From the permissiveness and immorality of denominations—and from some churches that used to belong to the Lord, it appears that they now work from Augustine’s idea to love God and do what you please. Whatever Augustine may have meant by it, they take it to mean that God allows you have it your way.
No wonder then that one of the favorite verses of religious folk is Psa 37.4: “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (KJV). Many take it to mean that God will write you a blank check, will do whatever you want.
Not on the favorites list is Luke 9.23: “Then he said to them all, ‘If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me'” (NET). Self-denial in a consumer society? That won’t fly!
While many may criticize the prosperity gospel that promises health and wealth, they are not far from it, only more subtle. After all, they reason, if God loves us all, and we love God, he must approve of what we do and what we ask.
Point it out and they will react as Israel did before Malachi’s charges, “How do we offend God?” Mal 1.7.
The word of Jesus, however, still stands, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven—only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’ Mt 7.21-23.