THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL- Over the last 20-25 years we’ve heard from numerous churches or claimed prophets that there was going to come a time of prosperity upon the church. That there would be the abundance of resources poured out on the church so that the church could use those resources for kingdom purposes. This has left individuals, churches, etc. with this excitement or anticipation of what’s to come. I still hear people talking about how it’s coming. That people need to be patient. That as long as we endure, or give, or whatever, that this prosperity will come upon us. … Is this Biblical? Does God need our prosperity? Does God even use our prosperity? He can, however, what I see in scripture is a radically different message. From 100-300 ad The church experienced a horrible amount of persecution. So much so that many people lost their jobs, their homes, and even their life. Some were even sacrificed in fires to pagan God’s. Diocletian, the last Roman Empire tried to wipe Christianity off the earth. However, through this persecution the church grew exponentially. By 300 ad the church had reached over 2 million people. How is that even possible? They had no money, the laws were against them, most of them lost their lives, yet the Gospel advanced beyond anything we’ve seen in our lives . …. Fast forward to 2019… What do you see?… The top 50 countries with the most severe persecution are experiencing the greatest increase in advancing the Gospel. More folks are seeing miracles, power, signs, and wonders in these places of poverty, persecution, etc. as compared to the top 50 countries with the least persecution. What do you see in these prosperous countries where there is little or no persecution? The gospel and the spread of Christianity is on the decline, EXPONENTIALLY. Yes, the top 50 countries with the most Christian persecution is exploding, yet the top 50 countries with the least persecution are declining. …. When I read the new testament I don’t see any examples of prosperity. I see the direct opposite. Listen to what happened to the apostle Paul… “in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. “… Then listen to what he says…. “29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?”…. .In Romans 5:3 he says, “I rejoice in my sufferings, because sufferings produce perseverance, perseverance Character, and character hope, and hope doesn’t disappoint us because of the Love that Christ Jesus poured out for us”. ……… You know what’s amazing…. Jesus not only doesn’t promise prosperity, He doesn’t speak very highly of those who pursue it. Listen to what he says to the church in Revelation 3…….
Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— Do you realize the magnitude of what He just said… He just said… you may be rich financially, but your miserable, poor, blind and naked spiritually…… He goes so far as to say… 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed. …. Gold refined in fire? What? Guys, being refined in fire means that we are purified by heat. There is such a value in our purification (our trials, struggles, etc) that he says we should BUY IT AS GOLD. … It’s that valuable. ….. Look at the beatitudes… None of them say Blessed are the rich…. No, quite the opposite… They say, “Blessed are the poor”…. “Blessed are the persecuted”…… The word Blessed is the word Makarios. It means so blessed that others are envious….. … That’s why the church grew during the church of Smyrna…. One of the disciples when he was being put to death had the person who was responsible for putting them to death fall on their knees and ask Christ to be their savior. Why? What would cause that. The persecutor didn’t understand how someone being persecuted could rejoice. They were still praising the name of the Lord in their distress, trials and tribulations…. My challenge is the following….. Stop pursuing this hope of prosperity… Stop thinking that somehow if you were rich you could do more for the Kingdom… No, the real power of Christ resides in our death… Yes, power resides in dying to ourselves. Why? Because then the transfer of real power goes back to Him… That’s ultimately where people see Christ living in us… In our trials, in our tribulations… Listen to what Paul said again… Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. …. The word Week in this passage is the Greek word Astheneiais- What does that word look like? Anesthesia? Why do you need an anesthetic?… because you are sick…. Very sick… often weak to the point of death. The word STRONG in this passage is “DUNAMIS” it’s where we get the word DYNAMIC or DYNOMITE… However, it refers to the DYNAMIC or DYNOMITE power we can only get through God… God’s power…. So, yes, when we are weak, He is powerful. Man that speaks to me. I know I have nothing to offer. It’s only in my humbleness, and brokenness that people can see the power of God living in me. Listen to what is written in Acts 20:24 But none of these things m
ove me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my [b]race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. There is another great one in Phillipians 4:8 that says..
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.... So question... Are you seeking prosperity? Will you be joyous in the midst of your challenges.
The Well Church is a Beach Church that offers Beach church services on the Beach in Sandestin. The Well Church in Miramar Beach is located in The Beach House Restaurant on The Beach. Want to attend a beach church service. Come join us on the Beach at 10:00 in the morning in Sandestin right on the Beach at The Beach House Restaurant. Visit our website at www.thewellchurchfl.com #beach #church #sandestin #services #christian #non-denominational #nondenominational The Well Church in Miramar Beach Florida welcomes you!