– Yong Dae Kang, New York
There are a few books by a few authors I read these days. These authors say that some pastors preach prosperity gospel which emphasizes the blessing of God but that these pastors do not want to talk about sin or the need to repent of sinful human nature. Prosperity gospel makes you think that God blesses those he loves so if you are suffering it’s because you are not following God. Is God there to bless you and enable you to have a good life? Is this the word of God, the gospel?
I’ve seen on television a woman being interviewed say that the world is changing and that the church should change with it. The church is a body of people who have met and worship God. If God created the world and its creation is changing, should God change to accommodate the world? Would you call such a good God? If your own child says I’m grown now so you can do what I tell you to do, would you do it?
Where does prosperity gospel come from? Deep within us, we want to do what pleases us. We want God to be Santa Claus on Christmas and leave us alone the rest of the time so we can enjoy as much we can while we can. Don’t you agree? I agree but that is not what I understand to be the teaching of the gospel, the true word of God.
I’ve read the Bible every now and then when looking for encouragement but it doesn’t sound anything like prosperity gospel. As a matter of fact, it says that God tests those he loves. Jesus himself says, If the world hates you, understand it hated me before you; If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own.
Many people are familiar with stories from the Bible these days. Look at the story of Job. Satan came to God saying Job loves God because of all the blessing he received. God agrees to let Satan test Job. Job loses all his blessing; house and livestock, children, everything. His wife curses him, his friends come and question him about God. Job praises God towards the end of the story. I wonder if people buying into prosperity gospel would do the same.
The gospel doesn’t exempt or rescue us from hardship and suffering. It makes our faith stronger through ordeals God puts us through. Jesus says, Believe in Me and you will have trials and tribulation in this world, but be of good courage for I have overcome the world. Jesus, God in the flesh, went through storms, flogging and crucifixion but overcame temptations by holding onto faith.
Does your faith have to do with what God puts you through? The gospel will get you through the ordeals God allows to happen in your life. If God blesses you with something, it’s to be used to do his will. That is the gospel, the incorruptible word of God.