The Case for Biblical Prosperity
There has been much uproar, opposition and even mockery against preaching about prosperity. Is it wrong? Is it a sin? Is God against Christians and pastors and preachers prospering?
General Definition of Prosperity
Prosperity: according to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, prosperity is the “Condition of being successful or thriving; especially: economic well-being.”
- The general definition for the word success or successful, according to the Oxford dictionary is:
• The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
• The attainment of fame, wealth, or social status.
• A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains fame, wealth, etc.
What does the Bible say about accomplishing goals?
Proverbs 21:5 (NKJV): Planning is good:
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty”
Philippians 3:13-14: Striving to accomplish your goal is commendable:
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
2 Chronicles 15:7: Persevering in work will be rewarded
“But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!’
Habakkuk 2:2-3: Writing the vision down will bring success
“Then the LORD answered me and said: ‘Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.’”
Psalm 37:4 (NKJA) The fulfillment of your goals:
“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
Proverbs 24:27 (NLT) Planning is a must for success:
“Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Seek God and He will show you the way
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.”
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT PROSPERITY?
According to Genesis 1:26-28, God wants His children to increase and multiply:
And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
Original Hebrew words from verse 28: (Source: Blueletterbible.org):
- Fruitful: [Parah]: This word means to bear fruit, to bring forth (fruit), (be, cause to be, make) fruitful, grow, increase.
• God wants His people to bear fruit, to bring forth fruit, be fruitful, cause to be fruitful, grow and increase. The word fruit signify results, positive outcomes.
- Multiply: [Rabah]: This word signifies, to increase (in whatever respect): - (bring in) abundance (abundantly), be in authority, bring up, continue, enlarge, excel, exceeding (-ly), be full of, (be, make) great (-er, -ly), grow up, heap, increase, be long, and so on.
• According to the original Hebrew word that was use to translate to Multiply, God equipped His people to increase in whatever they are doing, to bring in abundance and abundantly, to be in authority and to continue to excel.
- Replenish: [Male’]: This word signifies, to fill or be full of, in a wide application – accomplish, confirm, consecrate, and so on.
According to John 10:10, Jesus came to give us ABUNDANT LIFE:
In John chapter 10, verse (NKJV), the Lord Jesus said that, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
According to Jesus, He did not only come to save us to go to heaven but also to have abundant life while living here on earth.
- What is the meaning abundance or abundant?
The Greek word that was used is the word: Perissos.
It means in the sense of beyond; superabundant in quantity or superior in quality; by implication, excessive; preeminence, exceeding abundantly above, more abundantly, advantage, exceedingly, very highly, beyond measure, etc.
That’s the type of life Jesus said He came to give us. Without a doubt, He also promised that we will have tribulation and persecution. But that does not negate the fact that He came to give His followers abundant life.
The Apostle Paul made this bold declaration to the Christians at Ephesus, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or thin, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20, NKJV).
At an occasion while the disciples were walking with Jesus before His death, resurrection and ascension, Peter told Jesus, now that we have left everything to follow You, “What’s in it for us”? (Paraphrased).
“Then Peter began to say to Him, ‘See, we have left all and followed You.’ So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time-houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions-and in the age to come, eternal life” (Mark 10:28-30).
We will conclude this phase with this last passage.
3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
John told Gaius and all of God’s people that to the degree that your soul prospers, may you prosper in your health and in all you do.
Certainly, one will find the word prosper mentioned in the Bible at least 48 times.
Is prosperity a biblical word or man-made?
Is it wrong to prosper and to have abundance?
Does God want us and expect us to prosper?
What do you think?
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