If one looked at churches today, he might conclude that many have succumbed to the Doctrine of Balaam. Essentially, marriage to the world can be intoxicating, and for churches caught up in the seeker sensitive movement, it can prove disastrous.
Balaam taught the Moabites how to defeat the Israelites by intermarriage. The object was to ensnare Israelite men with the lusts of the world where they would forgo the Living God for counterfeit gods that ultimately led to their destruction.
Today, one can get his “Best Life Now.” He is taught that God is a cosmic butler whose sole purpose is to grant wishes and to shower him with gifts. This prosperity gospel is the opposite of what it preaches. It teaches greed where one trades eternal riches for temporal ones now.
One may be reminded of Abraham’s statement to the rich man. Abraham said, “Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.” (Luke 16:25 ESV) The rich man had his best life while he was living. Many will be in the same position as the rich man and the false teachers that tempt with material gain are leading the masses into hell.
Not that there is anything wrong with material wealth, but it is the attitude with which it is regarded. Material wealth is an idol for many. They may profess their belief in Christ, but their works show otherwise. We view silver and gold as an imperishable commodity. It is tangible and finite, but we assume it will always be available. 1 Peter 1:18 says otherwise. Even heaven and earth will pass away as it is written in Matthew 24:35, but Christ’s words will never pass away.
False teachers abound, and many of these wolves exploit people’s greed by luring them away from Christ with the empty promises of prosperity. Balaam is alive and well in the dark recesses of the heart, and one must always be on guard.