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  • Writer's pictureMark


I used to play the lottery. Whenever the jackpot got big, say, $100 Million and above. I mean, what’s a buck or two when there’s a chance of that much money? There have been jackpots in the Powerball where a person has won a half-billion or more. That’s a huge amount of money - more than most people can even imagine.

There are smaller winnings available, too. Scratch-offs where a player can win as little as a dollar. I’ve seen people buy one for a dollar, win two bucks, and buy two more. They’d rather take the chance on a bigger win than simply doubling their money in the time it takes to remove that gray coating.

Eventually I stopped playing the lottery. If God wants my accounts to grow that big He won’t use a lottery to do it. So I moved more toward working hard to give Him opportunities to bless me through what I do.

I’m still waiting, BTW.

Same for nearly all lottery players, too.

I’ve probably written about gambling before, but there’s always more to say.

If you look at faith as a gamble, which most people do (it’s not), look at the risk/reward. You pledge devotion to Christ Jesus or you don’t, just like lottery tickets. You either buy them or you don’t. At death, the follower of Jesus goes to Heaven for the biggest win in anyone’s existence. But if you don’t follow Him, you get the biggest loss of all time - eternal separation from Him and all that’s good. That means Hell, in case you missed it.

It always puzzles me that people ask why a loving God would send people to Hell. It’s the person’s choice, not God’s. He wants everyone to join Him in heaven, so if a person is “sent to Hell,” it’s that person’s choice, not His.

People who play the lottery don’t yell at the lottery commission. “You’re actively working to keep me from winning!” That’s simply not true, and reading the rules will reveal that. Just like reading the “rules” of Christianity would reveal the lie about God sending people to Hell. All through the “rules,” though it’s inaccurate to call the Bible “rules,” God is reaching out to people to bring them to Himself.

There’s a point where all analogies about God will break down, so don’t take the image too far. He wants to be the most important thing in your life. You don’t simply spend a few bucks to win the jackpot - you have to be all-in.

That doesn’t mean a vow of poverty. You don’t have to sell everything and donate it to charity. What it does mean is that if you buy a can of soup, you do it for the glory of God. You plan on eating that soup, right? If your body is a temple of God, it’s for His glory you buy that soup.

There’s a difference between saying that and living that, however. If you claim to buy a lottery ticket and don’t, you cannot win the jackpot. If you claim to buy soup for the glory of God and are doing it for your own ends, it will not help you enter eternity with Him.

But what if there is no God? Even though the Bible says that claim is foolishness, those who don’t believe the Bible won’t believe that either. So let’s look at that claim in our lottery image.

If the lottery only asks you for a few dollars every week or so, and you don’t pay that much, the downside is you don’t win. But what if the lottery was built around “play or lose everything?” You don’t play that lottery - ever - and after your decades of not playing the lottery commission comes to take everything you have. “Sorry, dude, but our records show you’ve never played the lottery.”

Again, remember there’s a point where analogies break down.

You spend your life not devoted to God because you believe He doesn’t exist. There are two alternatives when you die - He does, or He doesn’t. If there is no God nobody wins.

If there IS a God, who loses?

It isn’t the Christian.

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