Every generation of human beings has strayed away from the truth due to the fall of man in the Garden of Eden and our current culture is no different. The sad thing is that the Church has strayed too and has allowed the spirit of the age to influence it as well. The truths of the Gospel are being watered down to become more palatable to a godless culture. When the church becomes filled with the world’s culture (its views, values, ways, and thinking), it becomes ineffective and no different from the world without Jesus around it. With regard to the spirit of the age and its culture getting into the church the great Evangelist D.L Moody wrote, “The place for the ship is the sea, but God help the ship if the sea gets into it.” I believe what is really letting the water into the ship is what is being left out or not being said by our preachers from our pulpits. For example:
I believe in God’s plan of blessing for His children, prosperity, and our redemption in Christ from the curse of poverty. What is often left out is God’s plan for stewardship of resources of which we will one day give an accounting for. Many have been blessed with resources and have been very generous in supporting the Gospel in their church, in supporting ministries, and in giving to missions. There are others who have just consumed it all on themselves with no thought of stewardship and have strayed in their relationship to God. Prosperity and Divine blessing were never intended to make us independent of God. We need to know about the blessing of God and prosperity but also about the dangers and warnings. Some of those warnings are seen in 2 Chronicles which stresses the dangers of forsaking God in times of prosperity, becoming indifferent, and independent of God? It can be seen in the decline in the lives of six different men who prospered that are mentioned in its chapters:
1. ASA – 2 Chron. 16:12, 13, it shifted his trust to man; later in his life when he got sick he didn’t seek God and died.
2. JEHOSHAPHAT – 2 Chron. 18:1, he entered into a wrong relationship with an evil king and almost got killed; later the consequences of his compromise was reaped by his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and the nation of Judah.
3. JEHORAM – 2 Chron. 21:3, 4, lost his sons except one, his wives, possessions, and died of an incurable disease.
4. AMAZIAH – 2 Chron. 25: 11-14, turned to idol gods and turned away from following the Lord.
5. UZZIAH – 2 Chron. 26:16, got lifted up in pride, transgressed against the Lord, intruded into offices of ministry that were not for him and died a leper.
6. HEZEKIAH – 2 Chron. 32:23-25, got lifted up in pride and became a show off of all his prosperity, and cut short his usefulness.
Yes, God wants to bless us with benefits daily but we cannot leave out the warnings. When was the last time you heard these stories in a teaching on prosperity. When was the last time you’ve heard prosperity, blessing, and increase coupled with stewardship in the same sentence or message. I am not advocating preaching poverty or to quit preaching prosperity. Any honest person can tell, though, the spirit of the world (the sea getting into the ship) has gotten into the Church and in peoples lives. Only mentioning one truth to the exclusion of all others can get us into error by overemphasis. No one truth is all the truth of the Bible. The majority of it is being caused by what is being left out and not said from our pulpits.