Does the Bible guarantee wealth and prosperity?
There is a teaching that is known as the health and wealth gospel, that the Lord does not intend for believers to be poor or sick. As to wealth and prosperity there are a number of verses that are cited in the Old Testament such as “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” (Deuteronomy 8:18) and “May the Lord give you increase, more and more, you and your children.” (Psalm 115:14) and several more. There are at least two problems with this view. First, is the biblical exegesis problem that the verses cited in the Old Testament pertain to Israel and the Abrahamic covenant which has to do with the land, the people of Israel who occupy that land and how that from those people the whole earth will be blessed. Israel is God’s earthly people and they are blessed by earthly prosperity. The Church, however, is all believers who have placed their faith in Christ and are a heavenly people such as we read, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” and again, “and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6). We are a heavenly people and we are only pilgrims on this earth and our blessings are found in heaven. This does not mean that the Lord’s people are all poor and destitute, to the contrary there are many who the Lord has prospered, not only for their comfort but for the purpose of spreading the gospel and the support of the ministry. There are, however, many believers around the world who, because of their faith are poor, persecuted and even killed. For them there is no promise of either health or wealth, but they have found it still better to be in Christ, in the heavenlies.
Have questions about the Bible? Send them to Dr. Greg Koehn at email@example.com and read the answer here in this article.