In 1967, Eugene Pottenger was the first patient to have a heart bypass surgery. It was performed by Dr. Rene Favaloro. Eugene was told that he had a 50-50 chance that this surgery would work. He and his wife decided that 50-50 chance was better than a promise of death without surgery. He underwent the surgery. Pottenger’s surgery was a success and he lived for another 26 years. Today, bypass surgery is almost a routine practice. It has saved thousands of lives, and has a 95-97% success rate.
The Bible speaks much about the heart. Sometimes it speaks of that organ that pumps blood throughout our veins. But most of the time and especially in the real important usages, it speaks of something less easily defined. The heart as an organ pumps life through your body. The heart as a figure, pumps your perceptions, your desires, your emotions, your thoughts, through your soul. When Jesus says “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart”, he wants us to make sure that what is pumping throughout our soul is good and pure and righteous.
Like our physical heart, this heart is susceptible to disease. In fact, according to the Bible, when we sin our hearts are infected with a disease. In Genesis 8:21 God said that mans heart is “evil from his youth”. Not born evil, but evil is committed by youngsters and it continues and grows throughout their life. Every person today, from the time of their youth has had a bad ticker.
And like our physical heart, sometimes by the time we see the symptoms it is usually the sign of a problem that has actually been there for a long time. Most people would say they have a good heart, or that God understands their heart. They use these phrases as false comforts and continue doing things that the Bible condemns. Unfortunately, as these people squander away all good in their life and end up in the gutter, it really all goes back to the bad heart they have had throughout their life.
Many people go to the grave without knowing that they have a heart problem. Because of continued ignoring of symptoms, lying to themselves, or going to bad doctors their heart issues are never dealt with, and they one day have a heart attack and die. Same is true with the spiritual heart. Many people go throughout their lives thinking they have a good healthy heart. They ignore the symptoms, or go to bad doctors and end up dying. They then face a God that looks at the heart of man, and does not accept a diseased heart. Many people think everything is ok and then enter into eternity unprepared.
Jesus Christ is the Great Physician that came to this earth to do some open heart surgery. And unless you go under his knife, your odd’s of survival are not very good. In fact, there is a 100% chance of eternal spiritual death in hell if we don’t submit to his surgery.
He performs this surgery with the word of God.
In Hebrews 4:12 it says that the word of God is sharper than a scalpel. It says in Ephesians 6:17 that the word of God is the sword of the spirit.
The surgery cannot be performed by any other tool. Christ didn’t bring another tool with him. He didn’t bring a heart zapper that he sometimes chooses random individuals to be zapped with. He gives us only his word (John 12:48). Every word of the New Testament is part of that scalpel (2 Tim 3:16). It is a precision instrument for all people (Mark 16:15). And every bit of it needs to be preached to assure that all impurities and disease of the heart can be removed (Acts 20:27)!
I had a study with a person a while back they said “I like the study because I am actually studying the Bible”. They said “you preach all of it”. The interesting thing is this person was comparing our study to the Bible studies they have at their popular denomination. Most places are not teaching the whole counsel of God. Most places are actually trying to do heart surgery with a broken scalpel.
The knife cuts into things that get a little too personal for many. Hebrews 4:12 says it divides the “thoughts and intents” of man. People will go to all sorts of sources to find another cure, because they don’t want to go under the knife. People don’t want to find out that they can’t continue living with this person who is not their wife. People don’t want to find out they can’t keep drinking and partying. People don’t want to find out that they need to quit being so vain and materialistic. People don’t want to find out that their church isn’t in the Bible. The Bible cuts the hearts of individuals (Acts 2:37). But that is absolutely necessary if surgery is ever going to be performed.
Listen to some words about the necessity of this surgery:
James 1:21-22 Wherefore putting away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness, receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deluding your own selves.
1Peter 1:22-23 Seeing ye have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth unto unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another from the heart fervently: having been begotten again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, through the word of God, which liveth and abideth.
Heart disease is the number one killer year by year, and it will be the number one reason for why people are in hell.
Surgery is scary. That fact cannot be denied. Spiritual surgery is scary as well. It is going to call for some serious changes to your life. Some will be wonderful, some will be not as immediately pleasant. But without surgery there is certain death.
I love to study the Bible with people. I love to watch Jesus perform his open heart surgery. And I would love to bring you to him to perform it. Please reach out to me if you would like to engage in a personal Bible study.