Prosperity Gospel

ponzi-schemeLet us consider the following verses of scripture:

Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”   (Mark 10:21)

Does this sound like the prosperity gospel?

“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”   (Luke 16:13)

Does this sound like the prosperity gospel?

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

“But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”   (Luke 12:16-21)

Does this sound like the prosperity gospel?

 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.   (Acts 2:42-47)

Does this sound like the prosperity gospel?

Jesus told this parable:

“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’   (Luke 16:19-26)

Does this sound like the prosperity gospel?

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingered not, and their damnation slumbered not.   (2 Peter 2:1-3)

Note the greed of the false teachers here.

The early Christians endured many hardships so that we might know the grace of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Many of them were martyred for the faith. We owe them a great debt for their perseverance and sacrifice. Here is what the Apostle Paul wrote about the life of the early Christian:

If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.   (1 Corinthians 15:19)

Does this sound like “your best life now”?

Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.   (1 Peter 1:18-19)

Does this sound like money is important? How does it compare in value to the blood of Jesus? Money does not save us. Those with money will be acceptable for their stewardship of it. The Apostle Paul wrote:

I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.   (Philippians 4:12-13)

Things have really gotten out of balance. Does God want to bless us? Yes. His blessings in the Kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy. If we are seeking after mammon then we have missed it. Many of today’s preachers seemed to love mammon more than Jesus. They have devised elaborate pyramid schemes where they are sitting on the top. Their parishioners are playing the lottery game, hoping to win. Are they giving to the church because they love God, or is it that they are hoping to move Him to give them a financial blessing? They have as much a chance of winning as someone playing the real lottery.

It might be worth investigating what has happened to some of the winners of the lottery. The money eventually destroyed them. That is what Satan is counting on. He wants us to move away from the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and help him spread this false gospel, so that in the end he may destroy us all. Let us remember the words of the Apostle Paul:

There is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness.   (1 Timothy 6:6-11)

Let us also heed the words of the Apostle John:

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.   (1 John 2:15-17)

Lastly, let us consider the matter of faith. Some churches seem to imply that if you are not wealthy then you do not have enough faith. They preach a Gospel of triumphalism. There should never be lack, there should never be doubt, and there should never be suffering. Did Jesus struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane because of a lack of faith? What do you think? He gave up everything for us. What are we prepared to sacrifice? Anything?

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One response to “Prosperity Gospel

  1. Prosperity is a heresy need to be condemned

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