The Prosperity Gospel
John Piper recently answered the question, “Can a true believer be fooled into believing the prosperity gospel?” It’s a good question and one that I commented on briefly in my article series, Adding to the Atonement (in particular, “The Dangers of Adding to the Atonement“). There, I described how people could come to Jesus under wrong pretenses. In other words, if they professed repentance and belief in Christ because they were convinced that they would have financial and bodily prosperity afterwards, they have essentially believed in a different Jesus. One that cannot save them – because he doesn’t exist.
People who come to Christ for prosperous gain are set up to be let down. If the things that they were promised by the prosperity gospel do not come to past, they are easily dissappointed in the gospel and turn away. This is not just a possibility, it is a common thing. We even have examples in the Bible like the rich man in Luke 18:23.
However, while it is possible, it is not necessary. There are some true believers who come to Christ with genuine repentance and a genuine belief that is satisfied in having forgiveness and salvation primarily, rather than earthly prosperity. These people may be confused or sad when things don’t happen like expected, but they will not turn from faith in Christ because they desire more than anthing else to be in Him.
John Piper answers in a similar way.