Several years ago a friend with prophetic insight challenged me to speak to the rock of offence. I did not have a clue what this meant, despite searching the scriptures over several years. However, it all came clear when I heard a message by Bill Johnson about John the Baptist. I began to understand the problem of disappointment and offence.

Many Christians have sought healing for a long time without success. In some churches these disappointed people have been prayed for over and over again, but nothing has happened. Most have a deep sense of disappointment and have given up all hope of being healed. Some have been hurt by accusations of lack of faith. This enormous backlog of hurt and disappointment with God has never been sorted.

The sad thing is that when disappointment is frequent and unresolved, the disappointed people get offended by God. Offence produces unbelief, which shuts out the power of the Spirit.

John's Disappointment

When John the Baptist was in prison, he sent messengers asking Jesus if he was the messiah (Mat 11:2-3). John had seen the Holy Spirit come down and heard God speak when Jesus was baptised, so he knew who Jesus was.

Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, "The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."

John had given this amazing testimony, but now he was asking if Jesus really was the messiah. The reason for his doubt was disappointment.

Jesus had promised at the beginning of his ministry that he would "proclaim freedom for the prisoners" (Luke 4:18), so John had expected to be released, but now he was stuck in prison and would likely die. No wonder he was disappointed; but he had fallen into judging Jesus by his own experience.

Jesus response to John the Baptist is interesting.

Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of me (Matt 11:4-6).

Jesus gave John a solution to his disappointment. He told him to look at what he was doing. We get disappointed when we focus on what we think God is not doing. The best way to deal with disappointment is to look at what God is doing. Seeing what he has done and is doing should dispel disappointment.

Jesus also gave a warning: "Blessed is he who is not offended because of me". To be offended at someone means that we have a bad attitude to them. Jesus message seems quite a harsh, but John's disappointment was dangerous, because it could have given him a bad attitude towards Jesus.

John did the right thing. When he felt disappointed, he went to Jesus and sorted things out. If we are feeling disappointed in God, we need to go him and resolve our issues. This is the best way to avoid taking offence.

The Death of John the Baptist

Jesus was tempted in every way that we are. When John the Baptist was killed, Jesus could have been disappointed. He had lost a cousin and a staunch supporter. Jesus had come to die for the people, but now John had died for him. It is interesting to see how he responded to a situation where he could have been disappointed.

John's disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus. When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick (Matt 14:12-14).

Jesus response to the message that John had died was to get away to a solitary place with his Father. When the crowds came, the power of God flowed, because he had dealt with any pain or disappointment.

Offence Produces Unbelief

When Jesus came to his own village the people were amazed at him, but their amazement soon changed to questions of doubt.

Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?" So they were offended at Him (Mark 6:3).

The people of Nazareth did not get carried away by what has happened, but tried to assess Jesus. This is a sensible thing to do when a new Messiah turns up. Their problem was that they judged Jesus by their experience of him. The boy next door could not be the king of Israel. David had slain a lion and killed a Philistine giant while he was still young. Jesus had nothing to show but a few cupboards and benches. He could not be the Messiah.

Their statements about Jesus were true. He was a carpenter. He was the brother of James and the others. However, these true statements were limited to their knowledge of Jesus, so they gained a distorted view of him. They did not ask about what had happened in other towns. They gave greater weight to their own experience than all that Jesus had said and done.

Their mistake was testing Jesus against their expectation of the Messiah. Their expectations were wrong, so they were disappointed in him. Their disappointment led to their being offended by him. Offence led to unbelief, which shut down the power of God.

And he had no power (dunamo) in that place to do any mighty work (dunamis), except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marvelled because of their unbelief (Mark 6:5,6).

"Dunamis" the Greek word for explosive power is used twice, with a negative. Jesus was the Son of God, who had come down from heaven. The Holy Spirit had come upon him when he was baptised. Yet in Nazareth, he had no power (dunamo) and he could do no mighty work (dunamis). Jesus was powerless because negative declarations by people with authority shut down the power of God.

The people of Nazareth did nothing more than ask the wrong type of questions about Jesus, but the scriptures say they were offended by him.

Nazareth illustrates a dangerous downward spiral that can affect Christians.

  • Amazement
  • Judging God's work against our expectations and experience
  • Disappointment
  • Offence
  • Unbelief
  • Holy Spirit quenched
  • No miracles

Offence at God produces unbelief, which limits the Holy Spirit's power.

Capernaum

The people of Capernaum demonstrate the correct way to respond. When Jesus came they were also amazed. They asked some questions, but theirs were questions of faith, not questions of doubt.

Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, "What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him." And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee. At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him.(Mark 1:27,28,33,34).

The pattern here is very different.

  • Amazement
  • Questions of faith
  • Focus on what God is doing
  • Acceptance
  • Faith
  • Healing and Deliverance.

There was no offence at Jesus in Capernaum, so the power of healing flowed

Lessons for Christians

This contrast between Nazareth and Capernaum has several important lessons for us.

  1. Many Churches and Christian have prayed earnestly for sick people, but they have still died. This has produced huge disappointment. If disappointment comes too frequently, people can get offended by God. The problem is that offence produces unbelief, which shuts out the power of the Spirit.

    I believe that one of the greatest obstacles to healing in the church is unbelief that comes through offence at God for not doing what we expected. We have used our disappointment in the person not being healed to justify our offence.

  2. Offence is a silent insidious sin that is mostly buried and hidden. When we are offended by someone, we often say nothing. The other person may not even know that we are offended. However, the offence still infects our relationship by eating away in our hearts and tainting everything we say and do.

    Most Christians who are offended at God over sickness have never said what they feel out loud. They just have this feeling of being let down by God. The wrong attitude is often buried so deep in our hearts that we do not know it is there. However, it taints our thoughts and words and spoils our relationship with God. Buried offence makes faith difficult.

  3. Christians can get offended at God over many issues. Sickness and lack of healing is the main cause of offence against God in churches that have been touched by the move of the Holy Spirit. The charismatic renewal created great expectations about healing that has never been fulfilled. Many who were disappointed have taken offence over this issue.

  4. Turning a statement about the facts of a situation, into a statement about the nature and the character of God is dangerous. Sometimes when a respected Christian dies of a illness, Christians deal with it by saying, "God does not heal everyone". That is true as a statement of fact, because this Christian was not healed. However "God does not heal everyone" is dangerous when it becomes a theological statement, because it suggests that God is capricious or fickle. The question insinuates offence at God. They do not say it out loud, but they are questioning the extent of his love, his goodness or his power. The following unspoken questions make this clear.

    Why would a good God allow this to happen?

    Why could a powerful God not prevent this from happening?

    Why would a loving God allow someone to suffer in this way?

    When we are offended by God, we tend to blame him for things that are evil.

  5. When things go wrong, it is good to ask God why. That was John the Baptist's response. Likewise, the disciples asked Jesus why they were unable to heal the boy with the evil spirit (Mark 9:28). However, although it is good to ask why, we must be very careful about how we frame our questions. John's question was dangerous, because it tested Jesus character and ministry on the basis John's experience.

    Are you the one? (Matt 11:3).

    The disciples question was better, because it tested their experience, against the standards of Jesus.

    Why couldn't we?(Mark 9:28)

    Their question expressed humility, not offence at God

    We should be careful to ask these questions without going into condemnation. We are human, so we will often get things wrong. All that God expects is that we learn from our mistakes and grow in faith.

  6. We must never ask our questions in a way that puts God on trial. We can confess our lack of faith, but we must never cast doubt on his love, or his goodness or his power. We must never ask a question that blames God. We must never accuse him of not meeting our expectations. The Bible defines these questions as being offended by God, and offence leads to unbelief.

    Our questions are often similar to those of the people of Nazareth. When our worship is a bit flat we say,

    Was the Holy Spirit here?

    The Holy Spirit is always there, so we should really be asking.

    Have we grieved the Spirit"?

    We should always ask our questions in a way that honours the Holy Spirit.

    The Bible defines any question that blames or accuses him as being offended by him. He wants us to talk to him about things that happen so we can learn, but we must never ask questions that put him on trial. God is love. God is good. Love and goodness are at the heart of his character. Questioning his love, or his goodness, or his power is an insult to his character. We must never shift the blame for our weakness to God.

    The following questions are dangerous because the reflect disappointment and could lead to offence at God.

    Why did God allow this to happen?

    Why did God not answer our prayers?

    He was a good man. Why did God not heal him?

    Why has God left this lovely family without a father?

    We could ask why the forces of evil would do these things, but the answer is so obvious that the question is hardly worth asking.

    Here are some humble questions that will enable us to learn.

    Why is my grief so painful? (Because you loved them of course.)

    Why was the church not able to heal the sick person?

    What is the reason for our lack of faith?

    Was there a root cause for this sickness that we missed?

    Why is our church powerless against sickness?

    Why are our elders unable to get victory over sickness

  7. This does not mean that we cannot be totally honest with God about what is happening to us. We can say

    This pain is tearing me apart

    My heart is so heavy that I feel it will break.

    I know how I should be responding, but I just cannot do it.

    We do not need to pretend. We can tell the Father about our feelings and our struggles. He can cope with honesty; but we must not tell God what he should be feeling or doing. Job is a good example. He let it all hang out, but one important thing that he did not do. He refused to accuse God.

    In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing (Job 1:22).
    When dealing with pain and death we can be honest with God about what is going on in our lives. He is glad when we are open with him and ask for help. However, we must guard our hearts lest our pain turn into disappointment or offence with him.

  8. Disappointment can also lead to apathy, especially for those who are young. While disappointment causes some people get stirred up and offended at God, others slip into apathy. They respond by saying,

    I don't care. I never expected anything to happen any way.

    Apathy also kills faith, because apathetic people just give up expecting anything from God. In some ways this is worse. God can cope, if we are upset with him, but there is not much that he can do for those who do not care. Apathy also quenches the Holy Spirit.

  9. Jesus has earned healing for his body, so he expects the Church to put this victory to work. The main responsibility rests with elders and pastors.

    Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders (James 5:14).

    This is a challenging word for elders and pastors of churches with sickness. God has given them responsibility for healing his people. He does not mind them admitting their faith is weak, but they should be careful blaming him for their failure.

    If pastors and leaders allow their people to get offended at God over sickness, they are letting them blame God for something, which they should be doing. This is a dangerous game, because if Christians stop blaming God, they might start blaming their pastors and elders. Allowing people to blame God seems to be easier than taking responsibility for dealing with their sickness.

Zechariah and Mary

Disappointment and offence prevent us from hearing the voice of God. Zechariah and Elizabeth were childless and "they were both well along in years (Luke 1:7). No doubt they had prayed for a son, but their prayers were disappointed. While Zechariah was serving in the temple the angel of the Lord appeared to him beside the altar of incense and promised that he and Elizabeth would have a son and the Spirit of God would be upon him. Zechariah had Gabriel standing beside him in the Holy of Holies, but he still responded with a doubting question.

How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years (Luke 1:18).

Zechariah tested the word of God against his own situation. His disappointment and offence at unanswered prayer had produced unbelief that prevented him from hearing God's voice. When his prayer was finally answered, he was unable to accept it. Gabriel rebuked his unbelief and silenced him to confirm his word.

But behold, you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time (Luke 1:20).

Disappointment that is not dealt with leads to offence that produces unbelief. Offence provents us from receiving the next thing that God has for us.

Gabriel also visited Mary, but she responded with a humble question.

How can this be, since I do not know a man (Luke 1:34)?

When Gabriel said that nothing is impossible for God, Mary declared her faith.

I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said (Luke 1:38).

Mary's heart was not wounded by disappointment or offence, so she was able to receive God's word to her. The power of the Holy Spirit was able to come upon her overshadow with a miracle in her womb.

The contrast between Zechariah and Mary is challenging. Mary was young and immature, yet she responded in faith. Zechariah was upright before God and kept all the commandments, yet he responded in unbelief. This shows the danger of disappointment with God that is not quickly resolved.

Water from the Rock

When the Israelites came to a place called Rephidim, there was no water for them to drink, so they quarrelled with Moses. God told Moses to strike the rock and water flowed out for all the people and their animals.

And he called the place Massah and Meribah because the Israelites quarrelled and because they tested the LORD saying, "Is the LORD among us or not" (Exodus 17:7)?

Moses called the place Massah (testing) because the Israelites got offended with God and put him on trial. This was strange, because God had stayed with them day and night and provided them with food and drink. He had always gone ahead of them to find a good place to camp.

The LORD went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp (Deut 1:32,33).

They could only arrive at an unsuitable camping, if they had not followed God.

Their question was a good example of a bad question.

Is the Lord among us or not?

This is a dangerous question, because it blames God for the situation. God was not accountable to them for his whereabouts.

They should have been asking questions about themselves.

Are we in the wrong place?

Did we stop following God at some point?

Did we go all the way to where he was leading us?

Has the enemy deceived us?

What does God want us to learn in this place?

These questions search their hearts. They do not blame God.

The Psalmist reports some of the other questions they asked as "they wilfully put God to the test".

Can God spread a table in the desert?
Can he also give us food?
Can he supply meat for his people (Psalm 78:19,20).

These questions all put God on trial. He had not provided for them in the way that they expected. He had failed to comply with their standards, so they were offended by him.

Their offence at God cut the Israelites off from his blessings.

In the wasteland they put God to the test.
So he gave them what they asked for,
but sent a wasting disease upon them (Psalm 106:14,15).

Disappointment leads to offence. Offence destroys faith and invites sickness.

The Next Generation

When the next generation of Israelites arrived at the same place they also put God on trial.

Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. They quarrelled with Moses and said, "Why did you bring the LORD's community into this desert, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!" Num 10:2-5).

The Israelites focused on what they thought God had not done (no figs, no grapes and no pomegranates, no water) when they should have been thinking about what he had done for them during their wanderings in the desert. Focusing on what God has not done produces disappointment that leads to a bad attitude towards him.

Their complaint was made worse by exaggeration of the risk. It was very unlikely that they would die in the wilderness. By talking about death in the wilderness, they were confessing a lie. They should have been declaring God's promises to keep them safe and provide them with food and water. When we are attacked by sickness, we must be careful not to confess the lies that of the enemy. He loves to suggest.

You will die of this sickness.

He likes it even better, if he can get us to agree with him and say,

I might die of this illness.

We should nullify his lies by confessing the promises of God.

Lessons for Leaders

The sad thing about the incident at Meribah is that Moses got things wrong after starting well by going to the tabernacle and seeking God. The glory of God appeared. The Lord told him to speak to the rock and water would flow forth; but instead of speaking to the rock, Moses spoke harshly to the people and struck the rock. Moses failure here prevented him from entering the promised land (Num 20:12). There are some big lessons here for pastors and elders as they confront sickness and illness among their people

1. Dumping on Hurting People

When a body of people takes offence at God, their leaders can sometimes pick up a similar attitude. A leader in this situation will sometimes "dump' on the people he leads. This is what happened to Moses, when he said,

Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock? (Num 20:11).

He accused the Israelites of being rebels. This accusation was not quite true. They were grumbling and complaining, but this time they were not actually rebelling. Ironically, Moses was the one who disobeyed God. His harsh tone did little to change their attitude and produce trust and thankfulness to God. Moses got offended at the people, because he took on the attitude of those who were offended by God.

The same thing has happened with sickness. In churches that are permeated by disappointment and offence at God, the pastors and elders can pick up the some spirit. This manifests in harshness or an accusing tone that gives their flock the impression that they sick because the do not have enough faith. While it is often true that they do not have enough faith, this is not the root of their problem. They actually need pastors and teachers who can release faith and healing in their church.

2. Honour God

Moses was speaking as God's servant standing in the presence of his glory. His question did not honour God

must we bring you water out of this rock?

By grumbling about the request for water, Moses was making God appear stingy and mean. The truth is that God has promised to supply his people with water (Deut 8 3,4) so they were entitled to as for water. God is gracious and loves to bless his people, even when they are not thankful. By speaking stingy, Moses was misrepresenting God.

When pastors and leaders pastors say that God does not heal, or only heals sometimes, they are portraying God as stingy. They are not honouring him as different from other gods. Pastors must be careful that they do not malign his character. God has promised healing and has provided victory over sickness on the cross, so the problem is never with him. He is gracious and loving. Leaders must never speak about in a way that dishonours him.

3. Jesus is the True Rock

Pastors and elders should be warning their people of the dangers of taking offence, just as Jesus warned John. They should be encourage them to look to Jesus, who is the true rock. He has done all that is need his people to have fullness of life.

4. Blaming God for Evil

God did not create the desert. The desert was the result of sin and the devil's handiwork. God did not intend his people to be in the desert for forty years. They were still in the desert because of their sin. Blaming God for the desert was unfair.

We must not blame God for sickness. There is no sickness in heaven. There was no sickness before the fall. God is holy, so he could not create sickness. He is faithful so he keeps his promises. He is good, so he does not do evil. We must never blame God, for something evil, especially if the problem is caused by our lack of faith.

A whole generation of Christian elders is uncomfortable with James 5:14. It is a hard verse for elders living in an age when the church has very low levels of faith, but that is not an excuse to shift the blame to God. When speaking about sickness, pastors and elders must be careful never to compromise God's character. If faith levels are low, that is an issue or elders to resolve.

he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,. so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith (Eph 4:11-13).

If the church lacks faith, God is not to blame. The leaders of the church are responsible.

5. Speak to the Rock

God told Moses to speak to the rock. He said nothing about speaking to the people. He expected Moses to deal with the problem that was causing his people to get offended with him. Moses' error was dealing to the people, when he should have been dealing with the rock.

The same principle applies to sickness and healing. Although many Christians have taken offence, God expects pastors and elders to deal to the problem. He expects them to speak to the stumbling block of sickness and crack it open, so that fullness of life might flow through God's people. Pastors and elders must take up this challenge.

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 (James 5:14).

Ezekiel gave a stern warning to those who do not take up this responsibility.

Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? ..You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. . You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd (Es 34:2,4,5).

Some pastors and elders sound like Moses when speaking about sickness.

Must we heal the sick?

God's answer is that pastors and elders are expected to heal the sick. By speaking in a way that questions God willingness or ability to heal, they were not honouring his grace and mercy.

6. Striking the Rock was Wrong

Moses struck the rock instead of speaking to it. Moses had been to this place before, so he would have recognised the rock (Ex 17:1-7). He knew that there was water close to the surface and that if he struck the rock, then water would come out. It took to hard blows, but the water flowed forth. Human wisdom and human action produced the water. Speaking to the rock required more faith, but it would have produced a miracle. Instead, he put his faith in human wisdom and human action.

Some Christian pastors and elders have more faith in the wisdom of human doctors than they have in God. Some Christian leaders give better testimonies about the wonderful things done by there surgeon than about the healing power of God. They will often suggest people see a particular doctor, before offering to pray for them. They are striking the rock, when they should be speaking life.

Strangely enough, doctors do not get a great press in the scriptures. One had treated the woman who had touched the hem of Jesus garment.

She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse (Mark 5:26).

Doctors have improved since then, but they are still not as effective as Jesus at dealing with sickness. At least, that should be our testimony.

Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians (2 Chronicles 16:12).

Asa's problem was that he sought help from the doctors, but did not seek help from the Lord. We tend to have the same approach. We only seek the Lord about things that are too hard for the doctors. Seeking God first would be a better approach. Why strike at a rock, when Jesus is your rock.

7. Warning

Moses picked up the offence of his people and got offended with them. This failure as a leader prevented him from getting into the promised land. His offence at the people shut him out from God's blessing.

This raises a hard question, but it needs to be asked. Why are so many pastors and elders sick? Many are at the forefront of battle and have come under attack. I could see how the enemy would use sickness to cripple them. However, many others just seem have they been shut out from the promise of healing. It might be that they have taken offence at their people who are continually sick, or they have become offended with God at his apparent failure to answer their prayers for healing.

8. God Honours Faithful Leaders

The reason that God led Israel into a dry place was to honour Moses before the people by allowing him to perform a mighty miracle. He would simply speak to the rock and water would flow forth. By striking the rock, he put the miracle under question. Maybe there was an artesian stream under the rock that burst open when he cracked the rock? If Moses had just spoken to the rock, that miracle could not be questioned. Failure to speak to the rock turned honour into dishonour.

God said to Moses,

You will bring water out of the rock for the community, so they and their livestock can drink (Num 20:8)

He says to elders and pastors,

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons (Matt 10:8).

Your prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well (James 5:15).

God wants to honour his pastors and elders by allowing them to bring healing into the body of Christ. By failing to take up this calling, the body is weakened and they lose the respect that God is offering to them.

The Big Question

I am convinced that a core obstacle to the gifts of healing is offence at God. As Christians have prayed earnestly for people that they love to be healed of sickness without success, their hope has gradually subsided into despair. Because they have not been taught about the danger of being offended at God, they have often asked the wrong questions. The big question most commonly asked is this.

Why did God allow this to happen?

This is a very dangerous question, because it puts God on trial. It assumes that he is responsible for what happened. If the grief is deep, the question can easily be tinged by accusation and blame.

The problem with this question is that God not allow Christians to die. By sending Jesus to suffer and die, he has provided the church with a solution for sickness. He has given the Church responsibility for healing sickness, so we must be very careful about assigning responsibility for evil back to him. Sickness was caused by the devil. We must be very careful that we do not blame God for the actions of the evil one.

If the big question is not quickly turned around, the questioner will be offended at God. A more dangerous question soon follows.

Can I trust God?

The motivation behind this question is offence at God. It kills faith and shuts up the Holy Spirits power. He cannot work in the midst of people who doubt his power or willingness to heal

We must learn to ask the right questions. When a Christian dies of cancer, we ask,

Why did God not heal him?

Why did God allow him to die?

Perhaps we should be asking,

Why is our Church so powerless?

Why do our elders not have victory over sickness?

Have we misunderstood the Gospel?

Have we misunderstood God's promises?

Did we get something wrong?

We must deal with this issue, if we want to see the breakthrough in healing that many are seeking.

A Parable

A man had two sons. The oldest did not want to work for his Father, but wanted to start his own business in a far country. His Father gave him a million dollars two get started and off he went. The son never got round to starting the business, but frittered the money away. When the money was nearly all gone, the son contacted his Father and said that he realised that he was not cut out to be a businessman, but needed to work for someone. He did not want to work for his father, because he wanted a position where he could use his creative skills. The Father organised for a business contact who owned a film-making business to employ his son as a creative director on a huge salary. The son only turned up to work a couple of times, so soon the son was living in poverty. Some of the friends of the son started asking, "Why does his Father allow his son to live in poverty". Those who knew the father responded, "His Father is a good and generous man. He has done more than most Fathers would do. What has the son done?"

Asking why God allowed a Christian to die is an insult to his character. God is good. He did not create sickness and there was no sickness in the Garden of Eden. Sickness was created by the devil after the fall. He invented cancer and tuberculosis. If anyone wonders why God did nothing about this, the answer is that he did. God send his some Jesus as a human. The flesh of Jesus back was ripped and torn by Roman whips.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed (Is 53:5).

His wounds provided healing for anyone who will believe and receive. Jesus anointed his people with the same Holy Spirit and commissioned his church to heal the sick and cleanse the leper. Given what God has done, we should be asking a different question. We should be asking why the Church had not fulfilled its commission. We must be very careful that we do not blame God for the actions of the devil or the failures of the church.

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