What Are the 3 Things Prosperity Gospel Gets Wrong? Pastor John Piper Answers

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Pastor John Piper, founder of Desiring God, has always been very critical of prosperity gospel, which is a belief held by some Christians that financial blessing and physical well-being are what God wills for them. But despite his criticisms, Piper said he never wishes or prays for anyone to experience poverty or suffering.

"No one, I think, should make it his aim to suffer from poverty or sickness or calamity or persecution. Those are not the goals of life. And we rejoice when people are delivered from them into Christ-exalting well-being," he shared on his website.

Still, Piper said there are three glaring flaws found in prosperity gospel that must be addressed. First, Piper said prosperity gospel leads people to belief that they should excel in this life instead of focusing on what is intended for the next life.

"Scripture is crystal-clear that in the next life, the age to come, there will be no sickness, no poverty, no persecution, no calamity, no evil, no discouragement of any kind," he said. "In other words, the gospel does include health, wealth and prosperity. It is coming; namely, in the age to come when we are so spiritually mature and perfected that we are suited to enjoy these things to the full with no hint of idolatry."

Next, Piper slammed the theology's wrong perspective. Prosperity gospel lets people neglect the biblical teaching on the necessity of suffering in this life and the goodness of God in it. It makes God's earthly blessings "superficial," said Piper, because discipleship is taken out of the equation.

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Lastly, prosperity gospel offers wrong comfort. Piper said prosperity preachers tend "to comfort people not with the presence of Christ in suffering and His rescue from suffering in the age to come," but with "the assurance that they will get out of suffering in this life if they follow the right prescription."

Piper said Christians should refer to Romans chapter 8 because it will make people accept whatever circumstances they face in life "with unshakable joy and hope that, in all our pain and in all our sorrow and frustration and disappointment, nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ."

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