Probing the Prosperity Gospel

And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. "FOR WHAT DOES IT PROFIT A MAN TO GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD, AND FORFEIT HIS SOUL?" - Mark 8:34-36

Prosperity Gospel's Theology for Acquiring Wealth

  • If we are heirs to the blessings of Abraham, and prosperity is part of the covenant, then why is it wrong to want financial blessing?
  • What is wrong with the prosperity gospel?
  • ”If I give generously, and have enough faith, then I can experience physical healing, success, wealth and much more.”

Now the LORD said to Abram,

“Go forth from your country,

And from your relatives

And from your father’s house,

To the land which I will show you;

And I will make you a great nation,

And I will bless you,

And make your name great;

And so you shall be a blessing;

And I will bless those who bless you,

And the one who curses you I will curse.

And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” - Genesis 12:1-3

Further text on the Abrahamic Covenant can be read in Genesis 15-17.

There is blessing of land, descendants and redemption in God’s covenant with Abraham.

  • If we are Abraham’s spiritual children, then are we not heirs to all the financial blessings too?

The problem with the theology of the prosperity gospel teachings is that it focuses more on financial blessings and material entitlements.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”—in order that in Christ Jesus THE BLESSING OF ABRAHAM MIGHT COME TO THE GENTILES. - Galatians 3:13:14

This passage is a classic example of “prosperity” teaching, but false teaching always uses Scripture out of context. If we continue to read ahead in verse 14 the Bible says: order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that WE WOULD RECEIVE THE PROMISE OF THE SPIRIT THROUGH FAITH. - Galatians 3:14

In these verses Paul is talking about the spiritual blessing of salvation, not our material entitlements. Is Paul saying, “Name it claim it, brother!”? No he isn't.

Prosperity gospel preaches that we receive Abraham’s blessing through “faith”. An understanding of God’s covenant with Abraham is important in debunking this theory. God’s covenant with Abraham was unconditional; therefore, not contingent on his obedience.

Does this covenant apply to us then? Think about it, If it did, we would all be experiencing great entitlement right now.

  • Do you think Jesus' objective was to obtain wealth?
  • Is your faith about the “Benjamin’s” or is it about Jesus?

False teaching will convey, since Christ died on the cross for us, Christians have inherited all the promises made to Abraham which are both spiritual as well as material. Again, this is false.

Paul says, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. -Galatians 3:14

The Prosperity Gospel's Definition of Atonement

When Christ was crucified, God put our sickness, sorrow, grief, disease etc… and poverty on Jesus at Calvary.

  • How does the "world" see a prosperous "Christian"?

Here are a few examples:

  • Designer clothes
  • Fancy house and car
  • Must be a “big money” handler, a big “giver”
  • Healthy and wealthy
  • A nice “title” and “position” in the corporate church.

Does this portray the Jesus in the Bible? If it does, then why was He born in a stable, not a big white, regal castle?

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become RICH. -1 Corinthians 8:9

  • Is this verse saying that Christ died in order to increase my net worth?

No, Paul is saying the opposite. If you continue reading the theme of the passage, he conveys that Christ did so much to atone for us that we ought to empty ourselves of the objective of acquiring wealth and give it to those in need, so that in our abundance, we supply to those in need.

…at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality;as it is written, "HE WHO GATHERED MUCH DID NOT HAVE TOO MUCH, AND HE WHO GATHERED LITTLE HAD NO LACK." - 2 Corinthians 8:14-15

If you read this Scripture it is hard not to miss the point, thus the prosperity gospel is deflated by truth.

The Prosperity Gospel's Theology on Giving

"Giving" feels good doesn’t it? “With prosperity, we are able to meet the needs of the gospel and mankind”, says the false prophet. “It’s noble”? “If we continue giving, God returns to us more and more!” “Give a dollar, get back ten; give ten, get back 100; give 100 get back 1,000; before you know it we are swimming in blessing!”

What a great sounding compensation plan, but it's false teaching used to line the pockets of many ministries.

Jesus didn’t say give, in hopes of a great return? No, Jesus was saying give, hoping for nothing in return.

And He also went on to say to the one who had invited Him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment.“But when you give a reception, INVITE THE POOR, THE CRIPPLED, THE LAME, THE BLIND, AND YOU WILL BE BLESSED, since they do not have the means to repay you; FOR YOU WILL BE REPAID AT THE RESURRECTION OF THE RIGHTEOUS.” - Luke 14:12-14

The Prosperity Gospel's Misuse of Scripture

There are false teacher’s out there promoting 3 John 1:2: Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. If 3 John is read in context, it is revealed as a letter of greeting, not a letter of doctrine. Also, the word “prosperity” when translated from the Greek word eujodovw, means to grant a prosperous and expeditious journey, to lead by a direct and easy way. The same word is used four times in the Bible and does not mean to gain material wealth.

The prosperity gospel promotes man as measure of all things, not Jesus. It misinterprets Scripture on the Abrahamic Covenant, atonement and giving.

  • Does the Holy Spirit do our bidding when we ring our little bells attending to our every need and desire?

In conclusion, the opposite or contradiction to the prosperity gospel message can be summed up is this passage:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.“BUT STORE UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURE IN HEAVEN, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE YOUR HEART WILL BE ALSO. - Matthew 6:19-21

Is your focus on acquiring treasure in heaven than temporal wealth?

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SaiKit profile image

SaiKit 5 years ago from Toronto

Money is spiritual my brother. Even the Fluoride they put into the water to drug us is a spiritual attack. They do things such as creating "drug wars" to eliminate "competitions", putting harmless drug addicts into prisons, which are owned by them, so they can make money from tax payers.

They then use the money to sell more drugs, bribe more official, create paramilitary, buy facilities, build huge corporations, and continue to use the money to buy politicians who will work for them.

So they use the money to create monopolies that are supported by the governments. They also own the central banks. They print our money and force us to pay them back with interest. They make huge profits, but have to bail out their failing banks, with tax money. The money they continue to reinvest to further the goal of the New World Order, by destroying families by selling us pharmacutical drugs, sending people into prisons with long sentences, selling kids illegal drugs, doing pornagraphies... so on and so forth

See? Everything is ultimately spiritual. If money falls into the wrong hands, it is powerful tool to destroy families and create NWO. If the money goes to the righteous, we can use it to help the poor, the children, the oppressed, and the imprisoned. Money is important when it is useful. Most of the time it is useful. Sadly, we spend way too much time debating the "Gospel of Prosperity" rather than to humbly pray for God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, which includes transferring wealth to His people, so we can use the money to expand His kingdom.

Can you see how many families are suffering, how many prostitutes on the streets, how many drug addicts, and homeless people? They need money from the righteous.

It's about time for us to stop fighting with each other because very few people have that priviledge to spend these extra time doing these spiritual, self-important talks about "prosperity", and they are suffering, waiting for the children of God to actually do something.

PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 5 years ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ Author

The Good News is the Gospel. We cannot do the Gospel because it has already been done by Jesus Christ. The Gospel is not something we do, but what we do is follow God's laws by His grace. If we try to do the Gospel, we make ourselves the savior instead of Him. The prosperity gospel makes money the "savior" and the "good news" instead of Jesus Christ.

We are to be witnesses of God's redeeming work, not extensions of it. Many do not know the distinct difference and try to *do* the Gospel, which already has been done.

A follower of Jesus Christ is a warrior who obeys the Commander by expanding the Kingdom of God and utilizing the resources He provides, whatever it may be.

Yes, we need to get out of our four walled "playgrounds" and get into the battlefield for God to use us.

SaiKit profile image

SaiKit 5 years ago from Toronto

Regarding what you said, see what Jesus said about it:

Matthew 25:31-46

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

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Gen-Rev 5 years ago

Thanks for your treatment of the prosperity gospel. It's a common view amongst churchgoers in Latin America, where I'm living. Jesus' kingdom is one of righteousness, through his grace and forgiveness (as you said), not one of "prosperity." Whatever health or material blessings we happen to have are to be used for his glory. We can serve and honor God with little materially and in ill health. Sometimes better.

TJenkins602 profile image

TJenkins602 4 years ago

The problem with the prosperity gospel is that it leads people to believe that they might not even be saved because they don't have this health, wealth and material riches that was supposedly promised to them.

The whole point of Christianity is that our focus and desires should be directed towards God. The prosperity gospel teaches us to use God as a means to an end. That's not what the God of the Bible wants.

What's even more sad is that a lot of well-off Christians will look at the person who has less and will judge him. The common statement is that you either do not have enough faith or you are involved in some kind of sin. The sad thing is that some believers are forced to make up some sin and trick themselves into believing that they are guilty of it.

The interesting thing is that a similar thing happened to Job...

The fact of the matter is if you are a true believer, it may be less likely for you to gain the material things that are so coveted.

There is a lot of sick things going on in the Body of Christ.

PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 4 years ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ Author


I appreciate your comment and wholeheartedly agree.

The prosperity gospel focuses on temporal things; whereas, the genuine truth focuses on eternal treasures, which are stored up in heaven.

("There is a lot of sick things going on in the Body of Christ.")

Scripture has pointed to the great apostasy that is rampant in the church today. The centralization of power to key individuals have paved the way to gradual reformations and "new" revelations that deviate away from the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The spirit of the Antichrist is promoted instead.

What many believe to be revival is in fact apostasy.

The fiery darts of Satan need to be exposed and recognized for what they are.

Leah Truong 23 months ago

Hello I am atheist !

PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 23 months ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ Author

Leah Truong,


Rich kelley profile image

Rich kelley 23 months ago from The Ekklesia

Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

2013 C70 Convertible Hardtop $49,149.00 2013 MSRP

A few mornings ago I was on my way to work after a good 8-10 inches of snow had fallen in our area. It was dark early in the morning and a sparkling clean black Volvo C70 convertible ends up in front of me at the stoplight. (I work on Volvos at a dealer) I first think to myself garage kept as there was no road salt and mess all over the car. While sitting there I notice the tag bracket says “Love God’s Word”. I instantly think amen to myself and wonder what parts they love. Then I read the custom tag and there was the answer to my thoughts. The tag read “JOSH 1&8”. After arriving at work I looked up the posted scripture.

The journey out of the harlot church of Babylon for most of us involves lots of baggage. I attended many a conferences and preaching’s on the prosperity gospel of man. What God normally does with the baggage we have is guide us to become aware of it. Then the Lord will use His Word and Spirit to teach us His truth. Once we have the truth we are able to see the false teachings and let go of the baggage. Daily as we go into the world we see what man has done with the Word of God to justify his life style. The Word of God is not there for us to rationalize and justify the fleshly life we want to live. Yet we are surrounded by the many other gospels of the Kingdom that are preached.

The part of the scripture that is ignored is the “that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it”. The prosperous and successful is God’s version not mans. The New Covenant has a similar scripture as well. The parts ignored to justify positions and lifestyle are “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you” Then it shall be done for you. The disciple of Christ learns early on that there is always an “IF”. I’ve often said our God is an if then God. This shows that we have a choice and must make a decision that is pleasing to God. If we know the “if’” and comply then we have joy in the “then” He gives us. The joy by living His way can't not be explained to those that have by doing it man's way.

John 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 23 months ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ Author


You painted a pretty good picture of the sparkling religious system that promotes their whitewashed tombs called Church. They flaunt Bible verses to justify their traditions, but any discerning disciple of Jesus Christ can see beyond the gloss and glitter exposing their hypocrisy.

Now if way take Scripture you quoted and butcher it like the Church system does, this is how they understand John 15:7 according to their indoctrination.

Pastor John 15:7 - "If you abide in Church, and your pastor's words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this my name, Church and denomination are glorified, that you bear much monetary to put in the tithing basket, so you will be my pew-warming Church minions."

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