Many people in the Christian church do not believe in the hardcore prosperity gospel. At the same time most of us believe in the prosperity gospel. If this is confusing your not alone. I am a little confused while I’m typing on this topic as well. We water down the prosperity gospel, so it can become more palatable. Our church is becoming more concerned about the desires of the flesh. We need to be more concerned about bringing people to Christ. Our life after this is far more important then the material of this world.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 (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.”
The hardcore prosperity gospel is believed by a few. This ideology is if you ask for something from God you will receive it. Essentially, they turn God into their personal vending machine. There is also even a crazier version of the hardcore prosperity gospel. This is the “name it and claim it” ideology. If you want something you just declare it and it will be given to you. Many people have turned this exception into a Red Herring. They distance themselves from this ideology while still believing in the prosperity gospel.
Let’s start with a metaphor to describe the watered-down version of the prosperity gospel. This metaphor is the word “storm.” People tend to limit this word to their own hopes and feelings. All of us deal with problems in this life. A factor associated with a storm is time. You have people in your life tell you this storm will be over soon. Decades go by and they become incredibly angry at God. They essentially believe God grants an isolated storm when your life could be in a rainforest. We become so fixated on our problems that we don’t look to our impact on our culture for God.
Also, the watered-down version of the prosperity gospel leads to stagnation. I made a blog post explaining this idea in detail. You wait for a sign as to when the storm is over. The storm will rain on those who have no shelter. People are heading to darkness while you are waiting for your person storm to end. You are in this race of life to win. Some problems in your life has a potential to never end until death. What would our excuse be when we stand in front of the Creator? I didn’t want to go outside because I would get wet? No. You would be grief stricken by all the opportunities you missed while writhing in your own pity.
Matthew 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 your treasure is, there you heart will be also.’”
Another part of the prosperity gospel is earthly rewards. If you do X you will be rewarded with Y. This idea creates many agnostics. You have people within our culture saying this constantly. Some say, “you are not praying enough.” “There is a sin holding you from God’s reward.” “You are not having enough faith.” This later statement I make fun of a lot. I satirically say, “If you think hard enough and pray deep enough all your dreams will come true.” Life is not about what God can give you. It is about worshiping and following our creator. If God doesn’t give us an earthly reward who cares. Many of you reading this doesn’t have more then 60 years to live. What is 60 years compared to eternity? Nothing at all. Let’s give this messily 60 years to our Creator. Giving him the gift of endurance and perseverance.
Our life is not our own. It is God’s. We must live sacrificially and boldly for Him daily. Prosperity is our reward in heaven. Our soul given to God is what will make us prosper. When we look to what God can give us all the time me miss what we can give him. He died for us. Really, what more can we ask? Stop thinking of the material and look to the eternal.