Christian Prosperity As Evidenced By Four Bible-Based Truths
When considering Christian prosperity among the promises of God, four components of bible premise must be accepted. I do not list these as the only bible based truths that evidence prosperity as one of the expected blessings of serving God. However, this message should remain short so as to reduce consumption of rabbit-trail theology. Thus, consider the following four trues. If you cannot accept these as proven bible-theology, our discussion is finished before it begins. Note, each argument is closed by a very limited selection of the available bible verses.
Thus we begin with the following four bible-based truths:
1) Is the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament the Same God?
Answer… “I and My Father are one,” (John 19:30).
2) Can the Character of God Change?
Answer… “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed,” (Malachi 3:6).
3) Does God Answer Prayer In A Mighty Way?
“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not,” (Jeremiah 33:3).
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it,” (John 14:13,14).
4) Does the Promise of Christian Prosperity Include Financial Blessings?
“But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he swore unto thy fathers, as it is this day,” (Deuteronomy 8:18).
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth,” (3 John 1:2)
Arguments Against Christian Prosperity In The Financial Realm …
Funny isn’t it: That Christians believe we are urged to pray for physical healings, mending of broken marriages, and a decent job. However, there seems an argument against prayers that are directed toward financial gain. In deed, it seems that we must confuse the nature of humility with the nature of low self-esteme. To those who want to be poor, I ask this: How poor must one be before God is pleased? View here some of the arugments against a prosperous Christian lifestyle:
1) True Holiness Demands Routine Proverty and Christian Hardship
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33).
“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you,” (1-Peter 5:10).
2) Seeking Financial Blessings Promotes Greedy Christianity
“Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts,” (James 4:3).
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work,” (2-Cor. 9:8).
Example of Praying For A Want Rather Than A Need
We act as though men ought not pray for wants. Yet the landscape of Scripture is littered with examples of men and women praying for what they want rather than merely what they need. In deed, bible characters often pray for things not “spiritual” in nature. Now if such prayers went unanswered, the following discussion would be meaningless. Yet God often answers such prayers. In fact, more often than not prayers that involve a personal want play an exact role in God’s plan for his people.
I will limit examples to one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament.
Old Testament Example of Christian Prayer For a Personal Want:
Read 1 Samuel chapter 1. Identify the driving force behind Hannah’s prayer. Was it not that she wanted to end the suffering and stigma associated with being a barren woman? Now we know that this worked within God’s greater plan, but we also know from chapter 2, verse 21 that her prayer of “want” produced exceedingly great reward.
“And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD,” (1 Samuel 2:21).
New Testament Example of Christian Prayers Dealing With Personal Wants”:
Read Matthew 9:18-26. Herein we see one man pray that his daughter be returned from the dead. Was this a want or a need Also, in the same verses, we see a woman seeking to be healed of physical discomfort. We know the degree of her “want” by the time, 12 years, wherein she labored to find a healing.
You may argue that the above NT example involves death and sickness rather than financial gain. Ask yourself then, how important is good health to financial gain? Listen, my friend. Christ healed the sick. He also feed the poor, pulled a coin from the mouth of a fish, and directed fishermen to recast their nets for a might harvest in financial blessiing. Furthermore, even as he ministered and traveled, a money sack remained a component of his progress.
I could also talk about God putting people in my life, people that I can help as well as people who can help me. Such help may involve emotional, physical or spiritual support. It may also involve finances, earthly opportunity, or spiritual opportunities. In the end, we understand that these things work to the glory of God. But is that not the very reason that God blesses his people?
Examples of God’s people and a life of Christian prosperity abound in both the old and the new Scriptures.
- From where did the Joanna, Susanna and others get the funds to support the ministry of Christ?
- How was it that Joseph already had in place a tomb in which to lay our Savior’s body?
- From where did Paul get the funds to rent his own prison house for two full years?
To deny that God blesses his people in all ways is to smother the promises beneath a “religious” front. More so, it is to deny the very person of God as revealed throughout the entirety of Scripture. Let us not permit greed to drive our walk with Christ, but let us not think that we are called to express a beggar’s heart.
Do you not understand that proverty is part of the curse? And if you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, for you the curse is broken. This does not mean that we do not live in a cursed world. Neither does it mean that Christians will never endure hardships. When considering the sufferings of Christians who do not live within the blessings of this nation, finding balance can be difficult. So don’t horde your blessings. But neither should you be ashamed that God’s favor is upon your household.
“O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For the Lord most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth. He shall subdue the people under us, and the nations under our feet. He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom he loved. Selah,” (Psalm 47:1-4).
Remember the four premises with which we began this discussion. In order to preserve an image of poor and desperate Christianity, which of the five truths do you cast into the wind? As for me and my house, we rejoice in Christian prosperity even as we rejoice in service to the Lord.