Summary: ...there have been some who have gone off the deep end with the teaching of prosperity. This is probably one of the most exaggerated (supposed) moves of God in this generation of believers.
THE PROSPERITY OF GOD
Sometimes in the Charismatic and/or Pentecostal movements, there have been some extremes. There have been those that have made the mistake of trying to exaggerate what God is actually doing.
God doesn’t really want us to become some kind of an extremist in how we live our Christian lives.
I believe God wants us to live wholesome and moderate lives that glorify Him, without taking attention away from what He is doing.
As an example there have been some who have gone off the deep end with the teaching of prosperity. This is probably one of the most exaggerated (supposed) moves of God in this generation of believers.
Unfortunately, there are some so called prosperity ministry, and it’s messengers, that have tried to spiritually manipulate their followers.
There have been the promises of prosperity made to their listeners that include all kinds of nonsense.
If you will give to this ministry your kids teeth will grow in straight and with no cavities. Although there might be a little truth in what they are preaching, the problem is that there is too much exaggerating taking place.
And this is at the expense of sincere, but unknowing listeners that have fallen prey to the prosperity message.
The comparison we could make this evening would be what Jesus had to do with the merchants and moneychangers in the Temple (in Matthew 21).
What complicates things is that many other non-Christians, or unchurched folks, hearing this message of half truths are offended and confused.
We need to clear the air on these falsehoods. Let’s look at is biblical. It is important we do this because the hour is late and the devil is oftentimes the only one benefiting from the church’s message of prosperity.
Many Christians are so confused when they don’t need to be.
Part of the problem we are faced with is the lack of biblical teaching about THE PROSPERITY OF GOD.
Text: Colossians 3:5
Greek word for greed is an “eager and constant desire for more…a craving desire for more than we need.”
Greed is idolatry. It is a fixation for something else that will come between you and the Lord.
"Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.
This passage is referring to those who are not right with God, but it also gives us insight how we may be destroying ourselves after we become a Christian.
Regardless of whether we are a Christian or not, this is the results of the sinful “earthly nature” (Colossians 3:5) we struggle with from time to time.
Then take into consideration that we are challenged to be giving Christians who live to be generous to others and our church.
It can get complicated with the war of our “earthly nature” and our generosity to give sacrificially.
If we are not careful, we may misinterpret the teaching of prosperity and cause serious consequences with our walk with God.
For some that get way out of control with this teaching, it can take on a new tone of being religious.
That is people proclaiming prosperity while they don’t work and can’t pay their bills.
I have met those who have put their faith and hope in the misunderstood message of a TV Evangelist, instead of the truth of God’s Holy Word.
Read II Corinthians 9:6
This verse is true in every facet of life. Such as forgiveness – if we forgive we shall be forgiven. Judgment – if we judge, we shall be judged.
This is the means of exchange for us and the things of God.
It is a natural spiritual law of God.
But those that preach the extreme of giving and prosperity have caused this truth to be questioned.
We can question the truth, but it won’t change God’s mind.
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
There have been some extremist on prosperity that have said that if you make a deposit in heaven today, you can write a check on it anytime you want to.
Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account.
And we know that Jesus told us to store our treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not corrupt.
While it is true that we do have an account in heaven we are depositing into, that doesn’t mean we do the withdrawals. That money doesn’t belong to us. It belongs to God.
Our generosity is accumulating in heaven, but it is God’s.
Having said all of that, let me show you what prosperity actually is (according to the Bible).
Read I Corinthians 16:2
Notice the word “prosper”.
Greek word = euodoo
"to help on one’s way"