1 Peter 2:21 – 24 “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps: “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth.” When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
When Jesus’s disciples abandoned Him (Matt. 26:56) and He was arrested for something He did not do, do you think Jesus was living “His best life now”? When Peter denied Jesus three times, and Jesus knew His friend denied knowing Him (Matt. 26:69-75), do you think Jesus was living “His best life now”? When the high priests and other leaders spit in His face and struck Him with their fists (Matt. 26:67), was Jesus living “His best life now”? When Judas (one of Jesus’s 12 disciples) betrayed Him so that He would be arrested, was Jesus living His best life now? How about when the crowd is chanting that they want Jesus crucified and a murderer set free instead (Matt. 27:21); when the soldiers took Jesus and gathered all the rest of the soldiers, stripped Jesus and put a scarlet robe on Him, put a crown of thorns on His head, a staff in His hand and knelt in front of Him and mocked Him (Matt. 27:27-29), was Jesus living His best life now? When the soldiers spit on Him, struck Him with the staff on the head again and again, continued mocking Him, then took Him away to crucify Him (Matt. 27:30-31), was this Jesus’s best life now?
According to main in today’s Christian culture, if this was to happen now, Jesus must be doing something wrong because God just wants the best for you, right? If you’re not rich, healthy, wealthy and wise, then you must be doing something wrong. There must be sin in your life? You must not be praying hard enough? Or maybe you have a demon?
Oh, but someone is going to say, Jesus took all that on so that we COULD have the abundant life and live rich here on earth. Okay, then explain to me why all of Jesus’s disciples went through what they went through AFTER Jesus rose from the dead. Peter was hanged upside down (which Jesus told him of in advance). Paul was beheaded. John was sent to live on a deserted island alone as punishment. Many of the other disciples were also beheaded and tortured for their faith in Christ. This was after Jesus’s crucifixion and rising from the dead.
Hebrews 11:35-40 “Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated — the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended for their FAITH, yet NONE of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”
Just because bad things are happening to you dear Christian does not mean God is not with you. Just because good things are happening to you, doesn’t mean that God IS with you. The pharisees during Jesus time equated wealth with God’s blessing in their lives. You know what Jesus called those men? White washed tombs, hypocrites, blind fools, full of greed and self-indulgence, said they do not practice what they preach, they tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders but are not willing to lift a finger to move them, that everything they do is for men to see. (Matt. 23) White washed tombs look beautiful on the outside but on the inside they are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean (Matt. 23:27). The pharisees called Jesus demon possessed!
I believe that some of the teachings of today are false, and that these teachers are making a god in their own image. What else does man want? Wealth, health, lots of friends, lots of great things to happen to them, beautiful homes, beautiful cars, beautiful children with no health issues, etc. According to these false teachers if you don’t have these then you’re not praying hard enough, you have sin in your life (we all do by the way, even them), you have a demon (not possible if you have the Holy Spirit inside of you), or that you are doing something wrong. Really? Is that what the bible teaches?? I challenge every Christ follower to read the book of Job. God’s ways are not our ways. His ways are higher than our ways.
If our words have power (just as God’s words have power) as these false teachers claim, then Job should have been struck dead. Job cursed the day that he was ever born. Job Chapter 3. “May the day of my birth perish, and the night it was said “A boy is born!” That day — may it turn to darkness; may God above not care about it; may no light shine upon it.”
These false teachers claim that if you just speak it, then it shall be. Wow. I speak one million dollars into my life (POOF!). These teachers take one scripture and twist it to their own needs and desire, again, making a god they have created into their own image. I heard one false teacher claim that if you speak to your billfold that it is full of money then it shall be. Wow. Really? Then why aren’t all Christians rich? Is it because they don’t have enough faith? Jesus tells us that we need faith the size of a mustard seed — that is a very tiny seed. You only need a little faith. So why is it?
Could it be that when they are speaking to the god of the image that they have created is the god of this world?
Matt. 4 Jesus is led into the desert by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the devil. Yes, He knew He was going to be tempted by the devil. The devil (Matt. 4:8) took Jesus to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and said that if Jesus would bow down and worship him that he would give it all to Jesus.
You see these are things that our “itching ears” want to hear. This is definitely what our flesh wants — the things of this world. 1 Tim. 6:9-10 “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” v. 11 “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” 2 Tim. 4:3 “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”
For those Christians who are rich Paul commands them: “those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” This is not so we will be MORE rich on earth, this is to do good to lay up our treasure in heaven.
Bottom line, if a teacher is only telling you what you want to hear they are not doing you any favors, and they don’t love you. If they never talk about sin and repentance, again, they don’t love you. Christians read your Bibles so that you will know the Truth, the real Truth, not what some false teacher’s truth is that will lead you down the wide path to destruction. 1 Tim. 6:3-5 “If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.” Choose today Whom you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Josh. 24:15