A Kentucky Pentecostal Church pastor, Jamie Coots, who has a National Geographic reality show called Snake Salvation, died from a rattlesnake bite over the weekend after refusing treatment (antivenom serum). Of course this happened in their church worship service. These misguided people base their beliefs on Mark 16:18 “…..they will pick up (handle) snakes.” Another passage they take out of context would be Acts 28:3-6 where the apostle Paul had a poisonous viper attach itself to him while he was gathering wood for a fire on the island of Malta. Paul did not, however, seek the snake, and the Lord protected him from death so he could accomplish his life’s mission. Paul was destined to go to Rome and witness.
The Kentucky pastor would probably say that a member of his church was not saved or lacked faith if they were bitten and died. He would probably say it was God’s time for him to be taken if he had the chance to reflect on his own death. The Biblical truth they miss is obvious to all of us. Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness to leap off of a pinnacle and “the angels would take charge over you.” Jesus quoted the correct scripure however, that “one should not tempt the Lord thy God nor put Him to the test.” One may have a great faith, but they will not walk down the middle of the fairway of the sixteenth hole on a golf course, while raising their nine iron in the middle of a thunderstorm. This pastor needlessly handled deadly snakes and even refused medication afterwards which Christian Scientists also would have done. By the way, I cannot help but wonder where he is spending eternity?