“And He [Jesus] said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)
This was Jesus’ command to the remaining eleven disciples after His resurrection.
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,..” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
These were the words of the Apostle Paul to the church in Corinth in defense of his ministry. Paul first received this message after he was converted on the Damascus Road in Acts 9.
Notice this message Paul preached is what he called “of first importance”. It is of first importance because it clarifies the fundamental problem of humanity – sin, God’s just wrath against sin, and His supply of the Atoner, Jesus Christ, for our sin. That is the gospel. That is what Jesus commissioned His disciples to preach and their obedience is obvious. This is God’s appointed Christocentric message to be proclaimed for the salvation of sinners (Romans 1:16). This is the message that laid the foundation of the church. Jesus Christ is the Chief Cornerstone (Isaiah 28:16), the foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11) and head of the church (Colossians 1:17-18).
Sadly, many churches have abandoned this command and are preaching “another gospel”. In America, and now in other places like Africa, the prosperity gospel is being preached with more vigor than the days of its inception almost 140 years ago. The economic model of supply and demand (i.e. God shall supply what I demand) has crept in through cunning teachers through eisegesis, taken root, and silenced the truth of Christ’s atonement on the cross in mainstream evangelicalism. The result, false converts sincerely believing God wants them to have their best lives now. There is no biblical evidence to support the teaching that Jesus’ death procures financial gain and earthly comforts.
The heresy of the prosperity gospel is that it teaches that God exists to make much of you, instead of you making much of Christ by magnifying His supreme worth through a lifestyle of sacrifice and worship.
Luke 12:13-21 is a piercing teaching on the danger of seeking to accumulate earthly possessions. This is not the gospel and no one will prosper by it in this life and the next.
The true prosperity of the gospel is being forgiven of all our sins, adopted into the family of God being eternally reconciled to the Father through Jesus Christ, Our God and Savior.
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”