It’s hard to be content in a world filled with new stuff and non-stop advertising. In fact, it’s a constant struggle for me to not be greedy and covetous. I see the newest shoes, or car, or book, and discontent rises up in me. I see it and I want it. It doesn’t matter that I have 20 pairs of good shoes sitting in my closet (I know that’s small for some of us but I have really worked on getting to less). I see the ad, and I covet. It’s one thing to need new shoes – really need them because your old ones are wearing out. It’s quite another to collect dozens of pairs just because you want them. By the way, you can take out the word “shoes” and put in just about any other thing that you happen to love to own.
In the news recently, there is a story about a televangelist who “needs” $54 million dollars to buy a new jet. Seriously! He already has a jet – and it’s not worn out! He manages to put all kinds of spiritual sounding reasons to his request that you fund his covetousness. But when you examine his reasoning, it is clear that greed is the root of his desire for bigger, better and more.
Sadly, many people are deceived by these kinds of people. We are warned about them over and over again in Scripture. But, these so called “preachers” don’t preach the whole counsel of God’s Word. They only attach a verse here and there that seems to support their claim that you need to send them money. Peter warned us about these people. He says “and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep”. 2 Peter 2:3.
In 2 Peter 2:2, he says of the false prophets that will arise (and have), that many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. When people are deceived by these false teachers, not only are they exploited, but even worse, the gospel is blasphemed. If you don’t think the unbelieving world is guffawing over this one, think again. These greedy teachers are ultimately blasphemers. The entire book of Jude lays out for us the lifestyle of these ungodly people who pervert the grace of God into sensuality.
The gospel is good news. The good news is not that we are supposed to be healthy and wealthy. The good news is that we, who are sinners, separated from God, lost, hopeless and helpless can be saved to live a life that truly glorifies our God and Savior Jesus Christ. We are loved by Him. We are kept by Him. We have freedom from the power of sin now and eternal joy away from the presence of sin awaits us. Now that is good news!
So don’t sell the gospel for a prosperity message. Seek the truth of God’s Word to protect yourself from the deception that is rampant. True prosperity is found only in Christ. And it has nothing to do with how much money you have, how healthy you are or how many jets you own!