The Prosperity Gospel

I forgot to mention that I first watched the Piper video above on Recover the Gospel.

Recover the Gospel is full of videos, audio and sermons that are excellent. They also have a ‘bad theology’ section where you can find some extreme examples of the prosperity gospel being boldly preached.

And now to comment on the prosperity gospel

Our Christian predeceasors would have no part of the prosperity gospel. Think of the examples of the suffering church before us from Foxes book of Martyrs (recommended!). Paul, Stephen,Polycarp, Justin, Tyndale, to name a few.

Listen to John Huss when he had a final opportunity to recant while tied to the stake by a chain, “No,” he said, “I shall die with joy today in the faith of the Gospel which I have preached.” As the flames leapt around him, he could be heard singing, “Christ, Thou Son of the living God, have mercy on me.”

Or consider John Bunyan. If his faith was resting in the health/wealth gospel, would he have spent 12 years languishing in a prison while his family (including Mary, his blind daughter) struggled to survive? The lock of his jail was a paper he could sign stating that he would refrain from preaching.

First John Williams, then John Paton to follow, going ashore at New Hebrides, fully expecting to die (and Williams dying at the hands of cannibals immediately). Paton’s wife and child died and were buried on the heathen island and Paton continued to preach the gospel to an unreceptive tribe after his losses.

Not forgetting the suffering and difficult lives (not due to the prosperity gospel) of Brainerd, Martyn, Taylor and countless and nameless others, who surely considered the cost!

We recently purchased a copy of The Triumph of John & Betty Stam by Mrs. Howard Taylor, depicting the 1934 events of their cost to follow Christ in China. It is worth looking into their story, if you haven’t heard it before.

The prosperity gospel suggests that the ‘great cloud of witnesses’ were foolish in their faith and their choices. Perhaps as weightless as a literal cloud in their testimony and effect.

Thankfully, men like John Piper are boldly unmasking the heresy and provoking the hearts of all who would hear to consider the true and glorious gospel of Christ!

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