What does the Bible say about the prosperity gospel?

In the prosperity gospel, also known as the “Word of Faith,” the believer is told to use God, whereas the truth of biblical Christianity is just the opposite—God uses the believer. Word of Faith or prosperity theology sees the Holy Spirit as a power to be put to use for whatever the believer wills. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is a Person who enables the believer to do God’s will. The prosperity gospel movement closely resembles some of the destructive greed sects that infiltrated the early church. Paul and the other apostles were not accommodating to or conciliatory with the false teachers who propagated such heresy. They identified them as dangerous false teachers and urged Christians to avoid them.

Paul warned Timothy about such men in 1 Timothy 6:59-11. These men of “corrupt mind” supposed godliness was a means of gain and their desire for riches was a trap that brought them “into ruin and destruction” (v. 9). The pursuit of wealth is a dangerous path for Christians and one which God warns about: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (v. 10). If riches were a reasonable goal for the godly, Jesus would have pursued it. But He did not, preferring instead to have no place to lay His head (Matthew 8:20) and teaching His disciples to do the same. It should also be remembered that the only disciple concerned with wealth was Judas.

Paul said covetousness is idolatry (Ephesians 5:5) and instructed the Ephesians to avoid anyone who brought a message of immorality or covetousness (Ephesians 5:6-7). Prosperity teaching prohibits God from working on His own, meaning that God is not Lord of all because He cannot work until we release Him to do so. Faith, according to the Word of Faith doctrine, is not submissive trust in God; faith is a formula by which we manipulate the spiritual laws that prosperity teachers believe govern the universe. As the name “Word of Faith” implies, this movement teaches that faith is a matter of what we say more than whom we trust or what truths we embrace and affirm in our hearts.

A favorite term in the Word of Faith movement is “positive confession.” This refers to the teaching that words themselves have creative power. What you say, Word of Faith teachers claim, determines everything that happens to you. Your confessions, especially the favors you demand of God, must all be stated positively and without wavering. Then God is required to answer (as though man could require anything of God!). Thus, God’s ability to bless us supposedly hangs on our faith. James 4:13-16 clearly contradicts this teaching: “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Far from speaking things into existence in the future, we do not even know what tomorrow will bring or even whether we will be alive.

Instead of stressing the importance of wealth, the Bible warns against pursuing it. Believers, especially leaders in the church (1 Timothy 3:3), are to be free from the love of money (Hebrews 13:5). The love of money leads to all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10). Jesus warned, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15). In sharp contrast to the Word of Faith emphasis on gaining money and possessions in this life, Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19). The irreconcilable contradictions between prosperity teaching and the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is best summed up in the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:24, “You cannot serve both God and money.”

Sources :Extracts from gotquestions.org

17 thoughts on “What does the Bible say about the prosperity gospel?

  1. Pingback: GODLINESS WITH CONTENTMENT IS GREAT GAIN « Vine and Branch World Ministries.com

  2. Why we worship God has nothing to do with him giving us wealthy but we do that because he is lord who's power we can see through nature. Prosperity gospel is preached by wealthy seekers and followed by lazy people. By J Jumbe on said:

    Let the true gospel spread before his second coming.

  3. Pingback: John Hill's Blog

  4. The prosperity gospel puts man’s desires at the center of focus but the gospel of Christ put Christ as the focus. In the end time there will be false teachers and prophets bc they preach false gospel, gospel that will shift the gaze of believers from christ to pursue other things. This kind of gospels will not make believers stand/endure the challenge of the end time – the iniquities that abound increasingly that will make love of many to wax cold, the sufferings and severe persecution etc. Really, the true gospel is becoming scarce. We are in the end time brethren. Don’t shift ur focus. Watch and pray. Don’t allow any false teacher deceive you. Read Matt. 24.I am beginning to sense why God will have to shorten the time because the gospel many believers are feeding or being fed with can not toughen and prepare them for the perilous time. Oh sinking sand gospel.

  5. Pingback: Christian Modeling « He Dwells — The B'log in My Eye

  6. I wish true christians will stand up to false gospel…Voices must be raised, separating true christianity from false as our LORD JESUS CHRIST meant for it to be. That way, those who seek the truth will find it…Many a young believer are led astray by such prosperity teachings. Like the saying went, They have blocked the way for those who seek it. May the ALMIGHTY LORD, the CREATOR of the heavens and the earth let his WORD reign in truth and spirit. AMEN

  7. .,we should EARN MONEY to BLESS the all the NATIONS! how can we propagate the Gospel of the Kingdom of God if we don’t have money to support the ministry.,. Simple.,. PROSPERITY GOSPEL means, “WORKING FOR A GIVING”.,. Jesus said, STOP JUDGING OTHERS so you will not be JUDGED also.,. Whoever is preaching the NAME of our LORD JESUS CHRIST is not AGAINST US.,. DISCONTENTMENT WILL ONLY BECOME EVIL if it is SELF-CENTERED.,. remember: EARN MONEY to be a BLESSING to all the FAMILIES of the EARTH,.

  8. What the bible simply want us to do as christians with our money big or small is to engage ourselves in helping people meet their financial difficulty that is why jesus christ said we should not store up money on earth and he also asked us to use our earthly wealth to make friends because our existence don’t depend on how much we own. Doing charity is the only way we can please God with our earthly wealth.

  9. Thanku so much for your teaching and wisdom. I have been seeking the Lords will in my life, and. I praise him for bringing. Me the answers through your teaching. Thanku so much for being a blessing in my life.

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