Part I: God’s Sovereignty Under Attack
I’ve always hated the health and wealth gospel. The more I think about it, the more problems I see with it. There are always consequences to any bad theology, and this one is no exception.
The health and wealth gospel states that those who believe in God and obey Him are guaranteed to be healthy and wealthy. I won’t spend time addressing this in length. Anyone who knows anything about Scripture, the disciples, and Jesus can see this is theological nonsense.
Jesus was crucified, and at times He walked this earth with nowhere to lay His head (Matthew 8:20). Job was a righteous man and lost his business, his house, and worse – family members. We could observe the disciples and see how many of them went through many agonizing physical tortures. This theology doesn’t hold up.
What we need to understand is that when we believe in this false theology of the health and wealth gospel, we damage people, and worse yet, God’s character. In this article I want to focus on how God’s sovereignty is under attack by those who falsely promote the health and wealth gospel.
Some would point to James 5:14 and believe that anyone they prayed for that is ill would automatically be healed. But any time we study Scripture, we need to take it not just in context of the surrounding verses, but the entire Bible. For those who believe that this is a guarantee, they reject that God has an ultimate will. They believe that they are in charge of deciding who would be healed. Who they pray for will be healed.
A quick study of Scripture would show that this is not the case. Paul prayed three times to be relieved of being in pain, and God did not answer it (II Corinthians 12:7-10). Was it that the apostle Paul didn’t have enough faith? No. It was that God sovereignly decided that for the glorification of God and the plans He had, Paul needed to not have that removed from his life. God’s ultimate will will be done.
If you believe anyone you pray for would be healed – this should be for every Christian who prays for another Christian who is ill – no Christian would be sick. This idea rejects that sometimes healing, at least on this side of Heaven, is not God’s plan for all of us.
Worse yet, it puts us in the driver’s seat. It says you just have to lay on hands and pray, and that there are no other qualifiers. In doing this, it removes and diminishes the sovereignty of God, and puts us in the driver’s seat. It says, “As long as you pray” and leaves out, “If it is God’s will.”
That’s not what faith is about. God’s name isn’t some magic wand, some incantation. He is not some vending machine where we put in the price of prayer, and tell Him exactly what we want, and we get it every time. He is ultimately in control, and He is because He knows what is best for us.
Can He heal? Absolutely! Does He still do miracles today? For sure! But when we pray, we pray according to His will. We pray, “God, this is my desire, but ‘not my will, but yours be done.’” We pray in faith that if He wants to heal He can and will, and if He doesn’t want to, He won’t, and in the end, it is His decision not ours. The qualifier for the healing prayer is telling Jesus, “Your will be done.” Without it, we reject His sovereign control over things.
Do you think God can miraculously heal someone if He wants to? Do you believe that you are in charge of someone’s healing, or our God is ultimately in control? If God doesn’t heal, do you blame Him, or yourself, or place it in His hands? Do you trust Him that His plan is the best, and He has a plan that will ultimately glorify Him? Do you see how God’s sovereignty is at stake if you misconstrue these verses?
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.