The Prosperity Gospel heresy is so dangerous because it contains elements of truth. If it were completely false, no one would believe it. God does sometimes bless people with material prosperity and well-being.
But Scripture also warns of the dangers of promising health and wealth, especially when it is used to draw people to God. We could define the Prosperity Gospel message thus: Jesus came into the world to make people prosperous, not to remove God’s wrath upon them. God’s will is never suffering, but always health and wealth.
Some advocates of hard prosperity (explicit) are Benny Hinn, Shepherd Bushiri, Kenneth Copeland, and TB Joshua. Some upholders of soft prosperity (less explicit, just as dangerous) are Joyce Meyer, TD Jakes, Joel Osteen, Miles Monroe, and Paula White.
Jesus despised this message. How do we know?
- Jesus promises his followers persecution, betrayal, and beatings (Mt. 10:16-20).
- Jesus says it is hard for a rich man to enter heaven (Mt. 19:23-24).
- Jesus demands his followers be willing to relinquish everything (Lk. 14:33).
- Jesus called the Apostle Paul to a life of incredible suffering (Ac. 9:16).
- Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for concluding suffering always comes from sin (Jn. 9:1-3).
- Jesus rebuked those who love money and neglect their own soul (Lk. 12:16-21).
- Jesus warns people to guard against covetousness (Lk. 12:15).
- Jesus says prosperity coaxes professing Christians to leave the faith (Mk. 4:18-19).
- Jesus said poverty of spirit is necessary for eternal life (Lk. 6:20).
- Jesus is often despised when money and possessions are taken away (Mk. 5:17).
- Jesus told a lover of money the way to heaven is by leaving his money (Mk. 10:17-22).
- Jesus urges his followers to lay up treasure on heaven, not on earth (Mt. 6:19-20).
- Jesus says giving should be private, not ostentatious (Mt. 6:1-4).
- Jesus was not wealthy but born into a poor family (Lk. 2:22-24; 9:58).