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Buying A Ticket to a Blessing ?

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Question: On your Statement of Faith, you say that you reject the prosperity gospel. Why? God wants us to be prosperous.

Answer: 1Tim 6:10 "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

I have to be careful how I answer this question. God is not against prosperity. There are many verses in the Bible that tell us that God wants us to prosper. Certainly, God has blessed His children and we do not lack any good thing. In the free world, one who works hard will receive the fruits of his labors. You will reap what you sow. This applies to the saved and unsaved. If you work hard and excel above the others, you are promoted in the work place. If you have special skills, you are always needed. If you pray, the Lord will certainly help you to be the best worker you can possibly be. He can enable you to do things you never thought possible. With God, all things are possible.

Mat 6:7-8 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him

Phi 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

The problem with the Prosperity Gospel teaching is the coveting of extreme luxuries; the outlandish promises of enormous wealth. "Give to our ministry and you will get whatever your heart desires." These kind of cheap gimmicky "Gimme your best offering" sermons are not scriptural. God is not going to give a Mercedes Benz to the man who gives a $1000.00. The Bible says in Psalms 62:10; "if riches increase, set not your heart upon them."

Jer 9:23-24 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

The Bible says in Psalm 37:25 "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. " God always blesses us in so many ways. If one door closes, He always opens another door for us and though at the moment of a crisis (such a losing a job), one may not understand why, God allowed it for a reason and we need to just trust Him. He always opens up a better door because He knows what is best for us. We have to be willing to walk through the door that He opens. Sometimes, it means getting out of the comfort zone and to step out in faith, trusting the Lord that He has our lives in His hands. Sometimes, it means leaving one city or state and going to another.

When I view TV news programs reporting on how people have lost their jobs and they sit home in despair for months on end; complaining that there is no work in that city in which they live, I feel for them and pray for them. Though, sometimes, I can't help but think, "Why not look for a job in another city?" If they had no unemployment benefits, you better believe they would be searching in another city. Sometimes, it is easier to complain than to get up out of the ashes. Without the Lord, one has no hope; but with God, the possibilities are endless. With the Lord's help, one can have a better quality of life. Jesus can help anyone to get up out of the ashes of despair. Jesus gives us new beginnings. We are more than conquerors through HIM who loves us. In my marriage, we have moved three times and have lived in three different states and the Lord has always lead us to greener pastures. God has provided a much better job with much better pay and we give Him all the praise for that. So if you are in need of prosperity, seek the Only ONE who gives the prosperity. Look not to a preacher or a ministry, look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

If man shall not work, man shall not eat. Christians should never be slothful. It is not God's will for a Christian to be slothful. God wants to see us prosper in the work place and we can serve Him by working diligently in whatever place He has placed us in.

Prov 20:13 Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.
Prov 21:17 He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.
Prov 18:9 He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.
Prov 21:25 The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour.
Prov 26:14 As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed.
Rom 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
Pro 12:11 He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.
Pro 10:4 He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

God does cause his children to prosper. He wants us to prosper. When you look at most of the homeless people who get saved in the Christian mission shelters, they do not remain homeless for too long. God blesses them too and they become successful in their endeavors because of what the Lord is doing in their lives. When one gets saved, the change begins. Those that hit rock bottom before Jesus do not remain at rock bottom after Jesus.

The Lord wants us to have food on the table and to feed our kids. The Lord wants us to have shelter and heat in the house and clothes to wear. But NEEDS and wants are two different things. If you want to be like the rich and have numerous multi-million dollar homes and drive fancy $200,000 cars, is that God's will for your life? To own symbols of status in this world? Read the following Bible verses:

Pro 30:8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:
Pro 30:9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

Pro 23:4 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
Pro 28:20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.

Pro 27:20 Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

"Giving to Get Rich Luxury Items"

If you listen to the Prosperity Preachers, they will tell you that you will get these rich things if you will only give to their ministry (and not to the local church.) "Give $1000.00 and get $100,000 back." LISTEN CAREFULLY: the only people who ever get those million dollar homes and fancy cars by viewers giving are the preachers preaching this filthy lucre nonsense and receiving the offerings from Christians who "give to get." It's all about greed.

Our motive for giving should never be because we want to have the Rolls Royce. That is anti-biblical! Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. The only people getting a return from this kind of preaching are the preachers themselves and their families. See links below and read the astonishing facts on various "Prosperity" preachers and ministries.

Prov 13:7 There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.

God forbid that we Christians should throw away our hard earned money on a ministry who wastes the money of God's people! Many preachers are living VERY high on the hog because poor souls have given their last dollar in the hopes of grasping the brass ring. This is sad indeed. These preachers live in multi-million dollar homes in gated communities, posh golf course communities, with lavish lifestyles, with their wives shopping mostly in Dior and Chanel boutiques, wearing mostly designer gold/diamond watches and owning Learjets and yachts-- While the dollars keep rolling in and in and in, some poor soul believes the hellish doctrine that these preachers are preaching and this poor soul believes that someday, he too will have a Rolls Royce. Well, the only way this soul will have it is if he too gets on TV and starts scamming people out of their hard earned cash! If he were to do that, he would not be a Christian. Because how can one take money from people who give to the Lord's work and reward themselves with the luxuries of this world? So called preachers giving themselves raises and investing "Gospel" money into the stock market for their own personal gain?

You put Christian TV on and some lady in a blonde wig is crying in front of the cameras saying "Please give...we need this money... Your best check possible... you will get 100 fold back...just give..." and meanwhile people are giving and this same crying lady makes more money in a day than the givers make in a month.

I am being harsh but some of you out there are still into the "get rich quick" mentality of the prosperity gospel. Rule of thumb in this country: You only get money by going out and earning it. Unless one of your relatives already did the work for you and you inherit it or you win the sweepstakes, you need to get up and go to work. God blesses the diligent man who works. God will supply your NEEDS. You may need a car. God will bless you with one. You don't need the fancy Mercedes. You may want it but you don't need it. That is a luxury car and not a necessity for you.

Mat 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

1Ti 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

We are supposed to give unto the Lord.

We are to give unto the Lord's work. God knows our hearts and when we support a ministry, it is because we want to see the Gospel preached and souls saved, the homeless fed and sheltered, children clothed and educated, missionaries sponsored and lives touched with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If that ministry is misappropriating funds, it is time to pull the plug and put our money into a place worthy to be called Christian. Pray about supporting ministries such as Pacific Garden Mission and Voice of the Martyrs. These organizations are making a difference. What about your local Salvation Army or Rescue Mission? You might want to visit these mission services downtown and hear the testimonies from the men and women of how Jesus has changed their lives. Support Christian ministries that reach out to the homeless with the Good News that Jesus saves. There are people in your own city that need to hear the Gospel and some may even be homeless and in need of a hot meal.

I received a little card from the Salvation Army at Christmas and on it, they had a little picture of a "Christmas wish list" and one of the wishes was "a turkey dinner." That touched me more than all the other words on the back-- just this little picture of a wishlist with a turkey dinner on it. As I wrote out a donation, I began to weep and sob and pray for those homeless children and families out there that they would get saved.

1Ti 6:17-18 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;

Years ago, I knew a young man, Tony, who was Muslim. Being from Syria and living here in the US, he observed something that plagued his heart. I still remember vividly our conversation in that coffee shop where we were sitting. He said, "Let me ask you something that bothers me very much. Maybe you can help me understand. I come to this country. I have never seen so many Christian churches in my life. Some are beautiful with stained glass and some are very large... Beautiful buildings...rich. There is one on just about every major street corner. Ok, I go downtown and I see so many homeless people sleeping on the streets. Poor people...no food or home or money. Now, let me ask you a question...didn't your God, Jesus, say to help and feed the poor? He did say this, did He not?" I said "Yes, He did." Tony said; "then why don't these Christian churches do what Jesus says to do?" I paused and said, "Tony, that is a very good question. I wonder the same thing. I do not have an answer for you." He said, "What the Bible says, they should do. If they believe, they should do. If Jesus told them to go and feed the poor and help them, they should do it." I said, "well, I agree, but there are many churches who do help the homeless and feed the poor and needy. Not all churches are necessarily disobedient to what Jesus says in this regard. But I do agree with you that if the Christian church, as a whole, was to truly do what it is supposed to do, there would be less homeless on the streets."

Why is it that only some churches reach out to the homeless and not all?
Psa 41:1 <To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.> Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.

We are to give. If you are like most, your pastor, no doubt, preaches on tithing-- Most do and quite frequently. But tithing sermons should not take precedence over the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If your pastor is preaching tithing week after week, something is wrong. People should give out of their hearts. God loves a cheerful giver. If the pastor sticks to preaching Jesus, all things will fall into place. The problem becomes one of the heart. Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Some pastors dream of a larger church. So instead of looking at renting a storefront or a hotel meeting room, they want the BIG BUILDING. So the sermons that were once great Gospel and Epistle sermons about Jesus and what He accomplished at the cross, become sermons of "Give, give, give...because we need to pay for this new building." And then the sermons become more watered down because the church needs to be filled with more people and God forbid that the sermons would offend the new parishioners..."We need them for tithing." "Well, so-and-so has a HUGE church and it is gorgeous and that is just the standard now. We need to build the same kind. Even better."

You may wonder how I know so much about this subject? These are things that I have heard in the churches that I have visited and attended over the past 23 years that I have been saved. It is just standard talk among many pastors and churches that we have encountered. Their minds had become so jaded that they could no longer remember the reason why they became pastors to begin with...souls! Their ambitions were of becoming the best church in town, having the best music, best choir, best pews, best building, best inoffensive sermons, and last but not least, best tithers. The Gospel of Jesus was lost in the sermons. The people who loved the Lord left that church seeking another church where the Gospel would be preached and the Bible would be taught. More people filled the HUGE church where the pastor, who once preached the Bible, now preaches cute "sermonettes". The church grew with more and more people who did not care to be fed the Word of God and so the story goes.

This is why the church, as a whole, is in the state it is in. We have BIG, fancy churches... Many pastors busy fulfilling their own dreams that they have become blinded to the truth that they are preaching another "jesus" and another gospel. We have the homeless in the streets who need to hear about Jesus and we have ministers out there who care about filling more pews with more faithful tithers. Not all pastors and preachers are like this. Thank God that there are some out there who still love Jesus and preach the Word and that care about souls.

Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Thank the Lord that there are still some pastors and preachers out there contending for the faith and preaching the Gospel of the Jesus Christ. Sadly, quite a large majority of the ones on TV are preaching "another jesus" and "another gospel" and we need to be careful what ministries we support. God wants us to be prosperous and He will bless our hard work. But God's Word speaks nothing about a "get rich quick" scheme. There is not one place in the Bible where it says you are to give money to the Lord's work to acquire luxury items.

We, as Christians, do not support a ministry to get more money back. This is the wrong attitude of the heart to have. We are to give from the heart. We all need to examine our hearts and motives and pray that the Lord will help us so that we will not have a covetous heart. We are to lay up our treasures in heaven. The Lord Jesus said; "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God, the things that are God's." Pay your taxes, give to the ministry the Lord lays upon your heart. Be a good worker in the work place and you will be rewarded. There is no "get rich quick" in the Bible but you reap what you sow is what the Bible says.

2Th 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
1Thess 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

1Tim 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

Prov 30:8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:

Prov 30:9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
 
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"The church grew with more and more people who did not care to be fed the Word of God and so the story goes..."
Much needed, unpopular message Mike, keep preaching Brother!

Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
 
Administrator
Staff Member
Excellent thread brother thank you for sharing. You really digged deep and clarified the whole Truth of money's good and bad sides (prosperity in general that is). Blessings to all who read this thread
 
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