Are You Deceived?
My television viewing experience has been permanently marred on Sundays. When most preachers come on air, you may as well bring out a large bowl of pop corn, some cold drinks and get ready to be entertained. My wife thinks that they are hilarious but these preachers have made my television viewing experience quite painful. I remember years ago, the joy with which I used to look forward to watch certain preachers come on air to preach the unadulterated Word of God. But today, all I feel is sadness when I see yet another preacher come on television to deceive the embattled. Instead of preaching about salvation, holiness and right living, what I hear are carefully crafted lies designed to deceive and dispossess the gullible, the ignorant, the desperate and the covetous of their money.
Almost every preacher comes up to talk about the same thing: money. There seems to be no other subject matter left in the Bible except how to get money. And if you are fortunate enough to be already financially successful, they tell you that you shouldn’t be content with ‘the little’ you have, rather, you should strive to accumulate more money. These preachers seem to have exhausted the contents of the Bible and are now confined to a very restricted subject area and it all has to do with money.
They talk about money as if the salvation of your soul depends on money. They tell you how you will become rich by this time tomorrow. They promise you that in 24 hours, your life will change for good. All of these promises are predicated on you giving them some money. It seems as if God can no longer work in our lives unless we give our money to a smooth talking pastor. It seems as if all the problems we have in our lives will be solved the moment we put money into an offering basket. This is a lie. Money does not and cannot solve all our problems in life. If money solved all our problems then millionaires will be the happiest people on the planet. But the very fact that many millionaires take their lives each year should tell us that money is not the all curing elixir that these charlatans make it out to be.
Jesus said it very plainly in Luke 14:15, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness. For a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things which he possesses.’ You should never allow your life to be defined by how much money and material things you possess. Prosperity is not all about money, it is about living a full life, with peace and joy. You may have money but be very depressed. That is not true prosperity. True prosperity comes with peace of mind and contentment. Having lots of money in your account does not make you more prosperous than scientists in the Amazon jungle who are more interested in scientific research than in accumulating money. True prosperity is living in the very centre of God’s plan, purpose and Will for your life, whether you are a writer in the city of New York or a missionary in the remote jungles of Bolivia.
Instead of preaching contentment, these charlatans preach greed and covetousness. The Bible says in Hebrews 13:5, ‘Let your lifestyle be without covetousness and be content with the things that you have.’ Contentment is living within the boundaries of God’s grace, gifting and calling on your life. If you function within that zone, you will have true joy and peace of mind.
Having lots of money will not solve all your problems in life. The only one capable of solving our problems, healing our souls and restoring our lives is the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says ‘He is our Peace’-Ephesians 2:14. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, ‘Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.’ Rest, peace of mind and true joy can only be found in Jesus Christ, not in money. He is the only one who can bring our lives into sync with divine plan and purpose. He is the only one who can give our lives meaning and fill us with His peace and joy. Money cannot do any of that for us.
But these charlatans on television tell us otherwise. They preach a perverted gospel steeped in greed, covetousness and materialism. At the end of their sermons, you become motivated by greed and covetousness, rather than love. Without love, all we do is a waste of our time. But these charlatans tell us that if we are not building more houses, buying more cars and getting involved in more senseless waste of money, we are not living in prosperity. But the Bible teaches otherwise. It says in 1Timothy 6:6 that ‘godliness with contentment is great gain.’