The prosperity gospel is one that is easier for the church goer to listen to. It carries your burdens throughout the week and turns it into a potential. It gives you a sense of comfort and relives your stress. On the other hand, the prosperity gospel creates a bubble around your life. It shields you from opportunities. It shields you from your commitment to your neighbor. The prosperity gospel unfortunately has an effect where your life reaches a point of stagnation to your commitment to God and the world.
2 Timothy 4:3-5 (NASB)
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
This verse encapsulates the idea of why people are prone to this doctrine. It fulfills their own desires of wanting a better life. They want to find an easy explanation for the pain and hardship they’re going thru. When a teacher within the church tells its members that there is a simple reason to why their life is on a certain course it “tickles” their ears. A metaphor I use for this doctrine is putting a bandage on a dirty and unclean wound. It is good at the start because you don’t notice the wound and feel little or no pain. Then life starts infecting the wound and making it hurt. Yet you are still in denial because you are unwilling to comprehend that you have made the wrong decision. Many churches disguise the prosperity gospel with the word “blessings” used inappropriately. In no way am a suggesting God doesn’t give us blessings but many times a successful outcome due to choices and chance is shown as a blessing. Sometimes the word blessing is camouflaged over the word opportunity.
Colossians 4:5-6 (NASB)
“Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”
When we shield ourselves from the lies of the prosperity gospel we fail to see good opportunities that await us. If you are lucky to have time or money it should be used for God’s purposes. If it is not it is hollow and without purpose.
Mathew 6:19-21 (NASB)
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where you treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
The part of this passage I will unpack is the last sentence verse 21. When we are completing task here on earth for earthly rewards we always come to a brick wall. There is always a voice telling you that you are doing enough because you are being rewarded monetarily, spiritually, or physically. That wall doesn’t seem like a wall. It looks to you like a room filled with cozy pillows. You feel like you made it and completed your task. Satan gives you a wall that looks appealing and it shows you nourishment and comfort. When we are completing task for rewards in heaven there is no wall here on earth. There is constant need of making yourself better and winning others to Christ. If you are in a wall of comfort leave it and keep going. We are tools to constantly be shaped as God’s instruments on earth. This can only be done if we rid ourselves of our selfish desires. We should only desire God’s will. When we do this, we can accomplish a lot. When we are prone do worldly treasures, we become stagnate caught in the comfortable wall set up by Satan. I’ll leave you with this verse.
Luke 9:23-25 (NASB)
“And He was saying to them all, ‘If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?’”