This false gospel declares that the Lord wants all of His children to be rich. It suggests that partnering with Him by faith one will be blessed with wealth and riches. We are the “Children of the King” and by our heritage in Him – we should have the riches and wealth of princes and princesses. What they teach is that God loves and rewards his faithful servants with earthly goods. What then do you say to a poor Haitian preacher has spent most of his adult life serving others and following Christ while earning nothing more than a couple of dollars a month to live on? Have these false preachers read their bible?
In Timothy 6:7-11 it states:
But godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into the world, and it is clear that we can carry nothing out.
But having food and clothing, we will be content.
But they who will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts which plunge men into destruction and perdition.
For the love of money is a root of all evils, of which some having lusted after, they were seduced from the faith and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
But you, O man of God, flee these things and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness.
What Paul warns us about is the same thing that the prosperity gospel nurtures and cultivates. They encourage their listeners in what scripture states will bring them “piercings and many sorrows and destruction”. Riches are dangerous and many are destroyed by it. It is not wrong to have a lot of money, but it is wrong to want to keep a lot of money…bigger cars…larger homes…finer clothes… growing portfolios. Are worldly riches really a sign of God’s blessings? If God were so concerned about 401(k)s and Mercedes, why would God’s son have been born into poverty?
We are rich beyond our wildest dreams when we are in Christ…regardless of our bank account statement or what our retirement fund states. This prosperity gospel is a direct contradiction to Jesus’ message. Our wealth is to be given away and should be thought not as ours– but given to us so as to bless others. What do we have that has not be already been given to us? We are blessed to be able to release it to someone placed in our lives that are needy…not to store in our barns for a day that may never come.
To those that are lost that hear this prosperity gospel – it gives a false message of what is to be a Christian, a disciple of Christ. From their pulpit we appear to be greedy, selfish, self-absorbent, myopic and full of ourselves. It is a tragedy that the main spiritual export of the USA is the prosperity gospel. I am ashamed of what is placed over our airways as “Christian Television”. God is dishonored, people are misled, souls are lost, and people are perishing. They are taught to seek after riches and not told that in following Christ one might have to suffer and to be persecuted.
The goal of the Father is to change his children (us, me & you) into the image of His Son. It is not to make us wealthy, comfortable and greedy for more things. Jesus was born poor and he died poor.
My spiritual goal is to be ever-changing into His image and to realize and taste all the wealth that has been given to me in Christ…not what I can accumulate in my garage and bank account. This is more glorious and satisfying than I can ever imagine! ….and certainly more challenging.