The Prosperity of the Gospel

“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.”

(John 17:3)

 Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile : “Why Did Jesus Have To Die”
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3 thoughts on “The Prosperity of the Gospel

  1. thanks for these thoughtful remarks, brother dave.

    isn’t it just like us humans to prefer the temporary, inferior pleasures of lowly earthly prosperity (houses, cars, vacations and good jobs … all of which enslave, disappoint, and come to a quick end) over the infinite superiority of union with Christ, knowledge of our own God, favor with Him, a lifetime of personally knowing the only one worth knowing through the challenges of life … and an everlasting eternity full of wonders too great for the human mind?

    those spiritually impoverished “prosperity” preachers have millions of folks scrambling for mcdonalds when right next door there’s food a trillion times more pleasurable that truly fulfills and never ends.

    Lord, please HELP us happy-in-the-mud creatures!

    “The economic model of supply and demand (i.e. God shall supply what I demand) …” this had me rollin’! but it’s actually not funny at all. anyone who will think to “demand” anything from the Lord of hosts deserves to be snapped in two.

  2. “Making much of God”…. I’m learning to do that more and more everyday! Thanks for the encouraging blog!!!

  3. Donald, I’m glad you were encouraged! If you haven’t read Knowing God by J.I. Packer, I recommend it. I have it in queue to read next after “God is the Gospel”.

    Adding to Eve’s sentiments, C.S. Lewis said in his book, The Weight of Glory:

    “Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

    If we beheld the glory of God more in the face of Jesus Christ, money would look like rubbish.

    d.

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