The church had something for everyone. There was an interactive nursery with the latest devices designed to stimulate young minds. The youth groups had weekly outings to the local beaches and amusement parks. For every stage of life, there was an activity geared for their specific needs. The music ministry was composed of popular professionals who even released their own album. It was wonderful and seemingly lacked nothing, nothing except the Gospel of Jesus Christ was not preached.
What message was preached?
All messages revolved around the theme that financial wealth and blessings were always part of Gods’ plans for all believers. It emphasized personal success as a sign that God was blessing the believer. There is no question that God can and does bless some believers with financial prosperity and success. However, this result is never the spiritual proof that God is blessing a believer.
“Son of man, your people talk about you in their houses and whisper about you at the doors. They say to each other, ‘Come on, let’s go hear the prophet tell us what the LORD is saying!’ So my people come pretending to be sincere and sit before you. They listen to your words, but they have no intention of doing what you say. Their mouths are full of lustful words, and their hearts seek only after money. You are very entertaining to them, like someone who sings love songs with a beautiful voice or plays fine music on an instrument. They hear what you say, but they don’t act on it! But when all these terrible things happen to them—as they certainly will—then they will know a prophet has been among them.”
Ezekiel 33:30-33 (NLT)
Faith is entertainment. The prophet Ezekiel issued a solemn warning about this, thousands of years before some of our modern churches have promulgated this erroneous theology. After doing an internet search, I was shocked and discouraged that there are many churches and preachers who no longer desire to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead of teaching the path to salvation by the confession and repentance of our sins and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, they substitute entertainment and the false assurance that the evidence that God is blessing them is through financial prosperity and personal success.
There is nothing wrong with integrating the elements of modern culture and entertainment into our churches. The danger emerges when we place the entertainment and rewards as the source of our faith, rather than the Giver. When we believe and accept the blessings of salvation through Jesus Christ, He promises us a peace that surpasses all understanding. While that may include financial blessings and personal success, that is never a guarantee nor should it be a goal when we seek a relationship with God.
Faith is not entertainment. Faith is sacrificing all for our Savior, Jesus Christ. Regardless of the outcome, we follow Jesus Christ out of gratitude for saving our souls, not for what He will give us in material wealth and possessions.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.