August 24, 2017
Volume 21, Number 29
It’s true; someone won an amazingly large Powerball jackpot last night. The $758 million winning numbers are held by only one person who purchased their ticket in Massachusetts. But here’s the news you won’t hear: For the only larger winning Powerball jackpot ($1.5 billion on January 13, 2016), 371 million tickets weren’t winners.
An article on TheBalance.com (September 22, 2016) has some statistics about people who play the lottery. A third of all Americans believe the lottery is their only hope for attaining financial security. But what are the odds of winning the big prize? Among the things for which there are better odds of happening are the following: Being killed in a plane or auto crash or by a lightning strike; falling out of bed; becoming a movie star; or getting a royal flush in the first hand of poker. So, do you still think you’ll win?
To truly improve your odds of financial security, the article goes on to note, try putting the money into savings that a lottery ticket costs. Yes, you can buy a ticket for just a couple of bucks, but put those bucks together and you’ll eventually have a tidy sum.
Let’s change the stakes. What are the odds that you can live in denial of God and His will and still come up a winner? According to the Bible, those odds are mighty poor. To be perfectly honest – there are no odds at all. You cannot win living a life like that.
Moses was concerned that the tribes of Reuben and Gad were going to bail out on the rest of their brethren at a very critical time. True, they had promised Moses they would go all the way with Israel to obtain the Promised Land. But just to be sure, Moses gave this warning: “But if you will not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).
“Be sure your sin will find you out.” That’s somewhat the same as the old adage, “Crime doesn’t pay.” Sometimes, however, crime does seem to pay. Some cases remain cold; some fugitives from justice are never apprehended. In God’s courtroom, though, the story is different. Justice will be handed out on the Day of Judgment.
Can a person evade God’s justice? Here’s how Amos explained it: “It will be as though a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him! Or as though he went into the house, leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him” (Amos 5:19). The point is clear: God knows your sin, and you will eventually have to answer for all you’ve done.
Many who play the lottery put no faith in their wages; they just don’t believe that’s the path to the life they desire. But in the arena of what matters most, know that wages will be handed out: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). I’d rather have God’s gift. There’s a sure thing!
Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.
Copyright, 2017, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).
“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “Tim@GraceMine.org” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.
Permission to reproduce and/or use the messages for noncommercial purposes is freely granted provided the messages are not altered.