In an earlier post we talk about prosperity preaching as we can see the shift from truth to error can be subtle, and some well-meaning preachers have been caught up in it, not my place to name names. I more rather we must be careful not to judge a preacher’s entire message by only one or two sermons. However, when blatant prosperity preaching dominates a speaker’s platform, this is merely an attempt to make greed and materialism sound spiritual. Ephesians 5:5 has strong words for greedy people: "For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person such a person is an idolater has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God." While we should ask God to provide for our needs and expect Him to do so (Philippians 4:19), Jesus warned us not to stockpile earthly wealth. Rather, we should store up treasure in heaven (Luke 12:33).
The imbalanced focus of prosperity preachers on earthy treasure is in direct contrast to the many passages that warn us not to desire riches (Proverbs 28:22; 2 Timothy 3:2; Hebrews 13:5). First Timothy 6:8–10 speaks directly to this kind of teaching: “But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” When earthly wealth is our focus, we are not following the teachings of Scripture.
People are becoming biblically illiterate and are thus easily swayed by preachers who appear to know Scripture but who are perverting it to make it sound more appealing. These preachers are attracting huge crowds, just as Jesus did when He fed the thousands (Matthew 14:21), healed the sick (Mark 1:34), and performed miracles (John 6:2). But when Jesus began to teach the hard truths of the gospel, "many of his disciples turned away and no longer followed him" (John 6:66). Waning popularity did not cause Jesus to water down His message. He continued to teach truth whether people liked it or not (John 8:29). Likewise, Paul exonerated himself before the Ephesians with these words: "Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, or I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God" (Acts 20:26–27). If today’s prosperity teachers would follow the patterns of Jesus and Paul, they could be confident that their works will not be burned up on judgment day (1 Corinthians 3:12–15).