Recently, I had a discussion via e-mail with a person who I think has a strong faith in Jesus but does not believe that Jesus heals today. This has always been very puzzling to me because I think that all Christians believe the Bible and the Bible is clear that Jesus heals and that His disciples heal. In Bible College we studied how a person who has a faith in God and believes that the Bible is the inspired word of God could beleive that Jesus no longer heals. The theological term for this kind of thinking is called "cessationism." Cessationism is a doctrine of man (Mark 7:7) that essentially teaches that since we have the Bible that we no longer need miracles like healing, signs, and wonders. I don't know about you but when I am sick I am happy that I have my Bible but I need to be healed. My Bible tells me that Jesus heals, that God heals, that the disciples will lay hands on the sick and they shall be healed. I am not interested in doctrines of man but in the Word of God.
You will have to decide this issue on your own. If it helps, maybe I could share this experience with you. Every year I take a group from River Rock to the Philippines where we see so many healed. in 2007 we had a really nice missionary who was stationed in the same city we were working come every night and help us. He loaned us a wonderful vehicle to use and was so helpful. Each night he would lay hands on many people who would be healed. I was puzzled at this becuase he had a graduate degree from Dallas Theological Seminary which is considered by many to be the birthplace of cessationism. So I asked him how he could lay hands on so many and see them healed when he was a graduate of Dallas Theological seminary. He told me that his professors at the seminary had to teach their doctrine [doctrine of man Mark 7:7] to keep their jobs but they knew that God did indeed still do miracles and heal. He told me to "Google" Dallas Theological Seminary and cessationism and see for myself. I did and I found out that many current and past professors do know that God heals. So, here is my recomendation to you, stick with what the Bible says and leave the teaching of doctrine of man to the religious people. Below was my written response to this person.
My faith is based upon a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ as revealed to us through His Holy Scriptures, that is the Bible. I don’t run my life by trying to find things in this world to prove that the Bible is true. I know that the Bible is the word of God based upon my faith in God. Therefore, when there is a question between God’s word and what I see around me I choose to believe God’s word. I have never seen heaven but I know it exists. You may say, “how do you know?” The answer is a deep faith and a personal relationship with Jesus. I have never seen hell but I believe it exists because the Bible tells me so. I have never seen my salvation but I know that I am saved. I don’t look at the world as “will science prove the Bible true” but “does the Bible support the current scientific theory on any particular subject?” When it comes to things like healing I do not look at the world around me but I look to the Bible. What does God’s word say? The Bible tells us that one of God’s names is Jehovah Rapha “The God who heals.” Therefore I know that it is God’s very nature to heal. I know that Jesus told his disciples to “heal the sick” (Luke 10:9) I believe that his disciples can heal the sick. Jesus Himself tells us “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12 Therefore I expect to be able to do greater things. Jesus goes on in Mark 16 to say that “And these signs will accompany those who believe…they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." Therefore I place my hands on the sick and I expect them to get well. If I lay my hands on 10,000 people and no gets well I will still believe that this will happen because God’s Word says it will.
Pastor Eric Moen
"Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." James 5:14-16
"We live by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7