Were all who were healed by the Lord Jesus also saved? If not, how can we tell the difference?
There were individuals whom the Lord physically blessed who certainly were saved. Take the case of the man in Mark 2. The Lord could say to him, "Son, thy sins be forgiven thee" (v.5). Then there is the woman with the issue of blood. Can we conclude that she received no spiritual blessing? The Lord said to her, "Thy faith hath made thee whole" (Mk 5. 34). The word for "made ... whole" is the same word as is used in the New Testament for saved! The Lord Jesus possessed the twofold attributes of deity forgiving sins and healing diseases (Ps 103.3). He had power in the physical realm and the spiritual. This He showed in His ministry. Mary Magdalene, who experienced physically the Lords delivering power, was certainly saved. Blind Bartimaeus, having been healed by the Lord, followed him in the way. The man who dwelt among the tombs whom the Lord delivered was clearly also saved, in that the Lord directed him to go home and tell his friends. All these cases gave evidence of their salvation.
On some occasions, however, the Lord in His ministry healed many (e.g. Mt 8.16-17), but there is no evidence that they were saved too. No doubt with some it may have resulted in their salvation, but we must distinguish between the Lords works of power physically and His work of grace spiritually. In the incident of the healing of the ten lepers in Luke 17 the Lord had to ask, "Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?" (v. 17). Only one leper returned to glorify God. It would appear that the nine were physically healed, but spiritually there was no change in their hearts. This indicates that not all the healing of individuals by the Lord resulted in salvation .It might be of interest to observe in the New Testament that while we read of signs, wonders, and miracles together (Heb 2.4; Acts 2.22), and signs and wonders, or miracles and wonders (Acts 4.30 & 15.12), we never find the word "wonders" used alone! One cannot think that the Lord healed anyone merely to produce amazement and wonder. While the Lord wrought miracles and wonders, His works did have a spiritual significance and His healing ministry had in view the spiritual blessing of those who experienced His power, whether it resulted in salvation or not.
John J Stubbs
Does 2 Timothy 4.5, "do the work of an evangelist", indicate that all believers have the gift of the evangelist (Eph 4.11)?
In 2 Timothy 4.5 Paul is giving to his child in the faith a charge to fulfil his ministry. Part of the charge to this young man is to "do the work of an evangelist" (lit. "let your work be evangelistic in character"). Now Philip is the only named evangelist in the New Testament: "We entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven" (Acts 21.8). However, Timothy was to continue with the kind of work he began when he was first associated with the apostle. The nature of Timothys gift is not referred to explicitly, although evidently he was to care for the people of God and to teach them the truth of God.
The increasing difficulties and problems associated with the assembly at Ephesus might turn Timothy aside from the work of the gospel. Here we learn that all of Gods servants should remember the importance of evangelism.
Each believer has received a spiritual gift and has a responsibility to fulfil his particular ministry. However, it is evident that some men have been specially equipped as evangelists: "And he gave some
evangelists" (Eph 4.11). The one absorbing object of the evangelist should be to win souls for Christ. For this he labours and prays, for this he appeals to the heart and grapples with the conscience of his hearer.
We need real evangelists. Sadly a true evangelist is almost as rare as a true pastor; the two are closely connected. The evangelist gathers the sheep; the pastor feeds and cares for them.
All believers have a responsibility to bear witness to the saving power and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus we read, "Now they which were scattered abroad
preaching (lit. speaking) the word" (Acts 11.19). This was not a formal preaching, but a general testimony to all Jews with whom they came into contact.
There is in some quarters a strong tendency to "throw cold water" upon the work of evangelisation. There is often a sad lack of sympathy with the preacher and an inevitable lack of co-operation with him in his work. All who are filled with the mind of Christ will take an active interest in the work of those seeking to preach the glad tidings. This interest will be evinced not only by earnest prayer for divine blessing upon the work, but also by diligent and persevering efforts to bring souls under the sound of the gospel.
David E West