Following some recent discussions with my family members regarding the prosperity gospel, I have decided to post a few links that will hopefully help to expose the badness of the modern day prosperity gospel (oh, and before moving on, a quick definition of “the prosperity gospel” -> come to Jesus and you can have a nice car, money, health…) – and if you don’t watch the videos (which are all quite short), or read the articles, at least check out the verses that are at the end of this post:
Don’t Sell The Gospel – John Piper
Prosperity Preaching: Deceitful and Deadly – John Piper
John Piper on the prosperity “gospel”
Not The Prosperity Gospel
What Is The Gospel?
God Is The Gospel
And what better than Scripture itself to help clarify the issue…
“For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.”
– Romans 14:9
“Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:10 (NLT)
“So also Christ died once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people.”
– Hebrews 9:28 (NLT)
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,”
– 1 Peter 3:18
“But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”
– Isaiah 53:5
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.”
– 1 Corinthians 15:1-5
Jesus Christ died to bring us to God. That is the gospel. Although God may well choose to bless us with money and health as well, the goal of Christs death was to reconcile a holy God with unholy men.
In presenting the gospel, we are to command people to repent of their sin (Acts 17:30) and to die to themselves (Luke 9:23, 24; Galatians 2:20). We are not to ask them if they would like to accept Jesus as a means to some other end (like money) lest we make ourselves “peddlers of God’s word” (2 Corinthians 2:17).