God not only wants to bless His people, He is blessing His people — all of His people. What’s more, the blessings that all of His people are enjoying will one day culminate on the Final Day of the Lord when Jesus returns and ushers God’s people into His eternal rest, where our blessings will be complete. According to a new poll conducted by Lifeway, many professing Christians believe that God does want to bless them.
About a third of Protestant churchgoers say their congregation teaches that God will bless them if they donate money.
Two-thirds say God wants them to prosper. One in 4 say they have to do something for God to receive material blessings in return.
Except, sadly, the blessings that many are counting on are not the same as what the Bible teaches.
The heresy of the prosperity “gospel” inverts the clear teachings of the Bible by claiming that God wants His people to be wealthy and physically well in the here and now. Like Esau, the prosperity “gospel” trades away the eternal for the temporal.
One of the most oft-quoted Bible verses, Romans 8:28, tells us that God is working all things out for the good of those who love Him and place their faith in Jesus. If we keep reading past verse 28, we discover that the “good” of verse 28 is that Christians are being made more like Jesus for God’s glory. Called sanctification, God is blessing His people in the here and now by making them more like His son.
So, it’s troubling to read on Lifeway’s website that “sixty-nine percent [of churchgoers] agree with the statement, ‘God wants me to prosper financially.'” However, Lifeway’s new poll uncovered an even scarier number:
The more people go to church, the more likely they are to think God wants them to do well. Among those who attend at least once a week, 71 percent say God wants them to prosper financially. That drops to 56 percent for those who go to church once or twice a month.
This raises the question, what are churches teaching and preaching? From this poll, it appears that many churches have replaced the gospel of Jesus Christ with the worst aspects of the American Dream wrapped up in religious rhetoric. If God wants His people to prosper financially, He must really be displeased with His people in places like the Sudan and North Korea. In fact, He must have been really peeved with people like the Apostle Paul and Peter and all of those other Christians throughout history who suffered material deprivation and even loss of life for claiming the name of Christ.
Taking the false teaching of the prosperity “gospel” a step further, “Some churchgoers draw a direct tie from their actions to God’s blessings.” Lifeway goes on to reveal, “One in 4 (26 percent) agree with the statement: ‘To receive material blessings from God, I have to do something for God.'”
This means that over a quarter of churchgoers believe an outright lie about God. If any good news can be derived from this poll, it’s that the numbers are virtually unchanged since the last time Lifeway asked these questions. At least the damnable heresy of the prosperity “gospel” doesn’t appear to be spreading in this country.