The Danger of Prosperity

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Where is laid upon your heart.

How's everybody doing this evening? All right.

I promise you, I'll try not to mess this up too much.

if you would turn your Bibles to Proverbs Chapter 30, Proverbs Chapter 30

I'm going to attempt.

To speak against Prosperity tonight. I hope you don't take it the wrong way.

But you noticed that there's a lot of things that I know that, I personally myself at taken for granted. There's a lot of times that I can look back in my life even here recently, where

I had it made up my mind that everything was going to be. Right. I course when we get comfortable like that, and get complacent like that, God likes to grab a hold of us and he does me anyhow, I'm shaking up a little bit. Proverbs chapter 8, I'm sorry, 30 verse 8, and 9. The Bible says, remove falsehood and lies far from me. Give me neither poverty nor riches feed me with a food. Allotted to me, lest I be full and deny you and say, who is the Lord for lest? I be poor and steal and profaned the name of my God.

Prosperity is a popular thing today, that is woven itself into the Christian message because it sounds so encouraging. And there are Bible verses that seem to support Prosperity many popular teachers. Today has substituted Prosperity teaching for the sound doctrines of repentance the cross and the reality of hell. it has been said that I desire to be prosperous is so strong that we are drawn to this teaching, like a moth is drawn to a flame

It's hard to believe that we're that easily swayed, right? The promise of prosperity and being wove in the promise of prosperity and it being woven into spirituality offers hope financial help and a relationship with God all at once and this is done by man's will not gods.

Pictures of prosperity. Also, tell us what we want to believe.

The premise of prosperity preaching or Word of Faith, teaching is, what is called, is that because God is good, he Wills that his children should prosper in health, wealth, and happiness. And because he is Rich, he can make it happen.

We know that God is going to bless us, but they teach that because your of your faith and obedience God is going to bless you with what you want.

Brother sister, I don't know where that's found in the Bible. Will look at some Old Testament stuff here in a minute, but it's not there. God does promise prosperity to us? But where is it at? Where is it found at We'll get to that in a minute.

I want you to listen carefully here. It can, it can become difficult to separate biblical fact from man-made fiction.

I hope you understand what I'm saying. Here, you must be diligent and knowing God's word to fully understand the danger of prosperity today as it is taught as Doctrine in the eyes of the world. It is a false Doctrine.

What does the bible actually teach about prosperity? We must start with the recognition that all creation belongs to God. Every bit of it. He owns everything and it is his decision what he does with it. What he does with it when he wants to how he wants to.

He does not favor one member of his creation over the other. But the world teaches it to look and to be envious, right? Will God blessed him more than me. Any of us that our have siblings can always say, there's a favorite one. Mine was always my sister and my younger brother.

I know for a fact that having three children of my own And do my children have children of their own. They will never understand. That we do not love one more than the other. But we do love them different right? But the love is the same.

God loves us so much that he gives us exactly what we need. The world teaches us to want. God never taught us that. The only thing he taught us is to want him as he draws us to him.

How do we know this? Look at this. The greatest gift from God has already been given. To us, we know him as Jesus Christ. That is the greatest gift. The gift of Salvation through his son. A means to right a wrong. That was caused from sin. You say sin separates us from God?

And it's because of Christ because of his blood that we, as if we are drawn to him and we accept Christ as our Lord and savior. When cried, when God looks at us, what does he see? Does he see The Wretched me? How does he see the blood of Christ? That is a wonderful gift. Is it not?

And we're worried about prosperity. We're worried about what is owed to us.

And we have received the gift and accepted the high honor being adopted into God's family. The Creator becomes our father and he loves us has his own dear children.

Just as an Earthly father wants his children to prosper in many ways so does God just as Earthly fathers love to give their children. Good gifts. So does our heavenly father, he loves to give us good gifts and as his children we can expect him to take care of us. You found that Philippians 4:19. Let's consider this. It's true that God wants his children to be prosperous but in what ways and the world's eyes, the popular understanding of prosperity reaches beyond what the Bible teaches. Prosperity, teachers focused primarily on the Here and Now seeking wealth is proof of God's blessing. Did you catch that seeking proof of God's blessing proof?

Like he's got to explain itself to us, they attached a couple of out of context, bible verses to their height and call it a Biblical teaching. But listen here God's desire for us to prosper. May not include material wealth that all they may not 1st. Timothy, 6 night, Timothy 6:9, warns this, with these words, those who want to get, rich fall into temptation, and a trap, and its many foolish and harmful desires that punch people into ruin and destruction.

You see there different types of prosperity? Which material or financial prosperity is only one other types of prosperity may be far more important in God's eyes.

Many times God can did not trust us with material Prosperity because we would make it an idol. We make Idols out of it. Jesus said how difficult is it for the rich to inherit the kingdom of God?

How often do we make Idols out of what God has given us?

Well, quick and takes hold of us and Promises a security. It cannot deliver Prosperity can can become a substitute for the real goal of pursuing God and his righteousness, you see Satan uses Prosperity as a tool to take our minds off the Eternal benefit and makes us focus on the short-term comforts. And this is very dangerous. Many people today don't think that as a good father God May withhold, what we strongly desire? Choosing instead to give us what we truly need. He has our Eternal benefit in mind, not our short-term comfort.

Looking back at your lies. I'm pretty sure every one of us can come up with many examples of things that we thought that we just had to have in our parents said, no, daddy said no. Are you got to earn it right?

We don't have to earn our blessings from God. He isn't freely.

Many today. How are you say that? Listen to this paragraph here? This author said Prosperity teaching also goes wrong. And that includes the idea that the Cross of Christ took care of all our physical and mental ailments. If Jesus is atonement provides for physical healing and prosperity now, then we should expect to live long and prosperous lives free from all sickness infirmity and disease. But it's not Earthly physical Prosperity that provided by the tone of Christ, it's Heavenly, it's a spiritual Prosperity. Some of God's most loyal servants suffered physical ailments, not miraculously healed And many Believers throughout history were in prison tortured. In eventually killed. They went about and sheep skins, and goatskin is destitute persecuted and mistreated they wandered in the desert and mountains, living in caves and holes in the ground. The early church knew nothing of today's popular Prosperity teaching. They may not have been prosperous and riches and Lance, but they prospered and generosity and love and fellowship with Christ. And with each other, and the final section of his letter to the Philippians Paul rights and Philippians 4, verse 12. I know how to be brought low and I know how to abound in any and every circumstance. I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. What was the secret What was the secret? He followed Christ. Christ changed him. He followed Christ. He knew that God was going to give him everything that he would ever need. Even when it seems like he was in times of Sorrow. He was happy. Why? Because God provided everything he needed.

How often can anyone of us think of any opportunities or challenges where they be unique or not? Did we make the choice of trusting? God for our provisions and more than likely? And we were probably grumbling lock the Israelites in the wilderness did This is followed up with another question. Do we still trust in God's provision and Times of abundance and in prosperity? Or we just think that we done it on her own. Good question. So, here are four lines of thought that of what can happen during times of abundance.

One of them is our hearts become more in love with what God has given us. Then God himself.

You see the more that we have, the easier to comes for us to find our greatest joy, in those things rather than, and God. It is very danger that Jesus warned the other. When he said, do not lay up for yourselves, Treasures on Earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves, Treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, your heart will be there. Also,

Second line of thought I see here as we let our guard down against the enemy in times of abundance and prosperity.

And please only thing. I keep saying I'll spare you don't think I'm just talking about well to me, Prosperity is anytime we want for nothing. Where is joyful? This enjoyable would become complacent. It's just routine, right?

So, we let our guard down against the enemy. We tend to think that Satan is most dangerous when we're facing in times of black or in need. But it's just as dangerous. If not more, when we Face times of abundance, suffering tends to sharpen our spiritual senses driving us to realize our need for God, but when things are going well, it becomes easy to put our lives on cruise control and we started fall asleep, right? You see our abundance and prosperity, does not change the fact that your adversary the devil prowls around, like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. He's always on guard. So we must keep our guard up. We tend to recognize number 3, we tend to recognize that our prosperity or our abundance is the result of our godliness.

Little self-righteous, right? There's a sense in which the Old Testament points of this direction. After all under the Mosaic Covenant, God makes it clear to Israel that obedience and faith will lead to blessing while Disobedience or unbelief will lead to cursing, but there's several qualifications that need to be made to understand the totality of the the Old Testament teaching hear the Mosaic Covenant function of the national level indicating that the nation as a whole would be blessed or cursed based upon their obedience or Disobedience to the covenants applying this as an in at an individual level is little more complicated. Second, one cannot conclude from a person suffering and prosperity to the extent of their obedience is Disobedience. That is when the major points of the Book of Job, Why was he punished or was he punished?

His friends were insisting that his suffering was proof of Disobedience. God's answer. Makes it clear that job suffering was not the result of sin.

This is when we start looking things, will that ain't fair, right? If God was fair. Would we be right now?

Third. While there are passages that correlate personal Vengeance, the God's blessing of abundance, we must not think of this as a quid pro quo and which man earns, what he receives and it got us some out, obligated The blessed and responsive obedience. You say, God does 10 to bring blessing to those who are obedient. But even those cases, it is a gift of his grace. Since the very obedience in view is a product of God's only work in that person's life.

The fourth line of thought from this is our confidence is placed in what we possess rather than who possesses us.

I remember. What? I've got an oil field and I got in a very big bun and we was making lots and lots of money and it's all about what I can buy.

What was just say that money? Where's that now? Truck note down notes for out, or don't run anymore, right? I wasted a lot of it. I put confidence in my own ability. Made some bad decisions.

Paul identifies. This is a great danger when he writes to Timothy. He says, as for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be hot in order to set their hopes on uncertainty of riches but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy those who have abundance are less inclined to place their trust in God because there's an appearance of security in their prosperity. I done it alone. I'm self-made. I forgot that I was created by. And Deuteronomy 32 Moses gives us a warning that Israel will not obey the Covenant and that they will suffer greatly, but we'll finally experience Redemption. Bahu. Buy Mighty God. Among other things. Most his words are a reminder of the dangers, if they come with success. Jacob 8th is field. I wish I could. Remember how say this guy's name? I think it's just ruin that, right? Jeshurun.

That guy, it's in there, he grew fat and he abandon God, who made him and he scoffed at the rock of his salvation.

In times of trouble, we often turn to God for help out of desperation. If nothing else. But when success comes, it's easy to scoff at God's part in our work. And we may even come to believe that our accomplishments are due solely to our own efforts and not gods. It's God's grace. Moses reminds the people that success can make us vulnerable to abandon you, The God Who made us and it comes with it, very disastrous results. It's certainly easy to see problems with poverty and struggle to provide the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter, especially if it involves your family. Pretty sure each and every one of us again, can think back when we first got started, I know there was a lot of nights that was macaroni and baloney.

And my kids hate Hamburger Helper.

But it's so good to me. I like it.

You know, and we are familiar with desperate times. We're still on the hill, some water, this worldwide pandemic with uncertainty of our economy, we have seen and heard about countless people in our nation who lost their jobs and had their pay cut have been furloughed or laid off people struggling to meet make ends meet. Maybe some of us here know exactly what that feels like.

The struggle of Getting By as real as it. Is it not? On the other hand, it's harder to see the problem with riches, especially here in America where there are with our culture as a land of opportunity, Society teaches us to move upward. That's something we point about upward mobility and and the relative economic Prosperity. We have enjoyed since WWII. If you look back at the big picture,

We're talkin about Prosperity here in general. Not necessarily focusing exclusively on Greed and love of money, but our nation was very blessed for a long time. And it still is

So let's see if we can gain some additional inside from garage for the first by looking at various examples of prosperous. People in the Bible to see what parallels. We can draw with our own culture and offer some scripture with Vice on the right attitude that we should have toward prosperity. Here's some examples of Adam and Eve. How they prosperous? Hey buddy. They had it all. They had it all when you look at the account of Creation in Genesis, chapter 1 and 2, it's easy to imagine the existence that they had. the world that they were in its It was perfect. Do we know what perfect is? We think we do but they got to experience it. Genesis 2:18, 214, God planted a garden and out of the ground. The Lord made God, made every tree grow. That is Pleasant to the site and good for food. So this suggests hear that there is abundant food, right? Going on and going back to Genesis 1:27 230. They have dominion over everything. Every living thing giving Evergreen heard for food suggesting again, plenty of food and no Predators, right? Genesis 2:25 and they were both naked. I'm not making fun of that. I want you to look at look at it this way, we know that the comment was mild right there is no need for shelter from storms. That's not a lot of thought when we look at that and eye contacts, try. So you could say they were very richly blessed, and prosperous was no struggle for food, clothing, shelter, along with no concerns all, they didn't have to pay rent.

And yet chapter 3, we see it wasn't enough for Eve who was deceived by the serpent serpent scrappiness.

Bible tells us so when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes and tree desirable to make one wise. She took of its fruit and eight. We're eating 1st, John 2, for $0.16. For all that is in the world. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the father. But of the world. Adam and Eve took their prosperity somewhat for granted and and they didn't keep God first in their thoughts. When you can, you go back and read that account. I mean, I love Genesis I do it. It mean, it's more than just a Bible story in Sunday School. But when you read, when Eve is for taking of this, it says she gave it to her husband who was with her. He was there.

I took it for granted.

They were deceived into giving to giving in to their own desires. Why were they deceive? Well, they didn't go to God first. I just done it on their own. We look at Sodom and Gomorrah, Genesis 13, 13 and 18, 20 describes the inhabitants of these cities as exceeding. Wicked and sinful, who send was very grevious. Heavy grave when the Angelic, visitors arrive in Genesis 19, we see and evidence of rampant homosexual, sexuality and rape Jude 7 describes. It like this have given themselves over to sexual immorality fornication and gone after strange flesh. But there's more to the story. According to Ezekiel 16, 48 and 50 saw them had Pride for the food and an abundance of idleness. Neither, did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy and they were haughty and committed abomination. And some people don't need to know this, but give him their well water location like the garden of the Lord. Eventually they became very prosperous and fortunately that led to the self sense of pride, a sense of self pride, forgetting God serving themselves, and give him the cells over to all manner of sexual pleasure was that sound like today?

We look at Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel for we have a fascinating record of God's interaction. The supreme ruler of the rain regions superpower in Babylon. And gorgeous, according to vs 4 and 30, Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in my house and flourishing. The king spoke saying is not this great Babylon that I have built for a royal dwelling in memory power in for the honor of my Majesty. That's a little arrogant. There ain't is Extreme Prosperity had led to proper attitude that forgotten God's role as a king as king and Heaven and the previous warning in the dream against such danger went unheeded and God gave him some perspective. Beginning of verse 31 through 33, when Nebuchadnezzar lost it. All his honor, his Splendor, his position of supreme authority and his mind, right? Humble afterwards, I can fast now. I never can Hazard. Praise and extolled Hunter the king of Heaven of all whose work for truth and his ways Justice. And those who walk in Pride, he is able to put down There's more. I never, can you Sia what happened to him? I got a big head. and that what he, what was he remembered as A leper.

he remembered for all the the the many things that he helped invent he invented some great military weapons, the powers of the turrets and But now I was always remember to up as being diseased and cashed out you look at the Israelites while preparing to enter the promised land god, through Moses, warn the people about their coming prosperity in the land. And when you look at Deuteronomy chapter 8, start in versus 6 verse 6, when I encourage you to read this, I hate the 20, but verse 6 and says, keep the Commandments walk in his ways for 7 to 10 summarizes upcoming products, coming Prosperity, coming prosperity, and their needs remember and bless the Lord. Verse 11 says, beware that you do not forget the Lord your God verses 12 to 13. Talk about a bunch of food and beautiful houses and multiple multiply riches. Verses 14 through 18. Talk about when your heart is lifted up and you forget the Lord your God, claiming my power in the might of my hand. Have gained me this wealth. When in reality it is he God who gives you the power to get well Verse 19 says they would forget your lord God and follow other gods. And this is exactly what we see happening. According to judges, 2 verse 10, when all that generation had been gathered to The Fosters, another generation of Rose after them, who did not know the Lord or the work, which he had done for Israel. And those days, there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Again, we're starting to see some parallels here, right? Even we can look at our own culture. We're seeing a lot of parallels is following history in the Bible and that ought to scare us. eventually according to Ezekiel 16, verses 10 through 20 that if that included offering their riches and murdering their children and sacrifice to their gods, Again, we're seeing this today, we're children being murdered for the sacrifice of what. Convenience.

so we see the pattern here, we see a similar pattern with prosperity was associated with pride for getting God and serving their own desires, false gods and their case You look at the rich farmer, I mean, examples, go on and on, we got plenty of examples in the Bible where people chose Rich's over God.

There's some good examples. Also in the Bible. So I don't want people to to thinking correctly about prosperity and just because someone is well-off, doesn't mean that they're sinful. I'm not saying that at all, but you look at job. He stayed process, right? Matter fact he doubled right? You look at Abram Abraham. Solomon. Joseph of Arimathea Zacchaeus Barnabas. That's probably others that I didn't rub down.

Now we're going to get some modern examples that I can think of, I mean, I know I don't remember the widespread poverty. That was the United States back in the twenties and thirties. But I got here about a lot of it, from my grandparents and my aunts and uncles and Many people, I understand they were forced to work, they either had got out of work and they had to do with what they had or do with that. I remember my dad even tell me, you know, I don't think my dad for me but he didn't have running water till he was 15. so, That wasn't very long ago.

Some historians, some historians credit, this character building in toughening experience as being a major contribution to the great greatest Generation ever. And people all over the world. Talked about still talk about that generation from the United States from America. They endured and they eventually won World War II with an undamaged manufacturing capacity and pent-up consumer demand the post-war years of the 40s and 50s, all major economic boom. With unprecedented Prosperity around the country. But starting in the sixties. What happened? Hey buddy. Can I forgot my history ride sexual Revolution Prosperity, started the forgetting about God as the ultimate source of all good and blessings and started serve their own desires. The sexual Revolution, the campus Rise Against the Vietnam War and against governmental Authority, the liberalization of divorce, the Declaration of school-sponsored prayer and Bible readings as unconstitutional Have a 70s with legalization of abortion, the women's Liberation movement and the Gay Liberation movement. Moving up the 1990s or Sonic race of emphasis on the hate crimes. If you don't like me, you hate me and you're against me, right? Cuz we're not entitled to our own opinions anymore. Remember those, and the in the 2000s we saw the rise of homosexual, marriage, equality, movement, and 2010. We saw the rise of trans of the transgender movement. May also want to be treated as females entering the women's sports using women's restrooms and the gender fluid movement when they finally got a transgender win against women, what happens that crashed in this? You still a man. In 2020, we saw legitimate peaceful protest, right? The police brutality that turned violent accomplished company with lawlessness. And Anarchy is lots of riots, vandalism, looting are some defacing. A public monuments injured killed police officers and causes if I call to defund the police and a push, a push for tolerance. I push for toddlers. Sadly. Some of these events for a company with expressions of support from elected officials,

A 2022. We have thought we saw. What? I thought was a great victory in our nation, for the overturn of Roe versus Wade for just to be a heart breaks for me. When we saw how many states voted to kill babies up in tuber, I just heard recently on the news. Are United States, Senate?

Is forcing gay marriage down our throats again.

We're seeing lawsuits in our Courts for people say it's okay for children and used to have life-altering surgeries and treatments for them because of the ginger that they think they identifying us. We even have children requesting to have litter boxes in their schools so they can be identified as the cat or dog, they want to be.

It is. Very stupid.

That's why Genesis is so important, the creation account.

Proverbs 14:12 says, there is a way that seems right to man. But it's an is the way of death. With everyone doing what was right in their own eyes.

Lesson judges 2125, I don't think it's coincidence.

Or this part of General patterns of prosperity. Leading to self pride forgetting God and serving one's own pleasure. Just like was Sodom Gomorrah, I don't think it's coincidence.

we know the Bible tells us that when we take her eyes off of God, he's only going to give us so long. And then he turned us over to our sin.

So here are The Temptations of proper of prosperity and I'll hurry up and get over. I know I'm going to be in this in the head but that's something that I've really been.

It just hits me.

And like I said, I've been guilty of myself. I've been guilty of making my plans for life without seeking God's guidance.

And I'm so thankful that he loves me enough to bring me back in.

There are several dangers Associated prosperity and I've had a lot of them already regardless of where that Prosperity is associated with one's job or business Investments home or there other material blessings.

I'll go tonight. Number one, is to glorify God. And number two, is To really get us to think about abundance and prosperity, and where it comes from. And it's not about money, it's not about money.

Psalms 49 6 tells us about trusting in the riches and pride those who trust in the wealth and boasting, the multitude of the riches. Now what is our definition of riches. It could be anything, you could be friendship, it could be whatever you wanted to be right.

Another danger is forgetting. God Psalms 52. Verse 7 says, I did not make God his strength, but trusted in the abundance of his riches, strengthen himself in his wickedness,

That's what I do. If I do not lean on God, I strengthen myself in my own wickedness. Selfishness week. I'm selfish, James 4, verse 3, in 5, or 3. They'll tell you that you ask amiss and you may spend it on your own Pleasures. You have heaped up treasure Where do we put it? Where we doing it, we're serving other gods. That's what we're doing. For they went and serve other gods and worship. Then I noticed the gods of Deuteronomy. 29 verse 29, verse 29, verse 26. For they went and serve other gods, little G and worship then.

The gods of Deuteronomy 29 and not simply limited, the false deities. But to any thing a person place is above worship of the only true and living God. That includes the gods of wealth Leisure and entertainment staying power. Pornography adultery homosexuality. Whatever you want to plug in there anything that we put over worshipping God.

Luke 12, Luke 12 or 15 says this and he said to them, take heed and beware of covetousness for one's life. Does not consist in the abundance of the things that he possesses. God's idea for this world was perfection. You get that Genesis chapter 1. It was Perfection. He said it was perfect and he rested. He created it, perfect. He desired that we enjoy. Perfect lives in. Perfect Fellowship. We have each other know with him with him.

Any intended that Prosperity would be a Way live. But sent corrupted that perfect plan and now Prosperity health and trouble-free existence are impossible for many and pleading for the rest. God does offer to prosperous Beyond explanation, but it may not come during our short Earthly stuck for many. The full, the full realization of God's restoration will be experienced only when we leave this world behind and enter into his holy presence.

You see, Luke 16 verse 13. I think explains what I'm really trying to say this evening. You cannot serve, God and Mammon.

Hebrews 11, this doesn't the Faithful Servants of the Lord who might expect to have lived prosperously because of their faithfulness yet versus 39 and 40, save this and all these having gained approval through their face, did not receive what was promised because God provided something better for us. So that apart from us, they would not be made perfect. Every child of God brought bought with the blood of Jesus Christ will experience Prosperity beyond our wildest imaginations, for all eternity, you'll find that First Corinthians 2:9 until then we must walk by faith. Romans 8, 17 through 18 promise this. Now, if we are children, then we are heirs Heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. If indeed, we share his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory, I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us being co-heirs. With Christ means that forever. We will enjoy everything God on. Did you catch that?

But forever, we will enjoy everything God on. No earthly Prosperity can compare to that. Philippians 4:12 Paul claims that he has learned the secret of contentment and either black or abundance that secret is knowing that our security rest not in our current financial situation, or what we own in law, we have but in the one who loved us and gave himself for us. No matter what your economic situation is today, where the Rozier Bleak God wants us to find our security in him, and we can do that on your own. It's through hell. That we have hope. Hope that was a help to you this evening.

We have any prayer requests. I ain't got a pen.

Any prayer requests evening.

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