Stay Far Away From The Prosperity Gospel
This article series shares Pastor Erik’s latest Twitter posts as articles for anyone to read, whether you have access to Twitter or not. You can find Erik's original Twitter thread here.
The name-it-claim folks who believe if you simply have faith you will get what you are asking for go too far and get it wrong… …but they are really close to getting it right, and are often closer than many of us who fail to demonstrate faith in action.
Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). This is a massive statement. This is true in two senses:
1. Saving faith (you must trust Christ for salvation or there’s no pleasing God)
2. Ongoing faith (daily trust and expressed confidence in God)
Throughout Scripture we see how the faith of people moved the heart of God.
• Roman centurion (Mt 8:10)
• 4 friends that brought paralytic to Jesus (Mk 2:5)
• Woman who hemorrhaged for 12 years (Mt 9:22)
• Blind Bartimaeus (Mk 10:52) • Hall of faith (Hebrews 11)
Ephesians 3:20 says God is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think… Most of us affirm this with our mouths, but how many of us are living our lives as if it’s true? We affirm this truth by faith but live lives that don’t require any.
Prosperity gospel folks believe God WILL answer their prayers. It’s sincere faith…but it’s misguided. Their theological foundation believes Jesus purchased the prosperity, healing, & blessings they seek at His death. It’s lack of faith if you don’t receive what you ask for.
Biblical faith should believe God can do anything (and even ask Him for it)… …but trusts Him even if He doesn’t give it. That’s the separator from the prosperity gospel. They don’t know what to do when God doesn’t give what they ask for.
David’s prayer for his infant son’s life is a perfect example of biblical faith. (2 Samuel 12:15-20)
• he fasted & prayed for a week
• his pleaded for God to spare his child
• when he died, David: > rose and washed his face > dressed > ate > worshipped
He sought the Lord with faith, believing God could restore the child… …but when He didn’t give him his request he trusted God (undoubtedly grieved) and moved forward.
When my son died three years ago, there was a national story of a girl that died a week later. Her name was Olive. She was the daughter of a worship leader from Bethel. They refused to bury her because they believed the Lord was going to resurrect her. Is this the kind of faith I’m saying we should have? No. David doesn’t do this. I wrote this article during that time about why these parents and the Bethel community were wrong in their theology and actions.
We want to be Christians that live with an ongoing faith that moves the heart of God. - How should your life change to reflect the truth of God’s power and love? - How are you feeding your faith so that you can live more in alignment with who you say God is?
Friends, stay far away from the prosperity gospel. We don’t command God or have Him in our debt. Ask by faith, but trust His wisdom when He says no. Recognize His prerogative to do as He pleases.
If you or someone you know is going through a time of suffering or trials here is a link to articles that discuss the topic of suffering more in depth.
Erik is the Pastor of The Journey Church in Lebanon. He also founded Knowing Jesus Ministries, an organization which exists to proclaim timeless truth for everyday life. He is married to Katrina, and has three children: Kaleb (who went to be with the Lord), Kaleigh Grace, and Kyra Piper.
- Abiding: Moving From Simple Belief To Walking In Communion With Christ, Trusting: Moving From Unbiblical Views To A God-Glorifying Understanding Of Suffering