Tag Archives: Prosperity Gospel

Are the Promises of Safety in the Bible True?

I have long wondered what we are to do with verses like this…

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty… A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place– the Most High, who is my refuge– no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. Psalm 91:1, 7-10 (ESV)

Psalm 91, quoted above, is also the passage that Satan quotes to Jesus, urging Him to throw Himself off the temple because…

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. Psalm 91:11-12 (ESV)

This question is on my heart because I just preached Psalm 121 this weekend, which among other things, promises us…

The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. Psalm 121:7 (ESV)

All evil? Really? On the face of it, the promise just doesn’t make sense, for we all know (or know of) believers who have lost their lives for their faith, or have had untold evil done to them and have therefore suffered in many ways. Certainly we all know believers who have, at least according to human accounting, died before their time.

Prosperity Gospel Fuel?

Verses like these not only seem to give fuel to the false gospel of health and wealth, but the real danger here is that a Christian might read these portions of God’s word and begin to feel that…he is not truly saved; or to express a slightly different concern, that he doesn’t measure up in some way to deserve God’s loving-kindness and hand of protection.

“If I were really godly,” he or she thinks, “then the cancer wouldn’t have come to me. Perhaps I should have prayed harder or worked harder for God’s Kingdom. Maybe He really just doesn’t love me.”

But a little while ago, I was reading Luke 21, and I came across this wonderful insight…

“You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish.” Luke 21:16-18 (ESV)

The context? Jesus is speaking of the destruction of the Temple which would happen in 70 A.D., but He’s really using that forthcoming event to speak of the end times just before His return. But here’s the helpful thing: in one breath, the Lord says, “some of you they will put to death,” and in the next breath, He says, “Not a hair of your head will perish.”

Do you see? The Lord is saying that for the believer, it’s possible to be put to death by enemies, or by cancer (the effects of The Fall) or disease or violent crime, etc., and yet, to still be able to say that not a hair of your head has perished. How so? Well, Jesus is referring to the glorious doctrine of the resurrection, a truth that we must interpret all these other passages in light of.

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:51-55 (ESV)



Posted by on May 10, 2016 in Uncategorized


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Where the Prosperity Gospel Goes to Die

“If ever there was a biblical chapter that prosperity theology teachers should avoid, this is it! The heroines and heroes of faith hardly ‘named it and claimed it…'” – from the study notes on Hebrews 11, The Gospel Transformation Bible

The prosperity gospel tells us that God always wants us wealthy and healthy, and that when these conditions are not present, the depleted state is evidence of our own lack of faith. It is a pernicious lie, and responsible for deep pain and misunderstanding among many of God’s precious saints. And you understand why – how do you suppose someone feels who is sick or poor and yet has tried to “exercise faith” to make these conditions go away? Answer: lousy…like a loser Christian who has come up short in the godliness department. Indeed, I know the story of a woman who died from a disease “believing God” for a miracle, and then I heard of a saint who afterward said that the death needn’t have happened – the woman had just needed more faith.

But if “God doesn’t want you sick”, and “sickness is always from Satan”, then what hope do I have to pray for healing? Apparently God stands powerless to help, except, I guess, if I speak “words of faith” or “animate His power by MY belief”???? Prepare two fingers and open mouth. So you see, illness may not always come from Satan, but the prosperity gospel always does.

The truth is that God is ultimately sovereign, and in His sovereignty and goodness, sometimes He decrees suffering. Romans 8 contains a section explaining just that, and the purpose is always to conform us to the image of Christ (Romans 8:28).

After all, what, pray tell, do the health and wealth-ers do with this…

They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated–of whom the world was not worthy– wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, Hebrews 11:37-39 (ESV)

Heck of a life for a “child of the King”, right? It surely must surprise many that a child of the King was sawn in two. And yet royalty is a good description, for we read that of them, the world was not worthy. And as to wealth, a great theologian once said, “money ain’t everything,” and it seems that Moses agreed, for he obeyed God’s calling, eschewing riches for a greater reward:

He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward. Hebrews 11:26 (ESV)

So you see, there is a reward to look forward to. It is beyond this life, though; God calls us to live for the Kingdom…which is to come.

Health and wealth…indeed!


For tomorrow, Thursday, October 1st: Hebrews 12






Posted by on September 30, 2015 in Uncategorized


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