The prosperity gospel movement is huge. Christianity is overrun by it. I mean: it’s the best of both worlds, right? Who doesn’t want the promise of prosperity now and prosperity later?
The Prosperity Gospel fits Best with Our Culture
Our culture teaches us self-indulgence. We are conditioned to consume. Everything leads us towards searching for “more.” And more is never enough.
But more seems so pointless. More for what? So we need to give more meaning to more. Enter the prosperity gospel.
Through the prosperity gospel, our desire for more is made meaningful. It is actually made testimonial: if you have the ability to acquire more, you must be a more spiritual person.
But in Mark 8:34, Jesus calls His disciples close and says:
“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”
The Lord has called us to Self-Denial
The prosperity gospel doesn’t ask us to deny ourselves. This is the one problem with this doctrine. It comes against the Lord. It is out of line with His leadership. Like Peter in this passage, the prosperity gospel is a satan that needs to get behind the Lord.
We already have a Society that doesn’t ask us to deny ourselves. So how will we learn to deny ourselves? How will we be fit to make it to the Promised Land?
You cannot follow Christ if you don’t know how to deny yourself. And that’s not simply following Him as His disciple. That means to follow Him where He’s gone: to Heaven. The only way to follow Jesus Christ is to deny yourself.
But what does it mean to deny yourself? And, why should you?
I tell you this: self-denial is not necessarily about becoming poor. So what is it about? How does one deny oneself? Denying yourself is the only way you can follow Jesus.
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