Ushering In A New Year

screenshot_2016-12-31-20-37-12-1

Today is the last day of 2016—the eve of 2017. Many, if not all churches, will hold watch night services to usher in the new year. These watch night services often attract large numbers of people than any other church meeting usually will. Even those who have never stepped foot in a church throughout the year will show up.

In a certain sense, there is something positive about this because these people still acknowledge there is a God who has seen them through a whole calendar year into a new year and will want to show some appreciation–even if it is lip service–to this God they have no relationship with and don’t obey in their daily living. In our society, almost everybody believes in the existence of God so it is no wonder these services get full at such crucial times of the year. As I said earlier, people who have no relationship with God nonetheless show up in church for 31st December night vigil. This is indeed a great opportunity to point people to Christ. But would Christ be pointed to them? You probably will be a good judge if you will attend any of these meetings.

Considering some of the fanciful themes given to these meetings, one is tempted to believe nothing of gospel substance will be preached. I have taken note of some of these themes:

Night of Power and Prophecy
Night of Signs and Wonders
Exodus Night 2016
No Carry Over 2016
Free Money To Prosper Crossover To Overtake

These are just a few samples of themes, an indication of what will occur in many of these services. If there is anything worth today, we must take the opportunity to point people to Christ. People will show up in our services whose first time of hearing the gospel would be today. What kind of gospel will they hear ? A man centred gospel with everything evolving around man’s needs and how to use God to achieve them or will it be Christ centred with everything evolving around Christ and what He has done to purchase the salvation of sinners? To be sure, prayers  will be offered and there will be preaching. But as to whether these will be done in a biblical manner is another question to be answered.

For you as an individual, probably, you might want to ponder what is of utmost importance as you enter the new year. Don’t be carried away by the irreverence of the age. The Westminster Shorter Catechism gives us something to think over as we enter a new year:

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?

A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God¹, and to enjoy him for ever².

The catechism asks what’s the very reason for our existence? The answer is simply to glorify God and enjoy him for ever. Nothing matters than a life that glorifies God. To glorify God is simply to live lives pleasing to Him. And to enjoy Him is simply to make Him our greatest pursuit and desire. Many people will have many pursuits for 2017 but not a pursuit for growth in their knowledge of God and lives consistent with His calling of us. I hope you will make it  your desire to glorify God and enjoy Him for ever. For the Christian, this means living in daily obedience and for the unbeliever, it means most importantly, turning to Christ from your sins and making Him Lord over your life. Anything short of this makes your watch night attendance of non-effect. I will love to conclude with these emphatic words from Solomon:

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bringevery deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

Notes:

1. Ps. 86:9; Isa. 60:21; Rom. 11:36; I Cor. 6:20; 10:31; Rev. 4:11

2. Ps. 16:5-11; 144:15; Isa. 12:2; Luke 2:10; Phil. 4:4; Rev. 21:3-4

Advertisements

What Is The Gospel?

bible-428947_640

Gospel means, simply, “good news.” There are numerous so-called gospels in the world proclaiming good news to those who would listen, and these gospels come in any number of forms—from the gospel of wealth and power to the gospel of health and beauty. These gospels, however, do not address the most basic problem that all men and women have—the problem of sin and guilt; that is, spiritual deadness.

Put simply, the Gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ. It is good news because, without it, we stand condemned as sinners before a holy and just God, deserving His wrath. In Isaiah’s vision of the throne room of God, seraphim (angelic beings) cry out continually, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” Isaiah, overwhelmed in the presence of God, cries out in despair: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (Isa. 6:3, 5)

Yet, in God’s perfect holiness—and this is the good news—God has, in His good pleasure, made a way for sinners to be reconciled to Himself through His Son Jesus Christ. John 3:16-17 says,

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.

Jesus Christ lived a righteous life and then died a terrible death on a Roman cross for His people. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6). Thus, Jesus Christ satisfied the holy and just requirements of God. God then raised Him from the dead, vindicating Christ’s work.

Sinners are called to repent and believe the Gospel and to trust in Christ for salvation. Sinners receive this free gift of salvation from God through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone and are thereby counted righteous before God. Romans 10:9-13 states,

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Having been justified, Christians are called to walk as “living sacrifices” unto Him through the Holy Spirit because they are not their own, but were “bought with a price” (Rom. 12:1; 1 Cor. 6:20). Just as God raised Jesus Christ, so Christians await a resurrection of their own bodies, Christ being the “first fruits” of the new creation (1 Cor. 15:20). Ultimately, this is their hope—that God has begun His work of “making all things new” in the work of Jesus Christ and in the continued sanctification of His saints (Rev. 21:5). They await the new heavens and new earth in which there will be no more sin, pain, or sorrow (Rev. 21:4).

Article adapted from St.Andrew’s Chapel website

Where Are The Men?

By Conrad Mbewe

road-sign-63983_640

I am on my way to preach at a men’s conference in Vancouver, Canada, and this question is bugging me: “Where are the men?” I am not asking where the men are who are supposed to attend the coming conference because I have no idea what the numbers signing up look like. Rather, I am asking where the men are in the families, in the churches, and in the nation. To be sure, I can see many of the male species in all these spheres but what irks me is that so few of them seem to be rising to the calling that God has given to them as men in society.

The missing men in the world

Look at the family, for instance. Many men are as good as absent. They seem to be content to being served rather than playing their God-given roles of presider, protector, and provider. There is little effort at leading family devotions, home maintenance, and discipling the kids.

In society where men were once dominant, the trend is also fast reversing. Apart from the push from the West to kick women out of the kitchen and put them at par with men in the business world, men seem to see the workplace as a place where you only go to make money. If that is so, then why should men have a bigger share of the workforce cake than women? What’s gender got to do with it? The fact that women are more biologically wired for the role of home making and baby nursing is not a matter for discussion. Do not even go there.

Thus, we now have men who are content to stay at home while their wives go off to work. It is amazing how many jobless and homeless men want to marry. When asked how they will look after their wives, they look at you as if you are asking them a question in rocket science.

Missing men in the church

The same can be observed in the church. Men prefer to simply drop off their wives and children at church and proceed to their recreational or economic activities. Those who make it to church sit back half-asleep and watch young people and women lead worship. Some time ago I wrote a blog post entitled, “Is the Evangelical Church in Africa glorifying God?” I asked questions about some disconcerting issues. My last question was, “Are we glorifying God when we have women preachers while men sit in pews and listen to them? The Bible teaches male headship in both the home and the church…all the way from Eden.”

In that post I went on to say, “The Bible teaches that the work of preaching must be carried out by mature and tested males (1 Tim. 2:11-14). Sadly, the number of women going around as pastors in Africa (while their husbands call themselves bishops or prophets or apostles) has reached epidemic levels. Are we sure God is being glorified by this kick in the face?” One pastor’s wife visiting Zambia soon after I posted the blog post said to me, “Conrad, the problem is the lack of men taking the initiative and providing leadership. My husband wants to use men but as soon as he asks them to do something they disappear into the grass!” This lady is not the only one complaining. You ask most church leaders and they will tell you that even if their membership roll is half male, most of the men in the church will disappear faster than dew in the morning if you attempt to give them any work. They just won’t do it.

The missing male role model

Where is the problem stemming from so that we can try and address it there? It is in the homes. Many men are brought up in homes with absentee fathers. Either they only have a single parent mother or they have a father whose moral example is a total disaster. The only proof of the father’s manhood is his adulterous affairs and fathering of their stepsiblings with other women outside the home. The male children in these homes know nothing about a man’s selfless leadership because they have grown up without one.

The only other time they see a man’s strength is when he turns into a brutish beast and beats up their mother. The strength that God gave him to protect and provide for the weaker vessel is instead abused to beat her into a pulp. What kind of men will come out of such homes? These sons see their dads do absolutely nothing in church except warming their seats. Thus although they themselves may be active in church as young lads, they look forward to their years of “retirement” from Christian service when they also grow up, marry, and have kids. It is a form of fulfilling the Scriptures that say, “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge” (Jer. 31:29 and Ezek. 18:2). In other words, sons are being condemned to an effeminate lifestyle because of the disastrous example of their fathers.

What does God say about this?

It is clear that we have two genders in every species—male and female. Did the Creator have any reason for making two of each kind? He seems to have had a reason for everything else! In the cultural mandate, both Adam and Eve were to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28). When the microscope of Scripture goes into the details of their work (2:1ff), it becomes clear that Adam was given charge even before Eve showed up.

“The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat…” (Gen. 2:15-17).

There is no doubt that one vital role that God made man for was that of leadership. When he was about to make the first woman, Eve, God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Gen. 2:18). Eve was made as a helper to Adam.

We can go further. In the 1,500 years in which the Bible was being penned, from Genesis to Revelation, you do not have a single female elder. The Son of God left twelve leaders for the church and not one of them was female. Dare we accuse our Maker of male chauvinism? The reason why humanity is in chaos and death today goes all the way back to Genesis when Adam failed to play the man. God said to him, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife… in pain you shall eat of [the ground] all the days of your life” (Gen. 3:17).

Adam failed to provide spiritual leadership at the most critical juncture in humanity’s history and we are still paying for it today. Sadly, today’s men are making the same blunder. Women are running the affairs of homes, churches, and nations while they sleep in the backseat. This criminal negligence by men must be arrested. Men must come out of the shadows where they are hiding behind women and take up the position that God wired them for. They must set an example to their sons of what a mature man is supposed to be. They must start doing so today!

About Conrad Mbewe

I have a bachelor’s degree in Mining Engineering and a PhD in Missions. I worked in the Zambian copper mines before becoming the first pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church in Lusaka, Zambia, in 1987. KBC is presently overseeing the establishment of about twenty new Reformed Baptist churches in Zambia and other African countries. I also maintain a full itinerant preaching ministry in different countries around the world. I love writing. I am the editor of Reformation Zambia magazine and have maintained a column in at least one weekly national newspaper for the last twenty-five years. I have written about forty booklets in my own country and have three books on the international market—Maintaining Sexual Purity (RSA, 2009), Foundations for the Flock (USA, 2011), Lessons from the Lives of Olive Doke and Paul Kasonga (UK, 2014). I am the principal of the Lusaka Ministerial College and the chancellor of the African Christian University in Zambia. I volunteer with the YMCA, providing vocational training to the many unemployed youths across Africa. I am married to Felistas, and we have been wonderfully blessed with three children plus two foster daughters.

Source: Conradmbewe.com

 

On Making New Year Resolution

Originally posted as “4 Christian Principles For Making New Year’s Resolutions” on Ligonier.com

It seems that every new year, we are caught up in a whirlwind of well-intentioned resolutions. With premeditated bursts of enthusiasm, those closest to us begin to take part in peculiar, and sometimes public activities that even cause neighborhood children to look puzzled. We find ourselves bearing witness to surprising edicts and seemingly self-conscious new year’s manifestos whereupon we are summoned to behold what sweeping changes may come—resolutions for impending dispositions, impossible diets, and impenetrable fortresses of discipline.

The skeptical observer may inquire: “Is all this fervor really necessary?” Moreover, the cynical reader may ask: “Is it even appropriate to make resolutions? After all, shouldn’t we at all times and all seasons seek to live wisely, obediently, and biblically?”

Some may even go so far as to argue that resolutions themselves are not biblical based on the fact that the Word of God itself provides us with a complete and authoritative compilation of God’s resolutions for His people. To manufacture our own list of resolutions, they would argue, is superfluous at best.

These are the sorts of questions I have always considered when it comes to this whole business of making resolutions, and I have a hunch that many of my fellow biblically-informed skeptics also ponder such questions. Nevertheless, the Word of God gives us not only permission to make resolutions, it gives us good reasons for doing so. Various biblical passages seem to provide us with reasons for resolutions and examples of men of God who resolved to live for Him in a particular manner for a particular reason (Dan. 1:8Matt. 1:19Acts 19:211 Cor. 10:14–32Col. 3:12–172 Thess. 1:11). As such, in considering how to glorify God in all that we do in our particular circumstances and callings, we would be wise to resolve to make particular resolutions to assist us in our sanctification. This we do by the power of the Holy Spirit, resting assured that we have been declared righteous by the Father because of the completed righteousness of the Son.

The nineteen-year-old Jonathan Edwards knew his weaknesses and was aware of the destructive nature of his sin, so he resolved to make and keep certain resolutions in his effort to live for God’s glory. He helped pave the way for us all as he prefaced his seventy resolutions with these words:

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.

These simple, introductory words of Edwards not only provide us with a glimpse into the mind of one of history’s greatest minds, they provide us with a glorious insight into the heart of a young man whose heart had been humbled and mastered by the Lord God Almighty. We would therefore do well to consider Edwards’ prefatory remarks as we seek to glorify God and enjoy Him forever in our churches, our homes, and our hearts.

Resolving Sensibly

Being sensible,” Edwards begins his preface—we must be sensible, reasonable, in making resolutions. If we set ourselves about the business of hastily making resolutions as the result of our grand illusions of sinless perfection, it is likely that we will not merely fail in our attempt to keep such resolutions, we will likely be less inclined to make any further resolutions for similar desired ends. We must go about making resolutions with genuine prayer and thorough study of God’s Word. Our resolutions must be in accord with the Word of God; therefore, any resolution we make must necessarily allow us to fulfill all our particular callings in life. We must consider all the implications of our resolutions and be careful to make resolutions with others in mind, even if it means implementing new resolutions incrementally over time.

Resolving Dependently

I am unable to do anything without God’s help,” Edwards admits. We must be sensible in grasping the simple truth that every resolution must be made in dependence on God. And while every Christian would respond by saying, “Well, of course we must depend on God for all things,” most Christians have been sold the world’s bill of goods. They think that once they become dependent on God, then they will have immediate strength. They mimic the world’s mantra: “Whatever doesn’t kill me will make me stronger.” While the principle is generally true, such thinking can foster an attitude of proud independence. We must understand that in being able to do all things through Christ who strengthens us means that we must depend on His strength continuously in order to do all things and to keep all our resolutions (Eph. 3:16Col. 1:11). In truth, whatever doesn’t kill us, by God’s conforming grace, makes us weak so that in our weakness we will rely continuously on the strength of our Lord (2 Cor. 12:7–10).

Resolving Humbly

I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these resolutions.” In making resolutions for the glory of God and before the face of God, we must not come into His presence pounding our chests in triumphal arrogance as if God must now love and bless us more because we have made certain resolutions to follow Him more. In reality, the Lord in His providence may choose to allow even more trials to enter our lives; in His unchanging fatherly love for us, He may decide to discipline us even more in order that we might more so detest our sin and delight in Him. We should approach Him in humble reliance on His grace as we seek not merely the blessings but the one who blesses.

Resolving For Christ’s Sake

So far as they are agreeable to his will for Christ’s sake.” We cannot resolve to do anything with a presumptuous attitude before God. The whole matter of making resolutions is not just goal setting so that we might have happier lives. We are called by God to live according to His will, not our own—for Christ’s sake, not our own—for it is not unto us but unto Him that all glory belongs (Ps. 115:1)

Christmas: To Celebrate or Not To?

free-wallpaper-christmas-tree.jpg

It is that season of the year—Christmas, where Christians are divided on the occasion. You may have heard the oft repeated “Christmas is pagan and must not be celebrated” mantra.

Here is a three part series providing answers for Christmas celebrations. Originally posted on thedecablog.wordpress.com as “Christmas and Christianity” by Pastor Nick Kennicot .

Here are the three part series: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

Below are also some salient points from the series.

“I am convinced that while opponents of Christmas raise necessary and important questions for our consideration, their conclusions often serve to bind the consciences of Christians, rob Christians of their God-given liberty, are filled with logical fallacies, and rely upon historical anachronism

Christian liberty is the central issue in a discussion on Christmas. Yes, proper precautions must be made and pastors are right to offer warnings of excess and wholesale purchase of the world’s observance, however the outright condemnation and calling Christmas celebration sin is a violation of Christian liberty and a most grievous sin in itself.

If you love Christmas, enjoy it, but please question why you do what you do and whether or not it honors God. Avoid the sins of poor stewardship, gluttony, drunkenness, and materialism while focusing your attention and love toward Christ. Likewise, if you’d prefer to avoid Christmas altogether, you are more than welcome to do so. However, please do not insist that others do the same lest you condemn what God does not. It is neither safe nor right to bind the conscience of another Christian to that which God has not clearly revealed. If there is true, God-glorifying music and preaching focused on the incarnation in your church on the Lord’s Day leading up to December 25th, do not despise it because of your distaste for the holiday – remember, it is biblical truth being proclaimed so long as your pastor is faithful to what the Bible say.

Ghana Decides :Election 2016

 voting-bbooth1-1-1

Tomorrow, 7th December, God willing, Ghana goes to the polls to decide who will govern the nation in the next four years. Who will you vote for? What will determine your choice? I believe anyone reading this might have made up their mind already. Now, there are fundamental issues I believe must influence our choice; among which are: good governance, sound economic policies and upholding the rule of law.

Probably, the period God’s name is most blasphemed in Ghana is during elections. And this year’s election is no exception. All manner of predictions in the name of God have been made. The major parties—NDC and NPP have all taken to the twisting of Scriptures to propagate their message.

Ghana’s former President J.A. Kuffour is quoted as saying:

I must confess, I am a Christian but I hardly read the Bible. While I thought of what to say at this function, something told me to open the Bible and I read the Book of Joshua where I saw God directing Joshua how to lead Israel unto the promised land. “God has spoken and his word is that the NPP would win Wednesday’s elections

Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the NDC General Secretary  is also quoted to have said: “The governing National Democratic Congress’ third spot on the parliamentary ballot paper represents John 3:16”. He further went on to say; “You haven’t heard John 3: 16 before huh? We have already composed songs with John 3:16,”

James Agyenim Boateng, a Presidential Staffer at Office of the Vice President also in a Facebook post wrote: “In the name of the almighty God, I claim the victory of election 2016 for John Mahama and the NDC”.

All are claiming victory in the name of God. Who is right? Now, as a Christian who affirms the sovereignty of God over all things, I believe whoever wins tomorrow’s election is ordained by God. That means, whoever your candidate is, and whatever party you support, one thing is certain; God has the final say. He is sovereign over all things, including appointing rulers of a nation:  “The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD (Proverbs 16:33). “He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings” (Daniel 2: 21). “there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God” (Romans 13:1).

God has His “king”.  I believe that and no amount of predictions and twisting of Scripture will determine the outcome of tomorrow’s election. The winner of tomorrow’s elections is known and ordained by God. See your vote as God’s means by which what He has ordained will come to pass. If your candidate wins, glory to God. If your candidate doesn’t win, glory to God.

Whatever happens after tomorrow, let us all pursue peace.

God bless our homeland Ghana
And make our nation great and strong,
Bold to defend forever
The cause of Freedom and of Right;
Fill our hearts with true humility,
Make us cherish fearless honesty,
And help us to resist oppressors’ rule
With all our will and might for evermore

Are You Growing?

sprout-1136131__340

Ephesians 1:15-23

Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians is instructive: “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him”(v.17). What Paul prayed for others, he desired for himself: “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death”(Phil 3:10). For many, the Christian life is sentimental, disguised as spiritual; lacking in biblical and  theological knowledge. We often say “for the lack of knowledge my people perish”. The irony however is that many have a disdain for biblical knowledge. Any attention to such is received with suspicion.

Now, when a human being is born, they must grow and mature. In the same way a Christian must grow and mature: “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation– if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. (1 Peter 2:2-3). Have you “tasted that the Lord is good?”Are you saved? A sure mark of the presence of a work of God in our lives is desire for God’s word. Where this desire is missing, a man or woman who professes Christianity must beware; they may not be saved.

Christian growth and maturity comes through knowledge and obedience to God’s word. As we study God’s word and obey it, we grow in our knowledge of God and our walk with Him. Do you know God, are you growing in your knowledge of God, do you have a desire to know God and grow in your knowledge and obedience? A growing or matured Christian prays, reads and studies God’s word, lives in obedience, repents of sin daily and has an increasing desire to know God.

Do these things describe you? “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6-7)

Are you growing? The litmus test is your desire for God’s word and a life of obedience.

The Uncertainty Of Life

 

…you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14).

Yesterday, an unconfirmed number of people lost their lives in a tragic, gory road accident on the Pokuase-Nsawam road. This is a road I use every day — Monday-Sunday. This morning in our family devotion we prayed for comfort for the bereaved families and also prayed that through this, those who, among the bereaved families, don’t know Christ will come to faith in Him. I also reminded my family none of us is guaranteed life any day and we must always be prepared; each one of us will die one day. When, we don’t know, but death is a certain reality of life: “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

Obviously not everyone will die by gory road accidents. Some will go by sickness; others will not wake up from their sleep. There are many ways people depart this life but the certainty is that every one of us will depart. Now, I doubt if anyone wishes to die in a fatal accident, but, what I am yet to come to terms with as a Christian is when fellow Christians tend to think they are exempted from such disasters and plead all kinds of ‘indemnity’.

Yesterday, I heard a phrase for the first time: ‘covenantal exemption‘. That supposedly means those who ply that road and are Christians and say amen to a ‘covenantal exemption‘ will not encounter any accident in their commuting. As well-meaning as this may sound, it is preposterous. Does this by any means mean by professing Christianity, or saying amen to some words, we get exempted from life’s trials and disasters which all are partakers of? Christians do die from disasters, don’t they?

Christianity gives us hope in all situations, even in death, but it doesn’t promise us indemnity in any shape or form in this life. Incidents like this should always lead us to a sober reflection of our lives and not to a false sense of security:

All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls (1Peter 1:24).

What On Earth Is “A Prosperity Gospel”?

dollar-bookmark

What On Earth Is “A Prosperity Gospel”? Who is it “gospel” to? One of the foundational qualities of a theological principle is its universality; that is, its relevance to all people at all times in all places. Of what use is a “prosperity gospel” to those who see no connection whatsoever between their wealth and an allegiance to Christ, or even those who are under grave persecution from their government and are the risk of losing their lives at a moment’s notice, of what use is the “prosperity gospel” to these ones?

The so called prosperity gospel thrives in places where people’s self worth are tied to their possessions. Where “meaning” is encapsulated in physical wellbeing, where significance is confused with the spectacular. The prosperity gospel fails the universality test woefully. And it is a tragedy to see how easily people are swayed by the mirage of the prosperity gospel.

I am yet to see any prosperity preacher whose wealth is not directly proportional to the contributions of the people he rips off. The Old shenanigans are giving way to the new, layers upon layers of sophistication is now being added so as to sway the target market, but the mirage is still the same.

The question that may arise is, “is the aspiration to get wealth Biblically wrong”?

Now, all what is being said is that such an aspiration is not in any way or form uniquely Christian and as such must not be couched as a Christian virtue, let alone “a gospel”. The aspiration to be wealthy, to be healthy or to have a great marriage is not in any way, size or form a uniquely Christian aspiration, and as such it must never be couched as a Christian virtue, let alone “a gospel”. The aspiration to get wealth is a human aspiration, desired by all kinds of people — believers and unbelievers alike.

To teach that God has somehow granted an advantage to the believer, as far as this aspiration is concerned, and that such an advantage can mostly be accessed through prayer, generous donations, night vigils, special night vigils, seed faith, special impartation, prophetic declarations, and the like, is to be a con artist! To put it simply, the “prosperity gospel” is one of the world’s longest running cons.

*This post is adapted from a response to a conversation on facebook.

Resources On The Gospel According To John From Monergism.com

John Lightfoot (Presbyterian in his sympathies, Member of Westminster Assembly)
John 1 John 2 John 3 John 4 John 5 John 6John 7 John 8 John 9 John 10 John 11John 12 John 13 John 14 John 15 John 16John 17 John 18 John 19 John 20 John 21

Matthew Poole
John 1 John 2 John 3 John 4 John 5 John 6John 7 John 8 John 9 John 10 John 11John 12 John 13 John 14 John 15 John 16John 17 John 18 John 19 John 20 John 21

Alexander Maclaren
John 1 John 2 John 3 John 4 John 5 John 6John 7 John 8 John 9 John 10 John 11John 12 John 13 John 14 John 15 John 16John 17 John 18 John 19 John 20 John 21

John Trapp
John 1 John 2 John 3 John 4 John 5 John 6John 7 John 8 John 9 John 10 John 11John 12 John 13 John 14 John 15 John 16John 17 John 18 John 19 John 20 John 21

F. B. Mayer
John 1 John 2 John 3 John 4 John 5 John 6John 7 John 8 John 9 John 10 John 11John 12 John 13 John 14 John 15 John 16John 17 John 18 John 19 John 20 John 21

Charles Simeon
John 1 John 2 John 3 John 4 John 5 John 6John 7 John 8 John 9 John 10 John 11John 12 John 13 John 14 John 15 John 16John 17 John 18 John 19 John 20 John 21

NET Bible
John 1 John 2 John 3 John 4 John 5 John 6John 7 John 8 John 9 John 10 John 11John 12 John 13 John 14 John 15 John 16John 17 John 18 John 19 John 20 John 21

Intervarsity Press Commentary
John 1  –  John 2-4 –  John  5 – John  6 –John 7 – John 8 – John 9 –  John 10 –  John 11 –  John12 –  John 13  – John 14 –  John 15– John 16 – John 17 –  John 18 –  John  19 –John 20 – John 21

Early Church Fathers
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 1819 20 21

—–

MANUSCRIPTS

—–
Exposition of the Gospel of John (free eBook) by A. W. Pink (Webpage Version)
Reformation Study Bible Notes on John by Ligonier
Gospel Of John –  Index by Phil Newton
Sermon Manuscripts on John by J. Ligon Duncan and Derek Thomas
108-part expository study of the gospel of John by Steve Cole
Gospel of John Sermon Manuscripts by S. Lewis Johnson
Sermon Manuscripts on the Gospel of Johnby John MacArthur
The Gospel of John – John 1- 17  by Barry Horner
Sermons on John  by Henry Mahan
Alexander MacLaren’s Expositions of Holy Scripture
John 1 Commentary  by Net Bible
John Commentary – Schaff’s Popular Commentary Index

—–

MP3s by Chapter

Sermon Manuscripts by Chapter

—–

AUDIO & MULTIMEDIA

The Gospel of John (MP3 Series) by Sinclair B. Ferguson

Exposition of The Gospel According to John (MP3 Series) by Eric Alexander

Exposition of The Gospel According to John (54-Part MP3 Series) by William Still

The Gospel of John by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (MP3 Series) by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

The Gospel According to John (MP3 Series)by Brian Borgman
The Gospel of John (MP3 Series) by R. C. Sproul
The Gospel of John (MP3 Series) by D. A. Carson

The Gospel of John (143-Part MP3 Series)by Richard Phillips

The Gospel of John (26-Part MP3 Lecture Series) by James Dennison

Portraits of Jesus from John’s Gospel (MP3 Series) by Edward Donnelly
The Gospel of John (173 Sermons) by Alistair Begg

Exposition of the Gospel of John (MP3 Series) by Albert Martin

Expositions on John (MP3 Series) by J V Fesko

The Gospel of John (MP3 Series) by John Piper
The Gospel of John (MP3 Series) by Kim Riddlebarger
Gospel of John (MP3 Series) by Dick Lucas
Sermons from John by Nick Batzig

John: The Upper Room Discourse – John 13-17 (MP3 Series) by Dr Arturo G Azurdia III

The Gospel of John (MP3 Series) by John Macarthur
Gospel of John (MP3 Series) by Stuart Olyott

Sermons on the Gospel of John (MP3 Series)by Steven J Lawson

John (MP3 Series) by Albert Mohler

Gospel of John MP3 Series by S Lewis Johnson

Gospel of John MP3 Series by Ian Hamilton
Sermons on John by Kevin DeYoung and Jason Helopoulos

The Gospel of John (MP3 Series) by Phillip Jensen

—–