The prosperity gospel is the centerpiece of the fastest growing part of the worldwide church. This gospel is nothing more than a deceptive scheme by the enemy to justify idolatry. Power-hungry preachers prey on the sinful desires of humanity. The promise of health and wealth (which are two of the biggest idols we deal with) are quite alluring. What better way to attract people to come to your church than by offering more of these idols? Once you get past the obstacles of health and wealth, life is a breeze! As it is, millions fall prey to this sinister scheme. And while their congregants live in abject poverty giving their last dime “in faith”, these preachers live in mansions.
The worst part about the prosperity gospel is it becomes all about us and all about the blessings we can have through Christ. This gospel resembles a humanistic view placing the emphasis on humanity rather than revering our Sovereign God. It undermines God’s will and His desire to heal and bless in accordance with His providential plan. It’s no longer “God’s will be done” but rather “my will be done”. We get to call the shots and God is reduced to a puppet. YES, God heals. YES, God grants success. YES, God answers prayer and will give us whatever we need when we ask. But we must also remember that we live in a fallen world. In this life, no one lives forever; people will get sick and everyone dies. The healing and miracles that God grants are just a glimpse of what is to come. If everyone could be healed or had all the money they wanted, we would not need heaven or God.
The danger of this gospel is it does not lead to disciples who follow Jesus. Instead it feeds greed, power and pride. Jesus is no longer the focal point or the main need, the blessings are. As mentioned before, “What we win people with is what we’ve won them to.” When we promise health and wealth, where does repentance come in? Where does denying self and following Christ come into play? It doesn’t. As Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:10, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” Trying to win people with the promise of money is ludicrous! It’s not that money is bad. We all need money to survive. It’s the love of money that’s bad. When money becomes the focus in life, it becomes our God. Jesus said you cannot serve God and money. Yet our cultural Christianity has developed this idea that because we are well to do God is blessing us. Beware of that mentality for there are many wealthy atheists. Money and health are not the evidence of God’s blessings. Neither can we simply give God 10% (a tithe) of all our earnings while idolizing the remaining 90%. Remember what Jesus said to the rich young ruler? Sell all your possessions, give the money to the poor and follow me. NOTHING is to come between us and God. REPENT is the first word of the gospel.
BOTTOM LINE: It’s hard to make disciples who are attracted to God for the wrong reasons. And it’s impossible to become a follower of Christ through the prosperity gospel.