Alistair Begg Has Cancer

From the Truth for Life website:

Dear Friends,

Last Sunday morning, January 21st, we began a new series of study at Parkside Church in the letter of James. The sermon title was, “When Trials Come”. I was particularly struck by J. B. Phillips’ paraphrase of verse 2:

When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives, my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance.

In addressing the congregation I said that I had a sense that God would use these studies in a particular way in each of our lives to achieve His purposes. That is always true of the work of the Word, but there are times and seasons when the text of scripture “hits home” in ways we don’t anticipate.

The following Monday I had a doctor’s appointment. At the doctor’s recommendation, I had a biopsy yesterday. This morning, as I was studying James 1:3, he called to inform me that the results confirm that I have prostate cancer.

If you have listened to me preach for any length of time you will have heard me refer to the way in which a blood test or a call from the doctor can provide us with an opportunity to prove the reality of our Christian faith. So I have joined the ranks of many for whom I have prayed and whose prayers I now covet. Every indication suggests that this cancer is non-aggressive, localized, and treatable. I will know more after meeting with the oncologist some ten days from now.

The psalmist reminds us that our times are in His hands and so we rest content in the confidence that God is too wise to make a mistake and too kind to be cruel.

This is an occasion for some good hymns. How glad I am to take shelter in the truths contained in the CD by Keith and Kristyn Getty, which we offer to you this month. I smile to think of a great company of TFL listeners joining me from their cars and homes and offices in affirming the fact that,

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song.

With my love in the Lord Jesus,



  1. Pastor Begg,
    I listen to your messages frequently while driving to my place of work. I did not hear your message when you announced that you had prostate cancer, but I will be honored to put you on my prayer list and pray for you until you, with God’s help, are victorious over this infirmity. You are a precious man of God and I am confident that our loving God will provide for your total healing.
    The Lord’s richest blessings upon you, your family and your conderful ministries,
    Professor Jody D. Smith

  2. Pastor Begg,
    I live in Southern California and I frequestly listen to your broadcast at 8:00 a,m., on KKLA while driving to The King’s Seminary. Your current series of messages is on the precious Book of Ruth. I think it was on Wednesday, January 31st that you read a poem about Ruth and Boaz. What would be required to obtain a copy of this poem? I would like to share your poem with my monthly Home Group which is comprised of senior (prayer warior) members of The Church On The Way, Van Nuys, CA.
    The Lord’s richest ablessings,
    Professor Jody D. Smith

  3. Dear Pastor Begg,
    I listen to you as frequently as possible on my workday commute in Dallas, Texas. I heard this morning about your diagnosis. My first thought/prayer was “Oh, Lord…don’t take him yet…this world needs his teaching!”

    But then I realized that:
    1. The Lord knows what this world needs.
    2. Your days were numbered by the Lord from the beginning of time.
    3. You might not mind ‘graduating early’ and being in the presence of the Lord, so it is really none of my business!

    Even so, I offer up my prayers for your healing and continued ministry…it is such a blessing to my life!
    I guess so many prayers are born of self-centered-ness but I truly love your teaching and for my sake, at least, I hope it continues ’til Jesus returns(which is looking more imminent every day!).

    Additionally, let me thank you for your insightful, deep, and rich solid Bible teaching! It is just great!!

    God’s richest blessings to you and your family!

  4. ended “just take a second, think it through, oh what God will go and do, for God is love and love is kind, the kindest that you’ll ever find, that kindest that you’ll ever see…that’s something else, don’t you agree?”

  5. Dear Pastor Begg, I have been listening to you most evenings at 7:30 PM on Moody Station. This week you (and Chuck Colson) disappeared and two others were on. I googled you to see where I might hear you, and was saddened to read that you have cancer. However, the good news is that it is one of the most treatable kind. I look forward to your being back on the radio soon. I enjoy your wit and learn a lot from your sermons. I am an old lady of 75 so I have to hurry and learn all I can!!! God Bless You.


  6. Hi Margery…thank you for stopping by. I just want to be clear to all that this is not Alistair Begg’s site…I had merely posted some news about him. That said, I welcome your comments. I can’t say that Pastor Begg reads this site – I would be honored if he did – but who knows?

    thanks again for visiting.

  7. For those that were looking for the Ruth peom. I was able to find Alistairs’ citing of it and so I transcribed it and I’m letting you know where you can find the link to the Audio clip of it. I can remember when I heard Alistair’s message that day, it was a bug encouragement to me. Love you Alistair !! God bless you.
    Bob Molina (Orinda, CA)

    It can’t be true, I can’t go on, oh everything we had is gone
    Naomi wept, poor Ruthy cried, Naomi’s precious sons had died.
    And oh one precious priceless son, Naomi’s son, that very one was Ruthy’s husband.
    Lord above, our one and only one true love. now sometimes when it rains, it pours, and this time it would pour for sure. For evil people ruled the land as evil people sometimes can. And sometimes will and sometimes do when you and I allow them to. From here to there, from there to here, the food began to disappear, it filled the people full of fear, yes full of fear from ear to ear. (unaudible) , ruth, Naomi cried, the time is come, we must decide, we have to leave, we cannot stay, we cannot stay not now no way. From north to south, from west to east, the men are gone, extinct, deceased. Without a man Naomi said, we’re all about as good as dead. (pause in recording). Just look at me, I’m old and wrinkled, sagged and bagged, crooked and crinkled, crumpled, puckered, nooked and crannied, rip van wrinkled, grayed and grannied. Oh there is just no hope in sight to find another mister right or even just a Daffy Duck, an Elmer Fudd or Mr. Yuck. The time is come, the time is now, the time is come right now and how, you must return, you must I say return back home right now today. Naomi prayed that they would bite and hoping you that she was right, she packed her bags without a fight and left for home that very night. But oh, not Ruth, not her, no way, she had a thing or two to say, “I can’t return, I want to stay, I will not go right now, today! For where you are, is where I’ll be, and when you stay, you’ll stay with me, and when you die, I’ll die with you, and that is what I’m going to do. Your God will be my God and He will surely care for you and me.” Oh what a thing for Ruth to say, that kind of thing can make your day and make you shout “hip hip, Horray!” They hugged and kissed and packed up tight, and left for Bethlehem that night. Naomi? Is it really true? What happened Girl! Just look at you! Your hair, your clothes, your shoes, your toes, your eyes, your ears, you mouth, your nose, Your lookin’ pale! Your lookin’ thin. In fact if we may say again, your really looking more a kin to something that the cat dragged in. Well things looked bad the way things can, but listen now, God had a plan. Oh Naomi, please don’t cry, oh please don’t cry, I’ll tell you why. I’ll find a farm, I’ll be real nice, I’ll ask them once or maybe twice to take are jugs and jars and sacks and fill them full of treats and snacks. Yes, crumbs and morsels, flakes and flecks, leftover kernels, crumbs and specks, a black banana, bagels, locks, some cheese stuck to a pizza box. I’ll beg and plead, I’ll sob and bleak, I’ll ask them for a tasty treat, an itsy bitsy, teeny weenie, tiny scrap for us to eat. So off she went, she did her thing, she did it, never noticing that someone had been fascining his bulging eyes on everything.
    “Who is that Girl, out in my field, and what’s she doing!” Boaz squealed. “look at that hair, look at those eyes, excuse me just one minute guys, I’d rather go and socialize.” He shaved his toes, he licked his lipped, he checked his teeth for cracks and chips, he combed the bugs out of his hair, yes, Dan Juan, devil devonare (?), with savwar (?) fair extraordinaire. Now don’t be too quick to judge, Amen!? Don’t think what your thinking then, for Boaz was a gentlemen. Please stay with us, take what you need, take what you need, and more indeed, he loaded up all Ruthy’s sacks and jugs and jars with treats and snacks, Yes it was true love at first sight, a double thumping heart delight. She headed home, oh what she found, her world was turning upside down. She ran all the way back to town, about ten feet above the ground. I’m telling you, tonight’s the night, Naomi grinned and if I’m right, there’s only one thing left to do to get that man to say “I do.” So do they did oh did they do, they fluffed and puffed, they crimped, they curled, they powdered, sweet perfumed and pearled, they thanked the Lord, they sang His praise, they marveled at his wondrous ways. And off she went into the night, to have and hold her mister right, her mister shining armored knight, her straight from heaven sent delight.
    Now as I’m sure that you suppose, Boaz said “yes” when Ruth proposed, yes, Ruth proposed, that’s what I said, just look it up, go right ahead. They tied the knot and lived to be quite happy ever afterly and soon God blessed them with a son, a precious little baby one, but wait! The stories far from done, because their son, he was the one who had a son who had a kid known as King David, yes he did! And David was the great, great, great, great, great times three times one plus eight great grand dad of a man who’s wife you’ve probably heard of all your life. A man who’s son to be precise was Jesus. No! Yes! Jesus Christ! Just take a second. Think it through. Oh what God will go and do. For God is Love. And love is kind. The kindest that you’ll ever find. The kindest that you’ll ever see. That’s something else, don’t you agree?

    From a Children’s Book read out loud by Alistair Begg. Praise God for the words of this children’s book.

    Audio file can be found at
    “Alistair Begg Story of Ruth”

  8. A collection of Alistair Begg’s works are available from Logos Bible Software. The three-book set includes: Made For His Pleasure: Ten Benchmarks of a Vital Faith, Pathway to Freedom: How God’s Laws Guide Our Lives and The Hand of God: Finding His Care in All Circumstances. The last book deals directly with trials as Alistair is now facing. I thought you might be interested in checking them out.

    Alistair Begg

  9. Alistair,
    When I want to listen to truth told with sincerity and whimsicality, proper in it application, I listen to you. It is now August 2010 and I am only now learning of your prostate cancer. However, I have heard you emphasize cancer in your messages. I wondered as you bold stated the word “cancer” a couple of times recently, what in particular was drawing you close to this condition. Now I know. God bless you and keep you. May his glory shine upon you. Thank you for your ministry. I want it to continue till Christ returns.
    I imagine that many think about Peter Marshall when they listen to you. I do. I think, “This is as close as I’ll get to Peter Marshall”. Hope that disclosure pleases you.

  10. Alistair I heard you teach at Belgrave Heights Melbourne.
    Your message was life changing for my husband who was not a believer.
    He spoke to you afterwards and said your face was shining
    Like Moses when he came down the mountain.!
    I do hope you are recovered fom your cancer,please come to Melbourne again.
    God bless you and keep you ,make His Face to shine on you. Roberta Smith

  11. Dear Mr Begg, just read your post about your cancer. Didn’t find a date so don’t know how long ago that was, but will b praying for you. Really want you to know that I listen to a Christian radio station a lot that has many of the well-known preachers. I like yours the best- your messages are powerful and your sense of humor enjoyable. Always hope I can hear them. Admirably, Susan Brady Lawhorne

    1. Hi Susan…Thank you for posting. This isn’t actually Alistair’s blog, so I don’t know whether he’ll see this or not. I originally posted this back in February 2007. I don’t know whether they were able to remove it or if it’s in remission, but I do know that he is continuing to preach at his church and teach at different conferences around the country to this day, so he seems to be doing quite well.

  12. You have Jesus Mr. Begg I know because you brought him to me with your calming kind voice. I thank God for you and want to thank you for bringing the spiritual love of Gods gift to you and onto us! All encouragement hope with great clarity I have been Humbled strethened and healed. You remind me that life is everlasting and your kind message from above have reached and changed the hearts of many. I for one .Jesus loves us so for the Bible tells me so. Thank you with love for love that is why we are here. Faith hope and love but most of all love. Jesus has you.God bless You and your sweet faithfilled family. We are a large family. I look forward to coming to Ohio and thanking you in person someday soon. God Willing.take care and keep the faith !! Gods Grace shines on you and through you. I love you Mr. Begg your example your humer and great Scott your love of God and all He is Thanks be to God for You Your sister in Christ Virginia Crimmins Westcott in Va.

  13. You are a very special person Mr, Begg
    I feellike I’ve known you from some other
    time. You bring laughter
    with a spirit of
    Truth , about the love our Father that truly
    comes from the spirit of Christ that dwells in
    your soul which I hear in your
    Voice . You are in my prayers I hope God will
    completely cure u from Cancer.


  14. Pastor Begg’s remarks about his issue is of a true believer. He helps me to look at my present situation in my home with my two sons as a trial that GOD permits to build my endurance.
    It is scary, hurtful, makes me nervous and anxious a lot.
    Please pray for me.
    Thank you.
    Respectfully Yours,

    Wendy Le Maitre.

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