“Your Best Life Now”
The book “Your Best Life Now” is written by Joel Osteen’s, an American multimillionaire pastor and televangelist. “Your Best Life Now” promotes the Prosperity Gospel. According to this philosophy, the emphasis is placed on the belief that rewards of material gain is the will of God for all pious Christians. Is the book “Your Best Life Now” Biblical?
The Scriptures teach that our best life is not on this earth but in the eternal kingdom of glory. The apostle Paul wrote, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9 also Isaiah 55:9; 66:1).
Therefore, the Christian needs to remember always that he is a citizen of heaven not earth (Philippians 3:20). And for that glorious place, he needs to prepare his heart (1 John 1:3). Paul admonishes the believers, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2 also Psalms 73:25).
While God promises His children great blessings in this life if they are faithful to Him (Malachi 3:10), they are called to suffer for His kingdom (2 Corinthians 11:24-27; 2 Timothy 3:12). In fact, Jesus said, in this earth, His followers will face tribulation and hardships for His sake (John 16:33).
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. Whereas, the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit enables the believer to do God’s will and overcome sin instead. Therefore, Paul admonishes the church to avoid “…men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness.”
And the apostle adds, “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…” (1Timothy 3:3; 6:5, 9-11).
Jesus left the riches of heaven to come down to earth and become a poor man with no place to lay His head (Matthew 8:20). He taught, “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). And He 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). Keeping this in mind, we find that the book “Your Best Life Now” gives a false picture of Christianity.
The Goal of Christianity
The goal of Christianity is the salvation of souls (1 Peter 1:9) not acquiring riches. Jesus taught, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
In fact, God encouraged the believers to sell everything and store riches in heaven where there is not thieves (Matthew 13:44; Mark 10:17-23). “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). No one will be able to take his riches with him to heaven. The only thing that a person will take to the next life is his character and the souls that he has saved.
Wealth and Happiness
Wealth doesn’t bring real happiness. Finding true fulfillment comes from doing God’s will. The Psalmist writes, “I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart” (Psalms 40:8). Therefore, believers need not worry about acquiring materiel prosperity for the Lord Himself promised His blessings for His children (Matthew 6:26). Rather, their focus should be on the eternal things. Jesus 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,