Phil Johnson praises God's 'providence' in health update

Phil Johnson delivers a sermon at Grace Community Church, April 2, 2023.
Phil Johnson delivers a sermon at Grace Community Church, April 2, 2023. | Screenshot: YouTube/Grace Community Church

A noted ministry leader and pastor is expressing gratitude for God’s “providence” after learning that he has incurable cancer following several weeks of medical tests stemming from a hospitalization earlier this year. 

Phil Johnson took to X Monday to post a thread sharing an update on his health situation. Johnson, who serves as the executive director of the Grace to You ministry, first announced that he was experiencing health problems earlier this year.

“I want to say thank you again to the countless people who told me they were praying for me during my hospitalization last month,” he wrote Monday. “My ‘catastrophic’ kidney malfunction turned out to be a sort of blessing in disguise.”

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Johnson added, “In the hundreds of blood tests and a bone-marrow biopsy doctors ordered, they discovered I had Multiple Myeloma, a kind of blood cancer that lets the proteins in my blood attack other organs.” He noted that following a meeting with an “excellent doctor” earlier in the morning, he was prescribed “a cocktail of drugs, followed by a bone marrow transplant.”

“Multiple Myeloma is not curable, but this treatment should make it go into remission,” he explained. “The goal, as I understand it, is to keep me alive long enough for something else to kill me.”

After outlining his medical prognosis, Johnson remarked, “I’m glad that in the providence of God, they were able to diagnose this before the cancer progressed so far that no treatment could help.” He concluded the thread by proclaiming, “My times are in His hand,” a reference to Psalm 31:15

Johnson first announced his health problems in an April 5 post on X, where he informed his followers that “I ended up in the ER this morning with a pulmonary embolism.” He indicated the following day that he had begun dialysis after blood tests revealed he was suffering from “critical kidney malfunction.”

In subsequent posts, Johnson detailed how he was undergoing dialysis “three times a week for the foreseeable future.” Last month, he had surgery to remove the dialysis catheter from his neck. The bone-marrow biopsy that led doctors to discover his Multiple Myeloma took place two weeks ago

Grace to You, affiliated with the California-based Grace Community Church led by Pastor John MacArthur, describes itself as a ministry dedicated to “unleashing God’s truth, one verse at a time.” Specifically, Grace to You seeks to “use mass media to expose John’s teaching to as wide an audience as possible.”

The ministry offers a Sermons App featuring sermons from MacArthur and a Study Bible that contains “25,000 explanatory notes” from the pastor on “virtually every passage based on the [English Standard Version] text” in addition to “more than 140 two-color maps, charts, timelines, and illustrations.” 

In addition to his work with Grace to You, Johnson is an elder at Grace Community Church and a pastor who leads GraceLife, one of the megachurch’s fellowship groups. Johnson, whose relationship with MacArthur dates back more than four decades, has also founded several websites, including a blog titled Pyromaniacs and has edited most of the pastor’s books. 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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