Hi EBC Family,
The gospel does include health, wealth, and prosperity. That’s right, the gospel does include health, wealth, and prosperity. It is in the life to come!
In passing I mentioned this past Sunday, I disagree with prosperity gospel teaching. Actually, disagreeing with it is not strong enough. I despise any teaching that says that financial blessing and physical well-being are what God wills for us as believers. I despise it because it perverts the true gospel. I strongly reject it because it distorts Scripture to appeal to people’s lustful desires. This false gospel sells! Books like, “Your Best Life is Now” sold millions of copies worldwide.
Who doesn’t want to be healthy? Who doesn’t crave more money than what we have? Who wouldn’t want more power to live out all of our potential? Who wouldn’t want all suffering to be eliminated from our lives?
Is all this promised in this life? Can we claim suffering and problem-free lives now? Prosperity preachers say, “Yes!” And they would go as far as to say, “If we aren’t living this kind of life now then it is a matter of unbelief.
There are so many reasons why this teaching is false. Let me list a few.
- It feeds covetousness and covetousness is idolatry (Colossians 3:5). It is idolatry because it dethrones God and exalts material things.
- It ignores context. “Context is king” is a basic principle of interpretation and one often neglected by teachers of the prosperity gospel. Just as we accuse cults of ripping verses out of their intended meaning to fit their beliefs, this is what prosperity gospel teachers’ practice. Verses like, “You have not because you ask not” is used to support their “name it and claim it” teaching.
- The absence of teaching on the place of suffering and trials in our lives as followers of Christ. The Bible has a lot to say about the normalcy of suffering as well as the necessity of it. It is in times of suffering that our faith is refined, that we experience the comfort of God, and that we long more deeply for the life to come.
- It dismisses the teaching of self-denial and the cost of following Christ.
- It fails to teach the whole counsel of God. Any serious student of God’s Word must wrestle with the tensions in Scripture. The Bible speaks of both joy and sorrow. It addresses questions like, “Why do the godly suffer and the unrighteous seem to prosper?” And “Where is God in my hurt?” Prosperity gospel teaches one dimension of God’s Word while ignoring other parts of the Bible that “seem” to contradict it. This false gospel offers quick fixes and easy answers to the complexity of life in this world as we wait for the next.
Doesn’t Scripture speak of the groaning in this life while we wait for the glory to be revealed? Read through Romans 8 for it calls us to embrace all circumstances in our lives knowing that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ and that our great God is sovereignly working all things out for our good and for his glory! The true gospel offers to us that the best is yet to come!
In anticipation of that day, Pastor Brian
The Heart of the Matter
Link to This Sunday Worship Service
Men’s Study on Mentoring
Just a reminder, the men’s study on mentoring will begin this Saturday July, 10th from 7am-8am and will run for 4 weeks.
The next Prayer 30 is next Wednesday night, July 14th from 7:00 – 7:30 at the gym parking lot.
The worship team is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help with audio, projection (lyrics), lighting, and live streaming. Please talk with Pastor Dan or Nathaniel Jackubens for more details.
Our annual Church Picnic and Baptism is scheduled for Saturday August 28th at Ellacoya State Park Pavilion from 10 am – 4pm. Please begin signing up at the back counter. We have a limit on attendees, signups are required. We look forward to coming together for a time fellowship and celebration.
We will have Seth and Rochelle Callahan visiting with us this Sunday during both worship services. They have recently come home from Papua New Guinea and will be sharing a short update on the Iski People.
Prayer and Praise
If you have any prayer requests or needs, please email the office at firstname.lastname@example.org