The Gospel is More Than Money
“Prosperity Gospel” teachings reduce God’s story to so much less than He intends it to be.
Maybe you’ve seen them on late-night TV: Some preachers promise that if you follow their teachings, — and give money to their ministries — God will make you rich. It’s a phenomenon known as the “prosperity gospel,” and it’s tragic. Because the gospel is about so much more than money.
God does say in His word that He wants us to prosper. But purveyors of the prosperity gospel often smack of hair grease and phony charm. So what should you believe?
Start with this: The word of God is absolute, but the Gospel is more than money.
The great failing of the Prosperity Gospel is that it reduces Christianity to a financial transaction. tweet this!After studying what God’s word says about money, I have come to take a pretty cautious view of the Prosperity Gospel. It’s not that the Bible doesn’t teach prosperity; it’s just that it teaches us so much more than that. The great failing of the Prosperity Gospel is that it reduces Christianity to a financial transaction.
Where the Prosperity Gospel Fails
Most prosperity teaching is based on principles that are actually found in scripture. God is a good father who loves to give good gifts to his children. God promises to bless people who give to His Kingdom. And if follow God faithfully, He will instruct us in paths that lead to prosperity.
Unfortunately, too many prosperity teachings twist these principles, take them out of context or blow them out of proportion. Some people teach that following God destines us for riches. Others say that if we want financial prosperity, we simply need to exercise the correct level of faith to “name it and claim it.” All too often, these preachers neglect to teach what the Bible says about financial responsibility, stewardship, wisdom, character, diligence and hard work.
I don’t mean to say that every word that comes out of a prosperity teacher’s mouth is wrong. You have to draw your own conclusions on that, using God’s word and your discernment to evaluate the things you hear. But beware anyone that reduces the Gospel down prosperity. Because God’s will for you is about so much more than that.
God has a lot to say about the way we handle money. But His mission on earth isn’t about money at all. You can’t buy salvation, and salvation doesn’t guarantee you money. In the New Testament, there were rich Christians and poor Christians. And while early church leaders like Paul did teach people to be generous and wise with their money, they were much more concerned with seeing the Kingdom of God grow larger than seeing its members grow wealthier.
The Gospel isn't about making poor men rich; it's about making dead men live. tweet this!
The Heart of God’s Story
What is the Gospel about? It’s the story of a God who created us and loves us. And when our own rebellion and sin separated us from Him, He chose to take on human flesh, to live on Earth with us and to experience our sufferings. He lived a perfect life but died a criminal’s death in our place. And then He overcame death, rising from the grave and conquering sin to reunite us with Him.
The Gospel isn’t about making poor men rich; it’s about making dead men live.
If you believe that God has called you to a life of prosperity, I encourage you to work hard, give generously and model godly prosperity in everything that you do. But remember, you weren’t saved by your money, and God didn’t save you to make you wealthy. He saved you because He loves you. The Gospel is about the love of our Father and the way He moved heaven and earth to bring us back to Him.
You can’t put a price on a human soul, and you can’t attach a dollar amount to the power of the Gospel. Anyone who tries isn’t really preaching the Gospel at all.