We have just posted a new sermon on the Keep Believing website in the “Surivor Babylon” series called How to be Happy in Babylon. Here’s an excerpt:
That was the seductive appeal of Hananiah (Jeremiah 28). He was like the popular “prosperity preachers” who make lavish promises of health and wealth if only you will “sow a seed of faith” by sending them some money. If you take care of them, God will take care of you.
A new car? It’s yours.
Cured of cancer? It’s on the way.
A better job? You can have it.
Name it, claim it, believe it, receive it. All very seductive, especially when the message is baptized in a pool of misapplied Bible verses.
Note carefully the last phrase of verse Jeremiah 29:9--“the dreams you encourage them to have.” Eugene Peterson offers this paraphrase: “Don’t pay any attention to the fantasies they keep coming up with to please you.” The false prophets and the prosperity preachers are with us because we want them with us. They prosper because we have itching ears, eager for someone to pander to our desires and to tell us that everything is going to be okay. There is always a bull market for preachers with big promises.