The prosperity gospel in Luke!
Scripture reading for October 25th: Luke 16-18
“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” “The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.” Luke 16:13-14
Jesus spoke very plainly: “You cannot serve both God and money.” In America, there is a popular variation of the Gospel called the “prosperity” teaching. This teaching plays on man’s desire for money and prosperity by taking verses of Scripture and using them to promote wealth as a sign of God’s blessing. God’s word does proclaim blessing on God’s people for obedience and faith. Some who walked in faith were blessed and obtained great wealth in this world. But God is more concerned about our hearts. He said it was impossible to serve two masters.
The Pharisees of Jesus time had a teaching very similar to this prosperity message of today. They taught that God’s blessing was on the rich and that the poor were under a curse. This had some scriptural backing from Deuteronomy 28 and other places in the Old Testament. Jesus taught us to see things in a different light by telling a story about a rich man and a poor beggar named Lazarus. These two real people lived on earth and both died. At death there was a great reversal. The rich man ended up in the torment of Hell, the place of the departed wicked dead. The poor beggar, Lazarus, ended up in Abraham’s bosom, a place of comfort and blessing. They could see each other but were separated by a great gulf. (Luke 16:22-26)
This ‘story’ struck at the hearts of those who loved “money”! Money could not and did not save the rich man! He left earth without it and ended up in hell. The poor beggar was not under the curse the Pharisees had presumed. His faith in God had taken him to Abraham’s bosom, a place of God’s favor. True prosperity is a state of the heart that trusts in God for daily provision and lives by faith in Him. It is impossible to serve two masters, God and money! Quit trying and pursue the kingdom of God and His righteousness! You’ll be eternally blessed and prosperous as God intended!