QUESTION: Does God want Christians to pursue prosperity?

 

I read your article "Does God want Christians to pursue Prosperity” and I believe He does because Jesus paid it all and when He died on the cross; sickness, diseases, poverty and all of that was nailed with Him You quote a lot of scriptures but have you read Malachi chapter 3?

 

God wants His people to be prosperous, but your heart has got to be right in order to receive the out pouring of abundance. In order for the gospel to reach the four corners of the earth, it takes finances just the same as paying for power and gas and water.  I have seen and experienced the power of a seed.  Just remember, we all came from one.

 

 Katrica

 

ANSWER: Craig’s email reply

 

Hi Katrica, thanks for your comments on the prosperity study, Does God want Christians to Pursue Financial Prosperity?

 

It is always good to get input from sisters and brothers in Jesus.  I’m not exactly sure what parts of my study you disagree with, but if you provide me with the specifics, I’ll be happy to re-examine whatever you send, okay?

 

I hope you don’t misinterpret my view on what God provides.  I do believe God meets our daily needs, and the scripture is replete with examples of this.  There is a huge difference between “need” and “want.”  I have heard many Christian ministers claim that God wants to bless all Christians financially, even to the point of becoming wealthy.  What do we tell the 280 million Christians living in Red China?  Do we say it is their lack of faith that hinders them from enjoying financial prosperity?

 

What about the millions of poverty laden Christians that live in Sudan?  They believe.  They read their Bible, and they trust God.  Why don’t they prosper financially?

 

You see Katrica; the whole prosperity doctrine is something that works for nations that are wealthy.  Didn’t Jesus say that true religion is to care for the widows and orphans?  Aren’t there numerous scriptures that teach we are to care for the poor? 

 

Yes, God DOES want to provide us with the resources to bless others, but NOT to lavish upon ourselves, and our own materialistic endeavors.  God warns Laodicea about their material prosperity, and labels them as “lukewarm.”  Jesus warns over and over about the thorns that choke the word, and the thorns he describes as being the cares of life, and the desire for riches.

 

You asked if I have read Malachi.  Yes, I have studied it in depth.  In fact, Malachi 3:8-10 is actually a rebuke to the Levites, who acted as priests in the temple.  God rebukes them for not bringing the choicest tithe into the temple storehouse to feed the widows, and orphans, and strangers, and so on. 

 

I have an entire series on tithing posted, and the first one discusses Malachi in depth.  I have seen pastors and ministers use Malachi as their pet verses to justify taking 10% offerings, but if you read the verses carefully, you’ll find it is speaking of FOOD, not money.

 

o        Part 1: TITHING: New Testament Practice or Old Testament Bondage?

o        Part 2: TITHING: Giving God's Way

o        Part 3: TITHING: Supplemental Scriptures on New Testament Giving

o        Part 4: TITHING: Abraham's Tithe Prefigures Giving from the Heart

 

 

I am all for Christians giving, but not 10%; rather, a true believer gives God 100% of all they are, and all they own.  A true believer is one who uses his or her wealth, time, love and energy to care for the needs of others less fortunate or less blessed.

 

I hope this makes my position a little more clear.  I hope that you do not fall into the trap set by so many phony preachers that teach God wants you to plant a “financial seed” in order to “reap a financial blessing.”  This teaching is purely fictional, and fueled by the greed and avarice of men whom I consider to be wolves in sheep’s clothing.  I pray God blesses you Katrica, in order that you might bless others.

 

Love to you in Jesus, Craig

 

RESPONSE: Katrica’s reply

 

Thank you for responding. After reading your email, I truly understand where you are coming from and I know that there are people who feed on other peoples needs to gain financial prosperity, but I also know that God will search out the hearts of those men and deal with them accordingly.

 

I really believe in giving God 10% of my earnings, not because a man tells me to, but because it rightfully belongs to God because I read the word and I know that it is a covenant connection with God.  I also know that you have to give your all, 100% of your life to Him and He will provide.

 

I don't have much because I was recently laid off from my job and my car is facing repossession, but through it all, I don't depend on man.  My focus is still on God because I know that my Father is still on the throne and is in the mist of all of my circumstances.

 

A lot of peoples’ mistakes are that if they sow a seed, they believe that God owes them and expects Him to show up when they want Him to and if things don't go their way, they give up on their faith.  But my faith is stronger now than it was before and I truly believe that I will have everything that my heart desires, not because He owes me, but because I owe Him, and my vision is to go to the nations one Day and proclaim the Gospel and help those who can't really help themselves.

 

But your heart has got to be right. It’s all about the heart and God consistently deals with mine.  I really don't mind forsaking my needs to help supply for the needs of others because I know that if I put God first and help someone who is in desperate need more than myself, then that blesses my heart as well as my Father’s.

 

My point is this, although some people are out for just riches, there are those who believe that if you apply the principles of God's word to your everyday life, that He will always provide for you, but you have to live a life of Godliness and not deny the power of Godliness, and know that Jesus is the savior, and not be moved when trials come because God is still God.

 

And I know if God can make the sun stand still like He did for Joshua in the 10th chapter, if I hold on to His hand and My Faith, that He can do the same for me spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. May God greatly bless you my brother in Christ.

 

Sincerely and with the love of God,

Katrica

 

  A Portion of Craig’s E-mail to Katrica’s response:

 

Hi Katrica, thank you for the sweet reply.  You are truly a very dear and precious sister in Jesus, and the more I communicate with you, the more I am seeing your heart of love for God, for Jesus, and for people…

 

…As far as the topic you and I were discussing, I think we are pretty much in agreement Katrica.  One statement you made was the most impacting, and that was,

 

“But my faith is stronger now than it was before and I truly believe that I will have everything that my heart desires, not because He owes me, but because I owe Him, and my vision is to go to the nations one Day and proclaim the Gospel and help those who can't really help themselves.”

 

This is the heart of our Lord Jesus…yours’ is a heart that can live in contentment.  You are satisfied if He meets your needs, and if He blesses you beyond what you need, your heart is to help others. 

 

When I wrote the prosperity Bible study, it was intended to address and provoke to repentance those who suppose that godliness is a means of financial gain, but who do not accompany it with contentment.  I know you have read my entire study, but please allow me to quote a passage of scripture from the Amplified Bible that highlights much of what you and I agree upon:

 

1 Timothy 6:5-11

 

5 And protracted wrangling and wearing discussion and perpetual friction among men who are corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth, who imagine that godliness or righteousness is a source of profit [a moneymaking business, a means of livelihood]. From such withdraw.

6[And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain.

 

7 For we brought nothing into the world, and obviously we cannot take anything out of the world;

 

8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content (satisfied).

 

9 But those who crave to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish (useless, godless) and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction and miserable perishing.

 

10 For the love of money is a root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many acute [mental] pangs.

 

11 But as for you, O man of God, flee from all these things; aim at and pursue righteousness (right standing with God and true goodness), godliness (which is the loving fear of God and being Christ like), faith, love, steadfastness (patience), and gentleness of heart.

AMP

 

Here’s a link to a related study: The Purpose of Every Christian: To be Servant of All

 

For you my friend, I pray that our God will abundantly bless you with all the spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus…

 

Craig Bluemel

The Bible Answer Stand Ministry

craig@bibleanswerstand.org

 

1 Peter 3:15

Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully.

AMP

 


 

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