Any decent bible scholar could create an argument in defense of V. Osteen’s comments, however, is that what God expects of His true followers? Truly, anyone that can read the scriptures can create an argument. I found this argument rather interesting and of course had to add my thoughts on his defense.
As all believers know, God hates the false prophets, false teachers and when they say “Lord, Lord did we not…” (Matthew 7:21-23) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Sure we are under grace and we should forgive all who trespass against us but Jeremiah the prophet did not quit at warning about these false teachers and serving other gods…Jer. 25:6-7, Do not go after other gods to serve them and worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands; and I will not harm you.’ Yet you have not listened to Me,” says the Lord, “that you might provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt..and really that’s the issue with these prosperity teachers (It’s all positive thinking theology which is not the same as having faith and trust in the living God.), that’s what Osteen is categorized under. They anger God because they deceive people. Their mantra was/is “name and claim it.” Recently, I heard it restated as, “see it, say it, seize it! Is there any difference, really?
Jeremiah 23: 16 Thus says the Lord of hosts:
“Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; They speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord.
NIV says it like this…“This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD.”
And while the true believer might be well versed on how God and prosperity can go hand in hand it may not always be as such with those that aren’t, as Paul told us that he learned to be content in all situations. Philippians 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Also, the idea that teachers, preachers, prophets… give their followers the notion that worship is anything else but unto the Lord is just a false truth.
“I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God—I mean, that’s one way to look at it—we’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we’re happy,” (I saw her partner at her side-that is her husband smiling-approving.) “That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy…”
“So, I want you to know this morning: Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy. “When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really (Yes, we do it all for the Lord, let God be true and every man a liar. She displays more confidence here). You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?”
Colossians 3:23-24 “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, (and we are men) knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.
We are to love others as we want to be loved, but where does it say that we worship God for ourselves? God takes pleasure when we are obedient…and being obedient is not always about us being happy. We surrender our will for the will of our heavenly Father. We love God, because He first loved us and it is nothing of ourselves. He does it all.
“If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23).
“If you love me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15).
“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me” (John 14:21).
“If anyone loves me he will obey my teaching” (John 14:23).
“If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love” (John 15:10).
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46).
“everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice” will remain standing, while “everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice” will fall with a great crash (Matthew 7:24-27).
“Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent” (Revelation 3:3).
“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”
So according to VO our motivation to obey… “I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God—I mean, that’s one way to look at it…” VO, that’s the only way to look at it (Yes, many will say it’s splitting hairs, but again let God be true and every man a liar.). Do it all for the glory of God. Any other way is the flesh in control.
1 Corinthians 1:29-31 “that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God and righteousness and sanctification and redemption that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Of four things I can be sure… that other believers made their own assessment, that Satan is having a heyday…that the agnostic remains a skeptic and that God will deal with the wolves in the church in His time. That’s just my take. Be Blessed.