ESV - 16 The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
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Nothing on earth happens without God's permissive will. The Bible records instances where God used (and would still be capable of using even today) illness (or even death) as a means of judgment (as with David's first child with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:15); or David's taking a census of Israel (2 Samuel 24); or Herod's self-glorification (Acts 12:20-23); or as a means of preventing an individual from becoming too prideful, as He did with Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)). However, I would also say that illnesses in general, and the organisms that produce them, are consequences of living in a fallen world, and humans (despite their sinful state) can play a significant role in the control of such maladies through the use of their God-given intelligence both in discovering the causes of diseases, and in developing cures or means (such as vaccines or hygienic practices) for treating, controlling, or preventing them. For that reason, unless there would be clear, unmistakable evidence of God's direct involvement, my first inclination would not be to regard an illness as indicative of a curse of some sort, but as a "natural" (and hopefully treatable) result of the environment, or of human actions and decisions. That is not to say that prayer would or could not be of use in such cases, but God allowed the development of medical knowledge for a purpose -- to benefit humanity (as Luke, who was a physician (Colossians 4:14), could attest).
I believe what Tim said for the most part. But, there is always a but. First Corinthians 11:27-34 Many of the Corinthian believers were living in fornication and coming to communion drunk Paul said many were sick among them because they were not judging themselves. He said some have even died. Not that they had lost their salvation, but God does judge His own people. He chastens those He loves as a father chastens his children. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. So, sometimes we are chastened by the Lord by sickness and even death. First Corinthians 5:5. But, as Tim said, most times it is just that we live in a fallen world and sickness and disease are part of the curse on the whole world. Just like weeds and trials and tribulation that we all go through for Gods own purpose. But, if it is because of sin, He will not be angry with us forever. He still has a soft heart towards His own children. But whom the Lord loveth, he chastens. At least you know if He is chastening you, you are one of His. He does not chasten unbelievers.
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