Luke 6:[24] “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.

[25] “Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.

“Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.

[26] “Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

The health and wealth Gospel is a dreadful piece of work. It is the belief that God’s will for the believer is, among other things, for him or her to be rich and healthy. It is in error on almost all that it teaches and from the emphasis it gives in its teachings appears to not understand the fundamentals of the Christian faith. It misunderstands the joy of the Christian life. It is worldly in that it ties happiness to possessions, and faith to receiving the natural desires of the heart. It loves the gifts of God more than God Himself and hides it all behind a veneer of “God wants the best for you” while missing almost completely what that “best” is. It is an insult to countless hundreds of thousands of believers around the world who are poor, sick, homeless, and hungry. Words such as “prosperity”, “wealth”, “riches”, are almost always defined in a material sense. Promises relating to such things are seen to mean material goods and sometimes it may even be suggested that to take them otherwise is to not believe the Bible, or at least not to understand it “literally”. There is no particular blessing to being poor.

It doesn’t seem to be able to recognize a metaphor and is guilty of what I like to call the Nicodemus syndrome. Poor Nicodemus thought new birth meant climbing back into his mother’s womb. He thought like that because he was so materially minded, the phrase “new birth” was beyond his ability to understand.

In Luke 6:24-26 Jesus pronounces woes upon those who are rich, happy and popular. He cannot mean that riches, happiness and popularity are never the possession of the faithful. But He certainly does mean that they are not the marks of faithfulness.

Believers are those who know great riches in Christ (Ephesians 3:8), have had their hunger for righteousness satisfied (Matthew 5:6), have their happiness in knowing Christ (Philippians 4:13). They find their happiness in knowing Christ (Philippians 4:11-12) and know that it is better to know Christ than to be popular in the world (Matthew 5:11-12). This is real wealth and real happiness. It is for all who are in Christ and it is far better than anything that anyone can receive outside of Christ, no matter how much money that is or how healthy it makes him.