I just heard the most succinct and beautiful condemnation of the prosperity gospel in John Piper’s sermon, “The All-Providing King Who Would Not Be King.” (You have to listen to the sermon to get this exact quote).
Referencing John 6:26, Piper says,
“The essence of the prosperity gospel of every shade is that it leaves people unchanged in their old appetites and then provides Jesus to meet them, which is what the gospel of John is all about not doing. God help us. Are your existing appetites just the same as they always were before you came to Jesus, and He’s just useful now? Better business, better marriage, better kids, better everything I wanted before?! Then you don’t know Him. He didn’t come to serve your unregenerate appetites; He came to give you new appetites. That’s the meaning of being ‘born again.’”
“…And so many leave people untransformed in what they crave, and then add the power of Jesus to get it. That’s not the gospel. It’s the kind of acclamation that Jesus walks away from.”
I’ve never heard it said better.