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« Antidote for Hopelessness: It's never too late to pray! | Main | What Should I Do With My Life? »

Old Cures for New Diseases

12 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. 13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. 14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) 15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. 16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one. Acts 5:12-16

Jesus Christ, in the days when he walked on this earth, was a healer, a deliverer, a miracle worker.

No other reason accounts for his phenomenal success among a people who had resisted prophets, survived revolutions and kept their identity and existence despite being wiped out and carried away by conquerors and Caesars. 

There was something about Jesus that they could not defeat.

  • It wasn’t just his teaching.
  • It wasn’t just his charisma.
  • It wasn’t just his leadership skills.
  • It wasn’t just his royal lineage.
  • They had no answer for his ability to heal.
  • He was no ordinary doctor who healed through medicine and surgical procedures.

He, himself, was the cure. It was his authority over sickness, disease and death that caused the multitudes to flock to him. It was his power to change lives.

35 And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho , a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: 36 And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. 37 And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. 38 And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 39 And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 40 And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, 41 Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. 42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. 43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God. Luke 18:35-43

2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. Matthew 8:2-3 

32 As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. 33 And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel . Matthew 9:32-33

But there are some who tell us that all of this ceased with the early church.
They say that God doesn’t do these things anymore.
They say we ought to get over it, get our feet on the ground, and quit making Jesus into a superhero.
They say these things with so much force that they have cast doubt on whether or not Jesus ever was a miracle worker.
Their God has diminished to the point that their entire Christianity has suffered.

Here’s what I am going to believe:

  • Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. Matthew 9:29.
  • “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” Ephesians 3:20
  • Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Hebrews 13:8
  • People are healed today.
  • (Sis. Trz., Bro. Condon, etc.)

Who did this, if not God?

Questions…Does God always heal every time? Every case? Whatever God does is his prerogative. Our duty is to…

  • Believe
  • Pray
  • Expect
  • Accept

But we are not living in the world of the first century.

The year is 1902 , one hundred years ago … what a difference a century makes. Here are the U.S. statistics for 1902….

  • The average life expectancy in the US was forty-seven (47).
  • Only 14 Percent of the homes in the US had a bathtub. Only 8 percent had a telephone.
  • A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars, at a time when many were lucky to make a dollar per day in wages.
  • There were only 8,000 cars in the US and only 144 miles of paved roads.
  • The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
  • The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower .
  • The average wage in the US was 22 cents an hour. The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
  • More than 95 percent of all births in the US took place at home.
  • Ninety percent of all US physicians had no college education.
  • Sugar cost four cents a pound, eggs fourteen cents a dozen, and coffee fifteen cents a pound.
  • Most women only washed their hair once a month and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
  • Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country for any reason.
  • The five leading causes of death in the US were:

  • 1. Pneumonia and influenza
  • 2. Tuberculosis
  • 3. Diarrhea
  • 4. Heart disease
  • 5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona , Oklahoma , New Mexico , Hawaii and Alaska hadn’t been admitted to the Union yet.
The population of Las Vegas , Nevada was 30.
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been invented.
There were no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
One in ten US adults couldn’t read or write. Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at corner drugstores. According to one pharmacist, “Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and the bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.”
Eighteen percent of households in the US had at least one full-time servant or domestic.
There were only about 230 reported murders in the entire US.

Obviously, we live in a different day.

We aren’t troubled by the same kinds of diseases and afflictions as the people of two thousand years ago.

  • Congenital blindness.
  • Leprosy.
  • Deformities.
  • Smallpox.

We face radically different kinds of problems two millenniums removed from the days of Christ.

Many of you here tonight have suffered, at one time or another, from post-modern stress.

We are called the Prozac generation. Blaring anti-theft sirens, clogged traffic, two-career marriages, HMO flip-flops and crisscrosses, fractured families, temporary jobs and racing to beat other supermarket shoppers to the scanners that are guaranteed to foul up on the last item of the person in front of you all contribute heavily to our present turmoil.

We have suspected that the toll all this high-speed, high tech, maximum efficiency lifestyles we run exacted from us a commensurate payback. Medical science now confirms our fears.

“Humans are usually subject to stresses of their own making, the chronic, primarily psychological, pressures of modern life. Yet they also suffer consequences when the body’s biological mechanisms for handling stress go awry.” So says the New York Times in an article entitled “The Heavy Cost of Chronic Stress.” (Erica Goode, 12-7-02 )

“Prolonged or severe stress has been shown to weaken the immune system, strain the heart, damage memory cells in the brain and deposit fat at the waist (a risk factor for heart disease, cancer and other illnesses), said Dr. Bruce S. McEwen, director of the neuroendocrinology laboratory at the Rockefeller University and the author of a new book, “The End of Stress as We Know It.” Stress has been implicated in aging, depression, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, among other illnesses.

“Researchers have known for many decades that physical stress takes a toll on the body. But only relatively recently have the profound effects of psychological stress on health been widely acknowledged. Two decades ago, many basic scientists scoffed at the notion that mental state could affect illness. The link between mind and body was considered murky territory, best left to psychiatrists. But in the last decade, researchers have convincingly demonstrated that psychological stress can increase vulnerability to disease and have begun to understand how that might occur.”

What causes all this stess?

To the adults:

  • Keeping up with the expectations of parents, spouses and neighbors.
  • Overextending on indebtedness.
  • Juggling the hectic schedules between job, family and responsibilities.
  • Resisting the temptations of invasive advertising, irresponsible friends and pleasure.

To our children:

  • Understanding what happened in divorced homes.
  • Trying to please both mommy and daddy, the other mommy and daddy at the same time.
  • Not knowing why they can’t spend more time with the people they love.

To our youth:

  • Trying to measure up to the blue-eyed, blond-haired rock star beauties.
  • Fighting off the peer pressure to do the drugs, lose the virginity, and rebel against authority.

To all of us:

  • Living in a nation on the brink of war.
  • Finding safety in a terrorist infiltrated world.
  • Stock market crashes, failed marriages, losing your job and no skills to get another one.
  • Stress

What could Jesus possibly have to say to us about modern stress?

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

What kind of peace did Jesus have?

  • Peace that insulated him from the attacks of his enemies.
  • Peace that was not threatened by the betrayal of his friends.
  • Peace that lifted him above the pain and suffering of the present.
  • Peace that could not be taken by the plots and schemes to take his life.

We know that his peace came from God because Jesus was God manifest in the flesh.
But what made Jesus so confident in his peace?
Because he knew that ultimately he would triumph over everything that was against him.
He knew that there would be a Calvary of crucifixion and a tomb of burial.
But he also knew that there would be a morning of resurrection.
He knew he would leave behind a folded napkin, an stone removed and an empty tomb.

39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matthew 12:39-40

And, beyond the tomb, beyond Jerusalem, Jesus knew that there would be something far greater than the small assembly gathered on Bethany.
He looked ahead to the Day of Pentecost and saw believers filled with the same spirit that resurrected him from the grave.

1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:1-4

There is something highly significant about this Holy Ghost baptism that relates to peace. Immediately before Jesus said, “My peace I give unto you,” he prophesied about the coming of the Holy Spirit.

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:26

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: John 20:21-22

The old cure is not just for old problems.
The old cure is for new problems as well.
In fact, the old cure is not an old cure at all.
The old cure is the newest, latest and best possible answer you could get today!
It is the power of the Holy Ghost, the experience that the Pentecostals keep telling you about!
The power of the Holy Ghost, coming into your life, will do more for your peace and tranquility than all the tranquilizers in the world.

My sister, Jenny Teets lives on Long Island and wrote me this email the day after 9/11.

Dear Friends & Family:

I am sorry I haven’t been able to call out, and our DSL line isn’t working this morning. I am on a dial-up server that I have in case of emergencies. Our phones do not work in Brooklyn , or parts of Queens yet…or spasmodically at best.

I was on the phone most of the day yesterday…calls from people that have been worrying about us. I am fine…. I was in school, and it must have happened about 5 minutes before our class started. Some girl came in late, and was still listening to her radio with ear phones. She just broke out, and said, “teacher, I am sorry, but I think everyone in our class should know what has happened. From then on it was tears, everyone trying to call on cell phones, etc. We just all went home, even though we didn’t even receive official word that school was out. Our teacher even had a son working down there. She couldn’t get in on the phone, as the cell phones were all down. They were all hooked up to the world trade center attenna.

Scotty was on the way to a board meeting in Manhattan , and the train just stopped, and the authorities made them return home. Julie and David were going to move into the city yesterday, as they have been given an apartment with his new job, and have a big U-Haul parked in the driveway. They cannot move in yet, and I am not sure when they will be able to since all roads into the city are closed. Our airports are closed, and many stores out here closed too. There is absolutely no traffic allowed into the city right now.

We have people as live witnesses that are reporting their close calls to us. It has been nothing short of miraculous, how God has protected so many of them.

We are thankful that one man in our church that worked at the trade center, was late for work due to his train being late!…. and this man in particular is almost always early to work, but yesterday he was late to work. The plane hit his building in the very office that he worked in. He came off the subway in time to see the fire, and was so grateful to God he wasn’t in the building. Monday was his last day at work there forever…now.. He also had survived the 1993 bombing attack, so he is definitely out of a job this time.

Another licensed preacher, Desmonde Hamilton, that works there, didn’t go to work yesterday either! He put an message on his answering machine, saying that he didn’t go to work yesterday, Praise God!!!.

Another licensed preacher, Robert Linder, that worked in the Marriott next door to the trade center, didn’t go to work yesterday! He is Harold Linder’s twin brother. We used to tease them about being the twin towers…as they were so tall.

God has really spared many others that we know. Mike Mitchell’s wife Vienne , works between the two buildings…the world trade center 7, and liberty one, and she was on the same train that arrived late. She would have been in the building at the time of the attack. Another man in our church escaped although he was actually in the building. We keep hearing of others in other churches that made it safe. The UPC church in Oyster Bay had around 5 people that escaped. Another woman in our church worked next door and as soon as she heard the first explosion, she took off for home. She is very shaken up this morning, but happy to be alive. I just heard from another woman in our church that made it down safely from 40 floors.

Well, I have had so many phone calls, it is hard to finish this. We are all okay though, and that is the main reason for writing…..pray for us….We can’t get to our church in Queens though, (We live on the Island) because all roads are closed at the city borders. Although we feel trapped out here, we are not complaining, but taking it a day at a time.

Scotty and Jenny Teets

But there is an old problem, that lives on as a new problem.

It is called the problem of sin.

Anyone outside the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ suffers from this spiritual disease.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

You can take care of your sin problem by


Water Baptism in Jesus’ name.

The infilling of the Holy Ghost.

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