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 The Gospel of Prosperity Part 2 (Part 28 of Series)

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PostSubject: The Gospel of Prosperity Part 2 (Part 28 of Series)   The Gospel of Prosperity Part 2 (Part 28 of Series) EmptyMon Jan 12, 2015 9:07 pm

The Gospel of Prosperity Part 2 (Part 28 of Series)

This is an unconventional post. You can consider it a filler to my last post. I should start by mentioning that there are no rich Christians in the New Testament that we know of. Luke was a doctor, but they were not paid like the doctors we have today. James and John, the sons of Zebedee, had their own fishing corporation; they lived comfortably as that of fishermen, but not rich. A handful more lived comfortably, but none were explicitly stated as being rich. I covered quite a few New Testament passages relating to the Gospel of Prosperity, that is, how the New Testament dispels this faulty doctrine that the church of today preaches. Now I would like us to peruse more Old Testament passages in this post. I do not want to take the time to cover the verses that supporters of this doctrine use to affirm their views, except to simply say that most of the Scriptures they reference to support their view, actually refer to spiritual riches and not worldly riches that God is asking us to seek after. The last New Testament passage I’ll just mention that I meant to cover last time is 1Timothy 6:9-10 which reads as follows:

People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Particularly what I’d like us to cover in the Old Testament is the book of Proverbs. Some Proverbs are simply truthful observations. Generally, Proverbs are God’s maxims. They are divine principles, or God’s ideals, not necessarily promises though many are. Proverbs are God’s guidelines and instructions for living. They are a guide to how we ought to think. They add wisdom. If we would like to know what God says about how we should think about money, what better place to go than the book of Proverbs? This will be a thorough, but not exhaustive study of Proverbs concerning our topic. Collectively, what we cover today is how God wants the Church to view money and handle money. Verses that do not need commentary I’ll simply list.

Proverbs 3:9 says, “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” We see here that God does not condemn the rich man simply because he is rich. He condemns the rich man if he does not honor the LORD with his firstfruits. If you seek ye first the kingdom then God does not mind adding things to you. We should not all seek to be rich because once you are rich you now have the added responsibility of taming your heart to give God your firstfruits in a greater quantity. You would have added a difficult temptation to tame. The question is what/who is first in our lives? We must search deep within and answer that question truthfully. If you are not tithing 10 percent, then that question has already been answered. You are not putting God first in your life. It is possible for a Christian to get rich but not be blessed. Many rich people are miserable because they have not received with it a blessing from the LORD. Money cannot buy a person good health. It cannot buy you happiness or a loving family. It cannot buy a faithful wife or husband. It cannot buy obedient children. It cannot buy true love. Money cannot buy longevity. It cannot buy you safety. Money cannot buy God’s blessing or salvation. It cannot buy God’s propitiation. But concerning legitimate wealth, God says in Proverbs 10:22, “The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it.”

Proverbs 3:13-15 says, “[Wisdom] is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.” God says that wisdom is better than money. He mentioned the definition of wisdom in chapter one. The fear of the LORD is wisdom (cf. Pr. 9:10). We are told here that wisdom is better than money. Does that correspond to what your heart says? Proverbs 8:10-11 fits here: “Choose my [Wisdom’s] instruction instead of silver; knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” Proverbs 16:16 says, “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!” Proverbs 17:16 says, “Of what use is money in the hand of a fool, since he has no desire to get wisdom?”

How the typical Gospel of Prosperity Christian views the poor needs to change. We need to help them; not despise them. We need to realize that we are no better than homeless people. God does not rank us based on our paychecks. Many of us are only a few paychecks away from becoming beggars ourselves. We need to realize that if we shun them God will judge us and deal with us accordingly. Proverbs 21:13, “If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.” God says that if you have no concern for the poor, don’t bother to pray. Proverbs 14:31 says, “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” How you treat and view the poor reveals how you treat and view God. How you treat the poor does not go unnoticed by God. Proverbs 19:17 says, “He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.” God will judge those who mistreat the poor. Proverbs 22:22-23 states, “Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the LORD will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them.”

Be careful of how you earn your wages. A lot of people are rich, but they acquired their wealth by preying on others. Proverbs 11:18 says, “The wicked man earns deceptive wages, but he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.” There are many jobs that are wicked, yet legal. They abide by the law of man, but forsake the law of God. Some credit card companies use wicked practices to prey on the young and poor by starting off with low interest rates to lure in the naïve, but they later hike their fees beyond what most can pay without relenting. It is possible to have a high paying job, but be living against the will of God because of that job. Proverbs 22:16 says, “He who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and he who gives gifts to the rich—both come to poverty.” This verse not only says to not take advantage of the poor to increase your wealth; but note that it also says to not esteem the rich just because they are rich. Don’t play favorites with someone just because they are rich (same goes for if they are famous). The opposite extreme also applies: don’t snub someone just because they are poor. Wealth is how the world judges a person’s worth; Christians are commanded to not do this.

Other notable verses are as follows:
Proverbs 11:4 - “Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.”
Proverbs 11:28 – “Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.”
Proverbs 12:11 – “He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies [the American Dream] lacks judgment.”
Proverbs 13:11 – “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.”
Proverbs 15:17 – “Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.” This verse is saying that it is better to be poor with a household of love than to be well-off and well-fed in a house of hatred.
Proverbs 16:19 – “Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.”
Proverbs 17:26 – “A discerning man keeps wisdom in view; but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth [to worldly things].”
Proverbs 18:11 – “The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it an unscalable wall.” Similar to saying that the wealthy trusts in their riches over God, and believe themselves to be untouchable.
Proverbs 19:1 – “Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse.”
Proverbs 19:22b – “…better to be poor than a liar.”
Proverbs 20:15 – “Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.”
Proverbs 20:21 – “An inheritance quickly gained at the beginning will not be blessed at the end.”
Proverbs 21:6 – “A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare.”
Proverbs 21:17 – “He who loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich.”
Proverbs 22:2 – “Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all.”
Proverbs 23:4 – “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.”
Proverbs 23:5 – “Cast but a glance at riches, and they gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”
Proverbs 28:6 – “Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a rich man whose ways are perverse.”
Proverbs 28:11 – “A rich man may be wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has discernment sees through him.”
Proverbs 28:16 – “A tyrannical ruler lacks judgment, but he who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long life.”
Proverbs 28:19 – “He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty.”
Proverbs 28:20 – “A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.”
Proverbs 28:22 – “A stingy man is eager to get rich and is unaware that poverty awaits him.”
Proverbs 28:27 – “He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.”

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