Prosperity or pampered

Why don’t we call Christians out for subscribing to a pampering gospel, one that makes them feel safe, and keeps them within the confines of their comfort zones? There are also teachers who are preaching a gospel which promotes the idea that anything that you feel a need for can be asked for in Jesus’ name and it is yours. God is not a genie and the name of Jesus is not a magic word to get anything and everything that you feel that you need.

During His ministry, Jesus didn’t even heal every person who was in the crowd or near Him. Could He have done that? Yes, He could but that wouldn’t have given the glory to God if He had. He could’ve just thought or spoken the words over those who were seeking a healing in the crowd but how would God have gotten the glory for that? He healed people specifically and He raised some people from the dead, again specifically.

At the tomb of Lazarus, if Jesus had not said his name, every person in the graves around his would’ve come forth! The miracles which He performed were very specific to those who were seeking them. As for prosperity, Jesus said that it was as hard for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of heaven as it was for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Whether that was an actual gate into Jerusalem, as I have heard before, or not I am not sure. The point is that it is very difficult for a wealthy person to give their life and their heart to believe in Jesus for salvation.

Just as the rich, young ruler, which prompted Jesus to say those things, came to Him asking how he could get into Heaven. Jesus asked him about his religious life and he told Jesus that he had kept all of the Law during his life, so Jesus told him to sell all that he had and give it to the poor so he would have riches in Heaven, but since he was wealthy he went away saddened.

Jesus did not teach that we were all to live as paupers but He also taught that unless your heart was focused on the Kingdom of God rather than riches, then having wealth did you no good either. Regarding wealth Jesus said,  25 “For how would a man benefit to gain the whole world but destroy his soul or lose it?” Luke 9:25

By this Jesus meant that your soul individually is worth more than all of the wealth of the world! God loves you and cared enough for your salvation to send His Son to take your place on the cross in order to pay the price for your soul and mine and every person on the Earth. This is the gift of God to each of us which we can’t pay for and yet it is offered to us freely through belief in Jesus for our salvation.

Jesus also said that we are to take up our cross each day and follow Him. What does He mean by that? He means that for each of us there is something in our life, like the rich young ruler, that we need to nail to the cross and give it to Him each day then follow Him each day throughout our lives. Salvation is not a one day or one decision commitment, it is a daily commitment which we are to do in our lives. Does that mean that we have to work for our salvation?

No! Salvation is the gift of God through grace by belief in Jesus. We must move through life becoming more like Him and to do that we have to learn more about Him through the study of His Word in the Bible. Putting away the temptations of our old life by study and prayer. Being His is easy when we realize that we need Him, becoming more like Him is the so-called “work” which we do each day through prayer and study of the Bible.

Jesus only taught His disciples for three years while He was here, but they kept meditating on His teachings throughout their lives while they were teaching and preaching to the churches in the first century. They lived in prayer and meditation on His teachings every day and that is what we should be doing too.

 

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