The Prosperity Gospel
The prosperity gospel theology promoters teach that God wants believers to be rich in this world and if they have enough faith, they can actually become wealthy. The prosperity gospel has been preached especially among some megachurch pastors and televangelists.
While the Bible teaches that faith is trust in Jesus, the prosperity gospel teachers say that there are certain laws governing prosperity revealed in God’s Word. And they add that faith causes God’s promises to function. According to this theology, faith is not built on God’s will for a person but is merely a tool to receive whatever a person wills.
The scriptures teach that God has indeed promised His children prosperity. The Lord promised, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse … and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).
But this prosperity is not limited only to the materiel blessings. Knowing Christ and His truth make the believer truly rich — not necessarily with this world’s goods, but with the spiritual riches that are of more value to the soul than any material blessing. For the believer receives from God: joy, peace, grace, power, victory, wisdom and the sweet fellowship of God.
The Prosperity gospel preachers say that if believers claim the promise “Ask, and it will be given to you” (Luke 11:9) that they will get all the wealth they ask for. But these preachers don’t continue reading the verse which clearly indicates that Jesus was specifically talking about the spiritual requests. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13).
And while the prosperity teachers quote Galatians 3:14, that talk about “the blessings of Abraham [that] come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus,” they ignore the second half of the verse which says, “that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Here, Paul is directing that attention of the Galatians to the spiritual blessing of salvation, not the material ones. The abundant life has nothing to do with the material abundance. It is a fact that many of the worldly rich people in this world are not fulfilled nor happy because they lack the spiritual blessings.
The scriptures clearly teach that Christians should not to focus on money. Jesus taught that “no one can serve two masters.… You cannot serve both God and money” (Matthew 6:24). God’s love must be supreme and must control all other influences, bringing the life into harmony with Him. The focus of Christians should not be on the prosperity gospel principles and how to get rich but rather on how to get victory over sin and be more like Jesus.
Jesus taught us that earth is just a temporary journey. “While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). God’s goal for Christians is not collecting material things or obtaining popular success but getting ready for heaven.
The truth is that Jesus Himself was not a rich man, nor were His disciples. Sadly, the only disciple who really coveted money was Judas, whose greed led him to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Christians should not covet riches like Judas. They should focus on the eternal things.
There is no need for Christians to worry about their lives for God promised that He will take excellent care of them and provide all their needs as a loving Father would do when they put Him first. He taught, ”But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).