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Christ's Method of Medical Evangelism- House Calls

Phil Mills Sr.


Phil Mills Sr.

Dermatologist in Northern Georgia



  • December 6, 2014
    11:00 AM


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This morning we want to look at Christ's method but before we observe his method I want to look at one of the most well known of Ellen White statements in all of Adventism fact not long ago there's a whole quarter that was devoted to this statement. Yet I don't think we really understood it. Let's look at the quote briefly so we can better understand Christ's methods. A revival among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs to seek this should be our first work. The word revival however never stands alone. There must be a revival of something something that was once done and is now left undone in Munich it used to be the beer capital of the world and so they have sought to have a revival a revival in beer drinking and so they have the October Fest and that's a revival. But that's not the revival among us. It's the greatest and the most urgent of our needs. And so we look at this a little more closely and it says a revival of what true godliness. It's what we need but what is true godliness We're here in Herald Helen White said this Christ gave a perfect representation of true godliness by combining the work of a physician and a minister. If we made as our most urgent and pressing need to a revival of true godliness. Yes We find that true godliness combines the work of a physician and a minister. True Godliness is being joined together. It's from bended knee to bedside ministering to the needs of both body and soul healing physical disease and then speaking words that brought peace to the troubled heart. We'll watch him do that today. Let's look again at the quotation a revival of true godly godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs to see. This should be our first work in tree I do use that word here in Australia in three hours what kind of problem is addressed first the most urgent. So what problem if we are working in church work what problem should be. Three August first true godliness we have many needs but our first work is true godliness and what is true godliness combining the work of physician and minister was the work of a physician. Ministering to the needs of the body healing physical disease. What is the work of a minister ministering to the needs of the soul. And speaking words that bring peace to the troubled heart God calls us to true godliness Bible. By doing both Christ set us the example Christ was bound up in all branches of the work he did not make any division. He did not feel he was infringing on physicians when He healed the sick he proclaimed the truth. When the SIC came to him for healing he asked them if they believe that he could make them whole. He was just as willing to lay his hands and healing on the sick and afflicted as he was to preach the gospel. He was just as much at home in this work as in proclaiming the truth for healing the sick read it with me is a part of the gospel not the whole of the Gospel but neither is it gospel without it. It's a part of the Gospel this is not complicated. Seventh Day Adventists are being called to be modern Good Samaritans extending a helping hand to the robbed an injured lying in our pathway. Our present day priests and Levites must not pass by the robbed and injured lying in their pathway using modern excuses about it being out of their specialty. Take people right where they are. Whatever their position whatever their condition and help them in every way possible. This is gospel ministry as we did together this is such an important concept to take people right where they are. Whatever their position what ever their condition and to help them in every way possible. This is gospel ministry help in any way you can. It may be necessary for ministers to go in the homes of the sick and say I'm ready to help you and I will do the best I can. I'm not a physician but I am a minister and I like to minister to the sick and afflicted. The next two phrases are crucial to understand if we would minister to the sin sick soul. Find someone with a sick body. Those who are sick in body or what. Next three words are nearly always sick and so but the converse is also true when the soul is sick the body is made sick. True godliness understands this connection and doesn't just take care of the body or the soul but ministers to both the true minister seeks to help to set the true physician seeks to minister to the soul and that is true godliness and its revival of that. That's our most urgent and greatest need. What an opportunity. We're told the consecrated physician has to show a Christ like interest in the patients under his care. A lot of physicians and health care providers think this is more complicated than it is. Some years ago a physician educated in admin a school from grade one Cademy college Loma Linda told me they'd never given a bible study in their life. I didn't know how many have been given the idea that you have to know all the correct doctrinal texts to help the soul of the patient. I grew up going to a lot of seminars on how to witness. They gave various answers to objections in the various bible studies on doctrines and it's good I don't condemn it but it is not what God Most calls us to do. Notice just how simple the work of a physician a dentist a health care provider really is it is his privilege to speak encouragingly to them and bow at their bedside to offer a few words of prayer. I say it's not just from bended knee to bedside but it's from bended knee to bended knee at the bedside. I can't give a talk like Mark Finley but I can speak encouragingly to patients and when appropriate offer a few words of prayer and that's the most satisfying part of my medical practice and their way is that even a busy practice with short encounters we have opportunities to speak encouraging Lay to patients and I found that the simple question while I'm washing my hands going into the room washing my hands give me an insight before the encounter. I'll often ask in my i'll see twenty plus patients in a morning twenty push plus patients in an afternoon short encounters. But I'm washing my hands and they had a good year. And when there's a pause in the answer or a tentative answer or I guess it's been OK. It invites a sympathetic follow up than covers the death of a spouse the diagnosis of cancer for a child. Often it gives an opportunity to speak some encouraging word to a person that's anxious grieving and when appropriate their opportunity is to say a few words of prayer. Let me just share a few experiences. The instruction is not complicated but it works. Patient came to the office and expressed an interest in health. How can I encourage or encourage her to come to the cooking school that was going to be the class it was going to be that Thursday evening. I gave her a little announcement to the meeting and she came she expressed interest in. Joining a group to study with a small group that were seeking to understand the big themes of the Bible. A small group studying big claims the next week I gave her a personal call to come to our home and join such a group and I've been involved in so many things that I don't have time to prepare Bible studies but I can show a video series of different seminars that give us these big themes and she came and she started coming to church and a month ago she was baptized. But during the year just three months ago. Although she was running five miles a day felt perfectly fine. They found a huge mass in her colon and she has an eight percent survival chance. When she told me last Sabbath when they were the church how grateful she was that just a short account or a couple seconds encounter little invitation. And now as she faces the crisis in their life events she has Jesus with her she does not walk alone. She has a church family which she never had before. She doesn't walk alone and she's grateful for that. A minister came to my office with a concern about a sore on his forehead which is a little basal cell cancer which not much but as we looked at my found a dark spot on his abdomen that really concerned me. What brought him here. And was really nothing but what we found once he was there was a melanoma. He did the surgery it was a melanoma and cite you. So we did the surgery took it out him. I always ask before I do surgery. If they'd mind if we'd have a word of prayer. And so far I have been turned down sooner or later I'm sure it will be. But as a result of just asking him for prayer it changed the conversation I love the kinds of surgeries we do. My son in law who's a colorectal surgeon doesn't think I do surgery but I don't think that he has opportunity to minister to his patients that are sound asleep like I do fully awake. He asked me to speak this minister asked me to speak to his church twice now. And. We've had many opportunities to friend in the community. Just as a result of a simple prayer and a few words of spiritual thought as we're doing surgery. The program coordinator at the Rotary Club asked if I would speak for their rotary club and he as he was introducing me. You know the thing that made him that that he said in the introduction it wasn't where I'd gone to medical school it wasn't that different specialties or degrees. He only said this is a doctor that prayed with me before he did surgery. I had a patient a couple years ago that came into the office and I had on a screen a cell cancer. He when I asked when we were doing the surgery if he would mind if I had a word of prayer he says well he says I'm an atheist so if it makes you feel better it's OK. I assured him that made me feel better. So I says then you better do it with a little tense moment but. And I wondered should I have even asked him if his brother came into the office the next week just tell me that their family had been trying to pray with this particular person for years and he wouldn't let them but he came bragging that his doctor had prayed with and they say this a year ago I came back to the office for an emergency. Looked him over couldn't find anything that was wrong at all and I suddenly realized there's something else going on here. He didn't really come about his skin problem. There must be something else. So after I reassured him about the issue that he had had to see me that day for I gave him something and probably some of the steroid cream or something for that. I said tell me I'm going to call him George. Tell me George. How is everything going in your life. And tears came into his eyes because he said last week Dr Mills my son his son was forty years old had been helping a neighbor fell from the ladder and was killed and as he was just sharing this I suddenly realized why he was there he wasn't there for his skin he really wanted to talk to me about that issue. And so I said damn I said George do you mind if I have a little word of prayer with you and this time he didn't say if it makes you feel better Dr. He said Please pray please pray. If we really want to know how to minister to the soul in the body we should be looking at the one who really knows how this is done and that's Jesus Christ. And I'd like to accompany him on a house call. Many physicians make house calls today. There's no time our waiting rooms are too busy it's too expensive to go to the home that Jesus was never too busy to make house calls. But if we need to give a context if we really want to understand our story this morning. A Luke eight forty says so it was when Jesus returned the multitude welcomed him for they were all waiting for him compared to Jesus We don't know what it is to be busy. I'm tired after seeing patients for eight hours. But Jesus didn't wait to start at eight A.M. or stop at five P.M. He healed crowds of people in the evening council they could be missed by night. Rob to sleep by storms that is stilled. Praying long before sunrise treating demoniacs at dawn teaching disciples through the day. Jesus' waiting room always seemed to be full. A context is given in Matthew and summarized well by my favorite modern author at length. Saint unwary with the work of teaching and healing. Jesus left the multitude in order to partake of food in the House of Levi. But the people pressed about the door bringing the sick the deformed and the lunatic. For him to heal. As he sat at the table one of the rulers of the synagogue Jarrod's by name came up. Gyrus was an influential man in Capernaum as ruler of the synagogue. His job was a combination of senior pastor head deacon head elder It was not easy for this haughty leader to swallow his pride and seek help from Jesus. To see Jesus was to lose a synagogue position it men ridicule and rejection by the religiously leaders but is only a child a twelve year old daughter was dying in a last desperate resort to preserve her life. Gyrus turned to Jesus. Previously he had consulted the most learned pediatricians in Israel but they had given his daughter to die because Jarrod's waited until his daughter was at the point of death to finally see Jesus. His daughter was too critical for him to carry her and so he set off on his mission alone so desperate had he become that even the fact that Jesus was at the home of a despised publican could not detour him pushing his way through the outcasts in the pool or waiting outside the door of gyrus as Matthew's house gyrus gained admittance and he fell down at Jesus' feet and begged him to come to his house stopping his lunch leaving and tasted some of the food loving pertly prepared for him. Jesus and His disciples immediately started out to make this house call. But it was not alone for the daughter that Jesus went to the mansion of the ruler of the synagogue on the way to heal the daughter Jarrah sought to heal the father. The synagogue ruler like the pastor that came with one problem on his skin that he were. About but didn't realize he had a much more dangerous problem that was discovered elsewhere on his skin as Jesus went. The multitudes throng down Mark adds that it was a great multitude that was around him and this great multitude brought gyrus emergency its first apparent obstacle but really its solution. More time with Jesus the crowd of people was so great it was virtual gridlock and though the anxious father impatiently tried to speed the pace. Jesus could only move slowly in the direction of Jarvis is home the pictures of Jesus in crowds are almost always wrong. Generally they show him with plenty of personal space between him and the next person in the crowd his comfort zone is not invaded. But that's not how it was. It might be helpful to get an eyewitness description of Jesus surrounded by crowds. Look fifty seven he allowed the crowd to press around him and complain that those sometimes almost lifted off his feet. His was a crowded waiting room and he had no back entrance. He never allowed the impatience of those waiting to make him either impatient or hurried and I love the eyewitness report of inspiration. Let the Holy Spirit play the youtube video on the screen of your imagination. Although it was only a short distance their progress was very slow for the people pressed forward on every side eager to see the great teacher who had made who had created so much excitement begging his attention and his aide anxious father urged his way through the crowd fearful of being too late. But Jesus pitting them. People in the pouring their spiritual darkness and physical maladies What was he looking at. Spiritual and physical stopped now and then to minister to their wants. He saw the physical needs and ministered to the physical problems he saw the spiritual needs and treated the spiritual problems he ministered to both. I wonder which requests were granted. I wonder what made him stop now and then. One of which requests were ignored. Some in the crowd made desperate attempts to get near him and get his attention. And you can just see these waves as they're trying to push through and people are falling toward Jesus. Occasionally he was nearly carried off his feet by the surging masses. No most of the stories of this experience will have to wait for heaven. There is one video clip that's preserved for us to watch in stark contrast to the medical crisis of a dying girl is the chronic problem of an older woman. Luke eight forty three now a woman having a flow of blood for twelve years. Stop and think about this detail for a moment. The very same year Jay Iris and his wife were rejoicing over the birth of their one and only child. This woman began mourning the loss of her health now twelve short years later frigid Iris and twelve long years later for the woman they both have a need that only Jesus can fill. Sometimes my receptionists will get a call from a new patient demanding to be seen now. When problem they've had for years. This woman's problem have been present for years. Why would she wait to see Jesus after that long a time. We don't know exactly what was the cause of the woman's men Iraj fibroids polyps had no meiosis pelvic inflammatory disease thyroid problems and a meter osis liver or kidney disease. Whatever the medical diagnosis the woman would have become anemic from the prolonged bleeding decreasing her endurance. Furthermore this poor woman was not only sick she was ostracized like a leper. She was unclean. She could not worship in the temple she couldn't get a job she couldn't have a relationship with her husband. When her problem began Facebook friends googled men around her but found no answers. Acquaintances suggested this remedy and that remedy this diet and that diet but nothing worked. In fact some of the treatments worsened her condition in a frantic but fruitless search for help she had gone from physician to physician specialist specialist. Dr Luke is diplomatic when speaking of his fellow physicians. He says she spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any. But Mark Felt under no such professional restraint he bluntly says she had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better but rather grew worse like heiresses daughter. This woman had been abandoned to die by the physicians. Acute problems intact as far differently than chronic conditions chronic conditions grind us down emotionally socially financially. At last this woman had no more money to spend. She had no one to turn to her friends were tired of hearing about her problem and she couldn't discuss it with them. Her prayers it seemed unanswered alone penniless friendless and for saken she despaired of ever having a life again. Like she iris when every other solution failed she turned to Jesus and Jesus was waiting room was filled with stories of failure. These were the poor the hopeless the rejected the marginalised the ignorant the weak the odd The Misfits. But it was these outcasts that were transformed by Christ and made up the early church that is the wonder of the universe and standard that judges all subsequent generations of Christians those who've been deformed those who had been outcasts. A lunatic. We don't have the details about how she got the funds to travel to companion were Jesus often stayed we don't know how far she had to travel or how long it took her in her weakened state but without an appointment she too was outside in the waiting room outside Matthew's house trying to reach Jesus. She may have watched Iris as he cut to the front of the line and got inside the house but this woman faced daunting odds in reaching Jesus. Have you ever tried to communicate with some very famous person. What are the odds that you would be able to talk with the president of the United States or the queen of the is at the Royal Commonwealth the Commonwealth are not easy. First she had no influential position that would make the crowd open up so she could push through the crowd crowd gave her no notice. They would not open up for her. Second she had. No emergency to get the disciple gate keepers attention to bring her to Jesus quickly. And finally Jesus himself saying to a passer by. Amid the confusion she could not be heard by him nor catch more than a passing glimpse of his figure. He was so near it seems so far. That's the condition of much of suffering humanity. But she had seen a glimpse of Jesus in that glance gave her the opportunity to saw. She thought she had seen him just ahead making every exertion coming from behind she was able to stretch to the limit and just managed to touch the edge of his garment with her fingertips. She thought she was reaching out to touch Jesus. She was to discover that he was reaching out to touch her for the instant she touched the edge of a claw. She felt a power surge through her body and she was made to hold her bleeding stopped her anemia vanished her energy level for the first time in twelve years was normal. Mark says she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction since the woman was healed and knew she was healed Jesus could have gone on with his travel toward the home of G.R.S. without further delay. But that's not what happened because you see Jesus was not just a physician of the body. You could not be satisfied by only healing the body he desired to make man every whit whole. So Jesus stopped turned around and ask who touched me. One eyewitness recalled the scene the people answered this query with a look at them. Is jostled upon all sides and rudely pressed hither and thither as he was. It seemed indeed a singular inquiry when all denied it. Peter expressed the confusion of all the disciples by the question master. The multitude throng and pressure you and you say who touched me. Jesus continued looking directly at the woman while he explained. Somebody touched me for I perceived power going out for me. Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden she came trembling fears of sickness had shattered her emotionally. She was frightened the healing of her body had not healed her emotionally. For Jesus to stop his healing by only addressing her physical needs would have made the healing incomplete. For years she had been embarrassed and ashamed of her problem she had become adept in hiding the problem from others though she was satisfied with one brief touch of the hymn of Christ's garment. Jesus had so much more to offer her since a brief and distant encounter with Christ for so long like life changing. He desired her to come boldly to him in his throne of grace for all the problems of her life. His invitation to her is extended to all who have had a short but life changing encounter with him and falling down before him. He had now moved beyond seeing Jesus as the savior of her body. She accepted him as the savior of her soul. Jarras had kneeled before Jesus with a request. This woman kneeled before Jesus with thankfulness and praise Jesus loves and responds to both kind of kneeling bended knees she declared to him in the presence of all the people there. A reason she had touched him and how she was healed immediately after her testimony J Jesus gave her instruction that would guide her for the rest of her life. And he said to her daughter he assured her that she was his child and she had all the privileges of a child. It was not alone for this woman that Jesus paused. He wanted to increase J. irises faith and teach Jarrod's important spiritual truth as well. Just as gyrus was concerned about the illness of his daughter he saw that Jesus had a father's concern for the well being of this outcast woman his daughter be of good cheer her years of illness had brought her depression. Jesus now addressed the woman's depression she was a child of the king. There was no reason for hopelessness. For God's children weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning. She might have endured twelve long painful embarrassing years but guarded not for saken her during this time her illness had taught her the limited value of money or specialists to solve the problems of life for our light affliction which is but for a moment is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. It was not until now that she was ready to be healthy. The experience so grievous was for her good. Like Moses years herding sheep or Israel's forty years of wandering in the wilderness like Job's losses is illnesses or David's years as a fugitive. She could know that all things would work together for those who loved God Didn't you love the story that we heard this morning about that hand that was deformed. I want to make sure that I get that story from my my records. Thank you for sharing it. But it's true not only for people with the foreign hands or sickness true for all of us isn't it your faith has made you well. It was trusting God in the darkness that made her well and it was trusting God in the light that would keep her well. Go in peace like the publican worshipper who prayed for mercy and left the temple justified. This woman had not only had her body cleansed her soul was cleansed as well she was forgiven and therefore having been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. For a moment gyrus forgot his own anxiety as he listened to the woman's tearful testimony of long days of suffering. Now in the past his own heart was being softened. The healing touch of Jesus was providing a remedy for Charis. We see that Jesus' healing ministry goes far beyond the body don't we. The delay of Jesus had been so intensely interesting we're told in its results that even the anxious father felt no impatience but watched the scene with deep interest as the healed woman was sent away comforted and rejoicing. It encouraged him to believe still more firmly that Jesus was able to grant his own petition and heal his daughter. But just then a message came that was to test his faith more deeply while he was still speaking someone came from the ruler of the synagogues House saying to him your daughter's dead do not trouble the teacher. Gyrus thought he was coming to Jesus to save his daughter. He didn't realize Jesus was seeking to apply the healing remedy to his own soul but Charis is now ready to be treated more directly. Jesus overheard the report and dealt not with the physical issues of the daughter but the emotional and spiritual issues of the Father. But when Jesus. Just heard it he answered him saying Do not be afraid only believe. And she will be made well. Jarrod said two great problems. He was fearful. Second he was unbelieving. These would keep him out of heaven. These sins are classed with abominations murders moral impurity witchcraft idol worship and dishonesty. Jesus' word could as powerfully heal gyrus fearfulness and doubts as it could resurrect and heal his daughter. When he came into the house he permitted no one to go in except Peter James and John and the father and mother of the girl. The throngs following Jesus were left outside. Here we see how Jesus conducted an annoying thing service it was done quietly privately. Jesus had spoken with gyrus now he would had an opportunity to speak to the wife and mother as well. Jesus' work is primarily an individual work. He's not interested in simply educating the masses. He delights to minister to the needs of the individual. He doesn't look over our group today and see a group he looks over our group today and sees each individual in this group and seeks to minister to your needs Jesus works in homes. He restores family though the throngs following Jesus were not permitted in the house. There was much confusion within the home. Now all wept and mourned for her but he said Do not weep she is not dead but sleeping humans are so clueless. We mourn at the wrong time in the wrong way for the wrong reasons. We laugh when we should be weeping weeping weep when we should be rejoicing. What good would all this wailing do to restore this girl's health. And what is the point of mourning for this girl she was going to be well in a few moments. These mourners didn't wail when the girl took a nap. Why wail here there's no reason to mourn in the presence of Jesus in His presence is fullness of joy. He wipes all tears from their eyes and these warm mourners stopped mourning and started ridiculing Jesus and they ridiculed him knowing that she was dead. But death is not the end. Jesus gives life. He forgives our iniquities he redeemed our life from destruction but he put them all outside. This was a miniature judgment disbelievers will be outside the city walls. Jesus separates the wheat from the tares in the chaff. By our response to the Word of God to truth we determine whether we will be put outside. Those who want to remain in Jesus' joyful presence will put out of their minds all doubt and disbelief of God's Word and in this enacted parable Jesus was also saying Our children need to be protected from the influence of doubters and scoffers of God's word. No sense to raise them in that environment or they will quickly die again. Do you want to do comprehensive medical missionary work. Dismiss the ideas of any who would ridicule the Bible or the spirit of prophecy after Jesus put the doubters and markers outside what did Jesus do. Did he give her health education. There is a place for health education but it doesn't help the dead. There's a place for instruction but it doesn't help the dead we heard that this morning from Fred. Jesus came close to Jack. I was daughter and took her by the hand that was cold from death. Jesus' approach to each person is individualized. He said nothing to the woman who was bleeding. He simply came as close as her arm reached to the man with a withered hand he said stretch it out. But he took the hand of the dead daughter of gyrus as medical missionaries. We need to know each type and how to reach them or how to have them reach us. Then Jesus called saying little girl arise. Then her spirit returned and she arose immediately and he commanded that she be given something to eat at Kettering Medical Center. At minister institution in Ohio a year ago there was a man that was pronounced dead and he was dead for forty five minutes. Flatlined and his family were there morning praying and forty five minutes after he was dead. He suddenly sat up. Well he didn't sit up he suddenly his eyes fluttered opened up and he became conscious. But he was unable to leave the hospital for a week. Not this girl. She arose and immediately and now is the time for health education and Jesus does this tells them to feed her and her parents were astonished but he charged them to tell no one what had happened. Medical evangelism is effective in bringing publice to protection and prosperity to God's Cause we saw that last night and all the medical missionary work brought Jesus great fame and publicized. That was not the purpose of these works of benevolence. Jesus medical missionary work was a quiet work a work without outward show. Jesus doesn't heal us to bring himself fame and fortune. He heals to bring us comfort and relief. He used the physical as a means to introduce the spiritual bless the Lord O. my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name bless the Lord all my soul and forget not all his benefits who forgives all your iniquities who heals all your diseases who redeemed your life from destruction who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies who satisfies your mouth with good things so that your youth is renewed like eagles. That's partially. Father in heaven. It's so exciting to be a part of a movement which is getting back to basics. And that's where we need to combine medical work and ministry load. I suspect that most of us here the coming at least if not already convinced of the need for that and perhaps sometimes one of the difficult things is how we practically institute that because we often work in systems that work against this approach. So load as well have more opportunities through the conference to be able to network together to be able to discuss ideas to positively encourage one another. We pray that it will all start with a personal revival for getting to know you again more and more lord you need to be center of our lives and load. As the song has said we're proud. In Towanda Lord we feel that we're primed to leave the one we love but Lord we know we pray that you'll forgive us and that you take this back and that you'll have us work for you and what we're about to have a meal so shortly as well and we pray for a blessing over this food will be served to us shortly. We thank you for the stuff at the Salvation Army Center who are serving us. We just pray for a blessing over the rest of this conference may your angles and spirit be present here we pray she says in this media was brought to you by Adil purse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through every sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about it how do you verse or if you would like to listen to more service we visit W W W audio Verse dot org.


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