Did God promise the believers material riches as prosperity preachers teach?

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Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

God’s Promise

This word “abundant” in the Greek is perisson, meaning “exceedingly, very highly, beyond measure, more, superfluous, a quantity so abundant as to be considerably more than what one would expect or anticipate.” In short, Jesus promises us a life far better than we could ever imagine, a concept reminiscent of 1 Corinthians 2:9 “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”. The apostle Paul tells us that God is able “to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20).

True blessings

However, the Bible tells us that material riches, prestige, position, and power in this world are not God’s priorities for us (1 Corinthians 1:26-29). Clearly, then, abundant life does not consist of an abundance of material riches. If that were the case, Jesus would have been the wealthiest of men.

But still Jesus assures us that we need not worry about what we will eat or wear (Matthew 6:25-32; Philippians 4:19) for He will provide for us. We all know that material blessings don’t bring real happiness. Solomon had all the material blessings available to a man yet found it all to be meaningless (Ecclesiastes 5:10-15). On the other hand, Paul was content and happy in whatever physical situation he was in (Philippians 4:11-12).

True abundant life consists of an abundance of love, joy, peace, and the rest of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23. It consists of life that is eternal, and, therefore, our interest should be in the eternal things, not the temporal things. While we seek His kingdom first, Jesus promised to take care of all the other materiel needs “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

The gospel of prosperity preachers

Prosperity preachers introduce Jesus as a way to obtain perfect heath and financial wealth. In their teachings, the true gospel doesn’t focus on eternity and is reduced to a means by which “everyone can experience his or her best life now.”

Prosperity preaching becomes an attempt to make greed and materialism sound godly. Jesus warned us not to seek earthly wealth. Rather, we should store up treasure in heaven (Luke 12:33). And the apostle Paul spoke against greed saying, “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Ephesians 5:5)

The message of prosperity preachers goes against what the Bible teaches (Proverbs 28:22; 2 Timothy 3:2; Hebrews 13:5). Paul taught the believers, “But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Timothy 6:8–10).

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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