It is normal to get sick, but whom do we turn to first when illness strikes?
Brother Ruben: When we get sick, what is the first thing that we do? Some may go straight to the doctor, others may try home remedies. Others may decide to pray it all away. And there are those who may believe that going to the doctor betrays their faith in God. On the opposite extreme, some run to faith healers that claim to have miraculous healing powers.
Brother Ronnie: So today we’re asking, “What is the proper way of dealing with illness?”
Brother Ruben: Now before we get started on our topic of illness, many people wonder, “why do we get sick? Why do our human bodies experience illness?” – so brother Ronnie, we need to ask, “who should we recognize as the giver of life and healer of illnesses?”
Brother Ronnie: Well that, brother Ruben, we can find here in the Holy Scriptures, in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 32, and the verse is 39.
“I, and I alone, am God; no other god is real. I kill and give life, I wound and I heal, and no one can oppose what I do.”
[Deuteronomy 32:39 GNT]
Brother Ronnie: To answer that question, brother Ruben, “who is the giver and healer of illness?” – the giver of life is none other than God, himself. He can wound, He can also heal mankind. But we have to also understand that no one can oppose what God does. So from the very beginning, God tells us that He is in control of our life, as well as our health.
Brother Ruben: So in other words, man’s life, as well as his health, is in the hands of our Father in Heaven.
Brother Ronnie: That’s true, brother Ruben. But let’s ask the question “Is there anything that God cannot do?” Is He limited when it comes to healing and curing man’s sickness?”
Brother Ruben: In fact brother, the answer is no. If we read the answer here in the book of Psalm chapter 103, the verses are 2-3, well the Bible gives us our answer, please listen to this beloved friends.
“Praise the Lord, my soul, and do not forget how kind he is. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.”
Brother Ruben: The Bible here explains to us, dear friends and brother Ronnie, that our Lord God’s power is limitless. What is the proof? The Bible mentions that God can heal all – not some, not a few, now a majority of, but He can heal all of our diseases or our illnesses.
Brother Ronnie: There is an actual instance in the Bible, brother Ruben, in the Bible of one who is actually healed from his illness. Allow me to read here in 2 Kings, chapter 20, the verses are 1-6, this is what is stated.
“In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.’” Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. And it happened, before Isaiah had gone out into the middle court, that the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Return and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David.”’”
[2 Kings 20:1-6 NKJV]
Brother Ronnie: We can see here a good example from the Holy Scriptures, brother Ruben, of a king, a faithful servant of God by the name of Hezekiah. Hezekiah had a terminal illness. He was told by a prophet of God: Isaiah – that he would die, and to set his house in order.
Brother Ruben: So brother, it was not a doctor. It was not a physician who told him that he would die. It was none other than our Lord God, the giver of life and the healer of sicknesses. So what is it that King Hezekiah did after he found out that he would die of his illness?
Brother Ronnie: Well the average person, viewers, might probably seek a doctor or second opinion. They would probably even start taking medicine. But what we should understand here is Hezekiah first prayed to God after receiving the news. He pleaded to God to remember all the things that he had done. He consulted God, and it showed his trust in God.
Brother Ruben: Now did it do him any good, brother, by praying to our Lord God when he was told that he would die of his sickness?
Brother Ronnie: He was actually told through Isaiah that he would be healed, because God spoke to Isaiah before he reached the middle court. And that was not all. God even added fifteen more years to his life.
Brother Ruben: So we can see here then, beloved friends, that our Lord God will be the one to heal us from our sickness. Not any doctor, not any physician but God, himself. Because God is the giver and taker of life, He’s the ultimate healer. But we need to find out, is going to the doctor wrong, if you’re sick? After the break we’ll ask the Bible, “is it against God’s will to seek the services of a medical professional?” Please stay with us.
Welcome back, beloved friends. The question that we asked before going to break was, “is it against the teaching of our Lord God to seek medical care? What does the Bible say about that, brother Ronnie?
Brother Ronnie: Well let’s read that here in the gospel of Matthew chapter 9 and the verse is 12, brother Ruben, and in the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, himself, we can find out the answer.
“Jesus heard them and answered, ‘People who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick.’”
[Matthew 9:12 GNT]
Brother Ronnie: So we can see here, dear viewers, that our Lord Jesus Christ, himself, taught that those who are sick are the ones who need a doctor. Now while our Lord Jesus Christ was here on earth during his public ministry, He can perform miracles, He healed those who were sick. But never did He forbid His disciples to seek the help of a doctor, or medical attention.
Brother Ruben: So here we can see that our Lord Jesus Christ basically was saying that one should place his trust in our Father in heaven, while at the same time they could seek medical attention.
Brother Ronnie: That’s right. In fact, was there even doctor during the time of the Apostles, brother Ruben? Or maybe a doctor who was a Christian, as written in the Holy Scriptures?
Brother Ruben: Well yes brother, in fact, beloved friends, if we read from the book of Colossians, chapter 4 and the verse is 14, the Bible gives us our answer. This is what we could read.
“Luke, our dear doctor, and Demas send you their greetings.”
[Colossians 4:14 GNT]
Brother Ruben: Beloved friends, the Bible here speaks about a Christian by the name of Luke during the time of the Apostles. The Bible mentioned his job, or what he did for a living. The Bible mentions that Luke was a doctor. But we should notice, brother Ronnie, that nowhere in the Scriptures did it say that Luke was asked, or instructed to resign as a doctor. Now we know about doctors, that there’s nothing wrong about seeking medical advice if one does get sick, from a physician or a doctor. What about taking medication, brother, is that in accordance to the will of God, or against the will of our Father in heaven?
Brother Ronnie: Well let’s consult with the Bible again, brother Ruben, here in the book of the prophet Jeremiah the chapter is 8 and the verse is 22, this is what is stated.
“Is there no medicine in Gilead? Are there no doctors there? Why, then, have my people not been healed?”
[Jeremiah 8:22 GNT]
Brother Ronnie: So to answer the question, dear viewers, if taking medicine is against the will of God, it is not. Here, the prophet of God, Jeremiah, was asking where all the doctors were. He was asking where all the medicine is. And most of all, why have his people not been healed.
Brother Ruben: So we can see here, brother Ronnie, that the doctors, as well as medicine, they’re instruments of our Lord God in healing people, in being able to receive that great blessing that comes from our Father in heaven.
Brother Ronnie: Yes, so in fact, people can actually seek medical treatment. But let us find out, brother Ruben, what about in the case of King Hezekiah. After God stated that he would live fifteen more years and that be healed of his illness, did he ignore all medical treatment?
Brother Ruben: So we know that King Hezekiah did not only pray to our Father in heaven. In fact, there was something else that he did, beloved viewers, after our Father had mentioned that he would live fifteen years more. We could find the answer here in the book of II Kings chapter 20, and the verse is 7. This is just a continuation of what we read earlier from the Holy Scriptures, this is what we could read. Please listen.
“Then Isaiah said, ‘Take a lump of figs.’ So they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.”
[2 Kings 20:7 NKJV]
Brother Ruben: Let’s remember, beloved friends that after receiving God’s word that he would live another fifteen years, King Hezekiah, brother Ronnie, still underwent treatment and a recovery period. In fact, the Bible mentioned that the prophet Isaiah said, “Take a lump of figs”, which was medication during that time. He instructed that that lump of figs should be placed over the boil, and he would recover from his illness. That’s why we could see here then, beloved friends, that undergoing medical treatment is not against the will of our Lord God. Seeking advice from a doctor is not also against the will of our Father in heaven. But in doing so, beloved friends, does our Father give us a warning? What does the Bible say about that, brother Ronnie?
Brother Ronnie: Well let us read that here, brother Ruben, in 2 Chronicles the chapter is 16 the verses are 12-13. This is what is written here.
“In the thirty-ninth year that Asa was king, he was crippled by a severe foot disease; but even then he did not turn to the Lord for help, but to doctors. Two years later he died.”
[2 Chronicles 16:12-13 GNT]
What we can see here, brother Ruben and dear viewers, is that we have another king by the name of Asa. In this case he had a severe foot disease, but he did not put his faith in God like king Hezekiah. What he did was he trusted solely on the help of doctors, and by doing this he paid the price for it.
Brother Ruben: That’s why the warning of our Lord God is very clear, beloved friends, that in seeking medical attention, in taking medication, it should not be that our trust is in those things. But rather, it must remain in the Lord God, the creator of each one of us. The giver and healer of life, who maintains the lives of His people.
Brother Ronnie: I’m glad you mentioned that point, brother Ruben, that God is the healer of our sicknesses and the giver of life. And we read that earlier at the onset. But what about in the Christian Era? Does this gift of healing also apply to those during our time, us Christians instead of also those who lived during the Old Testament?
Brother Ruben: Well yes brother, in fact there is a instruction of our Lord God through the Apostle James where we could read here in chapter 5, the verses are 14 through 15. This is what the Apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ mentions. Again, beloved friends, please listen to the answer of the Holy Scriptures.
“Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”
[James 5:14-15 NKJV]
So brother Ronnie, Apostle James is very clear when he mentions that if we are sick what we should do is call for the church elders, meaning to say the officers inside the Church. Like ministers, as well as deacons and deaconesses. What is it that they will do to a member of the Church that is sick? The Bible says that they will anoint him with oil and pray over him. The Bible also mentions, beloved friends, the promise of our Lord God if a Christian will do this. The promise is He will heal us from our sicknesses. And if our sicknesses, brother Ronnie, are due to our sins, well God will forgive us. But the Bible mentioned, brother Ronnie, excuse me, it mentioned there in receiving this blessing of our Lord God there is something that will save the sick.
Brother Ronnie: And that is not the oil. It is the prayer made with faith.
Brother Ruben: So we need to find out now, brother Ronnie, which is that faith that the Bible mentions to us, that we need to possess in order to receive this great blessing that comes from our Father in heaven?
Brother Ronnie: Well let us read that here, dear viewers, here in the gospel of Mark chapter 10 and the verse is 27.
“But Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.’”
[Mark 10:27 NKJV]
So what is the faith that we need to have? We know with man some things are impossible, but with God there is nothing impossible. Why is that, brother Ruben?
Brother Ruben: Well you see, brother Ronnie, what we have to understand is this, that God is Almighty, that there is nothing impossible with our Father in heaven. But beloved friends, we need to understand this, we’re not saying that seeking medical attention is wrong, or going to the doctor is wrong, or taking medication is wrong, we’re not saying that. In fact, they are instruments of our Lord God in helping us to recover from our illnesses. But the truth remains that our Lord God is the one that will heal us from all our sicknesses. That’s why we should entrust ourselves to our Father in heaven.
Brother Ronnie: Well let me ask you this, brother Ruben, what if, because of one’s illness he is not cured, or maybe it results in death. Should one every blame God or question God because of his plight in life? Or his condition?
Brother Ruben: Well let’s find out, brother Ronnie, from our Lord God, himself. We will be reading from the book of Deuteronomy chapter 32 and the verse is 39 this is what the Scriptures mention to us, beloved friends, we ask you to please listen to the answer of the Holy Scriptures.
“I, and I alone, am God; no other god is real. I kill and I give life, I wound and I heal, and no one can oppose what I do.”
[Deuteronomy 32:39 GNT]
For one to blame our Lord God because he was not healed from his sickness, well that would be unfair, brother Ronnie, because we have to understand that what God is imposing is none other than His will. And we know that the will of our Lord God is always what is good for man. So what is it that a person must do if, for example, he is confronted with something in his life? He must understand that that is the will of our Lord God for him. And that will of our Lord God is none other than a blessing for him. We have to understand also, beloved friends that we’re just merely begging our Father, requesting from our Lord God. Who are we to question what our Lord God has for each one of us? That’s why beloved friends, the message of the day is this: seeking medical care is not against the will of God. It’s important that we need to recognize and place our complete trust in our Father in heaven; and that doctors, as well as medicine are just instruments for God to heal us.
Brother Ronnie: Thank you for joining us on this episode of The Message. But before you go, we invite you to join us for a prayer.
Our Almighty and loving Father in heaven, we offer You our profound gratitude for the blessings that you bestow upon our life. We have our health; we have the right call upon Your most Holy name. It is also our hope, dear Father, that through Your holy teachings which we have studied this day, that those of us who are here listening to Your words will implement this in our life, that our hearts and minds will be open with understanding, so that we may come to the knowledge of the truth which will lead mankind to salvation. It is our hope and conviction that You will always bless us, that you will guide us always with your Holy Spirit. And if not against Your will, may You bless our health and our life, for as we have learned it is in Your hands. May it also be, dear God, that You’ll be so kind as to forgive us of all our many sins, that we may be worthy of receiving all of Your blessings. Before we end this prayer, may You continue to always unite us with the aim and spirit that reigns in the Church Administration. And may You guide us in all that we do in this life, for we ask all of these things in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.