The Case For The Common Cold

The Case For The Common Cold

Sermon Audio courtesy of

Text: John 11:1-4


The Gospel is not a disease that is spread accidently. It’s a cure for sin that damns the soul. Salvation does not cure diseases of the body, though God may choose to heal anyone at any time.

Presence of sickness does not disprove salvation, Philippians 2:27, Epaphroditus, David Brainerd

No medals are given for ‘sitting this one out.’ Psalm 49:18 Men will praise thee, but will God?

  • Dr. Sam Gipp preached one of the greatest messages on Christianity during one of his worst days. “Ephesians Christianity” at Hope Baptist Church
  • Nov. 5, 2017 with a severe kidney infection preaching at Gospel Light Baptist Church, “David’s Valley”
  • Meningitis during a visit home from Bible college

Why do we get sick? Why is there no cure for the common cold?

  1. To avoid distraction from soul sinfulness and eternal damnation
  2. To allow suffering in a manner that allows man to seek the Lord before death.
    1. As a Christian, to compare to Christ
    2. As a Sinner, to beware of the wrath to come

Sickness under the Microscope of Scripture: “This sickness is not unto death.”

I. “This” – shows peculiarity in the multiplicity of kinds

  1. Viral infections
  2. Bacterial infections
  3. Lack of communication between cells
  4. As God created everything “very good” in Genesis 1:31, the fall did not create new evils, but broke boundaries that microorganisms were never meant to cross. -ICR

II. “Is” – shows the presence of disease even in modern times, it confounds evolution and disproves ‘its all in your head’

  1. God is not a Charismatic! See John 11:37
  2. WHO Global average lifespan in studies from 2010 to 2016? 70 years: Psalm 90:10

III. “Not” – shows permission granted

  1. Supernaturally Enlisted
  2. Supernaturally Limited

IV. “Unto” – shows purpose

  1. Subjected according to
    1. God’s will- Hebrews 12:12
    2. Sin’s expulsion- 1 Peter 4:1
    3. Confession much like vomit
    4. Man’s refinement: survival immunizes from most diseases
      • What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger- and our generations are dying from lack of exposure to the elements!
  2. Served as a gentle reminder of
    1. Equality – no respect of persons
    2. Humility – Ego is hard to have with a runny nose! 2 Corinthians 11:30
    3. Mortality – a little pain keeps you safe, reminds you that life is a struggle
    4. Eternity – where there is no more sickness! Revelation 21:4 “No more pain”

V. “Death” – shows passage, the pain ends, death is the carrier, not the conqueror- 1 Corinthians 15:56

  1. The sting of death is UNFORGIVEN SINS
  2. Is the Gospel a cure? How was it synthesized?


David’s ego and insecurity caused him to transgress and number Israel against God’s command. Gad the prophet was commissioned to convey the sentence against David. He is given three options for punishment: a famine of 3 years, war for 3 months, or a plague for 3 days. David accepts the last of the choices, called a “pestilence” in the Bible, or an epidemic. Caused and ordered and allowed by God, He lets it go on 70,000 Israelites. But rather than let it run its course, the Lord of the angel declares: IT IS ENOUGH. (1 Chron. 21:15) God had mercy on suffering Israel.

But on Golgotha, some thousand years later, His Son bears our griefs and carries our sorrows. Not content with that suffering alone, he multiplies it by the weight of eternity on his shoulders until every last sin is piled on. At last the great Scientist has rendered the cure of all the ages and He declares: IT IS FINISHED!(John 19:30) The work was not stopped short in mercy, no, it was elongated by justice to run the disease’s full course. Isaiah 53:5 “By his stripes we are healed”


Spurred by the massive yellow fever-related casualties in the Spanish-American War, members of the U.S. Army Yellow Fever Commission, headed by Walter Reed, traveled to Cuba to study the disease. Commission member Jesse Lazear (1866-1900) met Henry Rose Carter, a surgeon who had studied the incubation period of yellow fever. Carter gave Lazear a draft of a paper he’d authored defining the incubation period for the disease as a range of 10 to 17 days. Lazear reportedly stated that Carter’s dates, should they prove to be correct, suggested a living host for yellow fever. Determined to uncover the source of the illness, the Commission members visited Carlos Finlay and decided to test his theory of mosquito transmission.

Jesse Lazear hatched Finlay’s mosquito eggs and let the mosquitoes feed on patients infected with yellow fever at a Havana hospital. The mosquitoes were then allowed to feed on study volunteers over a period of two weeks—yet no infections resulted. Two days later, however, Lazear once again allowed the mosquitoes to feed. This time, both of the men who were bitten fell ill. These experiments validated the theory Finlay had presented two decades earlier: mosquitoes (specifically, the Aedes aegypti variety) were the transmission vector of yellow fever. The researchers went on to rule out a bacterium as the disease agent. They determined that an infectious particle too small to be filtered with a standard bacterial filter was the source of the disease: the first human virus ever discovered. (German scientists had identified the virus that caused foot-and-mouth disease in animals in 1898.)

The two men Lazear exposed to yellow fever via the experiment’s mosquitoes recovered. Lazear himself, however, was not so lucky. It is likely that he allowed himself to be bitten as part of the experiment. Lazear contracted yellow fever and died in September 1900, at age 34.

The Army experiments, however, continued, with Reed naming newly designed facilities “Camp Lazear.” The group proceeded to determine that the mosquitoes could transmit the disease only after a certain period of time had passed since they had fed on another human infected with it (in the range of 12-20 days) and that a victim bitten by an infected mosquito would typically fall ill within six days.

William Crawford Gorgas (1854-1920), a Colonel in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, later described the details of the discovery:

They… found out that [a man], before he had been bitten by the yellow-fever mosquito, could sleep in the bed in which a patient had died of yellow fever, could be covered with a black vomit from a yellow-fever patient, or be exposed to the emanations from yellow fever in any other way, and as long as he was kept safe from the bite of the mosquito he would not have yellow fever; but this same man, after all this exposure, if afterwards bitten by an infected mosquito, would very certainly catch the disease.

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