Tag Archives: Sin

Healing all diseases

Mark Zuckerberg clearly has great intentions, having pledged over £2bn to fund his aim of eradicating all diseases by the end of the century. He and his wife rightly point out how far science and medicine have come in the last century, after “millennia with little progress”. It’s only logical to assume that great advances are surely not far away.

It’s interesting to consider the Bible view on this subject. For a start, it is apparent that Jewish health laws were clearly far in advance of their time – modern health practice only caught up in the last century or so with what the Bible instructed back in 1400 BC (Click here for more on this). Washing hands and dealing with sewage far away from human settlement are just two examples of this. Surely this shows that God knows best, and that God is in control of such things anyway.

If God is in control, then it is arrogant of mankind to think it can solve its own problems. The Bible shows time and again that it is in God’s power to strike someone seriously ill with leprosy (eg 2 Chronicles 26v19), for example, and that it was equally in His power to heal, through His son or through His prophets (eg Matthew 8v3). If God wanted to remove all disease, He could do.

So what is the reason why disease still exists? Back in Genesis 3v19 we see that God intervened in His own creation to curse mankind with mortality: “Dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” From this point on, mankind has been subject to the frailty and weakness of mortal flesh, and ultimately dies from some affliction or other. It is made very clear that sin, in other words, disobedience to God, brought this intervention. Just look at the way it is explained in Paul’s letter to the Romans:

“Sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned,” Romans 5v12.

God immediately, however, demonstrated that there would always be a way back to Him through a promised descendant, who would be the Lord Jesus Christ. It is through him that mankind can once again be immortal and enjoy the prospect of healing.

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away,” (Revelation 21v4).

We can be a part of this promise of immortality through belief and baptism (see Galatians 3v26-29) – this is the true and real hope of all diseases being eradicated and mankind being restored to the way he was created in the first place. Unfortunately, despite the best intentions of many people, charities and organisations, God has shown us in the Bible that only this approach will ultimately succeed.

Churches in the News

The news this month has contained several articles to do with established churches trying to keep up with the times. Firstly, we heard that the Pope was offering time-off in Purgatory for people who followed his Twitter account:

“The church’s granted indulgences reduce the time Catholics believe they will have to spend in purgatory after they have confessed and been absolved of their sins. The remissions got a bad name in the Middle Ages because unscrupulous churchmen sold them for large sums of money. But now indulgences are being applied to the 21st century. But a senior Vatican official warned web-surfing Catholics that indulgences still required a dose of old-fashioned faith, and that paradise was not just a few mouse clicks away. “You can’t obtain indulgences like getting a coffee from a vending machine,” Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, head of the pontifical council for social communication, told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.” (from the Guardian. See here for a better explanation of what happens at death according to the Bible.)

120px-Pope_Francis_in_March_2013_(cropped)

Then the Church of England has been forced to admit they invested funds in controversial money lending site Wonga (here) and are looking into lending money themselves, as the Archbishop of Canterbury said, to “compete [Wonga] out of business.” The quote from Boris Johnson was “[The archbishop] is not turning over the tables of the money lenders, he’s bringing in his own money lending tables.”

These are both classic examples of established churches trying to remain relevant for the 21st century and adapting to the social and cultural needs of the day, with little emphasis on the reading and teaching of the Bible. In fact, the Bible says that it is relevant for all time and there is no need to add or change anything to what it already says. The simple way Jesus teaches his followers to live their lives can apply to any age or place, and this has helped it to survive unaltered for two thousand years and more. The Pope is certainly unable to influence what will happen on the day of judgement, as the Bible says it will be the Lord Jesus Christ who will have this authority (Matthew 25v31) – see this post.

The Lord God does not change: “I am the Lord, I change not” (Malachi 3v6), and nor does Jesus His Son: “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13v8). The Bible is no different: “The Word of the Lord endures for ever” (1 Peter 1v25), and if we find ourselves having to adapt it to suit our own ends, then there is something wrong with our own perspective. We should be striving to live by its teaching, and not adapt its teaching to our generation.