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LEARN: WHAT IS THE TRUTH ABOUT PROSPERITY TEACHING?
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False Teachers – False Hope!
“For if you wander beyond the teaching of Christ, you will leave God behind; while if you are loyal to Christ’s teachings, you will have God too.”
(2 John 9)
What Is “Prosperity Theology”?
- Prosperity Theology teaches that every Christian should always be healthy and wealthy and never be in a state of need. Any “children of the King” who are in need haven’t properly asked the King for what they want ... or they have sin in their lives.
- Prosperity Theology is also referred to as the Health and Wealth Gospel, the Word of Faith Movement, and Name It and Claim It Theology, along with other similar labels.
- Prosperity Theology is based on the premise that Christians are able to “name and claim” whatever they desire because of their faith. Proponents believe they can create a binding transaction with God in which He is absolutely obligated to bless and provide what is asked of Him.
- The underlying principle of all Satan’s tactics is deception. He is crafty and has clever disguises. His deception began in the Garden of Eden and continues to this day. He invades the theological seminary and even the pulpit. He invades the church under cover of orthodox vocabulary, emptying sacred terms of their biblical sense.
What is a false teaching?
It is any teaching which is contrary to the basic doctrines of God’s Word, such as those having to do with the Trinity, the virgin birth of Christ, His atoning death, His bodily resurrection and second coming, salvation by grace through faith, the bodily resurrection of all believers, and the reality of heaven and hell.
Prosperity Theology is based on the premise that Christians are able to “name and claim” whatever they desire because of their faith. Proponents believe they can create a binding transaction with God in which He is absolutely obligated to bless and provide what is asked of Him.
The underlying principle of all Satan’s tactics is deception. He is crafty and has clever disguises. His deception began in the Garden of Eden and continues to this day. He invades the theological seminary and even the pulpit. He invades the church under cover of orthodox vocabulary, emptying sacred terms of their biblical sense.
“At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, . . . ‘Ask what I shall give you . . . Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?"
1 Kings 3:5, 9
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Ask and Receive
- Prosperity Teaching: Jesus tells us that whatever we ask in faith, we will receive.
“I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24).
- Biblical Truth:
At face value, this verse appears to back up the belief that God will give us whatever we ask for—as long as we believe it, we will receive it. Yet, the apostle John gives us clarification when he says ... “If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And ... we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14–15).
6 Primary Positions of Prosperity Theology
1.Prosperity Position: “Sickness is always the result of sin.”
Biblical Position: This false belief was directly refuted when the disciples asked Jesus about a man blind from birth. (John 9:2–3)
2. Prosperity Position:“Poverty is always the result of sin.”
Biblical Position: This false belief was directly refuted by Jesus when He said about Himself, “... the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20).
3. Prosperity Position: “Sickness is a curse.”
This false belief was directly refuted by the illness of Job, who was not cursed but was allowed by God to be physically afflicted by Satan. (Job 2:3)
4. Prosperity Position: “Poverty is always a curse.”
Biblical Position: This false belief was directly refuted by the fact that Jesus honored a poor widow for her meager offering to God, something He would not have done had He considered her cursed. It should also be remembered that wealth does not solve every problem and may even contribute to certain difficulties. (Luke 21:2–3)
5. Prosperity Position: “Sickness is of the devil.”
Biblical Position: This false belief was directly refuted by Jesus when He responded to the illness of his good friend Lazarus. (John 11:4)
6. Prosperity Position: “If you have enough faith, you will be healed.”
Biblical Position: This false belief was directly refuted by the experience and testimony of the apostle Paul. (2 Corinthians 12:7–10)
What Is the Root Cause of Confusion about Prosperity?
Wrong Belief: “As a child of God, I have the right to ask God for whatever I want and, in faith, expect to receive whatever I request. Since God intends for His children to be healthy, wealthy, and prosperous, I will exercise my faith in what I want, and I know that I will receive it.”
Right Belief: “As a child of God, I know I can trust Him to meet my deepest inner needs and fulfill His plan for my life. Since I am no longer ‘my own,’ and I belong to Christ, my deepest desire is to be conformed to the character of Christ ... to love with His love and to care with His care.”
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
(1 Corinthians 6:19–20)
How to Participate in God’s Plan
- Thank God for what He has given to you. (Ephesians 5:19–20)
- Rest in God as your Provider. (1 Timothy 6:17)
- Uphold God’s perspective on possessions. (Luke 12:15)
- Seek God’s provision in each and every circumstance. (Isaiah 43:20)
- Trust in God, not in what you possess. (Psalm 20:7)
- Honor God with what He gives to you. (Acts 4:32; 2:45)
- Invest in heavenly treasures, not in earthly things. (Hebrews 10:34)
- Manage well what God entrusts to your care. (Luke 16:10)
How to Have the Right Focus on Faith
- Our faith is to be placed in the Lord as we yield our will to His will.
- Our faith is not to be in our faith!
- Our prayer should be ... “Not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36).
Key Verse to Learn
“Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.”
Key Passage to Read
1 Timothy 6:3–19
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God desires to give you hope as you face life challenges, problems and difficult trials. The good news for us, God specializes in redemption and transformation. He takes that which was lost and restores it. He takes that which was dead and gives it life. He takes that which had no hope and rewrites its story. This is our God! As you pray today, ask God boldly to transform the thing inside you that you want to see changed forever!
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