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Let me make it clear. I have nothing against success or riches. I believe in tithing and giving to God’s work. I believe that God loves a cheerful giver and that you cannot outgive Him. My wife and I are not rich, but we’re not hurting either. God blessed us with jobs. He also gave us the drive to show up for work everyday and to upgrade our skills and education. I am very thankful and grateful for this. Whatever we have obtained is because we have been faithful stewards over God’s daily provision.
We have had times when we gave to fulfill a need and received an unexpected windfall. We thank God for this, but we didn’t continue giving just to reap additional benefits. We paid our tithes when things were tight, and looking back it’s hard to see how we got through those times, except that God honored our faithfulness and stretched our dollars further than we could ourselves.. I’ve never felt I had the right to demand a reward for giving.
However, I am very concerned when I see the gospel mixed with the prosperity message. The gospel is defined in Luke 24:46-47. Anything else, I consider to be another gospel!
And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
I am very concerned when people can be moved more by the preaching of prosperity than the preaching of the cross. As far as I’m concerned, the only thing I am going to preach is Jesus Christ and Him crucified (I Cor. 2:2).
I’ve heard it said that "God wants you rich!" When I hear this preached, I never hear these verses:
1 Timothy 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Proverbs 23:4 Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.
Mark 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
John 6:27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
Scripture abounds with contrast between the temporal things of this world and our eternal inheritance with Jesus in heaven.
Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
I’ve heard it preached that I could demand God’s blessing because I’ve been faithful in paying tithes, and yet Jesus instructed that we were to take no thought about tomorrow. The Father knows what we have need of and it is His good pleasure to give these things to us.
In Luke 12:13 a man intercedes with Jesus to settle an inheritance dispute with his brother. Jesus replied in vs. 15:
...Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
Jesus then proceeded to give the parable of the rich fool. He’s the one who said in vs.18-19:
... This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
God had an answer for him:
But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
Jesus used this man as our example in vs. 21.
So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
Jesus concluded by saying, "...Therefore I say unto you" (When you come to the word "therefore" back up and see what "therefore" is there for. - In other words, always consider the context of scripture.)
In verses 22-31 Jesus told us to, "Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment."
We are to consider the lilies and raven who don’t have storehouse or barn, nor do they toil and spin, and yet God in His tender provision feeds and clothes them. We are not to seek after what we eat or drink, nor be of doubtful mind. This is what the world does. Our Father knows what we have need of. We are to seek His kingdom first and all of these things will be added. Again if we read the preceding context, we see that Jesus is talking about food, clothing and shelter. I see no mention of luxury houses, automobiles or big bank accounts.
Jesus then made a statement in vs.33 which most of us don’t even consider, much less practice.
Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.
Jesus gave the reason for this in vs. 34.
For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
I don’t hear this quoted by the prosperity preachers either!
The paragraph concludes with Jesus’ warning for us to have "...your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;" and to be ready because He is coming when we don’t expect Him.
Father Abraham paid a tithe to Melchizedek who blessed him as the possessor of heaven and earth. This is often used in presenting tithe paying as a sure cure road to riches. Pay your tithes and receive the blessings of Abraham. What are the blessings of Abraham? In Genesis 28:4 Isaac passed along the land as the blessing of Abraham to Jacob and his descendants.
Some preach that because we are children of Abraham by faith in Christ, God is obligated to enrich us also, and send all the riches of this world our way. When I read of the blessings of Abraham in the New Testament I see something else.
Galatians 3:8 says that the heathen would be justified by faith and calls this a blessing of Abraham.
And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
I don’t know about you, but I consider that being justified (declared not guilty before God) of far greater value than any riches that this world can give.
A further blessing of Abraham is the promise of the Spirit by faith. Here again, the Almighty God dwelling in my heart is a blessing of Abraham and is of far more importance than what I drive or where I live and how much money I have in the bank.
Galatians 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Furthermore I am an heir of God. I have an inheritance waiting. I don’t mind giving up a million or two until I get to heaven. Jesus was heir of everything and laid it aside to see God’s kingdom advanced. Hopefully, I too can wait a while longer. I have an inheritance laid up for me that is far greater than anything I could even imagine here on earth.
Galatians 3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Yes, my father Abraham was rich, but he looked to the future for a greater inheritance. He saw the day of Christ and rejoiced. The gospel was preached to Abraham. He was told that all nations were to be blessed in him, the father of the faithful. His seed, Jesus Christ, bled and died on the cross to redeem me from sin and made me an heir of God. This is the blessing of Abraham!
Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw [it], and was glad.
Yes, Abraham was rich, but he chose to dwell in tents in the land of promise, because he was looking for something better. He was looking for a city whose builder and maker is God. I’m looking for it too.
Hebrews 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as [in] a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker [is] God.
It’s All going to Burn Anyhow.
Ecclesiastes 5:15 As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labor, which he may carry away in his hand.
2 Peter 3:11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
When it comes to prosperity, I never hear the apostle Paul used as an example.He instructed Timothy to be content with food and raiment (1 Timothy 6:8 ). Paul said he had learned how to abound and how to be abased. Whatever the present condition he had learned to be content (Philippians 4:11-12). He instructed us in I Cor. 7:31 to use the world without abusing it, because the fashion of the world passes away. He also made this statement, that a lot of Christians can’t make today.
Acts 20:33 I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.
The apostle Peter warned of false prophets who through covetousness would use feigned words to make merchandise of you. I don’t know what you consider feigned words, but some meetings I have attended remind me of a rally I once attended for a multi-level marketing company. The top guys were strutting and bragging of working only a few hours a week while they enjoyed themselves in their lavish homes. Of course all of this was made possible by the poor grunt at the bottom of the list.
II Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you:.....
Sorry, I’m not paying for anybody’s lavish lifestyle when I’m aware of mission fields that are not reaped, because of the lack of funds. When God’s people, in countries such as Haiti don’t have enough to eat, I need to be stirred to give; not to expect a reward but because I love God’s people and I want to see His kingdom advanced.
We can’t be fooled if we hold to solid doctrine and consider all of the scriptures that concern giving and prosperity in balance. If we don’t have itching ears, the deceits and smooth things will have no effect on us.
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
Isaiah 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
Give and give generously when you see a genuine need and you know that all of the money given will be used for the intended purpose and to advance the kingdom of God. God will take note and reward you when and how He sees fit. If I give for any other motive, I believe I will be held accountable at the day of judgement.
The purpose of About-Him.Com is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ whom we preach as the Almighty God manifest in the flesh.It is our desire that everything presented on these pages increases your faith in our God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Last modified: 02-02-2017
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