old age. Loved ones as they get older need to be taken care of. We go out in these nursing homes and find people there who are distressed. Many times they have fears.Living is difficult. It really is.So there are a lot of hard things in life until at times some people think it would be easier to go than to stay.We learn in the Bible of men (outstanding, godly men) who really wanted to die when the pressures of life got too heavy. But God took care of each one. Elijah was one who wanted to die, but God tookcare of him. Job wanted to die, but God took care of him and brought him through those deep waters. Nothing in LIFE can separate a child of God from the love of God!

3) Angels
Nothing in the angelic world can separate me from God. There are good angels and there are bad angels. Good angels do not want to separate us from God, but bad angels would like to. The devil and his demons would like to. But this statement says that you don’t have to be afraid of the devil or demons. We are to beware of the devil’s tricks. We are not to yield to his temptations. We are to look
out for his lies and trickery but we don’t have to be afraid. He can’t separate the child of God from God.

4) Principalities
The Greek word principalities means “rulers, authorities.” There are unseen rulers in the other world, the world just beyond our fingertips, the spirit world. Paul in Ephesians says, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against PRINCIPALITIES and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in the heavenly places.” A lot of people are afraid of the spiritual world, afraid to consider it. But you don’t have to be afraid if you have God and Christ and Their almighty power and love.

5) Things Present
“Nor things present.” There is nothing presently with me, this present moment, that can separate me from God. What is your PRESENT difficulty, your present problem? What is presently “eating at you” now? Jesus is the Answer. God is the Answer. If you HAVE GOD AND CHRIST with you, looking after you, never to leave you, Their almighty love lavished on you, then there is NOTHING presently with
you that can hurt you or separate you from Their love.

6) Things to Come
Then he says, “Nor things to come.” Oh, my, I could stay all day with that. We could talk about the prophecies of the Word, about the world getting worse and worse, about the Tribulation Period, the Antichrist, the eruption of demons out of the pit, the waters turned to blood, the devil and Antichrist over all the earth, the return of Christ, the judgment of the nations, the end of the world, the destructions of the present heavens and earth, the judgment of the unsaved, hell, and many other
“things to come,” tremendous convulsions that will take place. God is not going to let this thing rock on forever as it is now. Believe me, I would tremble if I didn’t know that God and Christ were WITH ME and that They LOVE me and that nothing can separate me from Their love. With Christ I can face anything to come!

7) Powers
“Powers” is the Greek word dunameis, and it seems to refer to supernatural powerful beings of the other world. We hear more and more today about witchery, sorcery, fortune-telling, spiritism,occultism, that sort of thing. When Halloween comes people jokingly talk about witches, but there are real witches today, literally and truly. There are “mediums” and others. The Bible forbids us dabbling
in that sort of thing. But we don’t have to be afraid of these spiritual powers for they cannot separate us from the Lord. We have a God Who doeth according to His will among the inhabitants of the earth and none can say unto Him, “What doest Thou?” We don’t have to be afraid of any spiritual power.

8) Height
“Nor height.” There is nothing in the heights. Now Paul might have been referring to outer space.There are three heavens: the air around us (the heaven of the birds), the heaven of the stars, then the Third Heaven where God lives. The space in our universe seems to be infinite in vastness. But we don’t have to worry about “heights”. Jesus Christ passed through all the heavens into the very Presence of God. At the Rapture, we’ll be caught up into the air to be with the Lord and God will take care of us. It could be that the Apostle was speaking of spiritual heights.

9) Depth
He speaks of “depth.” The Bible speaks of the abyss, hell, the lake of fire, hades, the bottomless pit.These words need not scare one who is joined forever to the Living God.

10) Any Other Created Thing
Then he sums it all up in one tremendous statement, and if you ever get hold of it, child of God, you will never worry about anything anymore. “Nor any other created thing.” Nothing CREATED can ever separate me from God. Well, naturally, if Creator Him-self (Christ) is with me, then nothing that He has created (inferior to Him-self) can hurt me. This should alleviate all fear from our hearts forever.

Triumph of the Lamb

The Triumph Of The Lamb

Watch Video: http://www.lightsource.com/ministry/love-worth-finding/video-player/triumph-of-the-lamb-460272.html

Adrian Rogers
   Adrian Rogers

Revelation 1:7-18 (Program: 2335, Air dates: 4.5.2015 & 4.12.2015) By Adrian Rogers

  1.   INTRODUCTION
    1.   Jesus is the omniscient one.
    2.   Jesus is the omnipresent one.
    3.   Jesus is the omnipotent one.
    4.   The first time He came, He wore a robe of shame and was mocked.
    5.   When He comes again, He’ll sit upon the throne of His glory and be revealed as Lord.  (1 Timothy 6:15)
    6.   Revelation 1:7-8
  1.   THE SETTING
    1.   John has been exiled to the isle of Patmos.  (Revelation 1:9)
    2.   God gives John a vision of the Lord Jesus.
    3. John 16:33
    4. Revelation 1:10-18
  1. TEN THINGS JOHN SAW ABOUT THE LORD JESUS
    1. He is the resurrected Christ with undiminished humanity.  (Revelation 1:12-13)
      1. John 1:14
      2. 1 Timothy 3:16
    2. He is the reigning Christ with unrivaled majesty.  (Revelation 1:13)
      1. John 5:22
      2. Romans 14:11
    3. He is the righteous Christ with unblemished purity.  (Revelation 1:14)
      1. Isaiah 1:18
      2. If we do not confess Jesus as Lord and accept His salvation, then we will stand before Him for judgment.
        1. Hebrews 9:27
        2. Hebrews 9:22
    4. He is the revealing Christ with unhindered scrutiny.  (Revelation 1:14)
      1. Hebrews 4:13
    5. He is the relentless Christ with untarnished integrity.  (Revelation 1:15)
      1. Acts 17:30-31
    6. He is the regal Christ with unchallenged authority.  (Revelation 1:15)
      1. Psalm 29:3
      2. John 5:28
    7. He is the ruling Christ with unequaled majesty.  (Revelation 1:16)
    8. He is the revenging Christ with unspoiled victory.  (Revelation 1:16)
      1. Hebrews 4:12
    9. He is the resplendent Christ with undimmed glory.  (Revelation 1:16)
      1. 2 Corinthians 4:6
    10. He is the reassuring Christ with undiluted deity.  (Revelation 1:17-18)
      1. Matthew 11:28

 

About Love Worth Finding

Love Worth Finding with Adrian Rogers broadcasts the message of God’s love everyday. The man of God conveys the Word of God to the people of God that they might know the greatest Love worth finding — Jesus Christ.

 

About Adrian Rogers

Dr. Adrian Rogers, preacher/teacher of Love Worth Finding Ministries, had a zeal and love for Jesus that resonated in every message. His legacy continues to reach around this world, sharing the good news that Jesus Christ is the greatest Love worth finding. Although Dr. Adrian Rogers passed away on November 15, 2005, tributes continue to pour in testifying of his worldwide impact.We agree with Adrian Rogers that most important are the believers who have had their faith strengthened and the countless number of people who have for the first time entered into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As he so eloquently put it, this ministry is not about Adrian Rogers, but about Jesus Christ. It was his desire and continues to be our mission — that the truth of God’s great Love worth finding be proclaimed until Jesus returns.

C. Sumner Wemp, Soul Winner

C  Sumner Wemp
C Sumner Wemp

your_ticket_to_heaven._linkSumner Wemp, at the age of 17, having never held a Bible nor heard “Jesus loves me, this I know…” was invited to church by Gene Gaskins. He went, heard the gospel for the first time, and after three weeks, accepted Christ. And he never got over it.
After college and seminary, he enjoyed 13 wonderful and fruitful years of pastoring. In 1952 he wrote the first of 25 gospel tracts and founded New Life Tract Society. Millions of his tracts have been printed and given away. All the profits he received from his books and tapes went to missions.

He served 8 wonderful years at Moody Bible Institute as Chairman of Evangelism, Pastor of Theology and Director of Practical Christian Work. Then he became president of Southeastern Bible College. After that he served with Dr. Jerry Falwell as Vice President of Spiritual Affairs at Liberty University for 17 years.

Enter the FREE Drawing!Dr. Wemp held a B.A. degree from Samford University, a Th.M from Dallas Theological Seminary, a D.Min from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a D.D. from California Graduate School Of Theology.

His writings included Teaching from the Tabernacle, a 128 page book of 8 printings; a 203 page book, How on Earth Can I Be Spiritual which is in its 15th printing and has been translated into Spanish and Telegu in India. He also wrote The Guide to Practical Pastoring, a 278-page hardback which has been published in the Romanian language, and a 60 page booklet, Fishing for Men, with over 250,000 copies in circulation. Dr. C. Sumner WempApproximately 200 of his articles were published in religious periodicals. He also wrote for a soul-winning column for “The Biblical Evangelist.”

For the last 15 years of his life, he mentored 300 pastors, missionaries, and evangelists while in “retirement” and still preached, into his mid 80s, almost every other weekend all over the country. He also enjoyed challenging people with Jabez’s prayer.

He went home to be with his Lord on Christmas Day, 2012. In his absense, please continue to enjoy his encouragement, marriage, prayer, witnessing, ladies articles and more! Enjoy your stay, and thank you for visiting.

The following link will take you to webpage where you can learn from this great soul winner just how he won souls and he will teach you the same. He was one of the best users of Gospel Tracts. You will learn to love this dear man’s teaching because he is teaching you about one of God’s greatest missions–soul winning.

http://www.sumnerwemp.com/witnessing/

 

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Confessing Our Sins

Man praying

 

Article written by Editor, Ron English for Facebook

Text: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

“Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;” I Corinthians 1:10

I John 1:9, is one of the key verses in your New Testament. Christians should always be on the lookout for key Scriptures. While all Scriptures are true, all are good not all are for you in a particular setting. You must be able to discern what is and what is not for you in your situation. Rightly dividing the truth should come to your mind. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. This verse is another key. Accumulate enough keys and you can open most doors that puzzle others with less keys. Here in our text the Apostle John is telling us that we have to do something with sins after we are saved. Not for salvation, but for righteous living and peace of mind and heart. Unconfessed sins will trouble you in your daily walk and can cause you to stumble and fall away from the sweet fellowship that the Lord wants you to have and enjoy. Some have gone so far, I am thinking, as to lose in their mind for a time that they have even been saved. That is too tragic and should never happen to a Child of God. I am one of those Christians who not only believe that once a Christian has been saved–he is saved and secure forever. He or she will never lose it. So God has tucked a very important promise into His eternal Word and this is it. “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins” and not only that He is “faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” “Faithful” means you can depend on Him and His Word. “Just” means He is not harming any Scripture of His Word to do this. Amen and Amen! You see when Jesus died on the cross He saved the believer from the very damning and PENALTY of sin. The penalty of sin is what had you under the curse of damnation and sentenced to hell in the burning pit When Jesus shed His blood on the cross, He paid that sin debt. It was wiped out. Gone! Never to be brought up against a Christian again–NEVER!!! But Christian friend we live in a dirty, fallen world of much sin and degradation and a vile culture of hatred for God and His Word and His people. Satan is always (like a roaring lion) trying to harm your walk. He wants to trick you, discourage you,defeat you and kill your testimony. He is relentless at this. So God placed I John 1:9 in your Bible and informs you via the Holy Spirit that there is a cure for the curse of Satan in the life of the believer. It is called Sanctification. That sanctification is maintained when you are saved from the POWER of sin. Sin still has power. Not power to damn you, but power to hurt your testimony. Hurt your influence on others. So God wants you daily to be cleansed from the power of sin in your life. The Lord has laced the Scriptures with more wonderful promises of His future plans for you. He is not leaving you down here on earth. You have, by the very words of Jesus, a PLACE prepared for you in Heaven (John 14). When Jesus comes back to catch you up and all believers out of this world (The Rapture of the Church) that is called in our language saving you from the very PRESENCE of sin. You are taken out of here to be with Jesus forever and you will never be separated from Him again. Oh, dear ones do be encouraged. Many believers since these promises were given have died. God has not forgotten a single one of them. In fact, when they died, they were immediately transported to Heaven. Absent from the body (death) is present with the Lord. “5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 herefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:1-8.