Amos 6: 1-7 

Psalm 146 

1 Timothy 6: 6-16 

St. Luke 16: 19-31 


Grace and Peace to you my brothers and sisters in Christ, Amen. 

Multiple times throughout Israel’s history the stiff necked  people would waver back and forth between truly worshipping  God and using God to support their own demonic beliefs. They had amazing good kings who were devout and faithful rulers such  as King David, but they also had incredibly evil rulers, the most  evil, I would say, would be the witch called Jezebel. This is the  history of Israel, for its name sake is “Wrestle with God,” and this  is exactly what they have done throughout all of history. 

In our first lesson, Israel is once again having a fit with God.  For you see Amos, a simple shepherd though not a prophet, has  been given the task of providing a divine message to Israel. You  see, Israel was at that time flourishing with a vibrant economy.  The country was rich beyond belief, and its government was  incredibly stable. They as well as the southern kingdom, Judah,  were blessed, though not by God. For you see, Israel had turned  away from God and was persecuting Jews and had raised for  themselves their own golden calf. Yet despite their persecution  and downright evil practices, they convinced themselves into  believing that their good fortune and wealth was a sign that God  was blessing them and encouraging their bad conduct. 

As Israel prospered in their decadence they drowned  themselves in gluttonous drunkenness, filling their bellies with  new wine and fattened lambs, laughing the whole time as they 

knowingly allowed, even encouraged, the tribes that descended  from the line of Joseph to burn. The very people who enjoyed the  prosperity of their gluttonous behaviors did so because they were  obtaining their wealth by oppressing the Jewish tribes that dared  stand up to the atrocities of the ungodly. The people of God who  stood up for the Lord were soundly oppressed as they were not  accepting of the extravagant golden calf, and through their  oppression the ones who lauded the calf grew rich and powerful. 

Thus, it is safe to say, God was not blessing these evil  elitists who stuffed their faces with the misery of faithful citizens.  No, God cursed them. Why in the world would God bless anyone  

who breached the divine covenant contracted between Him and  His people? There is no contract, for if one party breaks the  agreement then there is no agreement that the other party must follow. Israel breached its agreement with God and had to suffer  the consequences. 

Yet, the filth that ruled over Israel had the brazened idea that  they, they who persecuted the people of God, were favored by  God. What twisted mental gymnastics do you have to go through  to believe that God is going to bless you when you cause  destruction and persecution on those who have sound faith in Him  alone? Again, the reason why Israel was stable and flourishing  was because they scapegoated and were putting to ruin the tribes  of Joseph. There was no grievance, pain, guilt, or shame in their  hearts; only anger and malicious glee as they tortured God’s truly  faithful. 

In their minds, the wealth they possess was all the proof they  needed to believe that they were blessed by God; such an evil  and atrocious belief that comes out of the camps of demons! Yes,  it is true that God blesses and through His blessing some become 

prosperous. However, this does not mean that being prosperous  is guaranteed proof that God is blessing you, for what if you  personally obtained your wealth through ill-gain and then use it to  continue practicing evil? God does bless some with wealth, but  not all wealth comes from God. 

Now, I don’t know if the Israelites whom Amos was  addressing actually believed their nonsense, but, looking at the  Americans today who actually and truly believe the blasphemous  teaching that God supports the LBGT agenda and murdering  unborn children, I can understand how some malicious Israelites  have convinced themselves otherwise. Regardless, it is obvious  that the Judaic community did not learn its lesson. You would  think that after God punished all of Israel and Judah that this  nasty belief that prosperity was proof of God’s blessing would  have been washed from the psyche of the generations that  followed. Wrong. Instead it persisted and grew in power as the  belief started to infect the Judaic camps of the chief elders and  nobler society. 

Love of money persisted, and even twisted the theology of  the times, to the point that scripture was flipped on its head as  many started to once again belief that the richer you were the  more likely you would enter into heaven. This was a nasty belief  that Jesus had to counter, and as such a belief would naturally  lead people away from His saving grace. For if people actually  believed that their wealth was a measure of how saved they were  then such behavior would lead people towards working their way  into heaven as they amass for themselves gluttonously more and  more. Eventually people would either walk away in misery due to  their perceived or actual poverty or they would persecute and  steal from each other all in the game of monopolizing wealth. 

Neither is safe. It all boils down to this - you cannot save yourself  into heaven, only Jesus Christ can save you. 

This was the lesson Jesus was trying to tell everyone, but to  many, in order to reach this goal, Jesus had to first dismantle the  nauseous beliefs surrounding prosperity. Our parable is one of  many lessons Jesus gave to tear down the mansion of self gratifying salvation. Imagine a table filled with luscious food, a fat, rich man gluttonously filling his belly with food, and a paper-thin  poor man under the table picking up crumbs to eat. If one was to  go to heaven and one to hell who would go up and who would go  down? This was a challenging picture for prosperity because  whereas the rich man should obviously go to Heaven on account  of his riches, again their belief; this picture did not sit well with  them, and it shouldn’t. The answer did not come easily to them,  so Jesus spelled it out and explained why Lazarus was in Heaven  and why the rich man was burning in Hell. 

Again, multiple times Jesus provided parable after parable  and lesson after lesson imploring that the cultural attitude  regarding salvation through wealth was all wrong and that no  amount of selfish self-gratification will ever win you the keys to  Heaven, but that faith alone in Jesus Christ and His merciful  sacrifice through the cross is the only way into heaven. 

Now, today it may seem crazy to believe that people could  save themselves by amassing wealth or to believe that the  amount of wealth they possess directly correlates with the  strength of their faith, but there are a multitude of false prophets  out there in America alone who have created mega churches that  preach this very blasphemous teaching. Oh how I feel sorry for  the little sheep of God’s flock who attends these churches and do 

not know that their wolf-in-sheep-clothing conmen of a pastor are  leading them down a dangerous road known as prosperity gospel. Among Lutheran pastors alike, even ELCA pastors, we are  united against these charismatic preachers, calling them out as  blasphemous false preachers, while instructing in our seminaries  that these are the type of pastors we do not want. Famous  examples of Prosperity Gospel pastors who actually teach works  alone through wealth and disparage the minds of worshippers by  telling the masses that if someone suffers of lack then that is  proof that his or her faith is not strong enough includes Joel  Osteen, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, etc. I don’t even dare  call them pastors, but they are definitely demons wearing human  skin. On top of preaching that prosperity is proof of one’s  salvation, they all also preach indulgence, though an even more  wicked version of indulgence commonly acknowledged of the  Renaissance Era. Their form of indulgence is that if someone is financially struggling, which is proof of one’s faith, then if he or  she gives indulgence personally to the preacher then his or her faith will be strengthened and through such wealth will increase.  This is why these demonic preachers are also conmen. Now, whereas I am not a fan of using Wikipedia, I do have to  say that its title description of Prosperity Gospel Theology is  accurate. They state that Prosperity Theology is the belief that  “financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of  God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to  religious causes will increase one's material wealth. Material and  especially financial success is seen as a sign of divine favor.” What difference is there between the belief of the Israeli who  persecuted the Jews during the times of Amos, the beliefs of the 

common prosperity Jew during the times of Jesus, and these  prosperity gospel preachers? I see none. 

The problem they all face is that they are gluttonous and  suffer from love of money, and due to their sinful tendencies they  have fallen into the temptation of altering scripture to fit their own  voracious agenda. Do they not understand that salvation is only  found through Jesus Christ and on account of nothing we do but  wholly on account of everything Jesus has already done, so long  as have faith which is provided for us only through the Holy Spirit,  that we are most definitely saved? The poor who believe are just  as equally saved as the rich who believe. The amount of wealth  and how well accomplished is meaningless with regards to one’s  salvation. To think such is complete vanity. In fact, the one who  hates wealth and is thus not personally tied down by it but instead  selflessly looks out for the needs of others is more likely to be  saved than he who loves wealth. 

In the end, beware the ravenous gullet of gluttony and all its  malicious temptations. Instead, worship the fact that Jesus Christ  died on the cross for all people, asking for faith alone. And know  this, compared to the absolute richest person who has walked the  earth, not even they can pale in comparison to the endless joy  and happiness and true wealth of those in Heaven possess. 

Let us pray, 


Dear Heavenly Father, give us hearts that focuses not on  our own financial state, whether fortunate or otherwise, but looks  upon you above alone. In your heavenly name we pray: Father,  Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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