Pride’s Deception

ImageA person’s own foolishness ruins his life. But in his mind he blames the Lord for it. (Proverbs 19:3) 

People do not like to take responsibility for their actions. The very first thing that Adam did when God confronted him about eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, was to first blame Eve, and then blame God. This pattern has never stopped to this very day.

Pride is such a destructive and deceptive thing. We often imagine pride to only apply to those who boast about themselves, and their accomplishments, talents, or abilities. While this certainly is the most apparent form of pride, it is far from the only type.

I would suggest that the most destructive type of pride is the stubborn refusal of people to admit that they have offended God through their rejection of His laws, and precepts. People like to make every excuse for themselves, and then blame God when their lives fall apart.

When we come to Christ, God never promises us that everything in this life will be rosy. Jesus warns us that just the opposite will happen. He tells us that people will hate you because they hated Me. Your enemies will be your own family members, and your friends. They will hate you because they want to justify themselves, and blame you for shining the light on their sins.

It is very easy to see that whenever the topic of sin, repentance, and judgment are raised with people that they immediately become defensive, and like to accuse the messenger for bringing the light. This is how people live in deception.

This reminds me of the movie ‘The Matrix,’ where those who are a part of the Matrix will go to any length to stop those who would awaken them from their dream world.

I confess that I am no better than anyone else. God does not love me any more than He loves the person whom we would consider the vilest. Jesus shed His blood for the sins of all of humanity, and calls to all to come to Him for mercy and forgiveness.

I had to repent, and receive His salvation just as every other person must. I only offer the truth. If you hate me for doing so, that is your choice, I cannot help that. If you hate God because He commands that your turn from sin, I cannot force you to change.

If you die in your sin, you will have to face God and give an account for your actions. I urge you, to humble yourself today, and surrender to His love.

 

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Saved by Grace

Every religion on earth other than Christianity is a religion that places man and his own efforts as the means of salvation, or betterment. All man centered religions rely upon human effort and achievement to obtain salvation, perfection, or betterment.

We are saved by grace through faith alone. Our good works are to be the evidence of our salvation, not the means of our salvation. If we are relying upon our human efforts to save us then we have replaced the Savior Jesus Christ with the imagined belief that we can save ourselves through our own efforts.

(Galatians 2:21 NKJV) “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

(Isaiah 64:6 NKJV) But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousness are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.

(Titus 3:5 NKJV) not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit

How do we receive the free gift of salvation? All have sinned and are deserving of God’s judgment.

(Romans 3:23 NKJV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

(Hebrews 9:27 NKJV) And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,

God who is rich in mercy sent Christ to take upon himself the punishment we deserved.

(Romans 3:23-25 NLT) For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. {24} Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. {25} For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us…

(Romans 6:23 NKJV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Ephesians 2:4-5 NKJV) But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, {5} even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

Turn from our sin (repentance) and receive the gift of salvation found in Christ.

(Romans 10:13 NKJV) For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

Give God full control of your life.

(Luke 9:61-62 NLT) Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.” {62} But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”

(Luke 14:26-27 NLT) “If you want to be my follower you must love me more than your own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, more than your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. {27} And you cannot be my disciple if you do not carry your own cross and follow me.

 

Everyone Needs a Savior

Until people recognize their lost condition they will not seek salvation that is available only through Jesus Christ. Actually people need to be first awakened to just exactly why and what it is that they need to be saved from! Until they recognize that they have broken the law of God, and are guilty, and deserving of His judgment, they will not humble themselves and turn from their sin, and seek the mercy of God.

We won’t seek a cure until we recognize the disease. As Christians we often make the mistake of trying give people the cure before they realize that they have a disease.

The cure is Jesus, the disease is sin. Until people recognize their sinful condition, they will refuse to turn from their sin and call upon Christ alone who can save them.

People want to justify themselves. They are self righteous.
(Proverbs 20:6 NKJV) Most men will proclaim each his own goodness…

(Proverbs 30:12 NKJV) There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness (sin).

(Isaiah 64:6 NLT) We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away.

Until people are awakened to their sinful condition they will continue to justify themselves. Only after they are awakened to their true sinful condition, and the consequences of their sin, will they seek salvation which is found in Christ alone. We are often trying to convince people of their need for a Savior, when as far as they are concerned there are far worse people than themselves. Until people recognize the severity of their breaking of God’s commandments, they will not seek His mercy and forgiveness. Until they recognize that they have been diagnosed with the terminal disease called sin they won’t be motivated to find the cure found in Jesus Christ.

(Romans 3:10-12 NKJV) As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; {11} There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. {12} They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one…(Romans 3:23 NKJV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

The law was given by God as a means to reveal the sinful condition of man’s heart. The law gives us the knowledge of our sinfulness.

(Romans 7:9 NLT) I felt fine when I did not understand what the law demanded. But when I learned the truth, I realized I had broken the law and was a sinner, doomed to die.

(Galatians 3:24 NIV) So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.

God gave the children of Israel613 commandments or (laws or ordinances) in all. The 10 commandments are considered the moral laws or ordinances that represent the principle purpose of all the rest. Now read the list of 10 commandments again, and see how many you have actually kept. (Exodus 20:1-17)
1. “You shall have no other gods before Me.
2. “You shall not make for yourself an idol of any sort. (1 Cor 10:14)
3. “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless
who takes His name in vain. (1 John 2:2-6)
4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. (Heb 4:4-11)
5. “Honor your father and your mother,  that your days may be long upon the land… (Eph 6:1-3)
6. “You shall not murder. (1 John 3:15)
7. “You shall not commit adultery. (Mat 5:28)
8. “You shall not steal. (Eph 4:28)
9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Lie) (Rev 21:8)
10. “You shall not covet. (James 4:1-4)

The Good News of Jesus Christ. Once we recognize that we have broken God’s commandants and are deserving of His judgment, then the good news is truly good news. However, until the sinner recognizes their sin they will go right on justifying themselves in their self righteous rebellion against God.

(Romans 3:23-25 NLT) For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. {24} Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. {25} For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us…

Guard Your Heart

If people do not hear the message of salvation they cannot call upon the name of the Lord to save them. So in other words faith, confidence or trust in God, cannot be achieved without first hearing. There are literally billions of people in the world who have never heard the name of Jesus even for the first time. So how would we ever expect them to call upon Him to save them if there are not believers taking the message of salvation to them?

(Matthew 9:37-38 NLT) He said to his disciples, “The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. {38} So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send out more workers for his fields.”

(Rom 10:17) So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

We cannot exercise faith if we have not heard the word of God. Most people simply do not know what they do not know.

Hosea 4:6 NKJV) My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…

(Psalms 119:130 NKJV) The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.

When we hear God’s word faith comes into our hearts. This causes us to be strengthened and made wise by the power of that word. The flip side of this coin however is unfortunately just as real. If we are hearing a message of unbelief or fear, it can destroy our faith in God’s word, and literally cause our trust in God to vanish.

Smith Wigglesworth, the well known English evangelist, who had over at least 14 people raised from the dead through his ministry, would not allow a newspaper or any other book than the Bible in his house. He did not want anything that would fuel unbelief around him. It is critical that we guard what we hear, because both faith, and fear come by hearing. (Mark 4:24 NKJV) Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear…

Proverbs 4:23 tells us that we are to guard our hearts with all diligence. If we are not careful about guarding what we hear it will have a detrimental effect upon our faith in God’s promises. Many Christians are either completely ignorant or negligent of this truth. As a result, they feed on materials that open their hearts to fear, and unbelief. Just as we can eat foods that can poison us physically, we can also eat spiritual things that can poison our hearts. I have met many Christians who refuse to believe, and cannot receive healing because they have ingested spiritual teachings that have poisoned their hearts with unbelief.

When the children of Israelcame out of Egyptwith Moses, and entire generation could not enter into what God had promised them because they listened to an evil report, and refused to believe God’s word. (Exodus 13-14)

Moses sent twelve spies into the landof Canaan. Ten brought up an evil report of unbelief, while only Joshua, and Caleb believed the promises of God. Because the people gave heed to the fear filled report of the ten unbelieving men the entire congregation of Israel became poisoned with fear and unbelief. As a result of hearing the wrong message, everyone over twenty years old were cut off from receiving what God had promised them. In like manner, if we are not careful to guard our hearts, by guarding what we are hearing, we may find ourselves being fearful (filled with fear), rather than faithful (filled with faith). Both faith and fear come as the result of what we hear.

The Bible tells us that in these last days that the hearts of men will actually fail because of the fear of what is coming upon the earth. (Luke 21:26) As believers, we must guard what we hear so that we are not overcome by that same fear. I have often taught on the end times, because they are a major theme of the teachings of both Jesus, and the apostles. I look forward to what God is doing, and find myself anticipating the great end time outpouring of God’s Spirit, even in the midst of great upheaval of nations. Regrettably, many Christians become fearful when we speak of these events because they are not grounded in faith. They are constantly hearing the evil reports of the news media, or other voices in the world that are filling them with unbelief.

The simple conclusion of the matter is this. We cannot have confidence in God’s promises if we are constantly hearing teachings, and reports that contradict what God declares. We will never be able to believe God for the healing of our bodies if we are hearing preachers tell us that God’s will is that we suffer with sickness and disease. We will never be able to prosper financially if we have been taught that God’s will is that we live in poverty. We will never be able to enjoy the peace of God that passes all understanding if our minds are filled with the cares, and fears of what might come upon us. The cares of this world that enter into our hearts through hearing will choke the word of God, and it will not be able to bring forth the harvest of God’s abundance in our lives. (Mark 4:19) Do you see why it is so important to pay attention to what you hear?

Doing What Doesn’t Matter Where it Doesn’t Work

In my estimation, one of the greatest traps of ministry can be the false assumption that activity is synonymous with productivity. As a result we can easily find ourselves involved in far too many causes and pursuits that may actually dull us to the reality that what we are doing is robbing us of true kingdom purposes. (Psalm 127:1 NKJV) Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.

While I am sure that this is true of pastors and leaders in nearly any country, it is especially true in the United States. Where the culture has become a whirlwind of seemingly endless activity. This whirlwind of activity creates a challenge for the modern minister of the gospel, simply due to the very fact that we are inundated with so many possible choices. “This is the most invasive culture in history.” Oz Guinness

Before I go any further, let me first of all assure you that I have not arrived, nor have I mastered this problem in my own life and ministry. I am a bit ADD by nature, and can find myself easily distracted from what I really need to be pursuing. “The kingdom of darkness could best be described as distractions” Oswald Chambers Man isn’t that the truth!

This brings me to the primary focus of this issue. If we are not careful to step back from what we are doing, and really take a good look at the fruitfulness of our ministry and the activities we are involved in, we can easily fall prey to the mistaken notion that if we just keep working hard at what we are doing we will eventually see it pay off in the long run. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten” Anthony Robbins

I have witnessed this first hand in the lives of many pastors, and their churches. Is a matter of fact, there are entire denominations that are completely trapped in this delusion. Because they have failed to take a good hard look at their methods, and fruitfulness, they are actually trapped in a mode of ministry that is perpetuating this very problem. Many of these churches do not even realize that their traditions, and methods of ministry are completely out of touch with the world around them. When you walk into some of these churches it’s almost like stepping into a room where time has been suspended. Their preaching, and ministry methods simply do not relate to where people are at in the modern world.

On the other hand, we have the Emerging Church camp that seeks to be relevant. Unfortunately, many in this camp also have fallen prey to the very thing they are attempting to avoid. They have diluted the power of the word of God, and the moving of the Holy Spirit, in an attempt to relate to modern culture. We dare not compromise the integrity of the Scriptures, or we have just another man focused structure, with no life of God.

So just exactly how do we take a good hard look at what we are doing, and bring about the needed transformation that is necessary to see God’s will accomplished in the ministry that God has called us to?

First of all we need to seek the face of the Lord, and ask Him just exactly what and how He wants to build His church? Believe me, He really does want to reveal His will to us.

In addition to seeking the Lord in prayer, I believe we really need to consider the actual fruitfulness of what we are doing. We need to evaluate everything by this standard. Out of everything our ministry may be involved in, which are those things that are actually bearing measurable worthwhile results? In other words, are people being saved, healed or transformed as a result of this activity, or is it just another of the many activities that waste our time, resources and energies?

I have witnessed churches that do events year after year, spend thousands of dollars, and yet by all practical purposes see very few if any people saved, or transformed as a result. Yet they continue to carry on with these events just because someone came up with the idea, and doesn’t want to admit that it is not really worth the time and energy to continue it. There is an old saying that could readily apply to this situation. “Don’t try to ride a dead horse.” You see many ministries are trying to ride some activity that will never take them to where they ultimately are attempting to arrive. This is “doing what doesn’t work, where it doesn’t matter.” Unfortunately churches, and other ministries are rife with this sort of activity.

“Fighting with no stated goal can also lead to a war of attrition—a slow defeat in which you actually seem to be winning. What you are busy doing looks right, and brings results, but you can’t see the long-range damage your results are masking. You can’t see that what you are doing cannot take you where you really want to go. Eventually your army will atrophy.’’ Mario Murillo—Fresh Impact

I am of the opinion, that if what we have been doing is not reaching our cities, transforming communities, and impacting our society as a whole then it is time to reevaluate our priorities, and objectives. It is time to make God’s priorities our priorities. Namely the great commission. Winning souls is at the top of God’s agenda, and yet we are often so encumbered with feeding the fed, and reaching the reached, that we have little time or energy left in our tanks to carry out the great commission. You will notice that we don’t call it the great suggestion do we?

‘If people are lost outside of Christ, and if faith in Jesus Christ is the only avenue of redemption, what could possibly be a higher priority than spreading the gospel as far as we can as fast as we can?’ David Shibley

Jesus, Our Final Answer

Over the years I have heard numerous Christians sight various examples of Bible characters that they believed justified the idea that God chooses for reasons beyond our knowledge to heal some while refusing to heal others.

Two of the most common examples are Job, and the apostle Paul. The traditional interpretation of Job’s dilemma is that Satan comes before God, and challenges God by stating that if God were to remove His protection from Job, that he would curse God. Because God allows Satan to buffet Job, they interpret this as ultimately the will of God in Job’s life.

Next is the apostle Paul. Tradition has it that Paul’s infirmity was a heinous eye disease that Paul sought the Lord three times for healing. To which the Lord replied that “my grace is sufficient for you.” Supposedly meaning that it’s enough that I saved you Paul, you should be satisfied with that and stop seeking healing as well.

I would like to point out that just because God permitted Satan to come against Job, is not synonymous with this being His will for Job’s life. By the way, Job’s was eventually healed, and his latter end was greater than his former.

As for Paul’s thorn in the flesh, the Scripture clearly states that this was a messenger of Satan. (2 Corinthians 12:7 NKJV)…a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me…  

This was not an eye disease, but rather a harassing spirit that would stir up agitation wherever Paul would go and preach the gospel.

However, let’s just say for the sake of this discussion that God allowed Satan to attack Job because He wanted to test Job’s character. Let’s also assume that Paul’s infirmity was an eye disease that hindered him physically. Job and Paul are not the final answer when it comes to determining God’s willingness to heal, nor are any other Bible characters.

Our template for the subject of divine healing is none other than Jesus Himself. (John 14:6-12 NKJV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. {7} “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” {8} Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” {9} Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? {10} “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. {11} “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. {12} “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.   

In the above passage Jesus clearly states that the works that He performed were done by the Father within Him. What works was He speaking of? He was speaking of healing the sick, working miracles, and setting people free. The earthly ministry of Jesus was comprised of preaching, teaching, and healing the sick. Matthew 9:35-38 NKJV)  Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.  

(Acts 10:38 NKJV) “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.  

Jesus healed the sick because the Father God was with Him. The above passage declares that healing the sick was by God’s power, and that it was delivering them from Satan’s oppression of sickness, and disease.

My point is simply this. Jesus healed the sick because it was the will of God the Father that He does so. Jesus healed the sick because He was setting people free from the bondages, and oppression of the devil. Jesus healed the sick to demonstrate the will of God. Jesus is the final answer when it comes to God’s willingness to heal.

Do you ever see one time when someone came to Jesus seeking healing, and He said to them. “No, this sickness is the will of God in your life.” One would think that He would have at least told this to someone wouldn’t you? Yet every time someone came to Jesus seeking to be healed He would heal them. He did so because healing is emphatically the will of God!

(Matthew 14:14 NKJV)  And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.  

(Mark 1:40-42 NKJV)  Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” {41} Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” {42} As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.  

As in the above Scriptures, Jesus time and again did exactly what the Father in Him desired Him to do. He healed the sick. It was the will of the Father within Him that compelled Him to do so.

You see Jesus answers the question concerning God’s willingness to heal once and for all. Not Job, not Paul, not some person we may know who was not healed. Jesus is our perfect example of God’s will. God’s will is healing for all.          

 

 

 

God Is in Control

Is it God’s will to heal the sick? Or does God choose to heal sometimes, while choosing not to heal on other occasions?

I believe that one of the misunderstandings concerning this subject is the false assumption that everything that happens in our lives is God’s will. I have heard the statement on many occasions by believers that “God is in control.” Now if by this statement they contend that ultimately God will bring His plans and purposes about concerning the earth, then I would agree. However if they are implying that everything that happens in our lives, and in the earth is ultimately the will of God, then they are very much mistaken.

I heard a particular minister proclaim during a message that “Everything that happens in our lives must first comes across the desk of God, and must have His approval or it will not happen in our lives.” Does he honestly believe that every calamity and tragedy that happens is ultimately the will of God? That God is allowing the evil, and tragedy in the earth because it is His will?

This is simply contrary to the love and nature of God. God is not the author of destruction in our lives. Jesus declared in John 10:10 “The thief comes not but to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that you might have life, and life more abundantly.” The devil is the destroyer, not God. The devil is the author of death, not the Father.

Many things are taking place in this world that are totally contrary to the will of God. You see this faulty belief system has taught people that if they are sick, it is because God is allowing it. So in other words, if God allowed it, then it ultimately must be His will. This is simply not Scriptural. God allowed Adam & Eve to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good & evil even though it wasn’t His will.

Genesis 2:16-17 (NKJV) And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; {17} “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
God not only told them not to eat of this tree, but also warned them of the consequences of doing so.

Romans 5:19 (NKJV) For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

God allows people to reject Jesus Christ as their Lord & Savior & go to hell if they so choose, although this is not his will.

We must always be careful that we do not use our experiences to measure God’s will. But rather, we must measure our experiences by God’s will, which is His word. The will of God is not established by our experiences. Our experiences do not change the will of God. We must never assume that because something bad happens in our lives that it was God’s will that it happen.

When someone is not healed, (for what ever reason) the most common tendency is to presume that it was not the will of God to heal them. While this may sounds plausible, it has absolutely no biblical foundation whatsoever!

There is a devil, and we live in a fallen world that has been corrupted by sin, and rebellion. Because we live in this world we are going to have to resist the death and destruction that we are faced with. Sickness is part of the consequences of sin. As a result we must resist sickness by faith, just as we would resist sin, or any other attack we may face from the enemy.

If we believe that sickness in the will of God for our lives then we will not resist it, we will simply embrace it. Actually in their hearts I don’t believe that most people actually believe this. They are simply spiritually confused. Let me explain why I have come to this conclusion.

If people honestly believed that sickness and disease was somehow the will of God in their lives, then why are they resisting God’s will by going to the doctor to gain relief from this infirmity? Shouldn’t they embrace sickness, and do everything to make sure that God’s will is being carried out? You see, the reason they go to the doctor is because God placed within us the desire to live, and not die. God designed our bodies to resist sickness and disease, not to embrace it.

Sickness and disease came into the world with the fall of man. There was no illness before sin came into the world. Therefore we could conclude that sickness and disease are the foul offspring of sin. Had sin never entered the world then sickness and disease would have never come into the world either. So if we are to resist sin, shouldn’t we just as readily resist the consequences of sin, which is sickness and disease?

Healing and the Will of God

There is a great deal of confusion within the lives of many churches today concerning the issue of God’s willingness to heal.

Nearly all Believers do not doubt God’s ability to heal the sick. They are convinced that He certainly has the power to do anything. Yet many of these same Christians are not sure when, or if it is God’s will to heal. So the issue we are dealing with is an uncertainty concerning God’s willingness to heal, not His ability to heal.

Many will say that, “God can heal; it’s just that He often chooses not to do so because of reasons often beyond our understanding.” While I know this may be a common answer that people have come to accept, the fact of the matter is that it simply is not biblical.

Before we go any further, I want to make a statement that is essential to our understanding of this subject. Faith begins, where the will of God is known. In other words, it is simply impossible to believe God for something that we are not fully convinced that He wants us to have.

Christians in this age are for the most part are very secure in their confidence of God’s willingness to save them, and anyone else who will call upon the name of the Lord. The reason for this confidence is due to the fact that we have heard this proclaimed for centuries, and so we are fully convinced of God’s will in this matter. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing God’s word.” Another word for faith is confidence, or assurance. We have confidence, or assurance that it is God’s will to save all who will call upon Him in faith, because we have heard the word of God over and over concerning this. I hardly know a Christian in the United   States who cannot quote John 3:16. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son. So that whosoever believes in Him would not perish, but have ever lasting life.” This Scripture is a foundational biblical statement of God’s great love, and willingness to save lost sinners.

Notice what the following passages states concerning the correlation between what we hear, and salvation. Romans 10:13-17 (NLT) For “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” {14} But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? {17} Yet faith comes from listening to this message of good news–the Good News about Christ. 

People cannot call on Jesus to save them if they never hear the good news that God sent Christ into the world to save sinners can they? If someone does not proclaim the gospel to the lost, they will perish in their sins, because they cannot believe what they have never heard. 

Now let me ask you a question. What do you think would be the condition of the body of Christ if we preached salvation the way most preachers teach healing? Could you ever imagine telling the lost, or the Believer for that matter, that “their sin is God’s cross that they must carry?” Think of how absurd it would be to proclaim to the lost that “God chooses to save some, and chooses not to save others; we just never can tell when because it is entirely up to the sovereign will of God.” Why don’t we ever hear preachers say, “This sin in your life is for God’s glory.” I’ll tell you why we don’t. It would be absurd, because we know what the word of God clearly teaches concerning repentance, forgiveness of sins, and the finished work of Christ.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the matter of divine healing, far too many preachers have been religiously brainwashed instead of biblically taught concerning this issue. They interpret a small number of Scriptures from a predetermined mind set, and therefore they nearly always come up with the same pat answers.

Hosea 4:6 (NKJV) My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.  

God was actually speaking to the priests in this passage, and their failure to teach God’s people the covenant. Nothing has really changed. God’s people are still being destroyed for a lack of knowledge. Especially a lack of knowledge concerning God’s willingness to heal the sick.

One of the main reasons that we are not seeing a greater manifestation of the healing power of God in the body of Christ, is because so few preachers are proclaiming this truth to their congregations in such a way that it causes their faith to be activated to believe God for their healing.

(1 John 5:14-15 NKJV) Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.  

You will notice that this passage tells us that if we ask God for something that agrees with His will that He hears us. Therefore, if we ask God for something that is not His will, we cannot even be assured that He even hears us.

Again verse 15 tells us that if we know that He hears us, we have confidence. We could say that we have faith, trust, or assurance. Therefore we have confidence that what we ask for He will grant. So again, if we ask for something that is not the will of God we cannot have any confidence that God even hears our prayer, or that He will grant our petition.

Can you readily see why the faith destroying prayer “If it be thy will,” when it come to praying for the sick is so unscriptural? There is not one shred of confidence in praying this way when we are seeking God to heal.

Faith begins where the will of God is known. If we are not confident that God desires the sick to be healed, we cannot pray with any confidence believing for healing. Since the majority of Christians have absolutely no confidence concerning God’s willingness to heal, is it any wonder that they cannot pray with any assurance that God will actually heal the sick. Until this faulty thinking is removed, we cannot exercise biblical faith.

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