A Gospel of Beer, Cars and Comfort.
If you drink this beer, these girls will party with you:
If you drive this car, you will get the woman of your dreams:
If you use this protein supplement, you will look like this:
If you have this iphone, your life will be complete.
If you believe in Jesus, you will have all the things you desire.
The first 4 statements are the lies we have pounded into our brains by marketing geniuses. Judging from society around us…most of us appear to believe them whether we say it or not. The first 4 are statements that the marketers want you to believe to make themselves and their clients rich.
The last statement is what is commonly called the prosperity “gospel,” or “word of faith” or “health and wealth.”
It is a lie just like the first four statements. It is proclaimed by teachers like Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyers, Creflo Dollar, and Benny Hinn among many others.
And this perversion of the gospel is not just a gospel of money or health and wealth. It is the gospel that tells you that God has wonderful plan for your life, or that if you follow Jesus your life will be great…you will get a wife, you deserve children, you deserve a good job, you deserve all things that you desire…and Jesus is the way to these things. It is the pseudo-gospel of men who prey on the poor and needy. It is the gospel of “churches” who’s “pastors” drive Mercedes and live in Mansions while their parishioners work 3 jobs to pay the rent and buy diapers for their children all the while continuing to give their tithe. And this gospel even seeps into orthodox churches like mine. No, we don;t preach it, but some of us think this way don’t we? I mean I have even thought it…”where are you God?” “Why is this happening to me?” “How come I can not find a job?” “How come my children are hungry?” Believe in Jesus and everything will be ok in this life. That is what they teach. That is a lie, just like the first 4 statements.
Jesus became flesh, lived a sinless life, was crucified, bore the wrath of God in our place, died, rose again and is seated at the right hand of God so that we might be justified before God if we repent and believe. Jesus did not die so that we can be comfortable in this life.
Jesus came to make us right with our creator. He never promises us everything we want and desire. He never promises us a great job with benefits. He never promises that we’ll live a long life that we’ll never get sick, that our kids won’t die. When our bank account dries up, when we get cancer, when our kids die, when our house burns down, when our spouse dies, when we get into a car accident and awaken in a hospital room with no legs and our family is gone, when we suffer, when we don’t understand what he is doing,…his promise will stand sure: My grace is sufficient for you. To quote John Piper: God is most Glorified in you, when you are most satisfied in him, in the midst of loss, not prosperity.
That is the glory of the gospel of Jesus.