As Christians, we are supposed to be becoming more like Jesus. When people see us, they should be seeing the good example of what a Christian should be. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” Our lives should be a constant transformation into the type of person that Jesus was. And what kind of person was Jesus? There are several aspects of what He was. For this discussion, let me narrow that down to a few: kind; gentle; He gave His life as a ransom for many; He never had much money, instead He trusted someone else to carry what little He and the disciples had.
There are prosperity teachers within the church that say we should be prosperous because we are to be kings in this world. They think that we should be more like King David, whom God made a king over Israel and had a lot of riches. These teachers themselves collect a lot of money from the faithful and live prosperous lives. I have read the entire Bible and the only person whom I see in the Bible who was called to be like David was David himself. From what I have read in the Bible we don’t get to pick and choose which Biblical person we get to be like; God has a different plan for each person. We are to be more like Jesus. So as followers of Christ, are we being like Him when we are seeking financial prosperity? Or are we instead supposed to be giving more money to others so they also can do the work that God calls them to? Jesus never kept a lot of money for himself in His lifetime. He never lived in a nice house. He once told someone who wanted to follow Him “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Mt. 8:20). Evidently, Jesus didn’t have much money with Him. Jesus was generous, although He didn’t have much. At one time He told the disciples “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” (Mt 14:16), but the disciples responded ““We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.” (Mt. 14:17). So, Jesus and the disciples didn’t have much money on them, they didn’t even have enough to feed themselves at this point. So, we see that Jesus wasn’t rich. We know that people gave him money to sustain himself, but it looks like they were barely making a living.
I am not saying that Christians cannot be successful business people. There are several who are. But what are they doing with their money? Are they keeping most of it for themselves, or are they being generous with their extra money? After all, if God didn’t bless some people with prosperity who gave, there wouldn’t be as much money being given to ministries. This article is not about being successful business people, it is about prosperity teachers.
At least two prosperity teachers, Kenneth Copeland and Jesse Duplantis, have bought private planes so they can travel. Duplantis has said “I really believe that if the Lord Jesus Christ was physically on the Earth today, he wouldn’t be riding a donkey,” Duplantis says in the video. “He’d be in an airplane flying all over the world.” Would Jesus really do that? I believe that he is partially right, Jesus wouldn’t ride a donkey. After all, Jesus didn’t even own a donkey. The donkey that the Bible says that Jesus did ride was borrowed by His disciples. Jesus got around by foot. I know that itinerant preachers have to travel; but are private planes really the best use of God’s money? Or would it be more practical for these preachers to fly in commercial aircraft instead?
I have not seen in the Bible where we are to be selfish, but we are to be selfless. Ephesians 4:22-24 22 says “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” It seems to me that by wanting to fly around in their private planes these preachers are being selfish, wanting to use money that people have entrusted to them for their own pleasure and benefit.
Philippians 2:4 teaches “not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” It seems to me that if these preachers really were looking out for the interests of others that they would be investing more of the money that comes into their ministries into other ministries so that more people can benefit from it. For them not to look to their own interests in having their own planes, but instead to give themselves into the work of the Kingdom of God and give any extra money that comes into their ministries to other ministers so that the Kingdom of God can be advanced, not the kingdom of the prosperity teachers.
It seems to me that these preachers are into building their treasures here on the earth. They are not looking to the eternal Kingdom of God, but they are looking at this short-term time upon the earth. Do they think that God will give them abundant riches after they die and meet the Lord? Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus tells us “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” It sure looks like these people are building their treasures upon the earth. Even though they are going around preaching Jesus, it looks like they sure do treasure money. And the Bible says that you cannot serve God and money.
We need to be giving our tithes and offerings to Christian ministries and building our treasures in Heaven. We should not be giving our tithes and offerings to help Christian ministers who are building their treasures on earth.