- (Photo: Mars Hill Church)
Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Wash., sparked an outpouring of testimonies from members of his congregation about their experience with miraculous healing after he delivered a sermon this past Sunday based on Acts 3 about the story of a man lame from birth who was healed by the Apostle Peter through the power of Jesus Christ.
Out of the touching testimonies Mars Hill posted on Monday on its website, Driscoll told The Christian Post that his favorite testimony was that of Chelsea, a church member who had trichotillomania, an impulsive disorder that causes her to pull out her hair. "The depressed young single mother who had gotten to the point of being suicidal. After hearing a sermon she turned to Jesus, was healed from that torment, baptized, and is walking with Jesus today." He added,"The photo of her being baptized without hair, and today with hair smiling with her daughter (posted on Mars Hill's website) meant a lot to me."
In her testimony, Chelsea said she was moved by one of Driscoll's sermon and "cried out to Jesus, rebuking all the depression, anxiety, and hair-pulling urges out of my body. By the end of my prayer, as I wiped the tears away from my face, I felt Jesus wipe away my oppression."
That same night, she disposed her anti-depressants and within months, her hair began to grow back, which she says "is a miracle in itself," adding that "Jesus has healed me and I cling to this as my hope!"
Her story along with other healing miracles is the reflection of God's manifested love, according to Driscoll. "It's a sign of love, a sign of mercy, a sign of affection, a sign of compassion for the afflicted person," he said.
Driscoll's message was one of several sermons in his series concentrated on the book of Acts. And during Sunday's message, Driscoll said he thinks that in Mars Hill's 17 years, he has never "dealt fully and thoroughly in one sermon with healing." He began the service by discussing healing through the name of Jesus and addressed the correlation between natural medicine and supernatural prayer, as well as questions about why sickness exists and if God still heals today. "We know that Jesus did come and he did practice healing. There are 27 individuals that Jesus healed in the gospels," said Driscoll, referring to miracles found in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Discroll told CP he would tell someone who does not believe that God can heal that "the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the greatest evidence in the history of the world that the God of the Bible can heal."
But during Sunday's message, Driscoll highlighted that throughout Acts, there are 14 cases where healing took place beginning with the lame man.
"One thing about this story, it's all in the name of Jesus, you get that?" asked Driscoll. "The name of Jesus is not like a pagan mantra, but its inviting the living Jesus into that moment," he added, referring to moments of prayer during sickness.
He also referred to a Christian couple whose two children died after they neglected medical attention because they were waiting for a miracle through prayer. He stated that although the Bible cites divine prayer for healing, it does not condemn medicine adding that his own medical doctor, an evangelical Christian, prays for him after routine visits.
"If you're healed through natural medicine or supernatural prayer, it's ultimately because of the grace of God," said Driscoll.
Following his sermon, a Mars Hill church member told her story on the church's website about God's healing power.
"One of my legs was shorter than the other and it caused me to have a lot of pain in my foot," said Tiffany from Bellevue, Wash. "One night, as I was listening to a friend tell of his own personal healing, I said, 'I want that.' My friends started to pray for me and literally, within minutes my shorter leg started to grow. I thought I must be imagining it, but pretty soon someone burst out, 'Are you guys seeing this?!,' all four of us were seeing it. It was awesome."
Another member, Connie from Federal Way, Wash., also testified that her son, who was hooked to a ventilator, had "taken enough phenobarbitals to kill an elephant" and would remain in a vegetative state
if he regained consciousness. She recounts that he was healed during his second day at the hospital after a man claiming to be a pastor prayed over her son. A short time later, his tubes were removed, he was able to speak and made a full recovery. Connie and her husband then described the man to nurses who said they had not seen him on the floor that day, a miracle she credits God for.
Driscoll will next preach a sermon titled "Empowered by the Spirit to be Courageous" this coming weekend in his Acts series.