Speaking the Truth in Love

The Greatest Gamble

Image result for russian roulette game showOnce I watched an episode of “Russian Roulette,” a game show that ran for two seasons (2002-03). The winning contestant earned $10,000 by correctly answering some easy questions. The host told the man he could turn his cash into $100,000 by taking a gamble. There was a five-in-six chance that he would lose everything and, of course, only a one-in-six chance that he would win big. If lucky, the contestant would pull a lever and remain on stage. Otherwise, the floor would drop out from under him and his winnings would disappear with him. Wisely, the fellow decided to keep his $10,000 and go home. Some contestants weren’t that smart.

Sadly, people play a similar game with something far more precious than money—their own soul. Some, for instance, refuse to live a life of faith in Christ, betting that God could never condemn “a good person like me.” But as far as God is concerned, “no one does good, not even one” (Rom. 3:12). Some church-goers gamble that their unbiblical teachings or worship practices will present no problems on the last day. They ignore the words of Jesus, who warned that “not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). And many Christians gamble that a halfhearted commitment to Jesus will answer on the Day of Judgment. The Lord, however, threatens to spew the “lukewarm” out of his mouth (Rev. 3:16).

Gambling with money is bad enough. This addictive behavior can ruin careers and destroy families. But risking the soul is unthinkable: “What will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul?” (Matt. 16:26, NASB).

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