How to Go to Hell with a Positive Attitude
by Donna Vermillion
“Your Best Life Now!” To many people, this catchy title to a famous book seems like good news. But do you (and that means you, too, Joel Osteen) know what that statement really implies?
Think about it. If your best life is now, then Hell is in your future…forever. But, hey, such “preachers” promise that you can have a smooth ride on that Hell-bound highway! And at least the ones conducting the positive-mental-attitude “church” meetings can ride in style, because they receive the money that “cometh” from their attendees.
By the way, have you ever listened to that brilliant “Money Cometh!” teaching of Leroy Thompson in which he describes his “prophetical word”? (Those are his words not mine—you would think he would at least get the word “prophetic” right.) That strange doctrine, which was supposedly spoken to him by God in a grocery store checkout line, tells you that all you have to do is “pull the lever” three times (similar to a slot machine motion with your arm), and your money will come! For extra credit in the spirit, however, please make sure you write “Money Cometh!” in the memo field of your check. Don’t worry, though, if you have to put it on a credit card. Leroy’s god (with a little “g”) accepts those too. (It is also interesting to note about Leroy that when his mentor—Kenneth E. Hagin, who originally gave him his “big break” in ministry, which made Leroy a popular speaker—tried to get him to correct his errant “Money Cometh” tripe, Leroy would have nothing to do with it. In fact, Leroy would not even show up for the meeting.)
Such “ministers” are a lot like those guys who teach seminars about how to become a real estate billionaire guru. They pump you up with their motivational speaking, and they teach you that you need to do certain things in that field so that you can have the financial success they have. The only catch is that they make more money from selling seminar tickets, books, and audio and video sets, than they do by applying the principles that they are peddling to others.
Don’t get me wrong. I know that it is God’s will for His children to prosper and be in health. But 3 John 2 says that it is only when their souls prosper that it can happen God’s way. The Bible also says that prosperity will destroy a fool (Proverbs 1:32, KJV). Why? Because a fool will allow that money to become his god, and there is no way for a person to serve both the true and living God and Mammon simultaneously (see Matthew chapter 6). Unless a person is serving the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, to the best of their ability and knowledge of the Word, financial prosperity will lead to his/her complete ruin.
Unfortunately, there has been a twisting of people’s priorities (to put it semi-nicely for the benefit of those who don’t like my “tone”). Positive-mental-attitude preachers have steered countless church attendees (some saved, some not) into putting money—and teachings related to money—ahead of the weightier matters of the heart. It gets to a point where some see financial gain as a sign of godliness:
(1 Timothy 6:3-8, NKJV)
You would think that Lucifer’s fall, caused by him being lifted up in pride because of the multitude of his merchandise, would have taught these people something (see Isaiah 14:12-21 and compare it with Ezekiel 28:12-19). Alas! They seem unaware of that lesson from Scripture.
When money is someone’s “god,” even their prayers and dedications directed towards God Almighty are almost always tied to money in some way. And the “counsel” that these people think that they are getting from the God of the Bible during their “prayer” time is just plain weird.
For example, when my family and I were attending Eagle Mountain International Church (EMIC), there was a time when Pastor George Pearsons “confessed” something to the congregation. I guess we were all to think that this was a serious sin. His confession was that he was not “believing God” for a nice enough automobile. Once he “completely repented” (not his words, but mine for emphasis), he came to the conclusion that God wanted him to have a Lexus SUV.
Boy, I guess he was able to sleep like a baby after admitting to such a horrendous sin! And what humility to confess it in front of the whole congregation! (Of course, these are the same people who George expected to donate toward that project.)
What a guy. Never mind what real sins the man may have had behind the scenes that he really needed to repent of (in order to be truly right with such a holy God).
I also remember something that occurred during one of the daily Believer’s Voice of Victory broadcasts. Kenneth Copeland had George Pearsons on there as his guest, and the topic of their discussion was about getting out of debt. Kenneth humiliated George on international television by very critically and derogatorily asking George why he and his wife, Terri (Kenneth’s daughter from his first marriage), had gotten a mortgage on their home. Heaven forbid!
Sadly, it seems that with Kenneth, it’s okay to commit fraud by receiving donations from people for a certain project, and then to never do the project. (Except of course when the money is taken up for the purpose of buying a new jet for the chief preacher. Kenny will always follow through on those promises!)
But, “by George,” if you are getting a loan to buy a home for your family so they won’t be on the street or stuffed into an apartment, oh, what an embarrassment you are to Kenneth! George was completely messing up Ken’s debt-free marketing propaganda. (Hey, it could have hurt sales!)
Home of Hypocrisy
To my knowledge, Kenneth Copeland himself has never publicly mentioned the fact that the huge mansion he and Gloria live in on KCM’s ministry property is the official “parsonage” of EMIC. This was uncovered by Senator Grassley’s Senate Finance Committee investigation, and even briefly admitted to on a KCM “frequently asked questions” page (which confession was later removed…it seems that they mistakenly got a little “too” transparent with their financial affairs, at least within their own minds).
Excuse me, but Kenneth has admitted publicly that he is not called to pastor. Uh, so why are he and Gloria in the “parsonage” while the actual pastors of the church, George and Terri, have to fend for themselves? Let me get this straight: The actual pastors had to get rid of their home that was attached to an embarrassing mortgage—and scrape along for years to try to fix up some old house—just so that they would be living in a “paid-for” home to please Kenneth? (Not that they are broke, by any means; but paying cash for a house can take a chunk out of anyone’s budget.)
Yep. Kenneth and Gloria are definitely having their best life now.
Can you see how sick this is? Since Kenneth is a self-professed “billionaire”—and having his best life now—then why doesn’t he share some of that “good life” with his own daughter and son-in-law by buying them a house? It seems to me he could have at least sectioned off a quarter of the mansion “parsonage” that he and “Pastor” Gloria (just kidding about the title) live in, so that they could try to help George and Terri to maintain the “debt-free lifestyle” that Kenneth demands of them.
But I digress…
Do You Want Mammon or Salvation?
If you are a Christian—which means that you have turned from iniquity and received Jesus as Lord of your life (i.e. you really endeavor to do what He commands)—then you will not even pray that God would give you your “best life now.” If Heaven awaits you, then an honest prayer for the best life would not result in you having more luxury; but it would rather result in you dropping dead on the spot!
It is in being absent from the body that you are then present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:6-8), where you will surely receive your ultimate “best life.” So are you praying to die? I haven’t seen that printed on any Scripture promise cards.
I know this sounds hard, folks, but this kind of straight-shooting teaching can keep your heart pure…if you welcome it. Please do not take this lightly. We are talking about eternity. We are talking about Heaven or Hell.
God does tell us to “ask” and promises that we will “receive.” So there is nothing wrong with talking to Him about any needs that we have—or even some things we desire, like being able to take the family on vacation. However, there are some conditions:
(James 4:3, KJV, modernized for better translation)
(1 John 3:21-23, NKJV)
If you find yourself taking up the majority of your prayer time with requests for a better this and a better that, to the point where you are getting into excess and are losing sight of eternal things (i.e., people getting saved, or your heart being regularly examined in the light of God’s Word to keep it clean), then you have gone too far into trying to receive your best life now, on this earth. You are certainly not being “pleasing in His sight” when you are just begging for things that you can “consume upon your lusts.”
I admonish you strongly and in love to please consider your ways, and to consider your prayers. If you know you have been born into the family of God, then you will be certain that your best life can never be here on this earth, for that is only for those who are Hell-bound. On the contrary, your best life as a Christian is in your future:
(Romans 8:12-18, NKJV)
(Revelation 21:3-5, NKJV)
However, please note the following warning also (which is only one of several just like it in the Bible):
(Ephesians 5:5, NKJV)
There is a saying that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. That can be true. But what I am seeing today is that the highway to Hell is also being paved by simply keeping “a good positive attitude” about the “rotten here and now;” and by trying to just pull some promises out of the Bible in an attempt to make the person’s prayers sound scriptural.
The Kingdom of God is not about material things, but it is righteous, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17). All three of those things come from the heart.
Don’t accept some pitifully cheap “Prosperity-Cult” substitute that tries its best to get you so focused on carnal things that you lose sight of eternal things, which is what the Bible tells us to set our minds on:
(Colossians 3:1-4, NKJV)
In the big picture, it is irrelevant whether you are “positive” or even “prosperous” in THIS life. The main thing is to make sure that you are truly born again, and will prosper in the NEXT life.
So let me encourage you in closing—whether you profess to be a Christian or not—to also read Rich’s salvation message on his (biblical) financial ministry website, which is entitled, The Supreme Value of Righteousness. If you really possess that true treasure, then the temporal “wealth” of this world will seem very trifling to you in comparison.