Does God promise Christians material wealth and physical health in this life?
In the gospel, God gives us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3): we’re made righteous in his sight, freed from slavery to sin, given the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, adopted into God’s family, and ultimately given eternal life.
But what about physical health and wealth? Does God promise those to Christians? The New Testament promises that in this life Christians will experience tribulation (Acts 14:22), suffering (Romans 8:17), and even persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). But nowhere does God promise to make Christians rich and healthy. Any teaching that claims that Jesus’ saving work includes giving us health and wealth in this life is a satanic deception.
Note carefully that the New Testament doesn’t promise us physical health or prosperity in this life. When God raises us from the dead, Christians will be given glorified bodies and will dwell in perfect fellowship with God in the new earth. At that time God himself will “wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
In the meantime, however, Christians are called to endure “slight, momentary affliction” that is “preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Here and now we are called to “count it all joy” whenever we face various trials (James 1:2). We can endure the trials and sufferings of this life—which Jesus himself promises will come (John 16:33)--because we know that if we suffer with him, we will also be glorified with him (Romans 8:18).
For more great resources from Mark Dever and 9Marks Ministries, visit www.9marks.org