The Prosperity Gospel is NOT the Gospel

Friends in Christ, many today believe what is called, ‘the prosperity gospel.’ This is the ‘health and wealth gospel preached by mega-churches around the country. The most well-known is Joel Osteen at his mega-church in Houston. He says: ‘you should trust that God will give you the house that you desire and the job that you deserve, Christianity will make you prosperous!’
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Polls show that 61 percent of Christians think that God wants them to be rich, and that if you give your money to God, God will bless you with more money.
This prosperity gospel is a belief of millions of so-called Christians. They teach that the more a person has faith, the more they will have success and material blessings. These ideas run through Pentecostal and evangelical churches.
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This idea originated with Oral Roberts who says: “expect miracles” and be confident that God will reward you materially and financially.
Assemblies of God churches export this idea to poor areas of the world; poor people find it attractive.
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So, is this idea in the bible? Actually, it is. It is in the Old Testament. Before Christ, there was the idea that if you are faithful to God, God will bless you with many sheep, and children, and property.
But people also wondered – because it seemed that sometimes wicked people got pretty rich. The Book of Job wonders about this too. Job tries to be righteous, but everything seems to go wrong for him. The Psalmist often cries out, ‘Why do the evil people prosper?!’
Before Christ, people thought that faithfulness to God means that everything will go your way in life.
Our Lord, however, shows us that material prosperity, perfect health, and no problems – is not the promise of the kingdom of heaven. Tell the Christian man who is dying of cancer, that he will have great health if he follows Christ – Tell the devout Christian woman who loves the Lord, whose home has been destroyed by a hurricane, that nothing bad will ever happen to her –
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Jesus teaches us that in this life, the Christian must sometimes carry the cross, this is how he becomes a real Christian. ‘Unless you take up your cross, you cannot be my disciple. ‘Blessed are the poor, the kingdom of heaven is theirs. ‘Sell what you have and follow me, and you will have riches in heaven. This is the Gospel.
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Jesus calls us to RENOUNCE riches, and by a simpler life, set our heart on the riches of heaven.
Many protestant preachers who claim to follow Christ, have actually returned to the dead letter of the Old Testament. ‘Woe to you preachers says the Lord. You have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves have not entered, and you have prevented others from entering.
‘How hard it is for the rich, to enter the kingdom of heaven.’

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