What I am about to type comes from a compilation of either one or a couple messages formed into a youtube video. I am still not brave enough to post it on my blog. My confession is because this "gospel" has had an individual effect on me... and I am just not courageous enough.
This post is a big step. I am nervous. But I am more thankful for the beauty of the true gospel and it's healing effects in my life.
The Prosperity Gospel
The health, wealth, and prosperity gospel, is not the gospel. If it were.... then Jesus preached a different gospel. If the gospel is: God wants you rich, then why was His Son Jesus poor? If God's people don't wear tattered clothes, and they should be able to drive the finest cars, and never suffer - they why, why did Jesus instruct his followers to "take up their cross and follow him" ? To take up a cross, was to DIE to yourself and to take on a life of suffering for Christ's sake. When Jesus took up the cross, he suffered and died.
It is no fluke that Jesus used those words. The ones who gave their lives to follow Him suffered. They died. They did not "prosper" in the way the prosperity gospel say we are supposed to. But, oh how they were rich in Christ, being fully satisfied in Him in the midst of earthly loss. They were beaten, murdered, hung, stoned, and imprisoned for Christ, and God was glorified. He was not glorified if after Jesus died his followers were wealthy and safe. Stephen, "a man full of God's grace and power," was stoned to death for preaching the truth! How many of us are living that kind of life? And how many of us are out there grasping to the things the prosperity message claims to be the gospel and to be our right as Christians.
As Piper puts so plainly:
When was the last time any American, African, Asian ever said "Jesus is all satisfying because you drive a BMW?"NEVER[Thanks to Piper for his words]
They'll say, "Did Jesus give you that?"
"Well I'll take Jesus!"
That is idolatry! That's not the gospel. That is elevating gifts above giver.
This is what makes Jesus look beautiful.... is when you smash your car and your little girl goes flying through the windshield and lands dead on the street and you say, through the deepest possible pain you say:
"God is enough"
"God is enough. He is good. He will take care of us."
"He will satisfy us. He will get us through this."
"He is our treasure."
"Whom have I in heaven but you, and on earth there is nothing that I desire but you. My flesh and my heart and my little girl may fail but you are the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
That makes God look glorious. Glorious as God! Not giver of cars or safety or health.
God is most glorified in you, when you are most satisfied in Him.
I included a video of John Piper speaking on this "gospel" below.