John MacArthur – Julie Roys – Joel Osteen: The fight over prosperity gospel

Welcome back to Defenders Voice. This is Dr.Paul. Thank you for joining us today. Hope you are all doing well. Defenders Voice is about defending the truth against the falsehoods of our time. This channel is dedicated to answering your questions. You can send your questions to In today’s episode, I will answer the question: is it appropriate for John MacArthur to criticize Joel Osteen. Very good question. 

    This is in reference to John MacArthur’s sermon on April 25th. Go to and listen or watch this sermon. It is a great sermon. I got an email from John MacArthur’s office that they are very disappointed at the video I published with Julie Roy’s. In that video, Julie Roys made the charge that John MacArthur was living a prosperous life while condemning the prosperity gospel. Those are Julie Roys’ views, not mine. If New York Times publishes an interview with Donald Trump, it does not mean it supports the views of Donald Trump. In the same way, if I publish an interview with someone on my channel, it does not mean that I support their views. I have many views and you can easily find them by watching my videos. 

      Julie Roys made a logical flaw. There is a difference between prosperity and prosperity gospel. Prosperity means you can live a lavish life. Prosperity gospel means God will foot the bill for your lavish lifestyle. John MacArthur living a prosperous life while condemning prosperity gospel is not a contradiction. He did not pursue money, money came to him. He loved the Bible so much and wrote great books about the Bible. People bought those books and he became rich. He lived with the Bible and loved it every second. He deserves every dollar he earned. 

     Back when I was in medical school, I used to have a professor in the Pathology Department. One day she asked me, why do you want to become a doctor? Money or wisdom? She is a Hindu. She said, ‘Saraswati is the goddess of wisdom, Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth. Follow Saraswati and Lakshmi will follow you.’ Follow wisdom and money will follow you. I think that is what John MacArthur did. He followed wisdom and money followed him. We don’t have to criticize him for that. If you become prosperous while criticizing prosperity gospel, there is no contradiction because they are two unrelated phenomena. 

    So, in this April 25th message, John MacArthur talked about 3 great blessings we enjoy in Christ. Our election, our inheritance and our glorification. We are chosen by God in Christ before the foundation of the world. What a blessing that is! Then we have great inheritance in Christ. He is sufficient for all our needs for life and eternity. Then we await our glorification. Strictly speaking you are already glorified. Because Christ is our head and he is in heaven now, we are also in heaven. We can rejoice about these great blessings God gave us in Jesus Christ, our Lord. 

   At this point, John MacArthur took potshots at Joel Osteen. Do you know the book ‘Your Best Life  Now’? Does it feel like this is your best life with all the Covid Pandemics, lockdowns, business closures and economic recession? Does it feel like this is the best life? We got his point. Joel Osteen and prosperity preachers fooled so many people with this nonsense: if you pray enough and trust God enough, he will make you rich. When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, Osteen hesitated too long to open his Lakewood Church for the rehabilitation of the victims. The secular media is also not happy about him. 

     We got faith healers all over India promising great treatments for this virus. The hospitals are full in India, the crematoriums are full of dead bodies. The faith healers failed miserably to help the sick. 

    So, Joel Osteen preaching the prosperity gospel is nothing but an insult to all good Christians who live in poverty. Faith healers preaching healing is nothing but an insult to all good Christians who live in sickness. 

     Finally, you can still have a best life now if you look at Jesus. This best life is not dependent on what you get from this sin cursed world. It is dependent on what you already got in Christ. If you think about God’s heavenly blessings in Christ you can have joy in the midst of this suffering. So, Joel Osteen deserves this whipping from John MacArthur because he deceived so many people with his false teachings of prosperity gospel. 

2 thoughts

  1. Why is it that whenever people charge people like John Mcarthur on things the defense is put that he must be right because others like Joel Osteen and faith teachers are wrong. It is not one or the other. They are both the opposite side of the same coin of untruth. Stick to the word and not your own man made opinions. Because that is the error of all this. You say to your audience believe me because i can vouch for John. Who is vouching for you in the first instance?

  2. What an idiotic justification “money came to him”. So what? Saying “no” to money that “came to you” on their own two feet is an impossibility for someone who so often preaches that “it is easier for a camel”….?! It is only an impossibility when you tailor the Scriptures to justify those darn pesky monies, which come right into your fat pocket, while you don’t even invite them.
    Ludicrous! Just as is the statement about JM writing books and people so loving them and willing to buy them and that is why he is rich. Once again, it is only justified, when you subscribe your/his/mine book writing ability on the subject of Gospel and the Bible as our own creation, worthy of reward. Whatever happened to “freely you received …”? Wow! Navigating through those multitudes of American prospering preachers today (wether they preach prosperity or just enjoy it) is like trying to spring across minefields.

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