Would you like a simple litmus test to use to help you determine the Scriptural truthfulness/validity of doctrinal or theological statements or promises? Look at the picture to the left.
Here is the test: Would you be willing to make that same statement to those 21 men at the time that picture was taken? Is that statement equally true for those brothers in Christ as it is for you? If a ‘promise’ from Scripture is faithful to the Scriptures, it will be equally true for all believers everywhere, not just for believers ‘blessed’ enough to live in America.
Nothing makes me more furious toward false teachers and their ridiculous prosperity gospel than when I see images of brothers and sisters around the world who are truly experiencing persecution and suffering for their faith. Perhaps we should be more mindful of those brothers and sisters when we hear garbage like the following statements that have absolutely nothing to do with the very good news found in the Scriptures.
Can you imagine standing on that beachfront and proclaiming any of the following declarations to these men, moments before having their heads cut off because they refuse to denounce their faith in Jesus? Would you admonish them with any of the following statements in an effort to help them begin to experience their best life now?
You’ve got to start talking like you’re blessed, thinking like you’re blessed. That’s what activates the blessing.
— Joel Osteen (@JoelOsteen) February 7, 2015
Get your mind going in the right direction. This is your year for restoration and for new beginnings. This is your due season!
— Joel Osteen (@JoelOsteen) January 25, 2015
God only has one intention in mind for you—He wants you to win big. http://t.co/UarkEMXQxN #YourWorldwithCreflo
— Creflo Dollar (@Creflo_Dollar) February 14, 2015
Get your “expectors” out of the back of the closet, dust them off and start expecting good things in your life.
— Joyce Meyer (@JoyceMeyer) December 28, 2014
Something is getting ready to #turnaround for you! #supernaturally
— Paula White (@Paula_White) February 16, 2015
Breakthrough and #blessing are coming now!! #DontQuit
— Paula White (@Paula_White) February 3, 2015
This is the year for #DestinySteps every month something’s going to happen! Doors will open, opportunities will come activate your faith!
— TD Jakes (@BishopJakes) February 15, 2015
We all want a life filled with miracles, but miracles require action! Plant your seed today. http://t.co/ChheI03fZN
— Benny Hinn (@Benny_Hinn) October 30, 2014
Besides the obvious deception of the Prosperity Gospel, the fact that it holds such little regard for most believers around the world (and especially for those who are severely persecuted) colors much of my hatred towards it. If you seek encouragement from these types of empty, extra-biblical, gospel-less promises, you will be guilty of the same.
Can all of my brothers and sisters around the world be encouraged by this promise/statement in whatever circumstance they currently find themselves? Let the truth and majesty of the true gospel encourage you, believer! Pray that those same realities would encourage all believers everywhere in the same manner as we all focus our hope on the one who has redeemed us and will one day bring about the fulness of all that is ours in him! We remain steadfast in that hope and continue to rest in his faithfulness in the meantime as we groan together.
What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts!