For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. (2 Corinthians 11:4)
It is entirely possible to hear someone preach another Gospel than the one contained in the scriptures. Counterfeit Gospels can often be close to the truth that without good discernment minds cannot even distinguish between that which is fake and the true.
The need for discernment is such that modern Christians cannot discern between true Evangelicalism and the modern Neo-Evangelicalism.
Several decades ago churches adopted the so-called Gospel of Prosperity. The doctrine that Christ died to make us prosper materially both in our finances and in terms of health is contrary to the scriptures.
When challenged about this we are often met with the reply, “So God wants us all to be poor, is that it?” It is true that, in times past, many had been led to believe that in order to follow God they had to take vows of poverty. This is also contrary to the scriptures.
So what is the truth? Let us take a small look at the scriptures.
Keep deception and lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, that I not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the LORD?” Or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God. (Proverbs 30:8-9)
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. (Philippians 4:11-12)
But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:8-10)
The true Gospel is not one of Prosperity nor Poverty but one of contentment!
The Holy Spirit is very clear concerning those that equate godliness as a means to become rich:
If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing; but he has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. FROM SUCH WITHDRAW YOURSELF! (1 Timothy 6:3-5)
Of the seven churches in Asia God had the Apostle John write to, the church of Laodicea was typical of many of our modern day Pentecostal/Charismatic churches. They had spiritual gifts, they were a prosperous church and contented themselves in the belief that they had everything that a church needed to enjoy the blessing of God. However Christ said this to them:
To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. ‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:14-19)
They believed that they were wise and godly, in fact they were deceived and blind to the fact that they had strayed from the path.
God’s counsel to His children, when they come across Christians who promote the so-called Prosperity Gospel, is to withdraw yourself from them. This is essential if we are to keep ourselves from the corruption of covetousness. It only takes a small amount of leaven to corrupt a person or a church!
The commandment of God to us is as follows:
Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,” so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?” (Hebrews 13:5)