Simple Litmus Test for the Validity of ‘Biblical’ Promises

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?

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.

I Married my bride, Erin, in 2003. We have 3 children: Emma, Elijah, and Lydia. I have served full-time on staff at Westwood Baptist Church, in Roxboro, NC, since summer of 2006 as Pastor of Students & Discipleship. I am currently enrolled at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, pursuing my Doctorate of Education.

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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