Jesus Died To Make You (Spiritually) Rich
This past weekend, Christians went crazy online over the tweet of one prominent pastor. It read: “Jesus bled and died for us so that we can lay claim to the promise of financial prosperity.”
Much has been said about prosperity gospel preaching, and it has received its fair share of criticism. Sadly, much of this is absent of any correction, any rebuke, and any loving concern for the truth.
Below is my attempt to correct the bad teaching, rebuke the false teacher, and show loving concern, so those who are either following this false gospel, or are teeter-tottering on the brink, can see the truth and discern the lies.
Did Jesus actually die for our prosperity? Or did he die for something of more importance? Let me first correct a common misquotation of Scripture.
1 Timothy 6:10 says tthe “love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” It is the love of money that leads to sin, not necessarily money itself.
Jesus actually died for the sins of the elect, so he could save the elect, not so that the elect could become monetarily rich. This is why in Ephesians 1 Paul (who was rather broke) spoke of believer’s richness and blessing being spiritual and rooted in Christ (who for the record, was a nomadic, homeless man [Lk 9:58].)
If you trust in the Prosperity Gospel because you seek to be richer, consider the words of Shai Linne: “If you come to Jesus for money, then he’s not your God; money is”.Jesus simply did not die to make you rich. He died, so your soul would not spend eternity in Hell under God’s wrath for sins.
Mr. and Mrs. Prosperity Teacher, Scripture calls you to repent of your sin: Your sin of leading astray the sheep, robbing them of their money, and lying to them. Jesus died for the sins of the world; that’s a heavy thing to disregard as secondary to prosperity.
You also need to repent of your idolatry. Ministry isn’t about jets, mansions and money—it’s about the Gospel of Christ and the remission of sins through him alone.
Mr. and Mrs. Prosperity Follower, Scripture also calls you to repent of your sin: your sin of idolatry and greed, of love of money, and falsely claiming prosperity that was never promised to you.
I also need to repent. I’m no different than either the false teacher or their followers. I make an idol of money when I worry endlessly about how I’m going to pay for things. I do it when I withhold tithes, because I don’t trust God to provide for me.
The Prosperity Gospel movement is full of wolves (Acts 20:29). This movement distorts the Gospel. It’s not even a new phenomenon. In fact, it’s the very thing the Roman Catholic Church was doing before the Reformation.
The Prosperity Gospel movement makes Jesus out to be our genie. The teachers tell us to “name it and claim it”, “sow a seed” so on and so forth. They take Scriptures like Matthew 21:22 and twist it to make it into a verse where if we just have enough faith, God will grant wealth to us. A key thing to understand is 1) God does not have to give us anything and 2) God won’t answer a sinful prayer.
We can’t fool God, especially with his very Word; It’s foolishness! John Piper said “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.” True satisfaction is not found in money or material gain; it is found in the joy of God.
Let’s strive for the point when wed can face the troubles of life and say, “My joy is not rooted in how well I do in school, my job, or how nice my home is, but it is rooted in knowing God gives me exactly what he sees fit.”
If you are part of the Prosperity Gospel movement, I urge you to prayerfully examine it. Examine its motives, results and reputation among Christendom. Examine Scripture for yourself and pray through it. Pray Scripture because it brings glory to God, not because doing so somehow obligates God to bless you.