faith, myths

Are We Blessed to Live in a Prosperous Nation?

I love my country and am grateful that the Lord saw fit to put me here, especially in light of my health issues.

However, when I read scripture, I see that some of the things we have been taught about our country don’t align with scripture.

Those are the issues that I wish to address.

While I do that, please do not think that I am disparaging our country. I only wish to address the Christian’s proper attitude toward our country in light of God’s Word.

My entire life I have been told I was blessed to live in a Christian nation.

But am I?

Am I truly blessed to live here?

Let us look at this in light of scripture and see what the Lord has to say about it.

Are we blessed to live in prosperity?

From a human standpoint, the answer is an automatic “yes,” but we are looking at this topic from a Biblical perspective.

What does scripture say about the rich?

Now before you say you’re not rich (that was my argument), take a moment to consider that the average American is 93% richer than the rest of the world.

But wait, I argued, we are not “average” Americans.

We only have one income, because I am a stay at home mom.

Did you know that, according to a study published by the BBC, the average annual income for the entirety of earth’s population is less than $10,000 per year.

That means that for every person who makes significantly more than that, there is another person who makes significantly less than that. We pay more than that on groceries annually.

This gave me some perspective.

Additionally, the study showed that most of the world’s population lives on less than $2 per day.

Let that sink in.

That’s less than my husband paid for his coffee this morning. I spend more than that on a protein bar in the grocery store today.

Two.

Dollars.

Per.

Day.

Now tell me you’re low income and not rich.


We Americans are all very wealthy.


And, yet, I have somehow spent my whole life thinking that we were fairly low income.

In a country that is economically set up for a double income household, it can seem like the deck is stacked against us, but, compared to the family living on $2 a day, it’s like we are millionaires complaining that the billionaires have more money than we do..

How foolish, selfish, and petty we must seem to the rest of the world when we worry about money.

So, now that we have established that we are wealthy, let’s take a look at what scripture has to say about wealthy people.

Although we see wealthy people serving God in the Old Testament (Job, Abraham, King David), in the New Testament, we begin to see verses about how hard it is for the rich to follow God because their treasure is on earth and they are distracted from heaven because of their wealth (Matthew 6:19-21).

Even Solomon said that wealth was a problem when he wrote Proverbs 30:8: “Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.”

Solomon’s wealth drove him away from God. He wrote in Ecclesiastes about his journey to find anything “under the sun” that could fill the void of a Godless life.

He said that everything this world had to offer was vanity, worthless (Ecc 2:9-11).

In Matthew 19, Jesus was talking to a rich man who prefered his wealth to eternal life.  

He was doing all the right stuff, but his wealth was an idol that drew him away from God.

When Jesus called him on it, He chose the wealth over eternal life. In this passage, Jesus said that it is hard for a rich man to get eternal life, but it was not impossible.

Probably the most challenging of all scriptures about being wealthy is in Revelations 2 and Revelation 3.

Jesus is speaking to a church that sounds very scarily like the church in America.

Revelations 3:14-22

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

From the very first time I read this passage in high school, I knew that this was a description of the church in America.

Whether this is actually a prophecy about the USA or the characteristics just fit, that doesn’t change the fact that a wealthy, lukewarm congregation makes God sick, so sick it makes Him want to throw up.

After the rich young man chose his wealth over serving God, Jesus said that with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26), meaning that God was able to get a rich person into heaven.

Thank goodness since we are all very, very wealthy.

But let us also be aware that those riches and the security it brings draws us away from God.

Since we don’t have to depend on Him to provide our Daily Bread (Matt 6:11), our hearts are easily drawn away from Him.

The prosperity that is present in the USA is indeed a stumbling block to many of our fellow citizens.

We see it in our churches by way of a lackadaisical, wishy-washy, watered-down faith.

One of the most dangerous false doctrines to be widely accepted in today’s churches is the Prosperity Gospel which teaches that God wants to make us happy, healthy, and wealthy.

Not only is this doctrine diametrically opposed to what scripture teaches, but it encourages love of earthly possessions and comforts over love of God.

So are we blessed to live in the prosperity present in the USA?

From a biblical standpoint, no.

We suffer from what some preachers have called “the persecution of prosperity” which means that our prosperity is as much a stumbling block for us as dealing with persecution would be.

Fear of persecution would weed out the unbelievers from the true church just as prosperity weeds out the unbelievers from the true church in the USA.

The difference is that without persecution, those who aren’t part of the true church will still attend church activities because they risk nothing to do so.

We, in the USA, are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to heaven.

Our wealth and prosperity is a significant draw, pulling us away from God and toward the things of this world.

That’s why it is so important that we keep a careful watch over our hearts and attitudes regarding money and possessions.

They can and will draw us away from God if we are not vigilant. How we approach possessions is a huge indicator of what is going on in our hearts.

I wonder how many of our friends and family consider themselves secure because they said a sinner’s prayer (which doesn’t save us) yet really are headed for Hell because of the lack of fruit in their lives (evidence of salvation) as they are draw away from Jesus by the things of this world.

Let it not be so with us.

This topic is so serious, so misunderstood!

We should be very concerned about our souls!

We should do nothing, NOTHING, until we get our hearts right with Jesus.

We should be willing to give up all this prosperity if we are not able to keep our hearts right with Him while tempted by all the wealth around us.

We should be living our lives in light of eternity.

Blessings,

Sarah Forbes

See this video for a wonderful explanation of eternity.

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