You Can’t Lose!!!!!
“I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” Psalm 118:17
Several years ago, while working for a Christian music television network, my colleagues and I engaged in a discussion concerning healing. They related to me the story of one of the original founders of the company. This man, a Christian, contracted cancer. He believed God told him he was healed. He claimed Psalm 118:17 as the biblical foundation for his confession. He died. His death caused his bitterly disappointed son to walk away from God. My co-workers knew I believe healing is for us now. They asked for insights I had about the man’s death and the healing that didn’t manifest. I couldn’t respond. I didn’t have enough first hand knowledge of the man or the circumstances surrounding his life, illness and death. Recently I remembered this conversation. The Lord showed me the man’s confession indeed came to pass.
The psalm begins, “I shall not die.” Romans describes death as “the wages of sin.” This first became evident with Adam and Eve’s disobedience. God told Adam in Genesis 1:17, “For when you eat of it (the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil) you will surely die.” They ate and didn’t drop dead on the spot, but became as good as dead. Immediately they transitioned from the realm of eternal life into an existence fraught with limitations, which included a life span.
“…but it has now been revealed, through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel” 2 Timothy 1:10. If Jesus destroyed death, why do people still die? Paul also wrote, “…the last enemy to be destroyed is death” 1 Corinthians . At first glance Paul appears to contradict himself. On one hand he stated death is already destroyed, on the other, death is the last enemy eliminated. Which is it Paul? It is both.
John contains the assurance that anyone who believes in Jesus, “shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Jesus’ destruction of death is appropriated on an individual basis. Sin continues to exist and the effects are still felt. For the believer death becomes the point where one will, “depart from the body and be with Our Lord” 2 Corinthians 5:8 (Aramaic Bible in Plain English). Just as Adam and Eve became as good as dead even though they were alive, we are restored to eternal life while our bodies continue to deteriorate.
Back to the gentleman who confessed he would not die. He didn’t. He is more alive now than he ever has been. Death did not mean he ceased to exist. Instantaneously he transferred from a lower to a much higher reality. God’s word that he wouldn’t die was true. He experienced 1 Corinthians , “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
The nineteenth chapter of the book of Revelation paints a marvelous picture of a heavenly worship service. Everyone there declares the ‘works of the Lord’ with greater understanding ever experienced on earth. While here, we can practice, preparing for that glorious event.
God taught me Psalm 118:17 is not limited to life now. Eternity affords a more meaningful fulfillment. I believe one can stand on this verse for healing. Hebrews refers to those who were, “commended for their faith, yet none of them received the promise.” Despite setbacks and difficulties, they believed right up to the end, the same way this man did. That is what fighting “the good fight of faith”, 1 Timothy is all about. Far from wasted effort on a hopeless cause, firm resolution that God can and will not fail is powerful. Standing strong when all is against you is not easy, fights never are. Should we not see the answer in this lifetime, we are still ultimately the victor. In a moment of time we apprehend what supposedly eluded our grasp here. Why? We never quit. If we don’t quit, we can’t lose.