CNN has a new piece on the prosperity gospel and pastors proclaiming that Jesus was a wealthy mogul during his First Coming to Earth. So the logic of the “Prosperity Gospel” we as followers of Jesus should expect to be rich as well. Now the Bible does not go to great lengths to explain Jesus’ financial situation. We never even see Him buy anything. But that is not the real issue. There is nothing wrong with having money or material wealth, just like there is nothing inherently righteous in being poor. The key point here is where as Christians should place our focus. And the pastors of the Prosperity Gospel are directing it towards wealth and receiving. So let’s look to the Words of Jesus about focusing on wealth:
Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
1 Timothy 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
Here the Bible states that we are not to be focused on material gain and that any preacher who is not teaching the words of Jesus Christ and the doctrines according to godliness (the Holy Scripture) is someone not to be followed. He then goes on to lists flaws with these false preachers and among them is that they suppose “that gain is godliness.” This is the Prosperity Gospel. It is diverting the Christian from serving The Lord and drawing it towards the Holy Spirit serving us in the form of material items and wealth.
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
The Bible instructions the Christian to let their “conversation be without covetousness.” The word conversation here means your lifestyle or general behavior and it should not involve constant desire. The Prosperity Gospel makes desire one of the main principles of living as faith of the believer is constantly being directed towards obtaining material wealth or items. Again, there is nothing wrong with praying for provision and believing that The Lord will provide for you today, in the world. But at the same time we should be content with our current situation and know that no matter what highs we reach or what depths we sink to, God Almighty is there with us, helping, providing and caring for us.