The news today provides another example of corruption in the church. Stories like this end up turning people away from the gospel instead of drawing them closer. A pastor asking for donations of over $60 mil for a private jet.
This type of preacher, one that seeks to grow their checking account more than grow the kingdom, simply are not preaching the gospel of Jesus. And this is not a new things in our day and age. This same thing existed at the very beginning of the church. Let’s see how Peter handled it in Acts 8:9-25.
Here was a man practicing magic but heard the good news. His name was Simon and the Bible says “Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.” (v13). When Simon saw the power that Peter and John had (with the Holy Spirit), he asked for this power himself. Peter, seeing his ill intent, responded in a way we need to respond to preachers like “Pastor Creflo Dollar”.
“May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” (v 20-23)
People like Dollar have been around for thousands of years. The may even believe themselves in the beginning (like Simon obviously did here), but their heart is still focused on their own gain over the gain of the Kingdom of Heaven. But they give Christianity a bad name. The very message of this “prosperity gospel” has absolutely no truth at all. Yes, Jesus did tell us to ask and it will be given, but He also said that “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Paul also spoke heavily of the trials being critical to our growth.
Not one ounce of truth exists in the prosperity gospel that is preached by people like Dollar (perhaps people should have been warned by his name). You can not serve two masters. If you serve the King of Kings and seek to grow the kingdom, you will be rewarded. But nowhere does it say that the reward spoken of will be this side of Heaven. Nobody worked harder to spread the gospel message than the apostles (especially Paul), and all but John suffered brutal torture and death. Yes, they were all rewarded for serving the right master, but their reward came later.
If you ever find yourself being drawn to a message like that preached by Dollar, search your soul. Hit your knees and pray to the King of Kings to clear your heart of earthly distractions. Don’t let Satan grip your heart in such a selfish way.