Diseases are real, and Cheating is playing with a loaded gun
It’s sometimes hard to imagine our loving and merciful God displaying such wrath and anger toward His people. But God’s punishments always have the goal of repentance and restoration. In 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, God said to Solomon: “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Here we see God using disaster to draw us to Himself, to cause us to repent of sin and come to Him as children to their heavenly Father.
In the New Testament, Jesus healed “every disease and every sickness,” as well as plagues in the areas He visited (Matthew 9:35; 10:1; Mark 3:10). Just as God chose to use plagues and disease to show His power to the Israelites, Jesus healed as an exhibition of the same power to verify that He was truly the Son of God. He gave the same healing power to the disciples to verify their ministry (Luke 9:1). God still allows sickness for His own purposes, but sometimes disease, even worldwide pandemics, are simply the result of living in a fallen world. There is no way to determine which, although we do know that God has sovereign control over all things (Romans 11:36), and He will work all things together for the good of those who know and love Him (Romans 8:28).
The current Ebola epidemic is not the last we will see of plagues. Jesus referred to future plagues that will be part of the end-times scenario (Luke 21:11). The two witnesses of Revelation 11 will have power “to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want” (Revelation 11:6). Revelation 15 speaks of seven plagues wielded by seven angels as the final, most severe judgments, described in Revelation 16.
Whether the current outbreak of Ebola is part of God’s judgment or the result of living in a fallen, sinful world, and whether or not it is a signal that the end time is beginning, our response should be the same. For those who do not know Jesus Christ as Savior, disease is a reminder that life on this earth is tenuous and can be lost at any moment. Without the saving blood of Christ shed for us, we will pay for our sins for all eternity in a hell that will make the worst pandemic seem mild. For the Christian, however, we have the assurance of salvation and the hope of eternity because of what Christ suffered on the cross for us (Isaiah 53:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 9:28
2 Chronicles 21:14
So now the LORD is about to strike your people, your sons, your wives and everything that is yours, with a heavy blow.
2 Chronicles 21:18
After all this, the LORD afflicted Jehoram with an incurable disease of the bowels.
2 Chronicles 21:19
In the course of time, at the end of the second year, his bowels came out because of the disease, and he died in great pain. His people made no funeral fire in his honor, as they had for his predecessors thy bowels fall.
Psalm 109:18 As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let …
Acts 1:18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling …
2 Chronicles 21:18 And after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease.
Deuteronomy 28:27,37,59,67 The LORD will smite you with the botch of Egypt, and with the tumors, …
Psalm 34:17-20 ESV / When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.
2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV / But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.