How America Destroyed the Gospel
This is an excellent video by Inspiring Philosophy. The prosperity gospel I read on Joel Osteen Ministries is built on false hope and wishful thinking, and that's not right. In your pursuit of joy, you've got to be really careful that just because it's in a Christian bookstore, on the Christian radio station, or on Christian television, doesn't necessarily mean that it's right. By Osteen's opinion, that walking closely with God in maturity of faith means that you are wealthy, with good relationships, living in victory, without pain, and without anxiety, excludes Jesus.
If God’s plan for you is that you would prosper, that you would be rich, that you would have more than enough money to pay your bills, what does that say about Jesus who was born in what? A rich family, or poor family? Poor family. He worked a common job for 30 years, spent three years in ministry, flat broke, homeless, sometimes hungry, and when it came time to pay his taxes, like some of you, he couldn't afford it.
How about this issue of relationships? Did Jesus ever have any strange relationships? I feel ridiculous asking the question. Does God want you to have great relationships, that you need to be a total victor, winner? Well, Jesus (our great God and Savior) had his family disown him, his friends abandon him, Judas betray him, and the crowd scream "Crucify him!"
How about this issue of pain? Apparently God doesn't want you to have pain. Did Jesus ever suffer physical pain? Some of you have constant, chronic, physical pain. Jesus was beaten, his beard plucked, crown of thorns put on his head, scourged, beaten, whipped within the near point of his own death, and then was crucified between two thieves. You know what that is? Pain. Excruciating, horrendous, physical pain.
How about this other issue of victory? Apparently God doesn't want you to be a victim, but to be a victor. Was Jesus ever victimized? Some of you have been victimized; been raped, abandoned, beaten, molested, abused, neglected, hated, despised, betrayed. You ever been a victim? It happens all the time. Jesus was, with false accusations, false witnesses, false trial, false condemnation, false execution. That's a victim.
And lastly, are you in despair? Apparently if you really know God, and you really trust God, you won't be a person who has any anxiety. You'll be fine. Was Jesus fine? Remember the night before Jesus died? He was in the garden of Gethsemane so stressed out that he couldn't even sleep, and his stress level was so high that he literally sweated drops of blood, which is unbelievable anxiety. A relationship with God is not all lollipops, skipping while singing hymns. There are days that are very, very hard, and very difficult, and very painful.
The real gospel message is this:
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us live our lives consistent with our confession of faith. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses. Instead, we have one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet he never sinned. So let us keep on coming boldly to the throne of grace, so that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.