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Thread: When did we stop believing God for souls and started believing Him for stuff?

  1. #1
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    When did we stop believing God for souls and started believing Him for stuff?

    When did that happen? And, who else is disturbed by the fact that we call that "victory"? Or "prosperity"?

    Who dares believe God for the humanly impossible that only He can do? Who dares believe God for people's salvation?

    Is His arm shortened so that He cannot save?

    I didn't see God's arm shrink any. Did you?

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    Re: When did we stop believing God for souls and started believing Him for stuff?

    It hasn't happened everywhere. Seems to be a teaching that came from the USA and spread in the western world in some denominations. But for most Christians in the world prosperity dogma is not believed. In a lot of places it is considered a bad joke, cargo cult christianity.



    All Praise The Ancient Of Days

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    Re: When did we stop believing God for souls and started believing Him for stuff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dani H View Post
    When did that happen? And, who else is disturbed by the fact that we call that "victory"? Or "prosperity"? Who dares believe God for the humanly impossible that only He can do? Who dares believe God for people's salvation? Is His arm shortened so that He cannot save? I didn't see God's arm shrink any. Did you?
    When Satan moved in and played on the selfcenteredness of men. Thus making God a puppet on a string at men's beckoning. It's backwards, which is what should tell us the source, the one who turns things upside down. The teachings have evolved, and in stealth spread like wild fire. It is truly difficult for those not part of it to see it, and for those who are part of it, to realize what they are part of. Many things that were once indeed a bad joke are now very acceptable and heaven help the one who comes along and says "negative" things about any of it.




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    Re: When did we stop believing God for souls and started believing Him for stuff?

    I think it really started blossoming around the time that the boob tube (Television) came around.
    Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood
    was shed for me, and that thou bidst me come to thee,
    Lamb of God, I come, I come.

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    Re: When did we stop believing God for souls and started believing Him for stuff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adstars View Post
    It hasn't happened everywhere. Seems to be a teaching that came from the USA and spread in the western world in some denominations. But for most Christians in the world prosperity dogma is not believed. In a lot of places it is considered a bad joke, cargo cult christianity.
    Ah, that's great to hear. To clarify: When I say "we" I often mean "American Christians" where I live and am a part of, have a heavy burden for, and am of course surrounded by the culture here. I'm sure the churches in other nations have their own unique challenges, temptations and compromises to contend with.

    Maybe we should get together and share some time?

    If the enemy comes to attack our faith like he did Peter's, then it seems he does so based on a) our internal weakness and b) through the outward culture around us. But Jesus prayed for Peter so that his faith wouldn't fail him. I always thought that was a rather odd statement, coming from Jesus who could pray for anything and be heard, really. Evidently ... faith really, really, really does really matter.

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    Re: When did we stop believing God for souls and started believing Him for stuff?

    Appears the Great Commission is increasingly becoming an afterthought rather than urgent mandate - thus, a lost art.

    It also seems that without that ultimate purpose and outlook the body loses its salt, its effectiveness diluted by disunity and marked by ceaseless unrest, confusion and perpetual argument about what the faith even is - rarely able to, aside from generalities, even agree on what a soul is being won to and being saved from. And the word of God, the witnesses tool, increasingly loses its veracity in the eyes of the unbelieving world.

    The masterful structure of Ephesians Four, in contrast, as one example, provides for a nourishing in-reach to the church, for the ultimate purpose of an effective outreach.

    I've been long-stricken by John's account of Peter, after the resurrection, fishing with no clothes on, and without success. When he glimpsed Jesus on the shore, he was ashamed.



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    Re: When did we stop believing God for souls and started believing Him for stuff?

    I was called just about every denigrating name I can think of on a Facebook forum for pointing out the fallacies of the name it and claim it prosperity 'gospel.' That is a poisonous teaching...and you may tell Kenneth Copeland I said so!
    Sunset remembers Eden...sunrise prophesies its return.

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    Re: When did we stop believing God for souls and started believing Him for stuff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dani H View Post
    When did that happen? And, who else is disturbed by the fact that we call that "victory"? Or "prosperity"?

    Who dares believe God for the humanly impossible that only He can do? Who dares believe God for people's salvation?

    Is His arm shortened so that He cannot save?

    I didn't see God's arm shrink any. Did you?
    Seems we can answer this by saying... "when we began to seek God in what He can do "for" us and not seek His will in what we "are" to do for Him!"

    Those "doing for" Him, are doing the impossible as His arm length is unlimited and the treasures are piling up in heaven as the lost are led to Jesus. Those wanting Him "to do" for them (prosperity doctrine) are doing all they can in His name and their treasure piles up in the world.

    ~Limitations in a Christianís life are due to limited prayer and limiting obedience~

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    Re: When did we stop believing God for souls and started believing Him for stuff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Watchman View Post
    I was called just about every denigrating name I can think of on a Facebook forum for pointing out the fallacies of the name it and claim it prosperity 'gospel.' That is a poisonous teaching...and you may tell Kenneth Copeland I said so!
    I rarely debate with the followers of Copeland, Hinn, and the other prosperity "teachers" anymore. Hank Hannegraff (sp) has written 2 excellent books on the matter, "Christianity in Crisis" and "Counterfit Revival". Also, another excellent (but very LONG book) by Walter martin titled "Kingdom of the Cults" is an excellent resource as well.

    The "prosperity gospel" has had devistating effects on Christiandom. It brings people into the belief that God is nothing more then a warehouse for everything we want, instead of what we truly need. It leads people to question their faith when they do not get what they want, and many turn away from Him with these false docturnal teachings. I, for one, would debate only if the person is receptive: but too many people who follow the easy teachings of these false teachers are not open to it. It has spread like a wildfire throughout the United States, and then to the world.

    Is this really the Christian legacy we wish to leave????


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    Re: When did we stop believing God for souls and started believing Him for stuff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dani H View Post
    Ah, that's great to hear. To clarify: When I say "we" I often mean "American Christians" where I live and am a part of, have a heavy burden for, and am of course surrounded by the culture here. I'm sure the churches in other nations have their own unique challenges, temptations and compromises to contend with.

    Maybe we should get together and share some time?

    If the enemy comes to attack our faith like he did Peter's, then it seems he does so based on a) our internal weakness and b) through the outward culture around us. But Jesus prayed for Peter so that his faith wouldn't fail him. I always thought that was a rather odd statement, coming from Jesus who could pray for anything and be heard, really. Evidently ... faith really, really, really does really matter.
    I call it the Balaam tactic. Balaam was a non Hebrew prophet in the OT who was called upon by a king to put curses on the Hebrews who where coming out of the wilderness heading for the promised land. The King feared the Hebrews even though the Hebrews told him that they only wanted passage through his land. Balaam could only declare blessings upon the Hebrews, this the king did not like. But Balaam would only say what the Lord was telling Him to say in regard to the blessings. But later Balaam did give the king a tactic to defeat the Hebrews. Balaam told the king that the only way He could ever defeat the Hebrews was to cause them to break the protection of Yaveh, to cause them to break Gods laws and to make harlots of themselves. This He tried by inviting the Hebrews to His pagan idol feasts and encouraging his woman to commit adultery with their men. God then reacted by sending a plague upon the Hebrews that rapidly caused the deaths of thousands of them. Only when they repented did the plague end.

    So believing Jesus is the key to our eternal protection, of the enemy can cause the people of God to disbelieve Jesus and cause them to rebel against The will of God then they can cause many thousands to fall. satan learned long ago that killing us in the coliseums as entertainment does not defeat us. A dead Christian is a loss for satan. Better to seduce us with sweet sounding but lying doctrines a little bit here a little bit there, soon he has people twisted out of shape, so distorted that they are no longer true followers of Jesus.


    I am very encouraged by a lot of the posts in this thread. Often when this is raised on other forums the majority are prosperity doctrine believers. Seem like more people are waking up from this deception. I live in hope.


    All Praise The Ancient Of Days

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    Re: When did we stop believing God for souls and started believing Him for stuff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dani H View Post
    When did we stop believing God for souls and start believing Him for stuff?When did that happen?
    This happened when the salvation of souls became substantially lesser in importance to the church and individual Christians than that gathering and boasting of stuff. It's a sad truth, but a pervasive one.
    ".....it's your nickel"

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    Re: When did we stop believing God for souls and started believing Him for stuff?

    Many have lost the desire to know the heart of God. They seek happiness in this world to money and things. They think the more they have, the more they are blessed, and the closer they are to God. They have been lured away by their own fleshly desires. It's as if they've missed the whole point! It's not about us!! It's about His glory, seen through the lives of transformed men and women. It's about us responding to the desires of His heart, and reaching out to people He loves and died for!

    Where would we be without the witnessing and prayers of others? Let's get back to basics and reach out to a dying world, with the love and compassion of Christ.

    blessings to you
    My soul does GLORIFY the LORD, my spirit REJOICES in GOD MY SAVIOUR
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    "To be entirely safe from the devils snares the man of God must be completely obedient to the Word of the Lord. The driver on the highway is safe, not when he reads the signs but when he obeys them." A.W.Tozer

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    Re: When did we stop believing God for souls and started believing Him for stuff?

    I don't know the complete answer to your question Dani. But I do think part of it may be in hearing God. How can one believe if he has not heard? If God says "I want to save this man, go see him and pray for him" then can we not believe?
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

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    Re: When did we stop believing God for souls and started believing Him for stuff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Mark View Post
    I don't know the complete answer to your question Dani. But I do think part of it may be in hearing God. How can one believe if he has not heard? If God says "I want to save this man, go see him and pray for him" then can we not believe?
    But sir ... it's in Scripture already that God desires ALL men to be saved. I think we can live under the assumption that this is true and real and use it as our basis for operation. What are we waiting for? Angels alighting in our living room and extending us an extra special invitation to go share the Gospel with people?

    However ... I really do think many just don't flat-out believe those Scriptures. Maybe they don't like the "obligation" they think this places them under, maybe they don't like the "failure" of witnessing for Christ and hearing crickets chirp (which, granted, can be rather disheartening).

    But if there is failure ... that's between God and the other person. Long as we are faithful to what we are to do ... God don't hold us accountable for what other people decide with their invitation to come to Christ. We extend party invitations and entertainment invitations and all sorts of things. We know how to invite people. Why not keep an open invitation to come to Christ for everyone we interact with, and seek opportunities to extend it? If the RSVP is "no" or "maybe" ... not our problem. Coming to Christ is a freewill offering. Always has been. So why do we think us inviting someone to come isn't freewill but obligatory?

    This may come as a shocker to you ... but we don't have to do anything Jesus says. We choose to. Certainly love compels us, and I've never met a person with love for the Lord, who didn't keep His commandments or at least strive very hard to. Because love transforms and changes us. But at the end of the day, it's all still voluntary. Or love isn't love.

    IF we want to see the Kingdom of God and be in it ... we MUST be born again. But ... if we don't want to ... we don't want to. Some people just don't want to. And, we have to learn to accept that, and not take it as personal failure. Because the Bible also already tells us that the world is at enmity with God, and so hostility and rejection ... should be expected. We only harvest ripe fields. You leave the others alone. Right? Cause to try and harvest them would be silly. They're not ripe yet and so God can't get anything useful from them anyway.

    If you extend the invitation and you encounter hostility and rejection right out of the gate ... then move on. Like Paul moved on from the Jews to the Gentiles. 'salright. I'm pretty darn glad he did.

    It's a marvelous thing to believe God for a soul. Just one. When you realize how precious someone is and how much one person means to God. So maybe stop believing for that bigger house or that next better job and start tossing your faith into the ring to contend for the real treasures: People.

    And by "you" in this context I mean "whoever feels spoken to".

  15. #15

    Re: When did we stop believing God for souls and started believing Him for stuff?

    I really, really, really agree with you. Although, many times, I feel alone in this way of thinking. Yesterday, I was out to lunch with some people who were speaking about Jesus. The woman I was with, her son committed suicide last year. She was explaining that she feels as going through that experience was hell. She no longer believes that anything can get any worse because she went through that. Then the conversation went onto another woman joining in "I don't understand how people think that God teaches us things through going through bad experiences."... Hearing these conversations opened up my eyes even more to how people view Christ. In America, God is a God who provides in times of need.. not in times of goodness, that's all from our own doing. God is a God who will not give us anything that can cause us to rely on our faith rather than ourselves. God will not give us "bad" things because He only gives out pleasures and wealth.

    That is such a messed up way of thinking.. seriously. If we are to share in Christs glory, why should we be exempt from His suffering. I once heard something about suffering for Christ, and they said " The pain and trials and hardships that we face, can never compare to suffering we were destined too" Christ saved us. He gave His life for us, but then He also resurrected.
    Why are you searching for love? Why are you still looking as if I'm not enough?

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