Seth Udinski, FISM News
Last week, one of the main proponents of the prosperity gospel – the belief that espouses that God will always give health and wealth to people when they are obedient to Him – made some controversial comments about the second coming of Christ.
72-year-old Jesse Duplantis is a multi-million dollar televangelist who has publicly justified his ownership of a private jet, funded by donors. Many prosperity televangelists have done this, including Duplantis’ contemporary, Kenneth Copeland. While on a telethon for Copeland’s ministry in September, Duplantis made the statement that believers can “speed up the time” of the second coming of Jesus Christ.
I honestly believe this … the reason why Jesus hasn’t come is because people are not giving the way God told them to give. When you understand this, you can speed up the time.”
Duplantis’ words are problematic when we consider the clear testimony of scripture that says only God knows when the Lord Jesus will return. Matthew 24:36 says,
But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.
The psychology behind Duplantis’ words should be carefully evaluated through the lens of Scripture. The prosperity preacher is doing one of two things when he promises something specific in tandem with charity – either he is making a claim to know what only God knows, or he is using his position to guilt viewers into giving money to his (or in this case his contemporary’s) ministry.
Either way, biblically faithful Christians should carefully evaluate theologies such as this. We must remember that God does bless our obedience, but also that our obedience does not guarantee health, wealth, and happiness.
Sometimes, the opposite is true. After all, Jesus obeyed the Father perfectly, and He was murdered on the cross as a criminal. In similar fashion, Paul spent his life in obedience to the ministry of the gospel and ended up shipwrecked, imprisoned, beaten, and ultimately killed.
Our obedience is not an automatic ticket to worldly treasures. Rather, we must fix our attention on our eternal inheritance that will never fade in Christ.