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Myth 2:  Revelation 2:8-11
Prosperity Proves God's Approval

 
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Myth 4  |  Myth 5  |  Myth 6  |  Myth 7

IMAGINE THE LOOK ON PEOPLE'S faces when Jacob told them he had wrestled with an angel, had his hip dislocated, now walks with a limp, and considers himself extremely blessed.

What is your understanding of “blessed?”

Most would not consider a limp a sign of God's approval. It is negative. It is painful. It will be a handicap for the rest of Jacob's life...yet it is a blessing.

As a pastor, I've heard most Christians equate blessings with prosperity, success, and good things happening. When bad things come, they wonder why God has forsaken them and often question the purpose and effectiveness of Christianity and are ready to "jump ship."

If you ask the first century Christians about the evidence of God's approval upon their lives, they would speak of rejection, loss of job, divided families, physical persecution, and even death. A casual walk through Foxe's Book of Christian Martyrs would quickly put you in contact with troubles for God's people throughout Church history. And a look at God's chosen people, Israel, reveals anything but smooth sailing.

No, prosperity and success as we define it here in America are not signs of God's approval. On the contrary, out of the seven churches in Revelation two and three, five of them were prosperous and successful; two were filled with trouble and poverty...and guess which ones found God's approval--you got it, the poor and persecuted. Read about these churches in Revelation two versus eight through eleven and chapter three versus seven through thirteen. It is also interesting to note that the hope that these approved churches are given is not the end of their troubles in this life, but more troubles until death greets them with open arms. I think we prosperous Americans need to rethink God's concept of approval through the eyes of the Bible.

It is clear that suffering cannot be separated from Christianity: they are weaved tightly together.

There is an indictment against the modern church: it is rich and prosperous with the things of this world, yet does not know that it is spiritually blind, poor, and far removed from God.

It is time to return to God and fear Him more than the great troubles that may be encountered.

It is past time to return to our own secret closet and develop an actual relationship with an actual God who is actually there.

It is time for each and everyone to return to steadfastness, no matter what it may cost.

Fear of man, versus fear of God, leads to various corruptions. One of these is thinking that God's voice is always positive, speaking what is without harm or offense. This will be explained further in Myth #3