I am always amazed at how quickly the dust settles on the grounds of the stadiums, arenas, conference centers and show grounds of Nairobi. A visiting evangelist, preacher, healer and crusader sweeps into town, makes a great impression on the spiritually and physically hungry masses, meets some of the important dignitaries and political leaders, and before you know it, the ‘swoosh’ of the sweep is silent. By this time only the dust at the cash register, and the query of a few thousand confused souls is still unsettled. The visitors inevitably leave a variety of books, CD’s video tapes, pamphlets, brochures and telephone hot lines for those who still seek answers for a lifetime which they could not get in one week. There is a lot to be said by prophets about profits.
How is it that the gospel came to be so profitable, to those who preach it today, when it cost the Savior so much? How do these modern day profiteers make money on what cost Christ His life?
The prophet Isaiah said it well in Isaiah 53:5 “…by His stripes we are healed..”
I would suggest that the King James version could be abridged to say we are well healed, or in these instances ‘well heeled.’
The nations of the world are suffering for the lack of men and women who are willing to show the crucified Christ in His suffering. It is very difficult if not impossible for the poorest and most desperate to differentiate the eloquent and learned from the sincere and most Christ like. It is hard for them to understand the gospel when these prophets are welcomed not as suffering servants but as well heeled heroes.
The poor want a miracle, not a manicure. The poor want food, not a photo-op. The poor want healing that does not come with them as a backdrop for a headline showing the latest prophet to come their way.
The entourage of hundreds of people including body guards, the caravan of fine luxury cars, the expense of staying in the finest luxury hotels and of course, dining (not publicly wining) with the most important people is not the example of the Christ on the cross.
I believe their message is heard loud and clear. “By His stripes, we are well heeled! It is good to serve God when He will benefit you financially in this life. After all, this life is an important thing, so get as much as you can, and after that you get to go to heaven too!”