(This is the first in a series of articles on forgiveness and why it is so vital in the church and the life of every believer. Your comments are extremely valuable and appreciated, so please respond as we make this journey.)
The church was created to be a healing oasis in a desert filled with wounded, hurting, and dying people. It is my belief that your local church is located exactly where it is not by chance or by accident, but rather by God’s divine design so that he might pour out healing in your community or region. Biblical healing is holistic, meaning it should bring health to spirit, soul, and body. The atoning work of Christ on the cross provided healing for all three dimensions of our humanity.
The church is supposed to be a hospital—not a country club where only the elite are welcomed and accepted; not a social club where your looks, your clothes, your automobile, or your home are more important than who you really are; not a bunker to hide in until Jesus finally returns; and certainly, not some clandestine organization where only those who know the secret words and rituals get to participate. No—the church is supposed to be a healing place, a hospital where the broken are mended, the wounded and sick are healed, and the dying are resurrected. It was never meant to be a place where those who are hurting are ignored, sidelined, or worse—wounded even deeper.
A hospital is a healing place, not a gun range or a shooting gallery where religious hypocrites and self-righteous Pharisees use those who have been mortally wounded as target practice. The church was never intended to be a place where we shoot our wounded and then turn our backs and wait till they bleed to death. No, the body of Christ was designed to rescue them from the shark infested waters they are drowning in, clean their self-inflicted wounds and stop the hemorrhaging, provide the antidote for the poisons they have chosen to ingest or been duped into swallowing, and to open the prison doors so those who have been beaten, starved, and imprisoned can find relief, healing, and freedom.
We are the body of Christ and as his body we are called to be a place of refuge, restoration, and relationship—a healing place for hurting people. Jesus healed hurting people in spirit, soul, and body. The time has come for his body to do the same! His example should be our experience if we are to be obedient to both Christ and our calling. One out of three falls far short of the example Jesus left us.
But—becoming a healing place comes at a cost. It is neither cheap nor easy. It requires that the members who make up a local church find and receive healing in their own spirit, soul, and body. True healers have experienced the healing touch of Jesus Christ in spirit, soul, and body. You can only give what you have been given, but sadly for centuries much of the church has been dispensing powerless theory instead of God’s powerful touch. Proclamation must be illustrated by demonstration. Telling is no longer enough, we must do!
In addition, the devil wants you to believe the cost is too high. He wants you to believe that hospitals that cater to the spirit, soul, and body are not cost effective—too much investment and too little return. And he will do whatever he can to scare you away from this divine heritage God has bequeathed to his body. He is terrified of what will happen when those who were once wounded find healing and then become healers. He doesn’t fear the Bride who understands her mission, but rather the Bride who carries out her mission.
If you are not afraid of the cost, or no longer fear the condemnation of the devil, please join me over the next few weeks as God takes us on a journey and brings healing to our spirit, soul, and body with a response that will be directly proportional to our faith.