THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL- Introduction
Both Word-Faith teachers and certain Mind Science cults teach that we can have whatever we confess as long as we have faith. Is this true?
THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL- Believe and Receive?
In Mark 11:22-24 Jesus does say, “whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be done for you.” Does this mean that faith is a force that makes whatever we believe and say come to pass? No, it does not! According to Jesus’ own words here, it is God, not the believer, who actually brings the thing about. Thus, Jesus says, “it will be done for you,” not “you will do it”; “believe that you have received it,” not “believe that you have taken it.” And this will happen when we pray, that is, when we ask God. So, our faith is to be in God, not in our faith or in our words.
THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL- Conditions for Receiving Answers
Elsewhere the Bible clearly stipulates conditions for receiving answers to prayer. For example, we are told that we must abide in Christ and have His Word abiding in us [John 15:7]; that we must not ask with wrong motives [James 4:3]; that we must have our earthly relationships in order [e.g., 1 Pet. 3:7]; and that what we ask must be according to His will [1 John 5:14]. While it is wrong to use these verses as excuses never to ask God for things, it is also wrong to ignore these verses and teach that one can get anything one wants in prayer.
THE PROSPERITY GOSPEL- Conclusion
Our understanding of prayer must be based on everything the Bible says. God is a personal, sovereign Father who loves us, who knows better than we do what is best for us, and who works mysteriously through even evil circumstances to bring blessing to us and to others. We cannot twist God’s arm, nor are we little gods who can command whatever we wish into being. We are God’s little children, who must depend on God for everything and trust God even when our prayers seem unanswered.On prayer and faith, and the Prosperity Gospel, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.