Defining the modern understanding by many of this doctrine highlights the problem area .....
‘God wants me to be prosper and be rich in worldly things and it is God's desire for me to accumulate (ie hoard) my wealth’. It argues that God desires to make me rich rather than just providing all my needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:19)
God most certainly gives us 'richly all things to enjoy' (1 Tim 6:17)...and Jesus did say 'I have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly' (John 10:10).
The Teachings of Jesus
But Jesus’ other teachings must also be considered lest we get 'unbalanced' in this doctrine :-
Mat 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth……”
Mat 6:21 “For where your treasure is there will your heart be also..…”
Mat 6:23 “No man can serve two masters……You cannot serve God and Mammon (ie riches)”
Luke 12:16-21 Parable of the rich (hoarding) Fool… ‘This very night your life will be demanded of you’
Luke 16: 14-15 The Pharisees who loved money were sneering… ‘What is highly valued among men is detestable
in God’s sight’
Luke 19: 19-25 Story/parable of Lazarus and the rich man ...'How hard it is for those who have reiches to enter the kningdom of God'
The Apostles Doctrine
The main new testament scripture used to support this teaching comes from almost right at end of the NT
3 John vs 2 ‘Beloved I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health just as your soul prospers’
This scripture is not intended to teach that we should all be prosperous...it is a greeting and a blessing.
The prosperity doctrine overlooks numerous very clear scriptures which are less favourable and unsuitable
1 John 2:15-17 ‘Do not love the world or anything in the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world,
the love of the Father is not in him’
‘The world and its desires will pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever’
1 Tim 6:9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction
1Tim 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil, Some people eager for money have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs
"Prosperity" and "Blessing" taught outside of the context of its purpose, which is to enable us to have excess so that we can be generous to the poor and to sow into Gods kingdom, is often received by the heart of man as a justification for greed and love of the world.
Often the following scripture is quoted
2 Cor 8:9
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. NKJV
The rest of the passage however refers to the fact that God blesses us SO that we can help others ...as does the next chapter
2 Cor 9:10-11
10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. NKJV
God blesses us to BE a blessing
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
As believers we will respond to God's blessing on our lives with a generous heart to the needs of others. The love of God in our hearts will be expressed through us practically as His children.