Over the years I have seen and heard many vicious attacks on what is referred to as, “the prosperity gospel.” First of all, I think it’s important to define the terms:
Prosperity is, according to Dictionary.com, a successful, flourishing, or thriving condition, especially in financial aspects; good fortune.
Gospel means, according to the BlueLetterBible.com, a reward for good tidings. It means good news!
So, the Prosperity Gospel is the Good News about being successful, flourishing and thriving, especially in relation to finances.
When God created man, He had prosperity on His mind. He commanded man to be fruitful and multiply. God made man to flourish in every way. Just look at the garden (Genesis 1:28-31; 2:8-14)! After the fall, however, the ground which freely produced was cursed and no longer easily gave of its riches. Man had to labor by the sweat of his brow to eke out a living (Genesis 3:17-19).
Eventually, God preached the good news to Abram who responded by obeying God. In His gospel to Abraham, God promised him land as far as his eyes could see. Not only that, but Abram was blessed with gold, silver, cattle, and other vast riches. No student of the Bible would deny this truth. (References: Genesis 12:1-3, 13:2, 14-17; 15:1; 24:1)
Isaac was so blessed by God that he reaped one hundred times what he sowed during a FAMINE! The Bible says that Isaac got rich and kept getting richer until he was very wealthy (Genesis 26:12-14). The same thing happened to Jacob and eventually Joseph (Genesis 39:3, 31-33; 41:37-43).
God promised the children of Israel a land so rich that He described it as a land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3:8, 17; 13:5). It was rich in produce, copper, iron, rivers, springs and whatever else they could possibly need (Deuteronomy 8:7-13). God always promised an abundance of riches to His people who walk in His ways.
Look at David and Solomon. Solomon was rich beyond imagination. David and Solomon didn’t get rich all by themselves; God blessed them (1 Kings 3:10-14). It is in the heart of God to bless His people. By blessing us God receives honor and glory. God has no pleasure and gets no glory when His people are broke and sick (Psalm 37:4; Psalm 35:27; Deuteronomy 30:9).
God promised that the people who gave the first fruits of their entire harvest would have full barns and overflowing vats (Proverbs 3:9-10). God also promised to the tither that He would open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing without measure and rebuke the devourer of their harvests for them (Malachi 3:10-12).
In the New Testament Jesus said that He came to preach good news to the poor (Luke 4:18). Exactly what would be good news to the poor? Well, what was good news to the blind? Their sight restored. What is good news to the sick? Healing from their disease! What is good news to the demon possesses? Deliverance! Therefore, one has to conclude that good news to the poor was money, more than enough to just get by. The Apostle Paul even said that Jesus became poor so that we could become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9). According to the context of this chapter, Paul was talking about economic riches—money.
Paul told the Corinthian believers that God gives seed to the sower and bread for food to enrich them in every way for all generosity which produces thanksgiving to God through us (2 Corinthians 9:6-11). He told the Philippians that because they partnered with him for the gospel, God would supply their needs according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19). His riches in glory has to be beyond just getting by!
Too many Christians are heaven minded. They think that we have to wait to get to heaven to enjoy riches. That is absurd! Salvation is God’s full and complete salvation which includes deliverance, healing, joy, peace and yes, prosperity. We don’t have to wait to prosper. God wants to prosper you in the here and now!
Have you ever wondered how Jesus took care of Himself and all the disciples who traveled with Him? Do you think that He was broke and barely getting by? He had so much money that He had to have a treasurer (and a crooked one at that). At His birth He was given gold, frankincense and myrrh, all of which were very costly. He labored as a carpenter at least until He was 30 years of age. I am sure He had a great business and was wise with His money, so wise; it sustained Him and His following. On top of that He was a tither and enjoyed the benefits of being such. The Bible says some wealthy sisters also enjoyed partnering with His ministry.
How do you think the gospel and the ministries that carry the gospel to the world are supported? It takes money and lots of it! Where does that money come from? Broke folks? Poverty minded people? NO! Money to support the kingdom work on earth comes from people who have more than enough.
Here is the sad truth. Only about 10% of people who say they are believers actually tithe. Why is that? I think it’s because of their poverty mindset and lack of understanding of the true definition of the gospel of the kingdom. Christians have taken the way of the earth-cursed system of painful toil and labor. They don’t like to talk about money. They don’t like it when their pastor talks about money and they have little respect, if any, for preachers who teach prosperity. As long as believers stay in this mindset, they will have minimal success in spreading the gospel of the kingdom. They will remain broke in their poverty mindset. As a side note, the only way I know to break the slave-master relationship with money is to give it away!
What do sick, broke and needy people want? They want a way out of their sickness and lack. Who is going to show them the way? I believe that is why the church is not growing because it has no answers for their condition. People need answers, not just messages. They need to SEE the gospel, not just hear it! Jesus demonstrated the gospel and that is why His following was so great. He healed the sick, cast out demons, raised the dead, and provided materially for the needs of the people.
We need the gospel, the full gospel! This gospel includes PROSPERITY! Therefore, I would urge you not to be among those who poo-poo the full gospel. It’s not just unwise, it’s plain ignorant.
I love to see Christians prosper because that shows me that they are in line with God’s Word. They believe the truth about prosperity and do the things necessary to prosper. They are involved with a business or work and by following simple laws they prosper. They can’t help but prosper. They tithe and they often offer above the tithe. They bless others with their wealth and as a result, God blesses all that they do. That’s just the way it works!
One last thing. In Galatians 3, the Bible tells us that we are blessed with believing Abraham. Have you gone back to look at the blessing of Abraham? Look at Isaac and Jacob as well. By all of this you will have to conclude that God wants His people to prosper. It IS part of the full gospel. To deny the prosperity gospel it’s place in our teaching is foolish at best!
I therefore pray that you prosper and are in good health even as your soul prospers!
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