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

So much is being given today in our churches as offering, yet the gospel fire is cooling down, souls are becoming less genuinely saved, worldliness is growingly or increasingly at home in our congregations, and some even scale across lands and seas to get proselytes or ‘converts’ that become twice children of hell than themselves. Do you know one of the reasons? The monies many offer are not from hearts acceptable to God, and are not really needed by God for the expansion of His true Kingdom. Ministers who will not preach against sin, worldliness, and ways of the children of this world may accept those monies thinking gain is godliness. They may need those monies as ‘laborers of Christ’ and spare God and what they think is His work some peanuts. Double evil: Dubious source, dubious usage.

And the ‘prosperity preaching’ continues. The nitty-gritty and essentials of the gospel are held back and hardly visited, and when visited – after a very long silence – rarely thoroughly, or even mentioned in passing. Thus, the gospel that saves a man and the man is saved indeed: saved and delivered from sin, unrighteousness, the world and the ways of the world and fashions him after Christ and makes him after His image to light the world and salt the earth, is hampered. If all the monies men ‘rake in’ from the pews in this sad age of ‘prosperity preaching’ is genuinely sourced (that is, from godly and scripturally unquestionable sources) and genuinely utilized (that is, according to how God wants them used or according to how the Peters and Pauls in their days used them), O how will the world be today!

With feigned Words making Merchandise of you
“And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not” – 2 Peter 2:3. Talk of words men source from the management sciences, psychology and what have you to pump up the flesh in our congregations in this sad matter presently before us! They even distort Scriptures, and almost every Scripture now can be tied to giving the mammon of unrighteousness and subsequently becoming the head and not the tail in its accumulation (resultant blessing, they would say). This writer believes that giving results in blessing. But we are talking about huge evil here.

Yours sincerely sadly found himself in a congregation a certain day where the guest preacher turned the angelic visit and prophecy to Mary about the Savior of the world (Annunciation) to real financial ‘prosperity preaching’ that knew nothing about those Scriptures of life. The host pastor and his congregation were all itching ears. At the end there was ‘seed sowing’ time and the usual accompanying ‘special anointed prayer’; and for this, the pews began empting the congregation, giver-group by giver-group – from the most giver-group to the least – into the altar. And it is sadly the trend and norm here and there. In this present case, I fear reproducing the Holy Scriptures that was unimaginably twisted to raise this fund to feed lust. Think about it: With such Scripture as this there was no mention of sin let alone talking about the evil of sin and danger of hell, repentance from sin, and salvation of the soul, living holily for Christ and the rapture or the saints going home to meet their Creator or anything spiritual. It was A-Z mammon.
But how it indescribably pays to prayerfully, compassionately and sincerely beam the Word searchlight on the sins in our midst with unyielding faith that the hearers will genuinely confess them to God, receive forgiveness and soul cleansing by the Blood of the Lamb. This is why the Church is still here. Jesus wants to save and save indeed, wants to set free and make free indeed, and the faith that brings this about comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God: The Word that pierces through to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, the Word that discern the heart and purges and sets it free from sin and makes it whole and pure for God.
In Hebrews 4:12 we read that “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Let us allow it (the Word) to do its primary work in our midst now that we still have our breath. Let us promote the center of God’s will and not mundane things. We shall join in addressing this issue with some hymns of mine. The first is a collection of posers that must very seriously concern us as preachers and Christians.

Have you seen this gate of hell?
Music, wording and dance steps from hell:
A net dragging children, youths and adults!
Have you seen the engulfed multitude here?
This broad-way’s lane terminates in hell.

Refrain

Have you seen these gates of hell?
Do you see their teeming captives as trees?
Where are the Christian mirrors?
Where is the heart-felt preaching?
And where is the agonizing prayer?
Or shall we say it doesn’t matter?

Have you seen this gate of hell?
Hell’s indecent clothing and ‘make-ups’:
A net dragging children, youth and adults!
Do you know many there be that finds it?
This broad-way’s lane terminates in hell.

Refrain

Have you seen this gate of hell?
Hell’s drama, acting and theatricals:
A net dragging children, youth and adults!
What of the untold number on this path?
This broad-way’s lane terminates in hell.

Refrain

Have you seen this gate of hell?
False marriages, porno and whoredom:
A net dragging children, youth and adults!
Do you see how reprobate men can be?
This broad-way’s lane terminates in hell.

Refrain

Have you seen this gate of hell?
Secret cults and weird ‘fraternities’:
Dragnet of elite, world leaders and all!
Do you know the horde of souls webbed in here?
This broad-way’s lane terminates in hell.

Refrain

Have you seen this gate of hell?
Forces beyond men compelling them:
Hence they so act, knowing not what they do!
How can these repent and ask for Mercy?
It’s when we earnestly pray and preach.

Refrain

The so-called prosperity preachers hardly go into what qualifies a man to give unto God. They hardly tell us that God does not really need anything from the sinner but his soul. To say that and to say it as the saints of old would put it may mean missing the offerings. So, usually the flesh and not the spirit have its way. They hardly tell us the inner character or disposition of the ‘offerer’ to God and giver to men that God accepts his offerings and gifts respectively. But may we present this:

“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling” – 1Timothy 1: 5-6. All our so-called works of charity not out of a pure heart is what 1 Corinthians 13: 3 viz.: “And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing” frowns at and really do not recognize as charity; for we may be involved in them and yet have not charity or love.

Good conscience is also very vital in all will do. Then faith, but faith is here properly defined: Faith unfeigned or sincere faith. So, faith may not be sincere. We can be exhibiting faith in the pulpit that is not sincere. We can be smelling lasciviousness, and visibly engrossed in merchandising in the pulpit in the name of faith. We can be encouraging and even commanding men to obey scriptural injunction in giving but to consume on our o

wn lust. We can be spurred to do and perform miracles by wrong motives and from what we can benefit there from. Indeed, most of the faith messages today are mere jangling, vain jangling!

Charity out of a pure heart, good conscience and faith unfeigned must attend our lives and ministries. We must not swerve or stray from them unto vain jangling. Love must be pure, conscience must be right and faith must be sincere; and we shall soon discover that we are presenting true Christianity and the people of God under us are getting it the real New Testament way. Away therefore with all these emotions and psychological maneuvering of our people because of our fleshly dictates and desires.

What Generation is this!
What happens to ‘freely you have received, freely you give’ that our holy forebears in this most precious faith held on to? Can we dare and be comfortable with laying another foundation! Or, how long shall we through covetousness feigned words and wrest Scriptures to make merchandise of men, in the Church. And how long shall we continue to turn the houses of God – at least so we call them – into dens of thieves? And, indeed, how long shall we continue to serve God and mammon together.

Of course, God has graciously allowed the individual saint to do commerce in the world, but certainly not in His altar. Commerce in His altar for individual gain is not saintly. And even in our commerce in the world He requires us to be very cautious and mindful. Yet, those who even dare to carry out individual commerce in the pulpit under whatever guise don’t even know any caution now. And so, chronic unbelievers are now catching in on this as they now put church signboards out to ‘do business’ and promote mammon. Grapevine is even full with stories of the cults now masking as churches to do brisk business. The press is also beginning to align with grapevine.

They are not satisfied with the proud, stonehearted and stiff-necked having no problem walking to the cults; they may have longed also to bring the unwary, innocent or artless into their dragnets. Now the stage has been cleared for the cults to walk out to these simple. And the signboards are erected. And the flesh needs all that. Appeals to emotion! Itching ears! And they are preyed on. And it doesn’t end with mammon only. What depth of Satanism the giving and receiving leads into we may not know. Let this second hymn drawn from Scriptures be a timely warning:

Certain men have crept in unawares.
These turn God’s grace into lasciviousness.
Ungodly men, the Scriptures call them,
Ordained of old to this condemnation!

Refrain

Let us forbid mammon worship;
Let’s not corrupt the Word of God,
Or deal untruly with the Scriptures.
But as of sincerity, but as of God,
In the sight of God, may we speak in Christ.

Through covetousness and by feigned words,
They shamelessly make merchandise of you;
Whose judgment for longtime lingers not,
And just as their damnation slumbers not!

Refrain

They that are such do not serve the Lord,
But their own belly, their very belly!
And by good words and with fair speeches,
They do deceive the hearts of the simple.

Refrain

Their very mouth must be stopped brethren.
For verily they subvert whole houses,
Teaching things which they ought not to teach;
And this they do for filthy lucre sake.

Refrain

Let’s no more walk after our own lust.
Never again should we run greedily
After Balaam’s error for reward!
Let’s spare our pulpits and pews this evil.

Refrain

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