The Bible is a book with truths from God that covers all the topics of life that we need to know about to be Christ like, fruitful, and productive Christians. There has been a great amount of teachings in recent years about prosperity and money, some very balanced and some not so balanced. It causes some believers to totally turn off their hearing to anything about money and others to turn off their hearing to anything not about money. I’ve always believed the Bible does speak about the blessing of financial prosperity or having riches, and being blessed financially, but it also says a lot about the dangers of prosperity, warnings about covetousness, and our accountability as stewards of God for all He blesses us with. I also believe the true message of prosperity is not merely about getting or a “getting” message. It is having for giving, being blessed so we can be a blessing, and being good stewards who seek first the Kingdom of God to advance the Gospel in the Earth.
We seem to always go from one extreme to the other where every message a preacher preaches is about money to the other extreme of never mentioning money at all thinking we are being humble. The Bible is not silent on the subject and neither should we think it is wrong to talk about it. As a Pastor I’ve had to deal with the trauma that divorce can bring to a marriage and have seen how unbiblical thinking about money can add to the pressure that drives couples to choose divorce. I’ve heard statistics say that 50 percent of all divorces are related to financial problems/pressures. In the New Testament Gospels, in the chapters where Jesus taught on divorce, Matthew 5 and 19; Mark 10; and Luke 16, each chapter and context also dealt with money or the stewardship. I find it interesting also that in the Old Testament, it is no coincidence that the book of Malachi chapter 1 deals with offerings; chapter 2 divorce; chapter 3 tithing. Throughout the Bible we can find how the improper truth about the use of money can lead to destruction. Many people in the Bible ended up shipwrecked spiritually because of the improper use or desire for money.
1. Balaam used his spiritual gift for money Numbers 22 24.
2. Achan brought judgment on all Israel when he yielded to covetousness Joshua 7.
3. Gehazi tried to take material advantage of another’s ministry and was struck with leprosy 2 Kings 5.
4. The first sin recorded in the Early Church concerned the hypocrisy in the giving of money (Ananias and Saphira) Acts 5:1 10.
In the New Testament there are serious warnings concerning money. The Bible clearly teaches us that money is not evil in itself—it is amoral (not evil/or good), it is our attitude toward it. It is our love for it more than our love for God that gets us into trouble with covetousness.
1. We are warned not to make the accumulation of wealth our main ambition in life Luke 12:16 21; 1 Timothy 6:9.
2. We are warned not to value material gain above spiritual gain 1 Timothy 6:6, 11.
3. We are warned that the love for money will end in destruction 1 Timothy 6:9 11.
4. We are warned of the woes and misery of wicked wealth James 5:1-9.
Should we talk about something that can produce such serious consequences? YES, and especially as Christians in America where we have access to so much abundance.