Will Be Or May Be?

Q. I was in a discussion with some people who think it is still in practice to anoint a person who is sick and maybe he will be healed. What do you say about the oil in James 5:14? I believe this is confusing to many today.

A. James 5:14-15 says,
Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.

As you can see, this passage does not include any kind of expiration date, so it’s still in practice. And it doesn’t say maybe anywhere. It says the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well.

Some people think that when a sick person they anoint and pray over doesn’t get well it’s because that verse has somehow expired. But earlier James explained what really happens.

“When he asks he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not think he will receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:6-7).

It’s typical for humans to look anywhere but inside themselves for the solution to their problems. But the Bible says Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). That means if He healed people in the past, He’s still healing them today, and will be doing so as long as people need healing.

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