In Mark 6:7-13, Jesus sent His disciples out two by two with specific instructions:
And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in their belts— 9 but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. 10 And he said to them, “Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you depart from there. 11 And if any place will not receive you and they will not listen to you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 So they went out and proclaimed that people should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them.
What I find interesting is that their message was to proclaim that people should repent (v. 12) and nothing more. Yes, they did miracles as well but the message of repentance from sins was simply all they were to proclaim in the Name of Christ.
Today, the thought in the church world is that people have so-called diseases like “alcoholism” and psychiatric so-called diseases like “oppositional defiant disorder” and “intermittent explosive disorder” (road rage) so the message is very different from that of repentance because people view themselves as “sick” not “sinful.”
No one needs to repent from a real disease like cancer. Repentance is needed when there is a sin issue that has led someone away from the Lord but the psychological community has taken sin away from the church. Sin is simply called “sickness” today. The church has lost its message when it embraces the falsehood of sickness not sin for choices made which are clearly sin issues (not talking about organic issues or problems here which require real medical attention!).
No need for repentance when you are “sick” – right? Right. Only sinners need repentance.
My point is simply this: let’s be careful what we call “sickness” and not excuse “sin” by labeling it as “sickness.” The choices some people make are NOT due to organic issues and they are completely responsible for those. By God’s grace, they will repent (Rom. 2:4).
-Mark (grateful that Jesus did not send them out two by two to go and diagnose people with so-called illnesses; instead, He told them to proclaim repentance from sins so that they could experience real freedom in Christ – John 8:32)