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Why Aren’t More People Healed?

God promises to heal all our diseases (Psalm 103:3) and to sanctify us completely, body, soul and spirit (I Thessalonians 5:23). Jesus said that those who believe will do the works He did and greater (John 14:12). God also promised to heal the pain of His people, a pain directly related to our sins (Jeremiah 30:14). He said this would help us in amazing ways and that in the latter days we will finally understand it (verses 17-24).

 If these things are true, why isn’t every church a place of healing?

 Some people have been taught that God doesn’t heal today, but there are other reasons as well. Healing has always been controversial. I spoke to my church men's group recently and told them when the Lord led me to share with others what I had been learning about healing I didn’t want to. I had worked for years to earn a reputation as a biblical responsible writer and pastor. I knew I would be attacked for doing healing work. Even Jesus’ came under fire when He healed people (Luke 13:11-17).

 The religious leaders were more concerned that He fit into the legalistic box they had for Him than that a woman who had suffered at the hands of incompetent physicians be healed. Because Jesus came with power and not just talk, the people were so drawn to Him that He threatened the religious establishment. Because the Pharisees couldn’t do what He did, they had to discredit Him or lose all their wealth, privilege and authority.

 Ultimately, they erred knowing neither His Word nor His power (Matthew 22:29). Similarly we err if we neglect either one. Without God’s Word, rightly divided, we can drift away from God and into charismaniacal weirdness or New Age error. But without His power working in and through us, we dry up and become shallow religious shells, devoid of the substance, enthusiasm and essence of what it means to vitally serve the Living God.  

 Sadly, the church in our day doesn’t fare much better than the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. People prefer hospitals to healing though over 90,000 people die every year because of doctor’s mistakes in hospitals alone. Still more people die because of nurses and staff’s mistakes, even more from wrong prescriptions, more yet from doctor’s errors outside of hospitals. Staff errors almost killed my mother once when she was in a hospital. Thankfully, I was there when it happened and insisted they call a doctor. The nurse didn’t want to do that. When I asked for a phone to call my lawyer, she found a doctor who immediately intervened to save her life.

 Even many who don’t die find the quality of their lives diminished by western medicine. It has turned many doctors into little more than modern day medicine men who promiscuously prescribe incredibly expensive and often debilitating drugs for almost anything that ails us. Even many Christians depend on their pricey potions because the Church has neglected its wonderful calling to heal the broken and hurting.

 So why doesn’t the church heal sick and hurting people? Most pastors, like me, have prayed for healing and seen their prayers go unanswered. That’s an awful experience. Before I became a pastor, I was with a family in the hospital praying for their 12-year-old daughter who was in a coma. When she died it was one of the saddest moments of my life. I felt totally helpless and at a complete loss to help them understand why God didn’t heal her.

 Few seminaries and Bible colleges have courses in healing. Even the ones that rail against liberals for not believing in a supernatural God just as often rail against Christians who dare to believe that God can heal today. It’s tempting and so very easy to label something as New Age and dismiss it merely because it doesn’t fit our theology. But people are too big to fit into pigeonholes.

 Many of the greatest things God has done throughout history came from those who thought outside the Church’s historical box. Where would we be if Martin Luther, John Calvin or Charles Wesley had not done that? The key is to think outside the box while staying inside the Book – God’s book, the Bible.

 Some people don’t believe in spiritual healing because Jesus and Paul didn’t do it. But they also didn’t visit a dentist or drive a Buick. That doesn’t mean we should all become Amish.

 I will never intentionally say or do anything in my ministry that violates a clear teaching of scripture. Since I started doing spiritual healing, I have promised to change anything I do or teach if someone can show me any errors. So far, in over 20 years of healing the hurting, no one ever has. In churches where I led healing seminars, pastors later told me they stood ready to remove me from their pulpit if I said or did anything contrary to scripture. They watched me like a hawk for almost a week and later confessed that they fully expected to see and hear error but never did. Instead, they saw people they had known for years finally find healing, deliverance and revival once their wounds were healed, their spirits lifted, their relationship with God restored and their core issues resolved.

 Some argue that miraculous gifts were only used by God to establish the church and authenticate Jesus’ ministry. They say that God stopped healing people when the Bible was codified. Once we have God’s Word, they reason, we no longer need prophecy, words of knowledge and gifts of wisdom and healing (I Corinthians 12:7-11). Spiritual gifts have ceased, they say, as I Corinthians 13 told us they would. They maintain we no longer need healing and miracles. However, if you stood outside any clinic or hospital waiting room and watched people agonize over their own or their loved one’s diseases you could hardly think that. If you or a loved one faced cancer and saw all hope drifting away in spite of medicine’s best efforts you just might seek out other options.

 God is unchangeable – Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). The God who promised to heal all our diseases and used the Apostles to heal never said He would stop doing that. The passage in I Corinthians 13 says tongues, prophecy and even knowledge will pass away, but it says nothing about healing ever ending. Indeed, to believe God doesn’t heal today requires us to ignore many scriptures to the contrary, including those quoted in the first paragraph.

 God healed to prove Jesus had power to forgive sins but that’s not the only reason. Healing flows from God’s compassion. It is a pure reflection of His love for us. And God doesn’t just have love, He IS Love. Healing the sick and hurting is thoroughly consistent with His very character and nature.

 A major controversy also exists in treating the dis-eases of the soul. Though Jesus is the only religious figure that said He was anointed to heal the broken hearted and liberate those who are wounded (Luke 4:18-20), few churches know how to do this. Sadly, people flock to new age religions and gurus because they can’t come to Christ for healing through His Church. Some conservatives often label almost anyone who heals the hurting as “new age”. Liberals are worse, sometimes considering them cult like. Both theological poles often have more faith in cognitive or biblical counseling than they do in Jesus’ power to do through His Church the very thing Jesus was anointed to do, the very thing His name stands for as Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One. 

 To be sure, Jesus was our prophet, priest and king but that’s not why He said He was anointed. He said He was anointed to heal the brokenhearted and free the bruised. He also challenged us to do the same things and greater (John 14:12). If we ignore this, we may have the Word without power, and nothing is more dead than half-filled Christians trying to overflow.

 Churches who ignore the supernatural will become museums for saints instead of hospitals for sinners, filled with an aging congregation of insipid but very nice people; lovely folks who will do little to change their world let alone reach the hurting who surround us all. Where Christians take seriously Jesus’ mission to heal the hurting and His compassion for the broken and wounded, His light burns brightly. Word of this quickly spreads farther than advertising budgets can take it. Like moths drawn to a fire, sincere sinners will flock to hear that good news, and they will be converted unto Him.


Ken Unger is President of and founder of, where you can learn more about him and his transformative ministry. click here ,
 "Ken's new book, The Ultimate Breakthrough, goes beyond self help to self healing. You can preview it at The Ultimate Breakthrough "
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