Prosperity, Eternity (6): Between Holiness and ‘Prosperity’ Preaching

But come to think of it: Don’t genuinely saved souls living right for God almost always receive the additions God said He will add when they seek the Kingdom of God and its righteousness? Is it not therefore gross foolishness to railroad unsuspecting people into seeking and ‘buying’ medicine for the flesh that very often deny them getting solution for that all important soul when if the subject matter of sin is well handled and the soul is actually saved and guided with sound biblical truth it will also get the medicine for the flesh without buying it?

But “Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.” Happy is the man that finds wisdom for it is the principal thing. And the fear of the Lord is the beginning of it. And the fear of the Lord is simply settling our sin account with Him now and living the holy life. “For the merchandise of it is better than merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold”. “The merchandise” of “seeking the Kingdom of God and its righteousness” cannot be quantified. It’s all spiritually glorious: Now and in all eternity.

Where are the preachers and congregation that will find this wisdom? The merchandise of this is better than the merchandise of silver and the gain thereof than fine gold. And besides being the beneficiary of all that glorious spiritual merchandise we have this promise too that even the silver and gold will be added. So, why don’t we dwell on what is first, what really matters, and what make eternal sense rather than dwell on the transient things which shall be added anyway if we know the way of wisdom, fear of the Lord and holy living?

Is this not Plain Enough?

Is this not really plain enough:
“No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly” – Psalm 84:11). So, why don’t we encourage, turn our pulpits to preaching and teaching upright living and saturate the minds of the people with these instead of the mammon spurred messages we bombard us with. Because if we do and the people are living right they will still get these good things anyway!

And what is even ‘good thing’ by the way? It is different from what most of us think; it is gotten differently from what most of us think; and it is used differently from what most of us think. ‘Good’ must be according to the definition of God. It must be according to what God sees as good for us, and certainly not according to our pride of life, lust of the eye and lust of the flesh; for the latter is always injurious and very damning and so cannot be ‘good’ at all. Good must necessarily be according to our needs, and anything in excess of what should meet our needs i.e. what is not really necessary to us (and need must be defined by the spirit and not the flesh) cannot be really good to us as individuals; but certainly good for others who really may need it.

“No good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly”. The choice of the plural pronoun ‘them’ may also be very instructive. It would have been implied that God may not just be talking of the individual alone if He were to use the singular pronoun. But even now He uses the plural. We must suppose He has in His mind the group, a people, a generation more than the individual person. No good thing will He withhold from these that walk uprightly; and the fulfillment of this can be understood by Scriptural principle of His channels distributing these provisions until there is none that has more than needed and there is none that lack; until there be equality.
So, yes, God can supply these things to a few because the people are living uprightly. And because these very channels God has chosen to provide these things are themselves living uprightly, they will certainly do upright things and the upright way with these provisions from the God and Father of the Household of Faith.

Of course, we know as the so-called prosperity preachers know that “They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing” – Psalm 34:10. But we also know that seeking the Lord, that is His Kingdom and its righteousness is the clear emphasis and admonition here; and if done or obeyed, the good things shall come. This is the Old Testament equivalent of seeking the Kingdom of God and its righteousness and all these things shall be added unto us.

Because of this so-called prosperity preaching today we hardly talk about the saintly life today. And yet this is the life that takes to Heaven. We have this in 1 Corinthians 15:19: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” Christianity is so easy today you wonder why Jesus Christ should even come to die at all in the first place; you wonder why over the years there should be martyrs at all; and you wonder too why over the years missionaries should hazard their lives for the nations.

Can Christianity really be as most of us present it today? The definition most of us give to it with our messages and lifestyle suits the world so well. That explains why the world can conveniently come around, stay around, play around with us (in the fellowships I mean) and go back to normalcy. That also explains why we can also conveniently go to the world, stay around, play around (in those jestings, backbiting, murmurings and stuffs like that, and diverse unequal yoking without any beam of light, any drop of salt) and go back to normalcy: the mammon preaching game; because what seems to matter is the money. Really!

Seek not great Things for Yourself
Why must we twist Scriptures and feign intention? Why in the name of the gospel must we continue to serve our flesh and belly? The story of the widow and her mites present another lesson other than God approving what we give on the basis of what is left behind which is an area we dealt with elsewhere in this series. God uses a mite given with a heart, motivation and disposition acceptable to Him more than millions of dollars from people with heart, motivation and disposition that He abhors. We are talking of God. This may not be true or may not sound logical with many a ministers. Many a ‘prosperity ministers’ may need those millions; may even exalt those givers; make them deacons and whatever; and make them sit in high seats in their congregations but God acts otherwise. God looked at the heart and consecration of that widow.

Many humans including many a ministers or many of His disciples today would say they that ‘cast in much’ gave more. But it does not always go like that with God. In this very case, the one who ‘threw in two mites’ (which is a farthing) ‘cast more in’.

Do you know one of the reasons false religions and cults are spreading here and there? It is because God’s wealth for His Church are corrupted and rusted by many who are not putting the wealth to purpose; with the result that evil is fast sponsored by the heathen. Is it any wonder therefore that the scripture says that… “The prosperity of fools shall destroy them” – Proverbs. 1:32. We think it is high time we gave the proper meaning to Christian prosperity because many are walking after their own lusts (Jude. 1:16) and through covetousness are feigning words so as to make merchandise of the people (2 Peter. 2:3).

God said long time ago: “And seeks you great things for yourself? Seek them not…” – Jeremiah 45:5. That command gained even more strength in the New Testament. Prosperity is promised the Church. Every New Testament believer is a son of consolation. He is a Barnabas. There ought to be no lack in the Church for if one member suffers the others suffer with him – 1 Corinthians 12:26. In fact, and as already stated, neither was there any among the

m that lacked; for as many as were possessors of lands or house sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles feet: AND DISTRIBUTION WAS MADE UNTO EVERY MAN ACCORDING AS HE HAD NEED – Acts 4:34, 35. Many think this practice is impracticable today. We do not think they are right. That is a perfect example of self-denial, consecration, love for the brethren, and concern for the great commission that recommends itself to our present church age. It is a practice that abhors surfeiting and selfishness. That practice took after the example of the Master and demands express alignment with it in our day.

We shall conclude with two hymns of mine; and as we do, let us find more grace to live consecrated and holy lives for God and to mind first things first so that we would be able to finish our ministry or fulfill our calling; and so that we can be among the few that will hear those eternally gracious and ever resonating Words of our Master: ‘WELCOME, My faithful servant’!

DARE TO BE AMONG THE FEW TODAY!

Dare to be among the few today.
For while few are purifying their lives,
While on Heaven they focus remain,
Multitude is at ease in Zion!

Refrain

Multitude is at ease in Zion;
Many there are that find the broad-way.
Lord, never let me so to be.
Make me stick with the few on the strait way,
To be rapture-ready at the Last Trump!

Dare to be among the few today.
For while few are prayer-overwhelmed,
Because our very Lord expects this,
Multitude is at ease in Zion!

Refrain

Dare to be among the few today.
For while few are selfishly preaching,
Not for selfish gain or belly’s sake,
Multitude do surfeit in Zion!

Refrain

Dare to be among the few today.
For while few become like Barnabas,
Though wealthy, yet living poor for Christ,
Multitude do surfeit in Zion!

Refrain

Dare to be among the few today.
For while few are hazarding their lives,
And some, in the swelling of Jordan,
Multitude is at ease in Zion!

Refrain
TELL ARCHIPPUS TO FULFILL HIS CALL

You may now ask of the old path.
Strive to enter in at the strait gate.
As pilgrim, seek the home above.
Seek you that City that has foundation;
That eternal home of sons of glory!

Refrain

Tell Archippus to fulfill his call,
To spend and be spent for the Lord,
To walk and work with fear and trembling:
For soon must he give God stewardship account!
So tell Archippus, tell Archippus.

Crucify the flesh and keep pure.
Try to live peaceably with all men.
Cast not away your confidence.
Remove not the old or ancient landmark.
Love the brethren of Christ with unfeigned love.

Refrain

Earnestly contend for the faith.
Resolve to fight this good fight of faith.
From the days of John the Baptist
The kingdom of our God suffers violence,
And only the violent takes it by force.

Refrain

Study unto God’s approval.
Preach the Word pure and undiluted.
Some preach for gain and belly’s sake.
With feigned words they make merchandise of men.
Never should you choose their pernicious way.

Refrain

Love not the world that these eyes see.
Mind you not high things, O my brother!
Come down to men of low estate.
Make your moderation known to all men,
While laying priceless treasures in Heaven!

Refrain

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