In this sermon, the pastor focuses on the miracles of Christ and that he continues to work in the life of people now. He declares that if you simply have more faith, God will heal you and fix all of your problems. Acts 19:11-12 and Mark 5:21-34 were the main passages of his message. He mentions what Wax calls the “story,” saying that one must hear before he or she can believe. Much emphasis is placed on faith, but not faith in the death, resurrection, and sovereignty of Christ, but in the fact that if they have enough faith, they will be healed from whatever earthly affliction is ailing them. This can easily fit into the category of the Therapeutic gospel that Wax described, as well as the prosperity gospel that is popular in many congregations today.
Why is this gospel so attractive and catch the attention of so many people? The therapeutic gospel presents man’s problem as about us; sin deprives us of the fullness that we could be feeling. As long as we have faith and believe in Christ and that he died for this sin that empties us, we will feel full again. We will be able to reach our full potential, and, in this specific sermon, we will be free from all pain and suffering while here on earth. The prosperity gospel proclaims that with faith in Christ comes a better life; fuller (in a worldly sense) and free of affliction.
This is a problem because this world is not all that there is. Eternity is in our future, no matter what. James states that this world will be filled with trials; however, God uses these situations in our lives to draw us closer to him and to help us grow in our faith. These gospels also twist the real problem. Instead of our sin causing separation from God being the problem, we simply do not have enough faith that God will take care of our situations.
These gospels must be countered with replacing God at the center of everything; it is not about us and our lack of faith that God cannot do something. Everything that happens in history is a part of God’s plan, even if it is troublesome. Our life should not be centered on us and what we can get out of life, but it should be focused on God and the meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that he provides.