Just an opinion based on seeing so many build up their ministries and not CHRIST's exclusively. If attainment and lofty goals must consume ones focus, then all such pursuits must be based on CHRIST. Paul went from having everything to Persecutions extreme
AFTER he came to know JESUS. After he was apprehended by GOD on the road to Damascus. Is this somehow backwards? Am I incorrectly trained to look for the favor and the increase as a constant? And is such education errant? I will point out that for every Christian pastor, teacher, evangelist and so forth who speaks Health, Wealth and Prosperity
should first voice a disclaimer. Why? Isnt GOD the same yesterday, today and forever? Isnt HIS message also the same? So why in this land of ever decreasing opulence compared to the world, is this message manipulated about? Because it sells. Because it focused on PART of the truth
not the whole. YES. GOD will and does bless us but to only focus on that seems inadequate to me at best. HIS message is the same to those in Darfur, Afghanistan, Siberia, China, Canada, Indonesia and the United States. So back to the disclaimer so to speak. If such messages are to be preached then spiritual health, spiritual wealth and spiritual prosperity should be FIRST and FOREMOST! Why again? Because Seek ye first the kingdom of GOD and all these things will be added unto you. What I hear is a dual approach message for todays church pulpits. Get GOD and get ready to be blessed! THough true, it is taken out of context to speak too often to material gain.MOST of the apostles and disciples in HIS time on earth met with intense persecution as did Paul. How then is Christianity to be a comfort zone message by too many? Because of the spiritual wealth of words HE has given me, I can make it through. Should HE also grant me PHYSICAL wealth then so be it. But I do not want to speak and have the physical aspects of favor attached to my message...just to get an Amen Brother! or Thats right! I do not preach to men as such but FOR God! With that priority, humility must -- must -- must be that characteristic I want WELL before health, wealth or prosperity. Remember and all these things will be added unto you. So lets preach 95% of the time on seeking GOD first and helping others do just that
rather than give OR PERMIT hype and emotional injections on all that someone tells me GOD wants to give you all this. HE took it all (material things)away from the vast number of Old and new Testament saints who put HIM first, didnt HE? Martyrdom was their likely end. Still is for the vast majority of countries around the globe
but not in Western civilization. Hence, my heart aches for the Lost who have missed hearing the 5% of the time Gospel of Sacrifice speech because the Health, Wealth and Prosperity message was vigorously sung much louder by the saints who are choosing to preach to the itching ears.
Fortunately dear brother, you won't get any argument on your thesis here.This Health, Wealth and Prosperity teaching is just to keep Christians eyes on the physical, tangibles, material things of this world, to destroy their desire for His Appearing and to cause them to deny or despise the thought that they will see persecution and tribulation.It only appeals to the flesh and causes folk to love this present evil world and the things in it - when we should have The Mind of Christ.
I did a word study once and in the Bible the word prosperity or prosper can mean more than just material abundance. It can mean achieving success which doesn't always translate into material riches. When Abraham sent his servant to find a bride for Isaac (Rebekah) the servant had a prosperous journey because he found the bride. If you travel somewhere and reach your destination and conduct your business you have had a prosperous journey because you succeeded. If you raise your kids pretty well (everyone messes up here to some degree) then you have prospered in your efforts in this area. You can be rich or poor and raise decent kids. Whether rich or poor, if you want to cultivate a pure heart in thoughts and motives and achieve it to some degree you have prospered in your efforts. To prosper doesn't automatically mean to be showered with abundant wealth and material possessions. Especially if you try to bring this about by the confessions of your mouth. Most of the time it takes working and diligence and proper saving habits and tithing and wise investments and the like and then maybe add the confessions of your mouth to that. But I prefer to trust the first part of one's efforts I described over the confession of one's mouth. FWIW"Doc"