Atlanta is a most religious city. It has more megachurches per capita than any other city in America. It is home to some of the more infamous prosperity preachers, bishops, prophets, and prophetesses. Most of them are living large or desiring to do so. Thus, their places of worship are filled with men and women who desire to live even as their preacher or bishop is living. Unfortunately, this has caused many, too many, to over extend themselves and find themselves in serious financial straights. It is also causing me to wonder if there is not a connection to the popularity of these prosperity preachers in Atlanta and the serious increase of foreclosures in the Atlanta area.
According to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, foreclosures in the Atlanta area are up 49 percent from a year ago. The total estimated value of properties entering foreclosure in metro Atlanta was $1,076,975,783. I can not help but wonder, how many of these people are the victims of some unbiblical and greed-ladened preaching over the years. I wonder how many of these people sit in places where the preacher has told them over and over again that they can claim whatever they name. I wonder how many of these people have been hoodwinked into believing that all they needed was faith and the house and everything else could be theirs. It saddens me to know that so many of these people call themselves Christians and go to church with a sincere desire to know what the Bible says, only to be sold a bill of goods and to be robbed first of their money and then later of their faith.
Friends, I am not a prophet. Thus, I can not say dogmatically what God is saying to the Atlanta area and the rest of the country through the loss of so many homes and the prospect of financial pain. However, I do know that we, who claim to hold to the faith once and for all delivered, must continue to preach the faithful, God-exalting, self-sacrificing gospel of Jesus Christ. As more and more people are brought crashing down because of the empty worthless promises of the prosperity gospel, might we be found preaching the true faith and thus have a place for them to land - if God so wills.