Treasures New and Old
Elkmont Baptist Church
We were discussing the danger of "prosperity preachers" in church, and names of some very prominent preachers were mentioned. I will not give the name of any particular person here, but I do want to list the dangers of this current wave of "prosperity preachers." Most recently a televangelist in Louisiana has asked his followers to fund a fifty-four million dollar jet (it will be his fourth private jet) because this one will go anywhere in the world without stopping to refuel. I could send a lot of people to share the gospel in a lot of places for a long time with fifty-four million dollars. That's equal to over 10,000 trips!! Don't forget the maintenance, and fuel, and labor costs to operate . . .
May God bless you all!
2 Corinthians 4:2 says, "But [we] have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty [does the prosperity preacher have a hidden agenda?], not walking in craftiness [does he/she use slick methods? Do they promise all kinds of things without a cost?], nor handling the word of God deceitfully [can mean hiding things, twisting things, adding things, or watering down things in the Scripture]; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God."
2 Corinthians 11:4 says, "For he that cometh [the false preacher] preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or
you receive another spirit, which ye have
not received [implied - from the apostles], or another gospel [than that of Christ crucified, buried, and risen for our sins], which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear [to hold oneself up against - to stand against] with
[the false preacher]."
The dangers of this kind of preaching are many - here are just two of the most insidious ones:
They don't preach the Cross of Christ, His suffering and dying for us, the cleansing work of His blood (they don't want to offend anyone - if they do - those folks will leave and their money is more important to these preachers than their souls). Sin is not preached. Instead they use words like mistakes, misfortune, failures, character flaws, errors, etc. - but not sin. A person can't repent if they do not know that they are a sinner in need of a savior. Thousands, many tens of thousands of followers of these watered-down gospel preachers are never confronted with their sin, their need for a savior, and their need to repent and accept Christ as "the only way to the Father" - and they are all unknowingly headed to an eternity in Hell without Christ.
They take the focus of the listener off Christ and spiritual things and turn their focus to material things. They say, "God doesn't want you sick, poor, alone, etc." and soon they are very discontent with their condition and position in life. Nothing wrong with bettering yourself, but what they are preaching totally rejects what the Bible teaches us:
1 Timothy 6:8: "And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."
Mathew 6:25: "Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; not yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?"
God wants our focus on Him and His Son - Jesus Christ - true contentment can only be found in Christ. Following these prosperity preachers, we forget spiritual truth, and we get lost in the material things and pleasures of the world - right where Satan wants us. Christians become ineffective because they no longer have fellowship with the Father, and the world rejects what we offer because they see no real answers for their own emptiness and dispair in the material things proffered.
May God bless you all as you stay focused on Christ and not on the things of this world. "Love not the world, neither the things
in the world . . . the love of the Father
IS NOT IN HIM" (1 John 2:15; capitals added).