All Illness is the Result of Sin
Skimmer Version—Just the main points for those who won’t take the time to read the full article
- All illness is the result of sin
- Original sin which entered the world through Adam and resulted in a curse on all the earth, including the introduction of illness and disease into the environment.
- Personal sin leads to disease. Obvious sins which lead to disease would be STDs which are passed by not following Gods standards for sexual behavior. Other more subtle sins would include things like, gluttony, greed, worry (lack of faith), anger, bitterness, selfishness and others.
- Personal sin which affects and infects others. Personal sin not only affects the person sinning, it also impacts those around them and society in general. Disease doesn’t stay with one person. It spreads. “Good people” suffer because of the sins of others.
- Jesus not only healed people’s illnesses, He also dealt with their sin.
- James teaches us to call for the Elders, confess our sin, and pray for healing.
- God formed a nation from the Children of Israel. He taught them how to live and promised them healthy lives if they followed His laws.
- A Naturalistic World View tries to deal with illness apart from sin.
- A Christian World View demands that we deal with sin as the root cause of illness.
The Full Article
All illness is the result of sin. That statement makes a lot of people bristle. The response is, ‘You mean to tell me that I am sick because I have sinned?’ Well yes and no. So let me explain.
The Bible teaches that in the Garden of Eden the Serpent deceived Eve and Eve ate the forbidden fruit then Adam willing ate the fruit along with her. That is known as original sin. In chapter 3 of Genesis God deal out His judgment for sin. For the woman it means that she will experience pain in child birth and her desire shall be for her husband and he shall rule over her. The curse for Adam was not directly on him but rather it was on all that God gave him to rule over making his ability to subdue the earth much more difficult. It says that the earth would bring forth thorns and thistles and that he would earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. Most theologians see this as a general cures that puts the world into a system of decay which includes the advent of all diseases. So the first way that all illness is the result of sin is that original sin led to original disease.
Some will say, “That is not fair. Why should I suffer for some sin done by Adam?” Paul explains this in Romans. He says that we were all in Adam when Adam sinned. Quite literally all of mankind was present in Adam when Adam sinned. So that when Adam sinned we all sinned.
There is a second way in which sin causes illness. That is personal sin. We know this well. The most obvious examples come from sexual immorality. There are more than 30 different venereal diseases. All of these are spread almost exclusively by personal sin. If people would follow God’s design of sex exclusively between a man and a woman in marriage then these diseases would virtually disappear. Of course extramarital sex is just one example. There are numerous other examples of more subtle sins which directly contribute to illnesses. One example would be gluttony, which we seem to view as a virtue rather than a sin. We even have food TV shows where people are rewarded for gluttony.
Back to the issue of sex; some people will say, “What about the woman that is faithful to her husband, but he has an affair and ends up bringing home a venereal disease”. That is a great point. In that situation the illness is not due to the wife’s sin; it is due to her husband’s sin. It is still due to personal sin. It is the husband’s personal sin. So often we forget that the problem with sin isn’t that guilty people are hurt by it. The real problem with sin is that everyone is hurt by it. A person’s infidelity destroys whole families. A person’s alcoholism or drug addiction doesn’t stop with them. It affects their family, friends, coworkers and those in society who pays for and cleans up the damage. Sin affects everyone. The illnesses that result from sin don’t just affect the sinners the illnesses spread into the environment and affect everyone.
Our current medical system doesn’t address the issue of sin at all. In fact now we go to extremes to not address sin. This became most apparent when AIDS started to make the news. At the time it was normal to have contact tracing for many sexually transmitted diseases. This was done to try to control the spread of the disease. People would reveal the persons with whom they had recently had sex. Those people would be contacted and informed that they had been exposed to a dangerous disease. They would be tested and discouraged from further spreading the disease. They would also reveal their sex partners and the further actions would be taken to curtail the spread. That is not how it happened with AIDS. Instead personal privacy (the right to hide one’s sin) took priority over public health. Contact tracing was abandoned. Even spouses would not be informed that they were in danger of being infected. Amazing!
The focus in the medical community is to cure the consequences of sin without addressing the sin itself. If all illness is the result of sin shouldn’t we be addressing the root cause? Instead we are doing everything we can to continue sinning.
It is important to address a common misinterpretation of sin. Some have the attitude that the problem with sin is that it produces negative consequences. With that viewpoint the goal becomes removing the negative effects of sin. If promiscuous sex leads to unwanted pregnancy and STDs then condoms and abortions are the solution. If sin leads to feelings of guilt, shame, rejection and worthlessness then maybe the answer is psychotherapy. Or the problem is society. We need to celebrate our sin and get society to accept us and our sin as valuable contributions to a diverse culture. Gluttony is dealt with by pills, surgery and insulin injections.
The Bible doesn’t see the consequences of sin as the problem. No! Sin is the problem. In a way the consequences of sin are a blessing. They are a protective mechanism put in place by God to make sin less appealing. It is the fear of the consequences of sin that helps us to avoid sin.
If we truly understand that all illness is the result of sin it should lead us to want to rid ourselves and our communities of sin. Illness is not something to be treated it is something to be prevented. The Books of the Law in the Bible (the first five books of the Bible) were written in the time between the Children of Israel coming out of Slavery in Egypt and before they entered the Promised Land. They were between two civilizations. During this time God formed a new nation with new Laws. He taught them everything they needed to know to be successful. He even purged a whole generation of people. This was a totally new beginning. In Deuteronomy 27 and 28 God gives the Children of Israel a pep talk. It is a list of blessings and cursing. It is done as “If—Then” statements. Part of it goes something like this. If you will obey My Laws and Statutes then you will experience none of the diseases that you experienced in Egypt. IF you disobey Me then I will visit upon you all of the same illnesses of Egypt.
There is another aspect to this. The Children of Israel were not only leaving Egypt behind they were also entering The Promised Land. This land was populated by an extremely wicked people, the Canaanites. This was not just one group of people it was actually ten nations. God had given them plenty of time to repent and reform, He actually gave them an extra forty years, but they didn’t change. They only got worse. By the time the Israelites came to the edge of the Promised Land God had determined that the Canaanites would need to be totally exterminated. They were not to be driven out. No. They were to be killed; all of them, men, women, elderly and children; not only the people, but the animals too. And everything was to be burned. Why so much destruction? Why complete annihilation? Could it be that their sin was so great that everything was affected and infected? Could it be that the only way to rid the land of sin and illness was to wipe it totally clean? I think so. God was setting the stage for a people to live righteous lives and to be free of disease.
There is a popular verse that is often used to call the nation to repentance. Most of you have heard it but you probably never noticed what it says about healing. It is found in 2 Chronicles. It is God’s response to Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple.
2 Chronicles 7:14
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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
God’s pattern is prayer, repentance, reform, forgiveness and healing.
All illness is the result of sin. We will never have good health or a good health care system until we are willing to address the problem of sin.