WRITTEN BY: GEORGE LUJACK
This article will expose some of the fallacious assertions of the Prosperity Gospel and advise believers to reject this deceptive theological covetousness through giving for financial blessings works-based faith that proposes donating money for the sole purpose of getting a prosperous return on one’s charitable ‘investments.’
The Prosperity Gospel is a religious belief held by some Christians that financial blessing is the will of God for them as a result of having faith, living positively, and by giving generous donations primarily to Christian ministries. The prosperity theology proposes that one cannot out-give God and that God will repay faithful givers exponentially for their faithful donations with health, security, and financial prosperity. While it is certainly within God’s power to bless whomever He chooses, and bless those who give generously, the danger of the Prosperity Gospel is that the message of the true gospel gets lost. The focus of the Prosperity Gospel is to receive financial blessings, and not to be a blessing; to give with the expectation and sole intent of receiving greater prosperity in return.
GOD’S PROMISE OF OUR BEST LIFE IS NOT NOW; IT IS YET TO COME
1 CORINTHIANS 2:9:
But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
The Prosperity Gospel emphasizes working for and living “Your Best Life Now.” Ironically, people believing in the Prosperity Gospel and living their best life now, may actually be doing just that, for if they are denied entrance into God’s kingdom, this life may wind up being their best life. Scripture advises that we should live righteously now with the promise that God will reward us with our best life in the age that is yet to come.
THE GOSPEL PROMISES BELIEVERS PERSECUTION, REVILING, AND SUFFERING; THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL DOES NOT
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory, which shall be revealed in us.
1 TIMOTHY 4:10:
For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.
The Prosperity Gospel omits the persecution, reviling, and suffering that we, as Messianic or Christian believers, will endure if we live as examples of Messiah (Christ) in this age. The Prosperity Gospel only emphasizes that God’s desire for us to be blessed, happy, and financially prosperous.
GIVE TO BE REPAID IN GOD’S KINGDOM
Then He [Yeshua (Jesus)] also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
The Prosperity Gospel says that when we give to God (through wealthy Prosperity Gospel preachers), we should expect to be repaid with interest, in this life, through God’s abundant financial blessings. Yeshua (Jesus) said that we should give to the poor, who cannot repay us, and that we will be repaid at the resurrection in God’s kingdom.
DO NOT LAY UP EARTHLY TREASURES, BUT HEAVENLY ONES
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
And He [Yeshua (Jesus)] said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’
So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
“Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
The Prosperity Gospel focuses on material blessings and abundance for this life now, whereas the gospel of Yeshua (Jesus) warns us against coveting things in this age, against storing up treasures for this life. If your treasures are on Earth, in this life, then your heart is also on Earth and focused on this earthly life, and is not looking forward to the spiritual life and on heavenly treasures in God’s eternal kingdom.
BE CONTENT WITH NECESSARY THINGS AND YOUR WAGES
Likewise the soldiers asked him [John the Baptist], saying, “And what shall we do?”
So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.”
“And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.”
1 TIMOTHY 6:6-11:
Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.
We come into the Earth with nothing and leave it with nothing. Any earthly treasure that anyone acquires may be passed on to a spouse or children, or given to charity upon one’s death, but cannot be taken into God’s kingdom in the next life. The love of money, and material things that can be bought with money, is the root of all kinds of evil. The love of God, and being content with what we have, is the way of righteousness.
IT IS HARD FOR THE RICH TO ENTER HEAVEN
MATTHEW 19:24; MARK 10:25; LUKE 18:25:
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
Yeshua (Jesus) explained to His disciples that it is hard for the rich, those who trust in their riches, to enter the kingdom of God. The Prosperity Gospel would have people believe that it is God’s desire that everyone should be rich. Being blessed by God with wealth is not a sin, but the means by which many of the world’s rich acquire their wealth is sinful. Compromising righteousness to attain wealth is what can keep the rich from entering God’s kingdom.
WE ARE GOD’S SERVANTS; GOD IS NOT OUR SERVANT
“They shall be Mine,” says YHWH (the Lord) of hosts, “on the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man who spares his own son who serves him.” Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, BETWEEN THE ONE WHO SERVES GOD AND THE ONE WHO DOES NOT SERVE HIM.
“YOU DID NOT CHOOSE ME, BUT I CHOSE YOU and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, THAT WHATEVER YOU ASK THE FATHER IN MY NAME HE MAY GIVE YOU.”
The Prosperity Gospel has the relationship between God and man wrong, as it proposes that God becomes our servant if we give generously to Him.
GOD IS NOT A GENIE, GIVING US WHATEVER WE ASK OF HIM
“And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
Many people have read the verses about asking for anything in prayer, in Yeshua’s (Jesus’) name, and that He would give them anything that they asked for. So… naturally, people often pray for material blessings and wealth. Why not pray to win the lottery, if Yeshua (Jesus) said that we can ask for anything in His name, and we will receive it?
Prosperity Gospel preachers have taken advantage of the covetousness of man and have deceptively added to these verses, saying that if you give to God (through their ministry), and then ask anything in His name, He will return financial blessings to you.
Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. YOU ASK AND DO NOT RECEIVE, BECAUSE YOU ASK AMISS, THAT YOU MAY SPEND IT ON YOUR PLEASURES.
Covetousness has caused many believers to stumble. Verses that proclaim that Yeshua (Jesus) will give us anything that we ask for, are read out-of-context and are not understood. We may ask for anything in His name that will glorify God, and He will do it for us. God will give us anything we ask for that we need, to serve Him. When Prosperity Gospel believers ask God for financial windfalls, and do not receive them, it is because they are asking Him for money to spend on their own materialistic pleasures, and not to serve Him. Prosperity Gospel believers give offerings, not out of love for God and their fellow man, but in hopes of receiving an exponential miraculous financial return to spend on their own pleasures.
BLESSINGS COME FROM KEEPING GOD’S COMMANDMENTS;
CURSES COME FROM DISOBEYING OR NOT HEARING THEM
“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER
2 CORINTHIANS 9:7:
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
GIVING TO GOD OR TO PROSPERITY GOSPEL PREACHERS?
Prosperity Gospel televangelist preachers are the greatest financial beneficiaries of the Prosperity Gospel. Prosperity Gospel preachers steal from God, as they use most, if not all, of the donated tithe money sent to them for their own materialistic pleasures and wealth accumulation. The top Prosperity Gospel preachers have their own private jet planes, numerous multi-million dollar homes, own every materialistic luxury item that they desire, and hoard stockpiles of unreported cash in various accounts, held domestically and abroad.
PROSPERITY GOSPEL PREACHERS ARE FALSE TEACHERS
2 PETER 2:1-3:
But there were also false prophets among the people, EVEN AS THERE WILL BE FALSE TEACHERS AMONG YOU, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. BY COVETOUSNESS THEY WILL EXPLOIT YOU WITH DECEPTIVE WORDS.
Prosperity Gospel televangelist preachers proclaim that they receive financial blessings from God, in order to deceive their congregants into believing that they too can receive similar financial blessings. Prosperity Gospel preachers, in reality, receive their vast wealth through the financial offering donations of their deceived television congregation audience of whom they exploit with the Prosperity Gospel.
MATTHEW 16:26; MARK 8:36; LUKE 9:25:
“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”
Many false teaching, lawless, Prosperity Gospel preachers have gained the whole world and are in grave danger of hearing the following message from Yeshua (Jesus) in the age that is to come:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”