The “Prosperity Gospel” – God Made No Such Promises

Better jobs. Bills paid. Better Houses. These are not promises from God, and this prosperity message is not just coming from famous preachers in Texas – it also comes from churches everywhere under the disguise of religion and is being sold as performance-based rewards from God.  Many people misunderstand verses like Malachi 3:10 as God’s promise of prosperity because they focus only on the part that says “and test Me now in this, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows”. Of course, this is usually taught in conjunction with a sermon on a tithe of our money, but what we fail to realize is that not only was this under the old covenant but there were different kinds of tithes, one of which was a tithe of FOOD.

We somehow overlook the first part of the verse that said “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be FOOD in My house”. A “storehouse” is a place for storing food, not money, so this verse is not about giving 10% of your income at church and God hooking us up in return. Though I’m certain that religion would debate me feverishly on this.

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Whether you’re tithing, serving like crazy, or living a near-sinless life, God never promised us financial gain. That gospel immensely confuses people because when things go south they question “what am I doing wrong” “do I have some unrepentant sin” etc. It causes them to miss God’s grace and falsely assume there’s punishment being doled out. All believers should understand that if a gospel message doesn’t fit ALL Christians then it’s not the gospel.

Can you imagine the preachers sharing this prosperity message in poverty-stricken countries? The audience would all feel like God is mad at them or that they’re not spiritual enough to deserve God’s blessings. The truth is we live in a fallen world with disease, death, evil people, and financial stress. God said there would be much suffering in this world. Yes, we should pray for these things, and yes, sometimes God does bless us BUT that is not the gospel, and to teach that God has promised us financial gain is to be deprived of His truth. Our hope is not in our earthly circumstances but rather in our eternity with Him and what is to come. That’s a gospel that fits everyone, everywhere.

People often love to quote the Apostle Paul when he said in Philippians 4:13I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and they turn that into another flavor of prosperity, but in context, Paul was saying earthly circumstances (good or bad) were not his source of joy, but rather Christ alone was. If we just back a couple of verses we see Paul say “I have learned to be content in WHATEVER circumstances” – vs 11, “I know how to get along with HUMBLE means”-vs 12, and in verse 12 he describes how he was content even while being “HUNGRY” and “SUFFERING need”. Paul’s gospel message was that we should not let our earthly “circumstances” be the source of our joy, but rather that we let Christ be the only source.

In fact, Paul addresses this prosperity message head-on when he writes Timothy and he leaves no room for misunderstanding how he sees it.

[1 Timothy 6:5] and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of FINANCIAL GAIN.

No doubt it is stressful losing a home, being hungry, or suffering in any way. In the flesh, it can be difficult to find peace in these temporary circumstances, but be encouraged and cast your eyes on Christ. Learn from Paul and know there is a huge promise for your eternity and find your strength in the real promises of God.

God loves us deeply and we can trust Him.

Author: Mike Cynar

Mike Cynar was raised in a church setting where he frequently noticed that many attendees would eventually drift away. The church labeled these individuals as ‘back sliders’ or ‘fake Christians’ just looking for ‘fire insurance’. However, Mike realized the issue was rarely with these individuals but instead with the church’s message itself. The teachings heavily emphasized behavior improvement and one’s flaws, with only a fleeting mention of one’s identity in Christ. It felt as though every sermon was tailored to the church of Corinth, who as we know or committing sins that even unbelievers don’t partake in. This trend was noticeable not just in one denomination, but across Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal, and many other churches. Upon understanding the true essence of the gospel – that our righteousness comes from Jesus’ actions, not our own – Mike was inspired to liberate believers from lifeless sermons and reconnect them with the genuine teachings of Jesus. He believes that one can nurture a vibrant and growing bond with Jesus, unhindered by rigid religious practices. And thus, “Jesus Without Religion” was born.

It turns out that it is grace that leads to repentance. And if our heart is to get others to walk in the Spirit and live a godly life, then the best approach is not a beat down sermon, but rather to remind other that it is only when we understand our true identity in Christ that we will live it out. Yes, it’s true, if you’re convinced that God thinks you’re a dirty sinner, you will ultimately continue a lifestyle that mirrors that view, but if you truly believe that even on your worst day, you are called holy, sanctified, justified, and will be presented blameless in the end, well, it turns out this is the secret to living out on the outside what has been worked in to the inside.

1 Comment

  • Bob Musselman Posted May 9, 2023 3:21 pm


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