Philippians 3:7-14: (NASB)
7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ,
9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,
10 that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained it , or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do : forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Every time Joel and Victoria Osteen open their mouth to speak, heresy comes gushing out.
In the article linked within, Joel and Victoria Osteen continue to spread the gospel of “self.” Osteen says it is his gift to encourage people and remind them of their potential. Sadly, he’s not stressing that they are potentially Hell-bound sinners; he is glad-handing the lost and encouraging them to seek happiness in life through material things. But my question is this: since when has material things ever brought true peace and happiness? Osteen’s message is shallow and void of any biblical truth.
What potential does man have? Without the substitutionary attonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ, there is nothing good or righteous about us. We were born in sin and worthy of death before the only holy and just God. Teaching man to love himself is veering him away from the only true gospel…the gospel of brokeness which causes us to thump our chest, realize we are sinners worthy of death, and beg for mercy from Almighty God. Our righteousness is as filthy rags! What potential is there in that? Can you take filthy rags and make kingly or priestly apparel from them? Can man, apart from Christ, take something unclean and make it clean? (Job 14:4; 15:4) No, we need to be cloaked in the righteousness of Christ Jesus. The prophet Isaiah understood it quite well when he said:
Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (NASB)
Let’s look at a few verses from God’s Word which highlight man’s true potential in and of himself apart from Christ Jesus:
Job 25:4 How then can man be justified with God? or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?
Ps 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Ro 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. (NASB)
This should put things in the clearest of perspectives:
17 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:
18 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.
Joel Osteen said:
“I think there’s enough people in the world right now who are just frustrated and scared,” said Joel Osteen in a recent interview with The Source. “I feel that my gift is to encourage them and remind people of their potential.” Source.
Does the answer to man’s fear and frustration lie in showing them their potential? Without Jesus Christ, man has only the potential to continue in the sin he was born into. There is no potential outside of atonement. Osteen’s message is basically boiled down to this: there is hope and happiness in material wealth. But Jesus asked a very pointed question when He said: “What is a man profited if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)
Echoing her husband, Victoria Osteen stated:
“I just think in these times of uncertainty that we need to be reminded of how much we’ve been blessed with and how much potential we have.”
In “Love Your Life,” Victoria Osteen writes candidly about her life and personal experiences, and how concepts such as forgiveness, relationships and respect help women understand their influence and live with confidence.
“I just think that we have to be encouraged to think positive and live with a focus on our potential. I hope that (the book) encourages people to see their value and purpose,” she said. “I think that when we realize the roles we play and the influence we have, we can live at our best.” Source.
Does this statement alarm you? Victoria Osteen, who is a pastor’s wife, says that we have to think positive and live with a focus on “our potential.” Where is the crucified and resurrected Christ mentioned in any of this? Should we focus on our potential, or focus on Jesus?
The heresy here is so blatant that, at times, I’m still baffled as to why people don’t see it. But then I’m reminded that scripture says that in these end times, God will send strong delusion that they will believe the lie because they were not lovers of truth. Some could argue that this will only happen after the antichrist is revealed, but what you need to consider is that these things don’t spring forth over night. They escalate and cast their shadows before them as they approach.
The question is, will you stand in the shadows, or stand in the light?
To read the article in its entirety, click on the link above.