Does God Still Heal Today?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, July 14, 2014 9 comments

by Katie Erickson
For those who believe in the truth of the Bible, there is no question that God healed people in Biblical times. Jesus performed countless healings as recorded in the Gospels, such as Matthew 4:23, Matthew 8:1-4, Luke 4:38-39, and many, many others. But what about after Jesus ascended into heaven? In Acts 3:1-10, we have record of Peter healing a lame beggar. In Acts 5:12-16, the apostles perform many healings with God’s power. The apostle Paul also performed healings according to Acts 19:11-12.

So we know that Jesus and the apostles performed healings through the power of God. But what about other people, all of us non-apostles? Check out 1 Corinthians 12:27-28: “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of HEALING, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues” (caps mine). According to that passage, God has placed people with the gift of healing into the church! There is nothing I can find in the context of that passage that indicates it only applies to the first century church to which it was written. It clearly applies to all of us in the church today, that we are all a part of the body of Christ and that we too receive these various gifts.

But how would a person use the gift of healing today? Would someone who has it be able to simply have the power on their own to heal people of all sorts of diseases? I don’t think so. For all of these gifts of the Spirit that God gives us, we are dependent on His power to use them. We need to be in relationship with God’s Holy Spirit in order to teach God’s truth, perform miracles, heal, etc. Every gift is not given to every person, and we cannot use any of them without being connected to the source - God.

But in spite of all this, the question of whether God still heals today can still be a difficult one. Anyone who has known someone who has passed away from a terrible disease, rather than experiencing a miraculous healing on earth, will have a harder time being certain that God does still heal today.

When my uncle was diagnosed with ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s disease) in 2005, we all prayed for his healing. ALS is a terminal disease in which the patient gradually loses more and more function of their body until they can no longer breathe, over the course of anywhere from a few months to years. While my logical brain equates stopping and reversing ALS to being like stopping a speeding freight train, my heart knew that if God wanted to, He could not only stop the disease from progressing but that He could even restore my uncle to full health. But as those last four years of my uncle’s life on this earth went on, it became more evident that God would not given him healing here. But we know that when my uncle’s life on this earth ended, he will have a perfectly healed body in eternal life with Jesus.

So because my uncle did not experience healing from ALS on earth, does that mean that God no longer heals today? Definitely not! For every case of someone dying from a terrible disease, there are at least as many cases of miraculous healings that doctors and modern medicine can’t even explain.

A friend of mine named Connie experienced such a healing a few years back. She was suffering from her third round of breast cancer in about ten years, and it was stage 4 and had metastasized into her bones. The prognosis did not look good. Connie was a true warrior for God, and she (and many others) constantly prayed for her healing if it was God’s will. She went through numerous treatments that were only expected to slow down the cancer’s spread, and probably not get rid of it completely. But one day when she went in for a scan, there was absolutely no evidence of the cancer anywhere in her body! It truly was a healing from God that no doctor could explain. There was no scientific or medical explanation for her complete healing, except that it was from God. Unfortunately a couple years later, God took Connie home after another round of cancer, but her miraculous healing served as a great witness of God’s power and faithfulness, and allowed her to serve God here on this earth for a couple years longer.

Does God still heal today? Yes, even though not every person will experience a miraculous healing on this earth. Who God decides to heal is a mystery to us, known only to God and His divine purposes, but if it is a part of His plan then a miraculous healing can definitely still occur today.

9 comments:

Charlie said...

I've personally experienced and witnessed a number of authentic healings. So I can attest that it still happens. But I want to point out that with many of the miracles that are recorded in the Bible, not often did everyone get healed. John and Peter healed a beggar but only him. Jesus healed a cripple at the Pool but not everyone else who sought the healing. Why? I don't know. I don't know why God heals some but not others. But I do know he does heal, either in this life or the next. We have to remember that God is a person with his own mind, his own will, which is far above ours, and not a process, a genie, that caters to our wishes. He knows things we cannot see and everything he does, he does with purpose and intent to his will. God healing someone has a purpose and God not healing someone else also has a purpose. What that purpose is, I don't know, but I have to trust God that he knows what he is doing and why.

Logan said...

Charlie,

Stay tuned for Wednesday's post for why God chooses to heal only some and what the purpose is when healings do occur. I'm not claiming to know the mind of God, but I think there are some things we can take from Scripture about what is really important and why we are even on this earth in the first place. We must remember that even the healings we do receive in this life do not heal permanently, for as long as we are in this world we will have troubles and pains. Usually when a person does NOT receive healing in our eyes, that's actually the only time they are COMPLETELY and ETERNALLY healed in the sense of being restored back to perfection and holiness and with a new body! Revelation 21:4 explains what that type of healing is like, and there is none like it.

Charlie said...

I remember seeing your preview of it. One thing that comes to mind about "non-healings" is the cases of Jodi-Erickson Tada and Nic Vujicic. I won't forget this question: "If God had healed them of their physical problems, would they have the worldwide ministry they have today?" Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Spontaneous remission, which is what Connie experienced, is far from supernatural, and has been understood fairly well since the late 90s. Here is an article explaining it, without invoking supernatural phenomenon. Www.ncbi.nlb.nih.gov/PMC/articles/pmc3312698/ I will say this, if cancers only ever spontaneously regressed for Christians, or after christian prayer, that would say something about Christianity being true. But, that isn't the case. I'm happy your friend is NED, but it isn't a miracle.

Charlie said...

Anonymous, your link doesn't work, so I checked out "spontaneous remission" on Wiki, and exactly as I suspected, it is nothing but a fancy term for "we don't have a clue". All the documents only demonstrate the results of what happened, not actually what did happen. There is no natural explanation for it happening and that certainly does not allow for "I don't know what it is but it can't be God."

Anonymous said...

Cancer survivor rates have been increasing year after year. Is God paying more attention to us since the 70s?

Or are people simply stop looking to the sky for answers and instead finding the answers for themselves?

As for the breast cancer woman, what kind of God magically heals someone then decides 'Just kidding! It's back again!' What a jerk move to give someone hope then yank it away.

If someone dies for unexplained reasons it's "Gods plan"

If someone is healed for unexplained reasons it's all "Hallelujah our prayers are answered!"

As science and technology improves, so does our rate of finding out the causes and effects of those things previously unexplained.

Charlie said...

Much of science has been from people who sought to "think God's thoughts after him" to quote Isaac Newton. God provided a lot of natural solutions to the problems we have. It really is amazing what we have discovered, but those discoveries did not get there on their own. It took someone who know what he was doing to make it work. All of our scientific and medical discoveries do not "rule out God"'s involvement. They actually all point to him.

Tom Stimson said...

Katie, what do you think is the significance with the gift of healing actually being plural in the Scripture verse..."gifts of healing"? This came up in my personal study of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and I have been wondering...

Katie said...

Tom, thanks for reading! In 1 Corinthians 12:28, yes it is plural giftS of healing, and there actually is no "the" with it. While the text isn't clear on why it's plural, I think there are a couple possibilities. One is that there are many diseases which require multiple types of healings; it's not just one "healing" for everything. Or, it could be so not one person can claim to have THE gift of healing, rather it's available to anyone through the power of the Spirit.

But, those are just guesses. As I said, the text isn't clear on it, so we need to be careful not to read too much into it.