taking the words of Jesus seriously

There are those who would preach that if we make Jesus our choice in life, each of us will drive a Rolls Royce.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Jesus does not promise prosperity.  He tells us that the servant is not greater than the master, and if they persecuted Him, they will persecute us—that is, if we are faithful to Him.  He teaches that unless a person takes up the cross, he cannot be a follower.  He tells the rich young ruler that if he does have money and goods, he should give all to the poor.  When the disciples ask Jesus about rich people being saved, He makes it clear that this would be extremely difficult.  I think that the preachers of the Prosperity Theology do not make this sufficiently clear.

Also by Tony: Committed to Unhappiness: Consumerism is the Enemy of the Church

When Jesus says, “The foxes have holes and the birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head, ” it kind of precludes the fact that if we are walking in His footsteps that we should not expect to have magnificent houses here on earth.

Jesus does not argue that the blessed people are those who enjoy “the good life, American style, ” but are the ones who are persecuted for righteousness’ (justice) sake.

Tony Campolo is the Founder and President of EAPE and Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Eastern University. Look for Tony in your area and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: Fedor Selivanov / Shutterstock.com

About The Author


Tony Campolo is Professor of Sociology at Eastern University, and was formerly on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. For 40 years, he founded and led the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, an organization that created and supported programs serving needy communities in the Third World as well as in “at risk” neighborhoods across North America. More recently, Dr. Campolo has provided leadership for the Red Letter Christians movement. He blogs regularly at his own website. Tony and his wife Peggy live near Philadelphia, and have two children and four grandchildren.

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