FWC Devotional
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May 22, 2017
"The High Cost of Gambling"
Pastor J.R. Damiani

Gambling has made the news big time in recent months. Millions are lost every day at the gambling halls of Vegas, Atlantic City, Laughlin Nevada, Reno, on cruise ships at sea and hundreds of ports around the world. From little old ladies to blue collar workers who spend grocery money at the machines, to wealthy playboys – it bites without discrimination. There are other kinds of gambling as well. It seems that man has always had an urge – an uncontrollable urge - to gamble.
Even before creation – in eternity past - one of history's greatest gambles took place. Lucifer, the radiant angel of wisdom and beauty – gambled for the throne of Heaven. He lost it all, and is now known as Satan, the commandant of darkness. Whether large or small, you can be sure that gambling always leads to ruin.
The Bible has a lot to say about gambling, not only goods and money, but about the most dangerous form of gambling. Maybe some of you will participate today in the deadly game. It's the deadliest game in town. The stakes are Heaven or Hell. The choices are presented. Life in Christ, the one who can change your life and assure you of eternal salvation – or you may gamble and turn your back – then you lose. Adam started the game on Earth in Eden. What a terrible loss – and Adam's race still has not learned the lesson. Remember Lot. He gambled when he pitched his tent toward Sodom and he lost his honor and his family. How about Samson? He gambled for pleasure in Delilah's house. Samson learned what thousands in Atlantic City and Vegas will learn today. You can't beat the house. Samson learned it too late. King Saul – how foolish as we look back – he bet his throne on a few sheep and cows. He not only lost his throne but he lost his life and soul. There's a long list of earth's greatest gamblers. The Rich Young Ruler, Pilate, Judas, Demas, Ananias and Sapphira, King Agrippa, etc., etc., etc. They all gambled – and they all lost!
It's a fact – any time you fail to give God priority in your life you lose. Give it some thought. How can anyone go against the God of the universe and win? The odds aren't against you – there are no odds. There's no chance at all.
Every time you say no and turn your back on Jesus you are gambling. You are betting that there's no eternity - that this life is all there is. God's Word makes it clear that there is more to life than 60 or 70 or 80 years. In I Corinthians 15, the great resurrection chapter, Paul says clearly "if in this life only we have hope in Christ we are of all men most miserable!" Your top priority, your number 1 goal must be your preparation for eternity.
Don't gamble on John 14:6, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life" etc…. not a way or one of many ways, or even perhaps the best way – no way! He is the ONLY WAY!
Here's the question. Is the thing or things, person or persons that keep you from Jesus worth spending eternity without Him? Are you willing to take that kind of gamble?
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