Jesus never asked anyone to believe in Him or accept Him as the Son of God, the Messiah, on the basis of His willingness to die for their sins and give them access to Heaven at the end of their earthly lives. That concept was not the Gospel He preached. Instead, He asked them and expected them to believe in Him and accept Him on the basis of His ability and willingness to heal their bodies, deliver them from demonic torment, raise their dead, provide food and sustenance, and make their current earthly lives better.
It was only when He healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, delivered from demons, and raised the dead that He proclaimed to people that the Kingdom of God had come to them. He gave the same instructions to the teams of disciples He sent out to spread the Gospel. He told them to heal and deliver the people in every towns where they went, and while healing and delivering them, they were to announce that those acts brought the Kingdom of God into their midst. (Matthew 10:1-8; Luke 10:1-9; Luke 11:20).
Even to His own chosen twelve apostles, he said “If its hard for you to believe I’m who I say I am, then believe because of the miracles I do.” (John 14:11 paraphrased).
So why on earth do so many Christian ministers and so many church denominations keep trying to win people to the Lord without healing their sick, cleansing their lepers, delivering those in bondages and addictions, and providing for their physical needs? We have whole church denominations that claim they’re preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, yet they deny that the baptism of the Holy Spirit and His nine supernatural ministry gifts are for today. They teach – both in their seminaries and their pulpits – that the Lord does not heal today the way He did when Jesus walked the earth. The teach that there is no such thing as demonic possession or oppression unless its just in some far off heathen land.
These ministry leaders scorn and point their fingers at believers who pray for the dead to be raised. And they send their member and prospective members to human doctors, human mental health counselors, and government welfare systems instead of giving them the miraculous help Jesus instructed all true believers to offer the world. It’s Jesus who made it clear that people needed to be touched in their earthly bodies and helped in their earthly lives if they were going to be able to recognize the goodness of God and the deity of His Son. (Let me add here that I’m not implying that it’s a sin for someone to go to a human doctor or to currently be on government welfare. If there is no faith in the church they attend to get them well or to meed their material needs, they have no other choice. What I’m saying is that it is definitely a sin for our churches and church leaders to fail to be in a position to offer the miraculous in place of the costly, imperfect, and often harmful human ways of dealing with the problems of this life.)
Let’s wake up, church, and let’s stop deceiving ourselves. It’s time – past time – we got totally honest with ourselves and each other. If we really want to win the world to Jesus Christ, we’re going to have to get back to doing it the way Jesus Himself did it. Let’s get into His Word and onto our knees in prayer until we come to a real believing faith that can and will obey Jesus’ commission. We need to be daily healing the sick, delivering the demonicly oppressed, and meeting people’s needs – and then announcing to them that we have done so because the God who created them loves them so much He wants to meet all those needs for them. Then we can explain how all that power is found only in the name of Jesus Christ because He’s the one who paid the price for our sin, opening the channel for the Lord to be able to give us these blessings freely.
Let’s get ourselves to a level of faith where we won’t have to send hurting people to the world’s systems – which are imperfect at best and dangerous at their worst. We must bring people the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – including His healing, delivering power and His material provision. Then they won’t want to cling so tightly to the things of this world. They will want to cling to the God who delivers and blesses them. It’s the kindness and goodness of the Lord that leads people to repentance. (Romans 2:4).
If we ever get back to truly believing and obeying Jesus – preaching the same Gospel He preached — we will win thousands more to the Lord than we are winning now. And what a glorious harvest we will have for the Kingdom of God.