The subtle deception of “Prosperity Gospel”

We’ve heard a lot about “Prosperity Gospel” …

More churches are getting caught up with it …

A lot more preachers are preaching for it …

There is definitely a lot of attention about it because it has everything to do with material wealth and blessings.

Straight to the point, a difficult inconvenient truth about “Prosperity Gospel” is the subtle deception hidden within its appeal –

 

The use of material blessing to determine and judge a person’s faith in God

 

Means to say, to observe a church leader who is rich, wealthy, and having abundance, people think and assume this person is in good standing with God!

Now that is a deception.

God does bless His people but material wealth is never meant to be a standard measure of a person’s faith and relationship with God.

 

A subtle deception shrouded within the idea of legitimate blessing we need to address immediately!

 

We need to pay attention to the teachings and commandments of Jesus, what are the true values and principles which will help us determine if we are in good standing with God.

 

Psalm 25:14

The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.

 

The fear of the Lord is what determines our right standing with God.

 

There are plenty of rich people here on Earth, but not everyone fears the Lord.

And for those who walk in the fear of the Lord, not everyone is rich and wealthy.

Jesus warned us about being deceived by wealth

 

Mark 4:19

but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.

 

Such “deceitfulness of riches” is in the mentality, attitude and heart desire of the people.

Money itself is a legal tender, gold and silver are metals of economic values traded in the market.

End of the day it is how we use it, how we manage it and what we think we can do with it that will determined if we are deceived or not.

 

The greatest deception of monies, gold and silver, is when a person thinks he can save himself from disaster with riches and wealth.

 

One thing for sure, no amount of monies, gold and silver can deliver our souls from judgements, sin and death.

 

Luke 21:33-36

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my (Jesus) words will not pass away. Watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.

 

This message from Jesus is clear …

There is a worldly pressure to chase after material wealth and we are told to find an escape, not join them!

Avoid being deceived by prosperity and wealth, which the world is chasing after because of worries and expectations.

People work hard to accumulate wealth due to worries and expectations but neglected their love for God.

Jesus taught us to serve God and to be prepared to live with God in His kingdom for eternity, and one of the best options to serve God is to serve the Gospel ministry of Jesus.

 

Matthew 19:21

Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

 

Jesus was telling that rich man to follow Him and serve the Gospel ministry, and what was stopping that rich man doing so was his attitude and his heart’s attachment to his wealth.

Jesus was pointing out the subtle deception of prosperity which was holding back that rich man from doing the right thing for the kingdom of God and for his future.

 

The church of the living God is to preach the word of God, not promote prosperity!

Church leaders are to feed the sheep so that believers will learn to trust and obey God every day.

Prosperity Gospel” has brought a lot of deception into the churches and people are losing their heavenly vision.

Jesus did not preach and teach “Prosperity Gospel”, neither should we!

 

Colossians 3:1-4

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

 

Jesus went to the cross to crucify sin.

We are called to follow Jesus to the cross, to crucify sin.

As Jesus is resurrected and glorified by God, so we too may share in His glory, not the glory of gold and silver.

 

A repeated reminder about the deception of “Prosperity Gospel” –

 

The greatest deception of monies, gold and silver, is when a person thinks he can save himself from trouble with riches and wealth.

 

Prosperity Gospel” is very appealing among Asian churches due to Asian’s aspiration for economic achievement and wealth.

A lot of Asian believes in “saving up for raining days

Question is how much is enough?

We know a lot people end up hogging large pools of reserves due to worries and expectations. Just observe the increased numbers of civil lawsuit filed and fought over inherited wealth after someone passed away, these are factual evident a lot of people accumulated too much.

We know a lot of Asian, as a matter of family responsibility accumulated wealth, but again the question of “how much is enough?”

 

THE answer and wisdom we need is found in the teaching of Jesus

 

Matthew 6:21

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

The root of the problem is in our heart’s desire.

What do we treasure most in this life?

Right in the center of our hearts, in our most treasured spot, what is it or who is there?

If your heart’s desire is for the kingdom of God where Jesus is, then you are going to be there with Jesus for all eternity.

 

Jesus warned us about “deceitfulness of riches” …

And again for the third time I am repeating and emphasizing this

 

The greatest deception of monies, gold and silver, is when a person thinks he can save himself from trouble with riches and wealth.

 

Beware of “Prosperity Gospel” because this is among the most appealing ideology and belief in our days, and a lot of churches have fallen into it.

 

In-His-Service

David Z

“Do you know Jesus?”

Ways of evangelism as according to Jesus’ commandment

What we need to do and say when we witness for Jesus

 

(1). Keep focus on the most important thing

(John 14:6)Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  

(John 17:3) – And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

 

The most important message we need to talk and preach about is Jesus

Especially the death and resurrection of Jesus which testify to God’s guarantee of eternal life and salvation, and God’s victory over sin and death

People live in ignorance of “sin and death” not knowing the world we live in is subjected to judgement due to sin.

When we sin against God we deserve to be judged and die.

 

Our only way to be saved from judgement is through Jesus.

Because Jesus is our atonement for sin and death

 

Jesus is God’s salvation plan for us and we need to response to His call.

From the days of old, God have showed it through the prophets, even way back from Noah to Moses, that our God who is a God of justice, righteousness and truth, will execute judgement against sin.

But our God is also a God of love and mercy, in that He will provide a way for our redemption, which He already did through Jesus.

 

When there is no atonement there will be no forgiveness.

 

We can receive forgiveness because of Jesus sacrifice on the cross for us.

Jesus sacrifice was accepted because Jesus is the only sinless and perfect atonement approved and received by God.

This forgiveness and redemption is made available for anyone who will act in faith and obedient.

 

(Matthew 4:17) – From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

 

This is Jesus way of evangelism and we need to follow because to do otherwise is misleading.

We are called to response in repentance.

Repent from what?

 

Repent from our un-believe in the sovereignty of God and our accountability to answer to God.

Repent from our disagreement against the teachings of Jesus, the word of God.

Repent from our disobedience against the teachings of Jesus, the commandment of God.

 

We were never alone to live and to survive on our own!

We were created by God to serve Him and to worship God.

In our world today, people all over want to be independent. But end of the day we know, we are slave to ourselves, slave to the world economy, salve to the system of the world and eventually death awaits us.

But through Jesus Christ we can be born-again to be sons and daughters of God and not be slave anymore to sins and death.

 

(John 1:12-13) –  But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

 

(2). Avoid passing responsibility and other in-direct ways

If we look around us today, what are the most common methods people do in evangelism?

 

A).bring friends to evangelism crusade and get the preacher to preach? But do you know the friends you bring wants to know if you yourself actually agree or understand everything that’s preached?

 

B).bring friends to Christian fellowship in hope they feel comfortable and want to get involve and be Christian? How many just come and go? Again the friends you bring wants to know if you yourself fully understand and know what is going on in your faith and fellowship.

 

C).invite your pastor to preach to your friends? Again your friends have doubts “what do you think” and if you fully understand and agree what is being preached?

 

By all means we need evangelistic crusades, Christian fellowships that do evangelism, and pastors who will preach the Gospel faithfully. But a very important point a lot of churches are missing out on effective evangelism is this

 

Personal Witness and Faith …

The person who brings a friend to church and fellowship, if this person himself is not convinced of his own faith in Christ, then it will not be effective!

 

You can bring one person to church or bring a thousand, but are you yourself sure and convinced of what you are doing for Jesus?

We should and we need to.

 

Jesus is already resurrected from the dead.

In Christ we have the victory over sin and death.

We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus!

 

When church members are mobilized to evangelism, we don’t just send people out to hand out fliers and bulletin. We are sending out “witness” of Jesus, amen.

We ourselves need to be sure and convinced of our faith in Christ, and when we talk to people, invite people to fellowship then people are sure and convinced of what they are being invited to.

And the best way of evangelism is to “GO” rather than “invite

 

(Matthew 28:18-20)

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

 

Jesus used the commandment “GO

Jesus sends forth workers into the harvest field.

The most effective ways of evangelism is to “GO” and testify to the people

 

Every Christian a minister

Every believer a witness

Every disciple a preacher

Every leader a trainer

 

 

(3). be wise steward of our monies, time and resources

We already know a lot of churches getting involved in big events and conferences.

Problem is these methods cost a lot of monies, time to organize and man-power resources.

This is something not every church can do!

This is something only few churches with deep pockets can do!

In facts and figures this may not be economical!

The monies spend on events can be better spent to train evangelist and church-planters, or people who will have direct impact on witnessing.

 

(Luke 10:2) – And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.

(Matthew 9:37) – Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;

 

For those of you who know this thing called “10-40 windows

You know there remains a lot more work to be done.

From the first time this “10-40 windows” was mentioned, the world population was not stagnant, but catching up to today 7.6 billion, and most of these are inside the “10-40 windows”.

What are we waiting for!

 

In-His-Service

David Z