The False Gospel of Prosperity – Part 5

When all is said and done, one must only look to the life of Christ Jesus to see how unbiblical the claims of the prosperity gospel are. The Lord said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). He did not own a home. And rather than earn any sort of income, the Lord was supported by a few female followers “out of their own means” (Luke 8:3).

Neither did the Lord have an abundance of money to purchase food. At least twice he miraculously multiplied bread and fish to feed crowds of his followers (Matthew 14:13-21; 15:29-30). In Matthew 12:1 we find the Lord’s disciples gleaning from a grain field. The law actually decreed that the corners of the fields be left untouched at harvest time so that the poor may glean from them (Leviticus 19:9).

This lack of material wealth is seen all throughout the Lord Jesus’ life. To name a couple more instances, he rode into Jerusalem not on a valiant steed, but on a borrowed donkey (Matthew 21:1-11), and he was buried in a borrowed tomb (Matthew 27:57-60).

Besides these things, the Lord also discouraged the greedy accumulation of wealth. He did this in the form of parables (Luke 12:13-21), commands to specific people (Matthew 19:21) and teachings (Matthew 19:23). He emphasized that our true treasure is in heaven, and we should therefore not be preoccupied with the wealth of this world (Matthew 6:19-20).

We must learn the meaning of the words “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People we want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:6-10a)

“I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:11b-12).

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you'” (Hebrews 13:5-6; cf. Deuteronomy 31:6).

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