I’d like to have perfect health. I’d like to have a nice car. I’d like to have a big house. I’d like to live closer to people I love. I’d like to have an extremely successful Christian blog with readers who actually read. I’d like to do and have lots of things. I’d like to be able to live up to this huge checklist of perfection I’ve drafted for myself without faltering or stumbling or having a few hiccups along the way. I’d like these things very much.
According to this man with the biggest church ever, apparently that’s possible. All I need is Jesus, and health, cars, houses, family, blog readers come falling from the sky! Wow! Wait here for a second, I’m quickly going to go try this Jesus guy out and see for myself! This seems so cool!
I Give Up
A typical reaction from a new Christian who buys into the lie of prosperity theology: “Oh my gosh! That was so hard! He said it would be easy, “all that I had to do was believe it and confess it in the name of Jesus and God would obey me and do what I told him to”he said I’d get everything I’ve ever wanted!
He said I’d prosper, he said I’d get healed, he said I’d get the car I want, all that I had to do was believe it and confess it in the name of Jesus and God would obey me and do what I told him to, but it didn’t work and now I’ve lost so much time from my busy day and I don’t know what to do and I’m freaking out and I can’t go on and I want to shoot myself and everything’s going wrong and I’m disappointed with Christianity and Jesus and I’m going to go become evil and party and get drunk and sleep around and kill jews and then myself because God didn’t give me what I want as Mr. Prosperity Preacher promised!”
It’s Not The Preacher’s Fault
It’s not. He’s spreading lies, no doubt. He says if you follow Christ, you don’t have to live like him. He pretty much calls Jesus himself a liar, since Jesus himself said “in this life, you will have trouble,” since Jesus himself said “when they persecute you, remember that they persecuted me first.” I don’t know how to break it to you, but the preacher man, his teachings, his hour long sermons that include practically only one word from the bible, none of it is to blame for your experience.
It’s Your Fault
He must have been preaching lies; who believed them? He must have baited the hooks; who bit into them? The prosperity preachers do make sense, it’s just that their teachings don’t apply to this life. Did you really think that God, creator of heaven and earth, was your slave and if you bossed him around in the name of his Son (who, by the way, obeys him and doesn’t boss him around), he would listen to you?
Ah, this is just absurd! Friends, you listen to him. He may invite you into a furnace, he may invite you to suffering, he may invite you even to death in this life. He himself said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.“ To take up a cross, is to suffer and struggle and pull through, just FYI. Crosses don’t carry themselves.
What’s the Point?
Can you know joy without sadness? Can you know love without hate? The big idea is this: in this life, there will be trouble. There will be trial. There will be tribulation. You will suffer, you will fail, you will stumble, you won’t have an easy life, things won’t go good for you, you won’t have the Maserati you’ve always wanted, your blog readers won’t ever comment or pingback or anything, “Good things happen a lot, because God’s good, but along with the good, also comes bad.” things just won’t work all the time. If you’re a Christian, more so!
This doesn’t mean that nothing will ever go right. Good things happen a lot, because God’s good, but along with the good, also comes bad. It’s a life of variety. The point is this: there is coming a day when the bad will cease to exist. This time of hardship, this struggle you face now, this time of tribulation will show you the sweetness, the beauty of the world to come.
A world where he will wipe every tear from your eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. The old order of things will have passed away. That’s the world we’re living for. That’s the world we’re suffering for. That’s the world we’re struggling for. That’s why we live the way we live. That’s why we rejoice in our suffering. Because soon, soon, things will change.