Reading Time: 5 mins read
There are no sick people in heaven.
Jesus went to a hospital, saw a man who had been sick for 38 years, and asked him if he would like to get well. The man might have answered sarcastically: “No, I love being sick” “If I don’t want to get well what would I be doing in a hospital?”
But is it really an offensive question?
Let me present this as a parable. A university professor asks one of his students in the Department of Architecture: “Do you want to be an Architect?”
Why would he ask him such a question? Why would he be studying Architecture if he does not want to be an architect? What are the possibilities and probabilities?
The student is not studying. He is just going from party to party. The student is doing very badly in his studies. He is not concentrating in class. He has not been doing his homework. The professor is convinced that if the student does not make amends, he will not pass his exams and will not get a degree.
Not for the Sick
Jesus asked the sick man: “Do you want to be made whole?” Let me translate this into spiritual English. “Do you want to be saved? Are you really interested in salvation?”
Let me put it even more bluntly: “Do you really want to end up in heaven?” Then you must work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Can I tell you a secret? Do you promise not to be offended? Sick men do not go to heaven.
The Lord sent me to pray for sick people who subsequently died. It took me some time to understand why. Later, I discovered that every sick person he asked me to pray for was appointed for salvation. All of them were going to heaven, but God did not want them there with sickness.
He said to me: “Whosoever you touch and pray for, I will heal.” So, although some of the sick I prayed for died, they were healed of their sicknesses.
Sickness and Salvation
James asks: “Is any sick among you? 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 shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” (James 5:14-15).
The prayer of faith opens the door of salvation to the sick. The Lord promises to raise them up into eternal life. If they have committed sins, He promises to forgive and cleanse them.
This is because there are no sick people in heaven. There are no sinners in there. To get there, you must be healed of sin and sickness. Jesus is the Lord who heals us.
Paul says: “Our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21).
He will change our sick bodies into glorious bodies that can never be sick again and that cannot die.
Sin and Sickness
Sin is synonymous with sickness in the Bible. The foundation of all sickness is sin. If there was no sin, there would be no sickness. But because we live in a fallen world, man is exposed to the effects of sin, which include pain, sickness, and diseases.
But the sickness that man is preoccupied with is physical sickness, while the sickness that God is concerned with is sin sickness. Therefore, when a paralytic was brought to Jesus, He did not address his paralysis, which was merely a symptom of his sickness. Instead, He addressed the man’s sin, which was his real sickness.
In effect, Jesus healed the man by forgiving his sins. He said to him: “Be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven you.”
What would have happened if Jesus had stopped there? What if He healed the man by forgiving his sins, but the man remained in paralysis? Would he have believed that he was healed? Would he have appreciated that kind of healing?
What if you went to see a doctor because of some ailment and he told you your sins are forgiven and wrote you a bill for the consultation? Would you pay him or conclude that you are being conned?
If you were given a choice between having your sins forgiven or being healed of a deadly disease, which would you choose? Frankly, many would choose physical healing any day over salvation. It is easy to rationalise that after we have been healed, we can then address the issue of salvation.
Hear and understand. Man is only concerned about sickness when it affects the body. God is concerned about sickness when it affects the soul. Man is a bishop and shepherd of the body. God is the bishop and shepherd of the soul. Man is concerned when he is sick that he should be made well. God is concerned when we are sick that we should be made whole. Man would do anything to save the body from sickness. God would do anything to save the soul from sin. That is kingdom dynamics.
Salvation from Sin
What is the difference between what Jesus offered and what the Jews desired? Jesus offered salvation. But the Jews only wanted to be healed of sickness. Jesus was sent to make men whole, but the Jews wanted to be made well. Jesus went about healing the sick because except men see signs and wonders they would not believe He can heal the soul.
But when Jesus deliberately told a man who came to him for healing that his sins were forgiven, the Jews were up in arms. They accused Jesus of blasphemy, arguing that only God can forgive sins.
But hearkening back to Isaiah, Jesus said in effect: “Come, let us reason together:” “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” — He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” (Lk 5:23-24).
Immediately, and to the astonishment of all, the man got up from his sick bed, carried his bed, and went home.
Do You Believe?
Which report do you believe? Do you believe Jesus can heal the sick? Or do you believe He can forgive sins?
Today, many Christians believe Jesus can heal the sick but do not believe he can heal our sins. They believe Jesus can make them financially rich but do not believe He can take away their sins. They believe Jesus can give them breakthroughs but do not believe He can make them stop telling lies, stop lusting, or stop fornicating.
For this reason, many Christians remain in sin. We come to church looking for money, life partners, jobs, and other things that are not of particular interest to the Messiah.
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