Bible Ballistics: Cancer? 09/15/13 Vol. 2 No.18
Cancer! A term we all dread hearing.
- ‘Cancer: the disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body…..a malignant growth (malignant: very virulent or infectious) or tumor resulting from such cells…early English word was canker.’
Why would we want to talk about cancer in our Bible Ballistics this week? What does cancer have to do with Biblical principles? Can we learn anything helpful as we consider the subject of cancer? These are questions I think we can begin to answer today.
Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:15-18,
- ” Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.”
Paul is referring to a spiritual problem here. And that problem is false teaching which leads to “SIN”. All forms of sin can eat like a cancer. Cancer, as we mentioned, is an ‘uncontrolled division of abnormal cells’, that which is not ‘normal’ (conforming to a standard). What is sin? It is not conforming to God’s standard. As we have seen in recent weeks, Romans 3:23 reminds us that
- ‘…all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God….(not conformed to the standard)”
- And Romans 6:23, “….the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life …”.
Why are we all so afraid of hearing the word “cancer”? Because it almost always leads to death. God has told us that “sin” does the same thing. It leads to death. James 1:14-16, says,
- “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
Yet we need not die, because God has made a way for us to have not only life, but “eternal life”. Remember
- John 3:16? “….whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life”.
Jesus died so that we won’t have to die. Yes, we’ll go through the
- “valley of the shadow of death” (Ps 23)
- but we will live forever with Jesus.
- And have a new body to boot!!!
- A perfect one!!!
- Only this temporary body of flesh will die—
- our soul and being will live forever with Christ
- if we have committed our lives to Him in faith
- and trusted to His grace to save us through His cross.
Cancer is so devastating to this life. We all have family and/or friends who have suffered through this terrible malady. We have seen some overcome for a time, and others we have lost to death because of cancer. But what about those around us who are perishing to the death sentence of sin? While we’ll spend hours, dollars and all of our energy fighting physical cancer, when will we come to be so impassioned about delivering people from the “spiritual” cancer of sin? It should be our most ardent desire to see those around us come to Jesus.
- Matthew 28:18-20 says, ”And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Now, I’m not talking about going around beating folks over the head with a Bible, but being ever ready to share in love, grace and humble gratitude the “good news” of the “Gospel of Jesus”. As Peter says in 1 Peter 3:15,
- ” But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
- Be ready?
- Are we ready to give an answer?
- Peter calls us to ALWAYS be ready.
- To live in a way that will cause people to ask why we live for Jesus in all that we do.
Let’s look at a few ordinary folks who shared their faith. Aquila and Priscilla were a couple who worked with Paul making tents, sharing the gospel, and even hosted a church in their home. We see them in Acts 18:24-28,
- “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus. 25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John. 26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly. 27 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: 28 For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.”
They helped this young man know the truth of salvation by sharing Jesus, and he then shared with the world what he learned about Jesus from these two.
We also see a grandmother and mother named Lois and Eunice who taught Timothy about the scriptures and made him ready to receive the gospel.
- 2 Timothy 1:5, “When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.”
- What kind of parent or grandparent are we being?
- Have we shared our faith in Jesus with those under our care?
- Sharing with our lives and with the scriptures as we have opportunity?
We are compelled to share a vibrant and living faith with the generation following us. If we do not, how will the next generations possess and flourish in a vibrant faith?
- If we don’t share with them,
- teach them
- and lead them to follow Jesus,
- who will become the future leaders in God’s kingdom?
As there are several other examples I’d like us to discuss, let’s continue this next week.
May you have a good week thinking about the things we’ve shared today.
- Let’s be sharing what we know
- about the ONE we know—Jesus!!!
“…study to show thyself approved….”
And share what you learn!!!!!
- Let’s stop the spiritual cancer!