“We say that Paul lost his ability to heal since he didn’t heal anyone in his later ministry. But is this a good proof? If he was in prison during his later ministry, how could he have healed anyone?”
Well, first of all, people in prison need healing just as much as other people! Sometimes even more so, due to the harsh conditions found in prisons in those days, and the “stripes” and other beatings that were often laid on Roman prisoners (Acts 16:23; 18:17).
But Paul was under a sort of house arrest during his first imprisonment, as we see in Acts 28:30:
“And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him.“
Under this house arrest type of incarceration, he was able to receive “all that came in unto him.” That would have afforded him plenty of opportunity to heal people if he still had that ability. And he seemed to be in the same kind of bonds during his second imprisonment, with people being able to visit him, and even stay with him (2 Tim. 4:9-13).
We know he lost his power to heal during his first imprisonment, however, when he gave Timothy medical advice (1 Tim. 5:23) instead of sending him a blessed handkerchief as he’d done before (Acts 19:11,12). And during his second imprisonment, he mentioned having to leave a beloved co-worker behind “sick” in between his two incarcerations (2 Tim. 4:20).
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
“It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles.”
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you’ll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.