There is a term I learned from a former pastor who used it whenever he was discussing phrases or statements made by well-meaning, but biblically ignorant church folk when challenged to believe something from the Word of God that is beyond their current level of faith. The term is “Religious Escape Clause.”
The most prevalent example of such is one I’ve already covered in a previous article from my prayer series: “if it be Your will.” Since I’ve already delved into that one and refuted it thoroughly in that article, I will refrain from repeating myself here. Let it suffice to say that our use of this phrase whenever we pray any prayer based upon God’s promises to save, heal, provide, or protect, it is both totally unscriptural and we are operating in the sin of unbelief.
In this article, I want to address a second such Religious Escape Clause that keeps cropping up in non-charismatic circles and occasionally even among charismatic believers: the idea that God heals people by putting them out of their misery and taking them into heaven; in other words, divine euthanasia.
It is indeed an essential truth of Christianity that tears, sickness, pain, and sorrow do not exist in heaven because only those who have accepted Jesus free gift of life by faith in His resurrection and submission to His lordship are allowed there — sinners are welcome to enter into God’s kingdom here on earth, but after death it’s too little, too late and they are barred from entry. No sinners, no sin, therefore no results of sin. So yes, indeed, going to heaven is a healing of sorts because our physical bodies are resurrected there with none of the aches, pains, weaknesses, genetic defects, and chronic illnesses that beset us on this earth.
But the question on the table is whether it’s scriptural to state that God chooses to use death and a subsequent entry into heaven as a means of healing the sick.
To see whether this concept is true biblically or not, we must first examine:
- What the Bible says about death
- What occurred during Jesus’ earthly ministry because He is God-in-Sandals.
- Where, if ever, God has limited Himself through His Word to not do so.
The Origins of Death
Let’s set the Wayback Machine to the Book of Genesis and see the origins of death:
Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:15-17
From this passage, we can safely conclude the following:
- Adam was created as an eternal being
- Death was — and is — the penalty for disobedience
- Death was never God’s original intention for mankind
We all know the rest of that story: Adam and Eve violated God’s command and death entered their bodies. Though it took 930 years for Adam’s created-perfect body to die, indeed it did die. Since every animal on this planet begets offspring after its own kind, every human being since then has had a body with the “death gene” built into it and, despite the best efforts of modern medicine to extend the human lifespan, human effort will never defeat death because death has spiritual roots, not physical ones. The only One Who has ever defeated death is Jesus Christ and even He had to physically die to accomplish that feat of arms.
If you take the time to study the concept of death in the Bible, you will find that throughout both testaments, death is always regarded as a curse, never a blessing from God!
Jesus’ Earthly Ministry
Now let’s take a look at the Person of Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry. Nowhere in any of the Gospel accounts do we see a single instance where it was even hinted that Jesus laid hands on someone to heal them, that person died, and Jesus explained to onlookers that that person was now healed in heaven.
Indeed, in every instance where someone came to Him for healing or deliverance from demonic oppression, He healed and delivered them in this life. Yes, those people eventually died and inherited their eternal reward, but they were indeed miraculously delivered from their physical or spiritual oppression while they were alive and they remained alive after that moment for some unspecified period of time.
It is an essential doctrine of Christianity — not to mention that it’s the absolute TRUTH — that Jesus was the very Person of God on this earth. On top of that, one of God’s many amazing character attributes is that He is immutable (unchanging). Because of these truths, we can safely conclude that God has not changed His will or desire to heal since then. Indeed, one of His covenant names in the OT is Jehovah-Rapha, the God Who heals us. Since the biblical context of Him proclaiming Himself as Jehovah-Rapha was specifically relating to physical healing, we can and should conclude that physical healing is intrinsic to His very nature.
You will also never once find an instance in the Gospels or the Book of Acts of where people glorified God because someone died, yet there are multiple occasions where people glorified God because someone was miraculously healed or delivered from demonic possession. So this is yet one more nail in the coffin of the false doctrine that God inflicts sickness, disease, or calamity so that we will inexplicably glorify Him afterwards.
The Bottom Line
God heals the sick and raises the dead to bring glory to Himself. Sickness, disease, death are never His tools, methods, or will when dealing with His children.
Don’t take my word for it; check it out for yourself — I dare you!
Thanks for reading!
Thanks Steve for another thought provoking commentary. I never really thought about the prayer cliche’ ‘If it Be Your Will’. But now that you mention it, why wouldn’t it be His will to Heal, Forgive, Provide , Protect, deliver us…etc, etc. John 15:7 sheds some light on this,….If you remain in Me and My Words remain in you, ask what you desire, and it shall be given to you. So if His words remain in me (if I truely know and study His word)) surely I won’t be asking Him for favors that surely can’t be in His will. Example,…Dear Lord, please help me to win the lottery. Or better yet, Dear Lord please help me to have success with this bank robbery. If one truly knows the Word of God, these type of request wouldn’t ever be asked of God.
1. Menstruation, childbirth pains and menopause are all curses.
2. Godly women still experience menstruation, childbirth pains and menopause.
Care to explain?
Godly men and women experience all kinds of bad things from which God has promised to deliver them. Some of them have faith in God to deliver them from their afflictions and some don’t. But a failure to avail themselves of certain promises has absolutely nothing to do with godliness.
Our right standing before God is by the blood of Jesus and His finished work of the Cross. Personal godliness comes from our obedience to His command to walk in love towards Him and our fellow man, allowing the Spirit inside us to lead us in His paths and teach us His ways, and by dying daily to our fleshly desires, all by the power of His grace.
That being said, there are many, MANY godly people who dearly love Jesus, serving Him with their whole hearts, yet suffer needlessly. Why? Because they have been misinformed through the filters of their denominational backgrounds that suffering sickness and disease is God’s will somehow, or that relief from such afflictions ended with the death of the last of the original apostles, neither concept being even remotely accurate scripturally.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. If God’s Word concerning healing is not preached to such folks because their churches do not believe healing is part of Jesus’ atonement and integral to God’s covenant with His children then, of course, they will have no faith for healing and will suffer needlessly — some will even die because of such bad teaching. And that is not to say their preachers are evil or malicious — they, too, have been crippled by denominational mindsets and cannot share what they do not have a grasp of personally.
It’s like going to the gym with all those weight machines. If I spend all my time doing arm curls and never work on other muscle groups, I will indeed have strong arms, but I will also have a weak back, abs, legs, etc. If all I hear about from the pulpit of my church is about getting saved and water baptized, my faith muscles for healing and other promises of God’s Word will remain undeveloped, as well.
As for your specific question, first, menstruation is not a curse; it is part of the normal monthly cycle of a woman’s life as designed by her Creator. Childbirth is also an integral part of how and why she was created by God.
I know of women who have developed their faith in God’s Word in this area and successfully stood in faith against menstrual cramps and childbirth pains, having only minimal discomfort during menstruation and while giving birth. Since I am a man, of course, I cannot testify of this personally.
Menopause? Frankly, I cannot conceive of why a woman of that age range would want to perpetuate their ability to bear children. Most of the women I know who are in their 50s+ are looking forward to playing with their grandkids, not having more kids of their own.
I can tell from your question, however, that you are a skeptic in this area. That’s OK — when I first heard the Word concerning divine healing I was just as skeptical, if not more so. But as I opened my heart and mind, emulating the Berean believers in Acts who “…received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11), I discovered for myself what God has promised concerning physical healing and divine health.
As I began to develop my faith in those promises, I slowly started getting healthier. My bouts of illness got farther and farther apart; when sickness did try to attack my body, they left more and more rapidly at my command in the name of Jesus. When I do start to get ill, I respond in faith in God’s Word and, if necessary, I also go to doctors. It is my responsibility to believe God and stand in faith on His promises regardless of what I feel or see or hear. God is responsible for methods and timing and He holds Himself responsible to honor His Word, regardless of what has been promised there.
Over the last 40+ years, I’ve been healed supernaturally and I’ve also been healed through medical science. Both are equally of God because Jehovah-Rapha is in the healing business. If you go back and read the first article in this series, you’ll discover how and why I came to write it in the first place: it was my response to a diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma. Through a supernatural orchestration of subsequent events by the Holy Spirit, my cancerous right kidney has been removed at the Mayo Clinic, the entire operation was paid for with $0 copay, I was officially declared cancer-free, and I have remained so for the last 5 years. A couple of years prior to that, God supernaturally healed my right knee after a fall. So divine healing is not merely a theory to me, but a part of my daily reality.
All of this to His glory alone. I am what I am and know what I know and have experienced what I have experienced by the grace of God and nothing else! None of this has anything to do with personal godliness or me being any more special or better than any other believer. There are many men and women of God who are running rings around me in the godliness area and God is no respecter of persons.
What He does honor is faith in His Word.
I hope this helped you!