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What is the prosperity gospel?

Quick Answer: What is the prosperity gospel? The prosperity gospel teaches that Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection brought every believer the ability to activate earthly blessings such as monetary riches and good health. Scripture, however, teaches that Christ achieved spiritual blessings for us such as forgiveness, righteousness, and a new heart (Ephesians 1; Hebrews 10:16-17). These are the true gifts of God which belong to every believer regardless of what planet Earth might throw our way.

Diving Deeper: Prosperity teaching claims Christ’s death, burial and resurrection guarantee us physical healing and/or financial wealth if we have enough faith. However, it doesn’t take long to realize this spiritual formula simply does not work. Perhaps you lose your job or you get sick, even after you’ve “named and claimed” prosperity and health. The prosperity gospel consistently falls short as a tenable theology.

The prosperity gospel might sound nice, but it simply doesn’t work in the real world. Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection guarantee our salvation from start to finish (Ephesians 1; Hebrews 8:8-12; Hebrews 10:16-17). When we believe the Gospel, we are given spiritual blessings as a free gift (Ephesians 1:3). Jesus Christ Himself dwells within us, and the love of God is poured into our hearts (Romans 5:5). Now that’s true prosperity!

Neither Jesus nor the apostles were wealthy. Jesus had no place to lay his head (Luke 9:58), and many of the apostles were tortured and killed with no belongings to their name. Furthermore, the apostle Paul was sick and thanked the Galatians for taking care of him. He also prescribed red wine for Timothy’s frequent stomach ailments (1 Timothy 5:23). Clearly, wealth and health were not “activated” in the lives of the early church, and the prosperity gospel is a false teaching.

Let’s Make It a Conversation!
1. What has been your exposure to the prosperity gospel?
2. React to this statement: Neither Jesus nor the apostles were wealthy.
3. React to this statement: Paul, Timothy, and others in the early church became ill.
4. Read Philippians 4:12. How does this “secret” factor in?

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