What does it mean to prosper and be in good health? Pastor Smith explains the Biblical understanding of this passage as found in 3 John 1 vs. 2.
This is Pastor Rodney Smith with New Hebron's Bible Q & A.
There's a passage in 3 John v 2 that reads:
"Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in good health, even as your soul prospers."
This passage many have taken to mean that God is giving a blanket statement that every Christian is going to be healthy and wealthy.
Now, if that is true, we have other scripture that seems to contradict this point. For example Luke 9, when Jesus was encountered by a would-be follower, Jesus says to him in Luke 9:58:
"Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has no place to lay his own head."
Or in Acts 3, for example, when Peter and John were on their way to the temple for the hour of prayer. They find a man who's not just poor -- he's also a beggar. He's also sick and was lame from his mother's womb. And Peter looks at him and says:
"Silver and Gold have I none."
So how do we clear up these apparent inconsistencies in scripture?
When you look at 3 John 1, you can see that John is writing to the elder by the name of Gaius. And what John is doing (similar to what you and I would do) in the opening of his letter, he's saying I hope that when you are reading this, this finds you in good health. I hope that when you read this letter, everything is fine in your life.
So friend, this is not a statement that God is saying that every Christian is going to be healthy and wealthy. This is merely an opening to a letter, similar to what you and I would do if we sent an email or mailed a letter to someone that we're similar with.
Can God heal you? Yes, He can!
Can God bless you with material wealth? Yes, He can!
But what would it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?