In a companion article, the prosperity gospel was cited as the cause of multiplied millions turning back toward the world, just like Lot’s Wife turned back toward her former home.  As noted by Jesus, Lot’s wife lost her life by turning back toward Sodom because she wished to ‘save her life’ there (Luke 17:32-33). Scripture also indicates that Lot was vexed by being in Sodom (2 Pet 2:7-9). His vexation came from seeing and hearing the unlawful deeds in that place, yet he continued to live there. Why? Because of prosperity. With the account of Lot’s family’s demise in mind, the ultimate goal of this discussion is to warn all who will listen to flee from the coming judgment which will soon fall upon the unsuspecting world. The best way to do this is to prove this article’s title, “Prosperity Gospel: Creator of the Laodicean Church.”
Perhaps the best place to start is with the warning which Jesus issued to the church in Laodicea, a dire warning indeed that should be heeded. Here is the contextual passage from Revelation chapter three:
“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
“I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”  (emphasis mine)
With this warning in mind, let us examine how the church has come to be in such a state by taking a look at Lot and his family. Lot, after separating from Abraham, “pitched his tent toward Sodom” (Gen 13:12). This is to say that he desired to associate with Sodom more than likely because of wealth. We can assume this because elsewhere, Lot is vexed by the behavior of the inhabitants of Sodom (2 Pet 2:7-9). This is comparable to those in the church heaping unto themselves teachers having itching ears (2 Tim 4:3), meaning they pitch their tent toward the direction of the preacher that provides the message they want to hear, even though, in actuality, those who bring the message vex them. This vexation stems from knowing that the messengers they are listening to are living lifestyles contrary to that ordained for true Christian ministers.
You see, Scripture clearly indicates what ministers are to be like. Paul provides instruction to two of his spiritual sons, Timothy and Titus, about selecting elders to lead local congregations in their geographical spheres of influence:
1 Timothy 3:1-7
“This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop [overseer], he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; [many other translations read, “not a lover of money”]
“One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” (emphasis mine) [This author’s comments are bracketed.]
“For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; [many other translations read, “not greedy for money”] But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” (emphasis mine) [This author’s comments are bracketed.]
Peter also provides instruction about the character and behavior of an elder:
1 Peter 5:1-4
“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, [other translations read, “not for sordid, dishonest, shameful gain”] but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” (emphasis mine) [This author’s comments are bracketed.]
Obviously, overseers are to be void of the love of money. Therefore, all those who adhere to and foist the prosperity gospel upon others are not genuine ministers as set forth in the New Testament. This is why the souls of the righteous are vexed by these charlatans. Sadly, like Lot, many choose to disregard this vexation and go from pitching their tent toward Sodom to living within the city walls (attending their church and/or conferences and seminars) and even sitting in the gate as one of prominence in the city (becoming part of their ministries) (Gen 19:1). Once one has reached this point, it may take an act of God to remove them from the morass of delusion they have succumbed to, just like hesitant Lot who had to be led by the hand out of Sodom, even when judgment was impending (Gen 19:16).
Like Lot and his family, many have become desensitized to the wickedness of this and many associated false teachings which invariably issue forth from those who choose to fleece the flock of God. You see, the prosperity gospel is only a fraction of the falsehoods these purveyors of evil spew forth.  Many of you just winced at the sharpness of this statement. However, the reason these ministers have prospered (pun intended) in their quests to mislead God’s children is they have met little if any opposition throughout their ministries. This is truly sad, for the apostles made it clear that false teachers were to be identified and shunned:
1 Timothy 6:3-5
“If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” (emphasis mine)
“For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake [dishonest gain].” (emphasis mine) [This author’s comments are bracketed.]
2 Peter 2:1-3, 14-15
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness [many translations read, “in their greed”] shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness [gain for wrongdoing].” (emphasis mine) [This author’s comments are bracketed.]
Most importantly, Jesus made it very clear that the prosperity gospel is not valid. In fact, He actually likens those who desire to prosper by laying up treasures for themselves instead of being rich toward God to the foolish man whose soul would be required of him that night.
“And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness [many translations read “every form of greed”]: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
“And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (emphasis mine) [This author’s comments are bracketed.]
Notice that this foolish man thought to build bigger barns in which to stow his goods, and by doing so, he planned to take ease, eat, drink, and be merry for years to come. However, as we know, Jesus told him his soul would be required of him that night. This is the very crux of our discussion. The prosperity gospel develops in people the mindset of the fool in this parable, in that they see prosperity as the source of their future security. Those who have succumbed to this fallacy are just like the church in Laodicea of whom Jesus said, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Rev 3:17). Thus, the prosperity gospel has created the Laodicean church, a multitude who have lost sight of their need of reliance upon God’s sovereignty, His daily provision, forgiveness, and protection (The Lord’s Prayer – Matt 6:9-13).
It should be noted that many believe the churches in Revelation chapters two and three represent the progressive condition of the church throughout history, with the final condition being that of the church of Laodicea. Others believe, as do I, that each condition can exist simultaneously and there are essentially seven types of churches. Although it could be argued that both of these opinions are true in that each type of church exists simultaneously while one is dominant during a specific time, culminating in the preeminence of the lukewarm church of Laodicea. Either way, without repentance, the Laodicean church will be vomited out of the Savior’s mouth because of their ineffectiveness (lukewarmness) (Rev 3:16). 
Lot’s wife was turned to stone because she was more interested in her prosperous life in Sodom than she was a life of dependence on God, a life He was providing her elsewhere. This is true of many today; they prefer a life seeking prosperity to a life of complete dependence upon God, a life of contentment in whatever situation in which they are led by God. Sadly, those who make up the Laodicean church are just like Lot’s wife; they are busy looking at their prosperity as their source of hope, and this mistake may cost them dearly. However, until Christ arrives for His bride, there is hope through repentance.
This is the good news. Jesus is faithful and just and will forgive anyone who repents, even those who have propagated the Laodicean church manufacturing prosperity gospel (1 John 1:9). Therefore, if you have fallen prey to this enticement from the devil, repent and be made whole before it is too late, lest you be spewed out of the mouth of Christ. Once you are set free, find a local church that is spiritually affiliated with the church in Philadelphia of Revelation chapter 3:
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
“Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (emphasis mine)
Website: In His Commission
 For greater understanding, see the article, “Don’t Look Back – Remember Lot’s Wife.”
 “Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the King James Version.”
 For greater understanding, see the article, “The Return of the Godless.”
 For greater understanding, visit the “Eschatology Articles” page at inhiscommission.com.