The Prosperity Gospel
In the “prosperity gospel” theology or the “Word of faith” doctrine, the Holy Spirit is seen as a power to bring about whatever the believer wills. But the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit enables the believer to do God’s will instead. Faith, according to the “Word of Faith” doctrine, is not a submissive trust in God but rather a formula by which the believer manipulates the spiritual laws that govern the universe.
In the “prosperity gospel”, blessings are dependent on the believer’s words more than his trust in God. That’s why the prosperity gospel teachers stress the importance of “positive confession.” They teach that the believer’s words have creative power and they determine his destiny. In contrast, the Bible teaches total dependency on God. “For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” (James 4:15).
The Gospel of Christ
Instead of stressing the importance of prosperity, Paul admonished the church to avoid “…men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself… But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness” (1Timothy 3:3; 6:5, 9-11).
Jesus Himself warned, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). Jesus left the riches of heaven to come down to earth as a poor man who had no place to lay His head (Matthew 8:20). Therefore He warned, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).
Believers need not worry about prosperity for the Lord Himself promised His blessings on His children. He said, “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they” (Matthew 6:26).
Too often, God’s children tend to make the material things of life the main goal in life. But Christ would have them make first things first, and assures them that things of lesser importance and value will be given to each according to their needs. He said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).
In His service,