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Ronald David Bruno

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Let’s get this issue settled. Let's first define what prosperity is. We can think of it as flourishing, thriving, succeeding with good fortune, success in social circles, basically achieving what you set your heart out to achieve.
Our lot in life isn't for all of us to prosper financially, to be kings or at the top of the A list for achievers. Everyone's destiny is different. Some are on top, some in the middle and many on the bottom. We prosper in other ways. Many who are financially rich are miserable even to the point of committing suicide.
Many of us can find contenment with little to nothing and/or with riches as well. George Baily was the richest man in town, in many ways except for money. He had a loving family and lots of friends who loved him! It was really a wonderful life for the Baileys. Love that movie!

>> Does God want His children to be impoverished, to fail and to suffer?

>> Does God prosper us?

Let’s examine some of the teachings in the Old and New Testaments.

1
. “Abraham was very rich in livestock, in silver and in gold.” Gen. 13:2
>> He prospered Abraham not only with his innumerable offspring, but with material wealth. Oh well, that was Abraham, he was special.

2. “Lot also, who went with Abram, had flocks herds and tents …” Gen.13:5-6
>> Well, okay, he favored Lot too.

3. “If you walk in My statues and keep My commandments, and perform them, then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit … “ Lev. 26:3

4. “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.” Deut. 30:15-16


5. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8

6.
He sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper. 2 Chronicles 26:5

7.
Job was very prosperous and speaks of it: “If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity.” Job 36:11

8
. Blessed is the man who walks in delight of the Law and meditates on it: “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” Psalm 1:3

9.
The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing. Psalm 34:10

10.
Let them shout for joy and be glad, who favor my righteous cause; and let them say continually, “Let the Lord be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.” Psalm 35:27

11.
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:3-4

12
. Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10

13
. I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me. Riches and honor are with me, enduring riches and righteousness. Proverbs 8:17
>> Certainly one needs perspective here. Spiritual riches are much more valuable. We are blessed with the fruit of the Spirit. But our lives temporarily are in the world and we need provisions, we toil for them. So it is not an evil doctrine that faith, love and obedience and work can prosper us.

Selfish people don’t prosper :
14. The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself. Proverbs 11:25
>> Loving others is giving to others in some way, our time, being generous, sharing things.

Warnings to the lazy and blessings for the diligent:
15. The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich. Proverbs 13:4
>> A strong work ethic leads to prosperity! “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.” The Bible gives us numerous warnings for those who are lazy and choose to fold their hands and make excuses. “What you sow is what you reap.”


The sinful do not prosper:
16. He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. Proverbs 28:13

17. He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the Lord will be prospered. Proverbs 28:25


The giver prospers:
18. He who gives to the poor will not lack, but he who hides his eyes will have many curses. Proverbs 28:27


Prosperity is a gift from God. King Solomon was certainly aware of that:
19. As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God. Ecc.5:19

20.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8

21.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

22. “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the Lord of hosts; “and all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,” says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 3:10-12

23
. He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Romans 8:32

24.
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

25.
And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

26.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

27. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17

28
. Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 John 2

29.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
>> Spiritual eternal life, yes; but He also blesses us in this life abundantly.

30. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
>> Faith can move mountains. We can't accomplish much without faith.

31. And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23

32. Give and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you." Luke 6:38


What can we say about the Biblical teaching about prosperity?

Does God want His children to be impoverished, to fail and to suffer? NO
Does God prosper us? Yes


To sum things up, what is required of us to prosper?

1. Seek God, in prayer, (talk to God)

2. Trust God, pray knowing He will answer your prayer, but knowing that He says no sometimes because it is best for you.

3. Love God by serving and obeying Him and pray for guidance!

4. Love your neighbor and pray for them!

5. Keeping His statutes, means following His path of righteousness, which sort of includes this entire list and more. The Bible statutes set boundaries for life. God knows our needs and what is best for us. His regulations, requirements and laws are to protect us through our journey in life. Christianity is practicality. We live within boundaries, one’s that God sets, laws of the land, common sense living. Violating boundaries puts us at risk. If we are wise we stay away from dangers and the pitfalls in life. Listen to and do everything the Bible tells you to do. Also listen to your parents, obey the laws of the land, go to school, exercise, eat good food, don’t do risky and foolish things.

7. Honor the Lord with your possessions, give!

8. Work, be diligent, sow bountifully!

9. Don’t sin!

10. Be faithful!

 
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Gospel Believer

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Let’s get this issue settled. Let's first define what prosperity is. We can think of it as flourishing, thriving, succeeding with good fortune, success in social circles, basically achieving what you set your heart out to achieve.
Our lot in life isn't for all of us to prosper financially, to be kings or at the top of the A list for achievers. Everyone's destiny is different. Some are on top, some in the middle and many on the bottom. We prosper in other ways. Many who are financially rich are miserable even to the point of committing suicide.
Many of us can find contenment with little to nothing and/or with riches as well. George Baily was the richest man in town, in many ways except for money. He had a loving family and lots of friends who loved him! It was really a wonderful life for the Baileys. Love that movie!

>> Does God want His children to be impoverished, to fail and to suffer?




What can we say about the Biblical teaching about prosperity?

Does God want His children to be impoverished, to fail and to suffer? NO
Does God prosper us? Yes


To sum things up, what is required of us to prosper?

1. Seek God, in prayer, (talk to God)

2. Trust God, pray knowing He will answer your prayer, but knowing that He says no sometimes because it is best for you.

3. Love God by serving and obeying Him and pray for guidance!

4. Love your neighbor and pray for them!

5. Keeping His statutes, means following His path of righteousness, which sort of includes this entire list and more. The Bible statutes set boundaries for life. God knows our needs and what is best for us. His regulations, requirements and laws are to protect us through our journey in life. Christianity is practicality. We live within boundaries, one’s that God sets, laws of the land, common sense living. Violating boundaries puts us at risk. If we are wise we stay away from dangers and the pitfalls in life. Listen to and do everything the Bible tells you to do. Also listen to your parents, obey the laws of the land, go to school, exercise, eat good food, don’t do risky and foolish things.

7. Honor the Lord with your possessions, give!

8. Work, be diligent, sow bountifully!

9. Don’t sin!

10. Be faithful!
You have raised many good points.....much wisdom in this post


I think the best thing that God can do for a man is have him reach the point that Paul did......Paul did not care if he was rich and he did not care if he was poor—- Paul learned to be “ Content” no matter what the situation was.....THAT is the greatest place to find you yourself.....
 
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Ronald David Bruno

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Many statutes, ordinances and judgments are related to prosperity that don't actually say the word, but encourage us in our walk and warn us what not to do. Everything that is good is a blessing. "Encourage one another" is said forty times in the New Testament. That falls under loving our neighbor.
The idea of growth in physical and spiritual life reflects prosperity.
We believe in Jesus and we are given eternal life, so anything less than that is not prosperity at all, which is why I confined to speak of prosperity among God's children so far.

Prosperity among non-believers, (but not necessarily wicked and evil doers who step on everyone to get up the ladder of success), is a gift too. Why? Because God has worked that into his plan for that individual for a lesson later in life when He finally draws the person, they see the light and are saved.
My father was an atheist for most of his life. You wouldn't know it by his character though: a kind , loving, responsible, hard working father, a real gentleman who never said a bad word about anyone. Anyways he was brought up by believers, his parents and seven sisters. But when he was ten years, his father got sick with TB (around 1941). He got down on his knees to pray to God for his life. His father died and so did the little faith that my father had in God. So God didn't answer his prayer in the way he wanted.
Even so, being brought up with Biblical principals taught to him, they stuck with him. He lived by them, knowing they were true, that they worked, but not remembering where they came from. He thought they evolved in civilization, that man figured them out and applied them. Later on in life, I pointed out that all these principals he lived by and taught us came from the Bible.
Anyways, God prospered him for a purpose and years before his death, he came full circle, got on his knees after 70 years and prayed to God. This time God answered his prayer.
 

Ronald David Bruno

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Evil men prosper too. God allows this for a purpose. We just don't know and inserstand what that is. It could be to teach a person a lesson or the rest of us. It could lead to his demise? Or later he might be saved?
When wealth is given, much is expected to be shared. Some peiple do and some don't.
So we tend to tie a negative connotation to the rich as if theor prosperity is always evil. It isn't. It is a stereo-type we irresponsibly assign to them. It could be rooymted in jealous envy too. Omr person can't attain it so he attacks oy, " It must be evil!" Sometimes the person is totally evil.
Remember money is not evil. The "love" of money is. That means you wirship and balue money over God and people. You are a slave to it and can'tnseem to satisfy your hunger for more.
King Solomon was the richest man who ever lived and he was the wisest - next to Christ obviously. God prospered him for a purpose - for him and us to learn that life without God leads to "futility"; ... "chasing after the wind"; ... "vanity of vanities". Solomon learned by experience these lessons of wisdom because he was rich and able to do it all. That is what he asked God for, wisdom to rule his nation.
We should realize that God is sovereign and so has all this under control.
Everything has its purpose.
Evil has its purpose and though we don't want any part of it, it is in God's plan, it is His will.
 

Wrangler

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I think the opposition to what is called "The Prosperity Gospel" has to do with purpose, as well as cause and effect. The reason to become a Christian is not to materially prosper. And becoming a Christian is NOT the cause of those who are prosperous.

There are plenty of verses in Scripture about evil people prospering.

In my walk with Christ, blessings come with the walk but not because I said I believed. During COVID shutdown, I lost my job and hardly any professional jobs were around. I was led by the Spirit to take menial temporary jobs. It was obvious to me that I was there at each site to reach a certain person. The pattern was distinct and I felt the strong nudge of the Spirit as I traveled from one temporary job to another.

Did I prosper during this time? Not in the classic sense. But bringing glory to God is our calling, not to enrich ourselves materially. As one saint said, our lord did not even have a pillow to rest his head. Who are we following with all this prosperity?
 

Ronald David Bruno

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I think the opposition to what is called "The Prosperity Gospel" has to do with purpose, as well as cause and effect.
Well, isnt the posperity that God blesses those in the Bible with or anyone, because they are in line with His purpose?
His purpose for mankind is to be reconciled to Him through Christ so we must first seek Him, then trust, serve and love God -(all purposeful), keep His statutes, love our neighbor, not sin, work, give and have faith - all purposeful.
As you mentioned, spreading the gospel is purposeful. And as I said, prosperity comes in different packages - it's not necessarily financial wealth.

I think what some of these preachers might tend to leave out of the equation, is that people cannot just show up to receive this prayer blessing of prosperity over the whole congregation including those at home watching it on TV, while doing nothing. Clearly God will bless some who are actively participating alongside God's purpose for them. Loving, giving, serving working hard and not sinning will merits blessings from God.
People get disillusional when nothing happens and this might cause them turn against the preacher and the doctrine ... "Woe is me ... I'll never prosper ... this is false teacing ... from the pit hell!"
Ask this person if there is sin in their life or what their ministry is, or suggest maybe their faith is weak and they will probably turn and quickly put up a defensive posture and deny it has anything to do with them.
But the Bible clearly gives us at least a bundle of prerequisites that accompany prosperity.
 
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