It’s hard for me to understand why people look at the Scripture through the lens of it being all about the prosperity of man. It’s hard for me to understand why people view Scripture through the lens of it being all about a personal journey of one’s own fulfillment. I’ve been diving into Scripture of late, then I find myself reading the Christianity blog posts on here, and it’s so strikingly evident that most people who profess to be Christian really don’t seem to know the true purpose of Christianity. As I stated in previous posts, the Christian journey is not God placing you on some personal life journey all about you, your growth as a person, and eventually you getting the desires of your heart.
How I can assert this claim is simple. All you have to do is really carefully look at the Scripture and see the primary focus throughout the development of the church. Look at the beginning of the early church through Acts. What was being stressed? Well first of all, the continual preaching of Christ as Savior. You see that as the primary teaching and focus whenever you read of Peter and Paul’s travels. The Scripture notes Paul arguing frequently, trying so hard to get people to see this as the truth. Then second of all, these people were focused not on themselves, but on God and everyone else through worship, prayer, and giving. After the first converts got saved in Acts 2, what did it say they did? They continued to gather together, continued to praise God, and have the goodwill of all the people. They didn’t necessarily focus on believing for a new job, a new car, a spouse, or just focus on their personal journey of getting their own desires fulfilled. For these people, and for us, this is not a religion of individualism. This is a religion of God’s goodwill to mankind as a whole. You see this theme of group focus throughout Scripture. Man and woman, Israel, the Jews, the disciples, the Apostles, and of most importance the body of Christ.
The beauty and the magnificence of this religion gets tainted by people who want to presume that God is only primarily focused on their individual fulfillment once they become a Christian, when He’s primarily focused on the salvation of all men, and seeing His people exhibit love (which is to say goodwill), to Him and to all people. Am I saying it’s wrong to focus on ourselves? No. Philippians 2:5 illustrates God knowing we will at times. The thing that is wrong is this incredibly heretical new age understanding of the faith being about a fulfillment of one’s personal journey of growth and obtaining one’s desires, when it’s about the fulfillment of the will of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Every instruction regarding how we behave and how we treat others, while secondarily providing a little more ease in life and allowing us to have good things we desire, it’s primarily because this is what God desires in our loving Him and loving others as we love ourselves, and thus this is what helps advance the cause of the Gospel.
And you know what else is interesting. When you focus on things being more about God’s desires (love of Him and love of others as we love ourselves), more about the purpose of the advancement of the Gospel of Christ, and less so much about it primarily being some personal journey about you, you might actually be surprised how much peace it brings in life. Consider the contentment Paul often expressed about being fine with food and clothing, or being content with being full or lacking, and how great gain comes with Godliness and contentment. He knew the journey was about fulfilling something bigger than himself, which gave him contentment in being a part of that. People think of when Paul states I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me often in a selfish, whatever I desire to pursue, I can do it with Christ. But if you look at the context and consider PAUL WAS IN JAIL while writing this, it’s a strong statement of continued living for God’s will and the cause of the Gospel despite the circumstances of whether things were going well for Paul, or things were being difficult for Him. He had the strength and the peace of knowing that he could overcome the weakness of being human for Christ. To conclude, I challenge anyone who reads this today, to look at the bigger picture. Really question the perspective of looking at the Scripture through the lens of this prosperity perspective, and really consider what the Apostles and the followers of Christ appeared to illustrate in the teachings and actions exhibited in scripture, as to what the true purpose of Christianity is.