HEALING Sermon Illustrations

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HEALING


Sermon Illustrations

HEALING

Faith for my deliverance is not faith in God. Faith means, whether I am visibly delivered or not, I will stick to my belief that God is love. There are some things only learned in a fiery furnace. 

Oswald Chambers in Run Today's Race.


About half of the Americans who are familiar with the New Age movement don't take its teachings seriously, and a third of them say New Age thought runs counter to Judeo-Christian teaching, says a new poll by the Princeton Religious Research Center.

The poll also shows that the general population's awareness of the New Age is low, but the number of Americans who adhere to New Age practices is alarmingly high, even among professing Christians. "Many who consider themselves good Christians nonetheless have engaged in practices that seemingly are counter to the teaching of their church," the pollsters said.

Roughly half of all Americans say they believe in extrasensory perception. Thirty percent of Roman Catholics and 22 percent of Protestants say they believe in clairvoyance, while 48 percent of Roman Catholics and 44 percent of Protestants say they believe in psychic healing, the poll shows. The poll indicates that 25 percent of both groups believe the movement of the stars may help govern the affairs of men and women.

Christianity Today, February 10, 1992.


Paul's frequency of healing declined with the passing of time:

Galatians 4:13-15 Paul was ill

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Paul was afflicted

Philippians 2:25-30 Epaphroditus was ill (A.D. 60)

1 Timothy 5:23 Timothy was ill (A.D. 62-3)

2 Timothy 4:20 Trophimus was ill (A.D. 64).

Source Unknown.


Even back then I was searching for hard evidence of God as an alternative to faith. And one day I found it--on television, of all places. While randomly flipping a dial, I came across a mass healing service being conducted by Kathryn Kuhlman. I watched for a few minutes as she brought various people up on the stage and interviewed them. Each one told an amazing story of supernatural healing. Cancer, heart conditions, paralysis--it was like a medical encyclopedia up there. As I watched Kuhlman's program, my doubts gradually melted away. At last I had found something real and tangible. Kuhlman asked a musician to sing her favorite song, "He Touched Me. That's what I needed, I thought; a touch, a personal touch from God. She held out that promise, and I lunged for it. 

Three weeks later when Kathryn Kuhlman came to a neighboring state, I skipped classes and traveled half a day to attend one of her meetings. The atmosphere was unbelievably charged--soft organ music in the background; the murmuring sound of people praying aloud, some in strange tongues; and every few minutes a happy interruption when someone would stand and claim, "I'm healed!" One person especially make an impression, a man from Milwaukee who had been carried into the meeting on a stretcher. When he walked--yes, walked--onstage, we all cheered wildly. He told us he was a physician, and I was even more impressed. He had incurable lung cancer, he said, and was told he had six months to live. But now, tonight, he believed God had healed him. He was walking for the first time in months. He felt great. Praise God! I wrote down the man's name and practically floated out of that meeting. I had never known such certainty of faith before. My search was over; I had seen proof of a living God in those people on the stage. If he could work tangible miracles in them, then surely he had something wonderful in store for me. 

I wanted contact with the man of faith I had seen at the meeting, so much so that exactly one week later I phoned Directory Assistance in Milwaukee and got the physician's number. When I dialed it, a woman answered the phone. "May I please speak to Dr. S_____," I said. Long silence. "Who are you?" she said at last. I figured she was just screening calls from patients or something. I gave my name and told her I admired Dr. S_____ and had wanted to talk to him ever since the Kathryn Kuhlman meeting. I had been very moved by his story, I said. Another long silence. Then she spoke in a flat voice, pronouncing each word slowly. "My...husband...is...dead." Just that one sentence, nothing more, and she hung up. 

I can't tell you how that devastated me. I was wasted. I half-staggered into the next room, where my sister was sitting. "Richard, what's wrong?" she asked. "Are you all right?" No, I was not all right. But I couldn't talk about it. I was crying. My mother and sister tried to pry some explanation out of me. But what could I tell them? For me, the certainty I had staked my life on had died with that phone call. A flame had flared bright for one fine, shining week and then gone dark, like a dying star. 

Philip Yancey, Disappointment With God, Zondervan, pp. 38-40.



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