Why the Prosperity Gospel is No Gospel At All

sun photo

For the Lord God is our sun and our shield.
He gives us grace and glory.
The Lord will withhold no good thing
from those who do what is right. –
Psalm 84:11

Can I be real with you here for just a moment? The so-called “Prosperity Gospel”, otherwise known as “Health and Wealth Doctrine”, is on my last nerve. I’ve stood silent as long as the Spirit will allow. It’s time to bring things into the light. See the truth is that the “Prosperity Gospel” is no gospel at all.

Gospel means ‘good news’ and what this sect is teaching is anything but. What they are teaching is being used to beat people up. It causes people to turn from God, to feel that God has turned from them. It’s losing souls and as their numbers grow, they become bolder and louder about spreading this filth and lies. Enough. I’ve had enough.

The only way I know to combat what is being taught in error is to let the scriptures speak for themselves. The scripture I used to open this post is one that the PG people really love.

The Lord will withhold no good thing
from those who do what is right.

Well, gee that sounds good, doesn’t it? Who doesn’t want a piece of that??

The problem lies in the fact that the worldly definition of “good” is opposite of what scripture tells us to focus on. Opposite of what we’re promised or should be chasing after. Let me show you what I mean.

The world (and the Health and Wealth Doctrine) teach that what we can expect is:

Health. Supposedly, if you ask and believe and are living uprightly, you will be freed from every shackle of sickness. It follows that chronic illness is allowed or even caused by the sick individual.

health photo

But here is what God says about it:

Don’t drink only water. You ought to drink a little wine for the sake of your stomach because you are sick so often. – 1 Timothy 5:23

So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said,“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Or perhaps Paul and Timothy were wayward or faithless?

Wealth. According to this false doctrine, God wants us to have abounding worldly riches and never have need of money. We should each have 3 new cars and at least 2 mansions, and the more earthly treasures we have, the more proof of God’s love for us.

wealth photo

But here is what God says about it:

Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.” – Matthew 6:19-20

The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements. – James 1:11

My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives? – James 2:1-4

Or perhaps it was our Jesus who misunderstood?

Power. It is taught within these doctrines that power = God’s favor. You can tell how great of a Christian one is by how much power he holds. How much respect he commands. How many followers she has.

But here is what God says about it:

After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked,“Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them. – John 13:12-17

So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.” – Matthew 20:16

Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:26-29

Or maybe we’ve forgotten that the Christ was despised and rejected?

Fame. It goes hand in hand with all of the above that the followers of these lies believe that fame is a “good” gift from God. The holier their lives, the more fame is due them.

But here is what God says about it:

My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot,
like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
nothing to attract us to him.
He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and we did not care. – Isaiah 53:2-3

You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor. – 1 Peter 2:4

If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you.” – John 15:18-20

Oh, I’m sorry, did you think those things applied only to the Son of God and His 12 disciples?

The bottom line: Know your Scripture. Know the character of our Great God. Don’t let others twist the truth around in your mind until what you cling to is actually a lie from the enemy.

The true gospel is Good News, indeed.

Heavenly Lord, Help us to cling only and always to You. Protect us from these sneaky lies and half-truths that cause us to doubt our faith and Your favor. In Jesus’ Name, Amen…

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May God Bless You,


8 Comments on “Why the Prosperity Gospel is No Gospel At All

  1. I am so glad I saw this today! I can’t agree more with you! I’m so tired of hearing that as soon as I fully surrender to God’s will I’ll have my health back. And don’t forget the huge house and Lamborghini as well. I believe we live in a fallen, broken world and the consequences of that world also affects us as believers. I love how you brought out the fact that the world’s definition of good does not line up with scripture. Thank you for these words today!

  2. Amen, amen, amen! Shelly, I wish I had time to share more but AMEN!

    Hebrews 11 English Standard Version (ESV)

    By Faith
    11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

    4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

    8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

    13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

    17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. 20 By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. 21 By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.

    23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.

    29 By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

    32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two,[a] they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

    39 And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

  3. Shelly, Shelly…Amen and Amen! The Scriptures you give for each and every “hope” and so-called “gospel” are so powerful. God speaks only Truth and He wants us to adhere, believe, listen, and walk … WITH HIM… not with untruth. You write this and I am your neighbor at Sharita’s. TOMORROW…tomorrow, Friday, I will have a guest post up at Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood/Connections about how I…yes, me, got caught in such a “church” and believed that garbage for ten years. I will have a link to it in the morning once she has it up there.
    Thank you for writing the Truth and reminding me of the Power of our God.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda
    ~ linda recently posted…Walk by the SpiritMy Profile

  4. Shelly my friend just one word …. AMEN
    Thank you for this TRUTH and for backing up everything you said with the TRUTH from The Word of God
    AMEN and AMEN
    Love you and God Bless You, Barb

  5. Thank-you Shelly for your honesty and for sharing this. I totally agree with you. I often feel so discouraged when I try to talk to others about how unbiblical the prosperity teachings are. So many are deceived by them. It’s nice to be encouraged here online by women like you who have a love for truth and have exhibited discernment. God bless! : )
    Cathy recently posted…He is Risen!My Profile

  6. Oh Shelly, my heart agrees !!
    For me the test is….does it work in Africa or in the Mumbai Slums?
    If not, then there is not a word of truth in it !!

    Sharing this wise and wonderful post.

  7. Boom! Preach it Shelly, Preach it!! I just love this. Such powerful truth- Thank you for your courage to share it, sister.

    PS: Continuing to pray for you.

  8. Pingback: Name It & Claim It... Here We Go Again... - Renewed Daily

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