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God Will Prosper You [8-16-20]

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

What does the Bible say is the root of all evil? Right…the love of money. There's nothing wrong with money. Money is value neutral…commerce is value neutral…the economy is value neutral. Money is like tofu. Just as tofu takes on whatever flavor is added to it, money takes on whatever value we add to it.

People need money. People need to go out and earn money. Hey, sometimes people win money. However it's gotten, money is an important part of life. Amen?

I think free-market capitalism is the best economic policy in a broken and fallen world. I think private property ownership is the best way out of poverty for developing countries. Before socialism/communism/ totalitarianism gripped many African countries, Africa was a net food exporting continent. Here in America, I think the only difference, economically, between Democrats and Republicans is that while they both want to spend our money, Republicans want to spend it at a slower rate. I think free and open markets lead to a robust economy. They provide the best opportunity for most people, most of the time.

"The Godfather" has one of the best opening lines in a movie, ever. Vito Corleone says, "I believe in America, America is where I made my fortune…" There is so much right and wrong in that one short sentence. Money is important to life. But it's not the most important thing in life. Are you with me on that?

So today we're going to talk about money. But not in the context of raising a budget or kicking off a stewardship campaign. Today we're going to talk about money in the context of a false teaching that has gripped America and is now being exported all over the world. Like every other generation of Christians, we need to push back against false teaching. Today, men and women are adding a heretical teaching to the gospel. And remember, whenever you add anything to the gospel, you lose the gospel. Many are getting their ears tickled by hearing things they want to hear rather than things they need to hear. As 2 Timothy 4:3-4 reminds us, "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths."

Our first place to turn is to a letter in the New Testament that is so short, it isn't divided into chapter and verse. Only verses because there's only one chapter. It's the letter written by Jude. Jude was the brother of James and Jesus. His purpose for writing was to encourage believers to contend for the one true faith by resisting false teachers and following the truth. Because the gospel was under assault, Jude had some things he needed to address. I know, we'd rather talk about good things, and avoid pointing out error. We want to be hopeful and positive. Critiquing false teaching hardly feels positive and hopeful. But sometimes a false teaching becomes so pervasive, it has to be addressed. I think that's where we are with the prosperity gospel.