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Victory Over The Prosperity Gospel

03 Mar

Prosperity Gospel Motivation Poster

“God Wants You To Be Rich.”

It has to be true because I heard a TV preacher saying that just the other day.  Actually, I’ve heard more than one saying that in the past few months.

It seems to be especially true for the TV preachers.  They stand on stages that appear to be made of pure gold or clear, shiny crystal wearing suits that cost more than most people make in a month.

They preach such uplifting, inspirational messages that are full of phrases like: sow a seed, reap your harvest, fulfill your destiny, receive your kingdom and live your best life now.

God certainly seems to want us to be rich, if you can believe what these preachers are telling us.

But is their message the message of the Bible or is it something they created on their own?

The Lie That Draws Us In

No matter how much we might want something to be true, our desires aren’t enough to constitute Biblical truth. Not even close.

But that’s where the lie begins to creep in.  The very moment we desire something that goes against what God wants for us, our sinful minds begin working out ways that we can justify the actions we want to take to acquire our wrong desires.

And of course, what better way to justify our desires than to use the Word of God itself.  Out of context, misinterpreted, or simply misread, we can easily make the Holy Scriptures of God say anything we want them to say.

We can even make the Bible say things that clearly go against God’s most obviously stated commands.

All because of our own sinful desires.

Back To The Truth

The truth is: there’s nothing wrong with being rich.  In fact, many times throughout history, God’s blessing on a person or persons included material wealth.  If God so chooses to bless you that way, get on your knees and thank Him with a grateful heart.

The problem begins when we twist God’s blessing (which is bestowed on us as a free choice of our Creator, at the time and place of His choosing) into something that we believe we have earned through our service to God, or worse, something we deserve simply because of who we think we are.

God’s blessing on us should always be unexpected! But because of the sins of greed, laziness, slothfulness, arrogance and pride, we have become a people who expect to have everything handed to us on a silver platter.

We have become so haughty that we attempt to blackmail Him with His own Word, claiming promises that aren’t even there.

All to avoid an honest day’s work, in some cases.

Matters Of The Heart

So, how can I know for sure that God doesn’t want me to be rich?

Well, Jesus Himself said that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Would it be impossible?  No.  Would it be easy?  No.  What makes for the difference, then?

The attitude of the heart.

Being rich would make it more difficult for a person to believe that they need the Lord to sustain them each and every day.  They might start trusting in themselves and their riches and would not give thanks and praise to God for the blessings He provides every day in the form of food, water, shelter and life.

Final Thoughts

God does want you to be rich.  Just not in the way you might think.

He left the majesty of heaven to be born in a manger, walk on the earth in perfection, suffer through horrible torture, and be hung on a Roman cross.  Then, the worst came as the Father turned away from Him as every sin that mankind would ever commit was placed upon him.

Every dark and disgusting sin that you or I ever committed was laid upon God Himself as He took the punishment that you and I so rightly deserved.

Then finally came death.  The curse that was placed on mankind for our rebellion against God fell upon God Himself.

But death could not hold Jesus Christ, the Firstborn from the dead!  He broke the power of sin and death so that we could spend an eternity with Him in heaven.

Not only that, but we are going to rule and reign with Him forever.

There’s a mansion with your name on it.  Maybe not here on earth, but for sure in heaven.

So the next time you hear someone talking about sowing a seed, fulfilling your destiny, or living your best life now, know that they are partially right.

We sow a seed by trusting in Christ and yielding our entire earthly lives to Him.

We fulfill our destiny when we pass through death into eternity and hear those beautiful words from our Lord and Savior, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

We will live our best life in the life to come, where God Himself is our light and Jesus Himself will walk among us and we will see Him face to face.

“Come quickly Lord Jesus!”

***

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of this series!

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1 Comment

Posted by on March 3, 2010 in Bible Study & Application

 

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One response to “Victory Over The Prosperity Gospel

  1. glasseyedave

    March 3, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    In many a large circles of Christendom the gospel of prosperity has invaded our gathering places. Some would argue God wants us to be prosperous. Others would ask if I am saying being successful is a sin. I just want to know one thing. Is this prosperity doctrine which is heard in so many churches in so many ways and varying degrees our gospel?

    We are forced fed to be a people who believe for the impossible in our relationships and our finances. We are encouraged to speak not what is but what we want it to be. We are molded to change our self image from defeat and apathy to success and drive. We are told God can do miracles in our finances. We are told God has come to give us life and this more abundantly and this translates directly into our wallets.

    In churches we hang large banners with words like Leadership, Commitment, Vision, Stewardship and Purpose. We have people fill the position of Minister of Communications to think of such banners and have visually stimulating slogans for our churches. But how does the slogan on those banners have any impact on the believer’s life? Much you may say and in many ways.

    Now we have this huge chunk of believers who week after week get their pep talk on defeating negative attitudes. Week after week are reenergized to go be successful minded and look for God’s blessing. To tithe and God will give the increase. Are we the church who follow the gospel of Jesus or the church who follows the gospel according to Zig Ziggler?

    Those of us who think I am out in left field tell me, how did this Zig Ziggler type gospel work for those who were slaves? There were believing slaves in Paul’s time and in the New World until the civil war. Isn’t there even today pockets of slavery in the world? So how does this gospel of prosperity work for those people? When they are owned by other men and can have nothing of their own to speak of. How does this gospel of prosperity work or does it fall apart at this point? Oh I guess those who were slaves never got this prosperity gospel. Is it not true we today have a Westernized gospel of prosperity?

    How does this gospel of prosperity work for the woman in a Middle Eastern country when she shares a husband with two other women and she puts her faith in Jesus? How does this positive gospel that so much of the church boast about apply to this woman? I need to know how this gospel of abundance works for this woman. After all isn’t the gospel supposed to be universal? Isn’t it supposed to be for all mankind in all circumstances? So explain to me how this works?

    Don’t you too need to know how this gospel of abundance worked for the slaves or will work for the transformed Muslim woman? After all isn’t the gospel supposed to be universal and for everyone in all circumstances?

    Do missionaries in Ethiopia preach this prosperity gospel to those who get one meal a day? Do they encourage the mother with her last languishing dying child with the gospel of abundance? Do they tell her she needs to know Jesus so she can turn her stinking thinking around? Why not? Isn’t this gospel universal like the gospel announced to Abraham? Let’s face it, the gospel announced to Abraham is universal and the prosperity gospel is not. Maybe we should conclude it is no gospel at all.

    Do we go and preach to the tribal boy in South America our prosperity gospel so he can grow up and have the first grass hut business in his jungle? Then he can build a bigger grass hut and have even more fine wicker furniture in his grass hut. Then he can command other villagers attention and lead them to life and life more abundant. Then he can teach others with such buzz words as Commitment, Leadership and Abundance. Isn’t wonderful we can give him a gospel as applicable to all men in all circumstances as a Library card is.

     

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