Why I Don’t Handle Snakes

Mark 16:17-18 (KJV) And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 

Someone jokingly posted an article to my Facebook timeline about a Kentucky Preacher who died handling snakes. The article can be found at:

http://www.newschannel5.com/story/24738922/snake-handling-kentucky-pastor-dies-from-snake-bite

My friend was just joking, but I want to address this subject. Why don’t we as Christians handle snakes? The Preacher who died was on a reality show put out by National Geographic (yeah, the same people who do not believe in God nor do they believe God created the earth) called “Snake Salvation”. I never saw the show, and never will. The Preacher said that he too what Jesus said in Mark 16:17-18 “at face value”, and then revolved his preaching ministry around this. The Preacher wasn’t the first one to die at his “Church”. In 1995 Melinda Brown died while attending services at Preacher Coots Church. The District Attorney wanted to prosecute the preacher, but the Judge refused to sign off on the criminal complaint. Preacher Coots continued handling serpents until he died doing so. He told the Associated Press:

“We literally believe they want us to take up snakes. We’ve been serpent handling for the past 20 or 21 years.”

Who is the “they” that Coots was referring to? “They want us to take up snakes”. Certainly it wasn’t God. If God wanted him to “take up snakes” then Coots wouldn’t have died, nor would have Brown suffered the same fate. The reason Coots died is that he failed to READ what God said in the Scripture he quoted. This is a common problem among Christians and non-Christians alike. Let’s look at the text for just a moment.

Mark 16:17-18 (KJV) And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 

Jesus said that those who believe in Him would be marked by several “signs”:

1. They shall cast out devils.

2. They shall speak with new tongues.

3. They shall take up serpents.

4. If they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them.

5. They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.

Two of the things in this list are deadly, items 3 & 4. Now, was Jesus telling His people to INTENTIONALLY seek out and handle snakes. No. Jesus said that these five things were SIGNS that would follow those He was talking to. Look at item #4. If Jesus meant His people to intentionally seek out to do item #3, then He would also expect the same thing of when it came to item #4. Ok you “Snake Handling Christians”, let me see you drink a can of Drain O. I’ve seen the effects of someone who drank liquid Drain-O, and what it did to their bodies. “If you drink any deadly thing, it shall not harm you”. Why isn’t National Geographic doing a show about “Drain – O drinking Christians” or “Cyanide Salvation”? Because no one intentionally drinks Drain-O, nor should they. Jesus didn’t mean that those He loves should go out and intentionally handle rattle snakes or drink Drain-O. Read your Bibles, folks. Quit listening to charletains!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. I am looking for the Church. Most of what I see today is not the Church, but clubs, where members sit in padded pews and drink deeply of self. I am looking for a people willing to be righteous not self righteous, serving not served, In short, I am looking and praying for a people who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. I hope I find this people before it's too late.
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