The word ‘prosperity’ provokes impassioned responses as to why prosperity is wrong.
Mention the word ‘prosperity’ to many Christians and it provokes impassioned responses as to why prosperity is wrong. Very often there is also the belief that God wants us to be poor, with only our most basic of needs being met. In this post I will show why, not only are we allowed to prosper; but more than that, that we should be prospering. Let’s look first at the parable of the talents, which you can read in Matthew 25:14-30. In this parable, the two servants who increase the original amount of money that they were given are praised, whereas the servant who remains poor (with only one talent) is severely reprimanded. This shows that it is not God’s will that we should remain at one level financially, we should always be looking to increase, as good stewards of the money that we have been entrusted with.
The offering provided everything that was required.
In Exodus 25, the Israelites were preparing to build the tabernacle and God told Moses to take up an offering: “Tell the Israelites that they are to set aside offerings for me. Receive the offerings from everyone who is willing to give” (Exodus 25:2, The Message). The offering provided everything that was required. Something similar happened under the reign of King Joash in 2 Kings 12, at a time when the temple was in need of some major renovation work. Let’s read verses 9-11:
“Jehoiada the priest took a chest and bored a hole in its lid. He placed it beside the altar, on the right side as one enters the temple of the Lord. The priests who guarded the entrance put into the chest all the money that was brought to the temple of the Lord. Whenever they saw that there was a large amount of money in the chest, the royal secretary and the high priest came, counted the money that had been brought into the temple of the Lord and put it into bags. When the amount had been determined, they gave the money to the men appointed to supervise the work on the temple. With it they paid those who worked on the temple of the Lord” (New International Version)
Are we really supposed to have to beg and borrow in order to get things done?
That’s how the needs were met under Old Testament Judaism, but what happens in New Testament Christianity? What happens when our churches need renovation, or when there are church projects that will cost money? We take offerings like the Jews…..and we have cake sales, and sponsored events, and anything else that we can think of to raise money. The Bible never mentions the Israelites having a cake sale to raise money, so what is the difference between them and most Christian churches? The difference is that the Israelites were prosperous and so when they gave offerings, more than enough was provided – there was no need for any additional fund raising. Look at Exodus 36:5, “The people have brought too much. We have more than we need to finish the work the Lord told us to do” (Easy to Read Version). When was the last time your pastor said, “The people have brought too much“? The Israelites served the God of ‘More Than Enough’, whereas traditional Christianity has taught that we serve the God of ‘Just Enough’ – aren’t we supposed to be serving the same God, the God who never changes? Can it really be true that the God who once supplied in abundance, now only supplies just enough for us to get by and no more. Are we really supposed to have to beg and borrow in order to get things done? Of course not!
God does not want the money to become a distraction or a snare to us.
People can quote many verses that warn about the dangers of wealth, and use them as backing for an anti-prosperity stance, but the meaning of these verses has been twisted. Those verses are there to show us that we must always keep our attention focused on God. Verses such as Deuteronomy 8:18-19, “You are to remember Adonai your God, because it is he who is giving you the power to get wealth, in order to confirm his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as is happening even today. If you forget Adonai your God…..I am warning you in advance today that you will certainly perish” (Complete Jewish Bible). It is God’s will that we prosper, but He does not want the money to become a distraction or a snare to us, which is why we are given so many warnings. Our reaction should not be to fearfully avoid prosperity, but to learn how to handle wealth in a godly way. For too long church buildings have been in a state that does not bring glory to God and the God-ordained things churches have desired to do, have been delayed or even stopped altogether because of a fear of prosperity.
It is time to stop begging the world for money.
Proverbs 13:22 in the American Standard Bible says, “The wealth of the sinner is laid up for the righteous“, the problem is that the righteous (which is us) are afraid of that wealth. Ecclesiastes 2:26 in the Good News Translation says, “He makes sinners work, earning and saving, so that what they get can be given to those who please him“. How ridiculous for us to then say, “Well, I’d rather the sinners keep the money Lord“. It is time for us to stop being afraid that prosperity will draw us away from God and instead embrace God’s will for us personally, and for the Church. It is time for us to spend more time in prayer, more time reading the Bible, and to learn to move from the world’s way of doing things concerning finances, into God’s way of doing things. It is time to stop begging the world for money and instead be the ones that the world comes to for money. It is also time that our church buildings brought glory to God. God gets glory from buildings like Solomon’s temple, the magnificent cathedrals, the mega-churches, etc. He does not get glory from run-down church buildings with leaky roofs. We are children of the Most High God, not beggars. Let’s start believing it and acting like it.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
If you have never received Jesus as your Lord & Saviour, if you have gone away from God, or if you have any doubts regarding your salvation. I encourage you to click on the link below. Clicking on the link will not secure your salvation, but praying the prayer you find, from your heart, will.
For the salvation prayer, please click here.