Any typical Christian has likely heard of pastors such as Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, and other individuals who push an ideology of faith that is so outrageous it is quickly rejected by many. Anyone who has read the Bible can easily debunk their claims on prosperity and "God's provision," as many of these men's views are unbiblical. However, these ideologies are no longer quarantined to the massive Southern megachurches.
Prosperity Gospel is seeping into churches around the nation, strangling believers and leading them astray.
What is prosperity gospel? It is the idea that if you follow God's commandment's correctly, he will literally reward your bank account. Ironically enough, pastors that preach this mentality often encourage their members to give large offerings because "God will give it right back to you tenfold in your bank account." Proponents of this belief often cite verses such as the following:
"And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." — Hebrews 11:7
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." — Matthew 7:7
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance." — Psalm 33:12
It is understandable to see where followers of this ideology obtain their justification. The problem, however, is that they are taking these verses completely out of context. The Lord has rewarded believers with eternal life, through the death of his son Jesus Christ, and with the fruits of the spirit to act in the image we were created in.
That is the reward.
Not riches. Not money. Not cars. Not nice houses. Some proponents will even go as far as to say that poor individuals must not have strong enough faith, otherwise God would have blessed them with money.
What kind of worldly lie is that?
Jesus called the rich man to drop everything to follow him and said many times that one cannot serve two masters: God and Money. If the motive for serving Christ derives for a hope of monetary reward, do you really think God doesn't see right through that? If your purpose for following God is in the effort of financial gain, you have completely missed the point of the gospel.
Christ came to save, deliver, and sanctify believers. The gospel is not a get-rich-quick scheme or something to be used to our own advantage. At that point, it's no longer the gospel, but our own sinful nature implementing a self-serving philosophy.
If your church holds these ideas, test them against scripture. If it doesn't stand against scripture, maybe it's a place you shouldn't be.