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TITLE: GAMBLING WITH THE LORD'S MONEY!!!!
Subtitle: Lottery Winner Promises To Give 10% To His Church
News reports over the past few days have included accounts of the self-made millionaire contractor from West Virginia who won the largest lottery jackpot in history. The size of the lump sum payoff (over 100 million after taxes!) was cause enough to stir public interest, but the man's stated intent to give a tithe (10%) to his Church (Church of God) has generated even more articles. The two or three pastors apparently in line to receive the money have been interviewed and say they are eagerly awaiting the funds--having many projects where it can be put to good use. But surely there are others who join with me in shaking our heads in disbelief and wondering how such an unthinkable and unscriptural attitude could be expressed by men who profess to serve God?
I know some may be stunned by my objection, but allow me to offer a point or two that perhaps you have not considered. First and foremost, gambling is an immoral activity in which no born-again child of God should participate. "Oh, but......," I can almost hear some of you saying. "Can you quote chapter and verse where the Bible says this?" No, I cannot because the Word of God does not directly address the subject, but the practice violates several principles of the Christian life as I will attempt to explain. When one is born into the family of God through genuine faith in Jesus Christ, he becomes a steward of the things of God and that includes the material as well as the spiritual. As we submit ourselves to the Lordship of Christ and become His willing bond slaves, we renounce all personal right of ownership. Our very lives and possessions become His. We take on the ancient role of a steward in our relationship with our Master and are allowed to use His possessions to bring Him honor and glory. (See article www.cuttingedge.org/p112.htm for a more in-depth explanation of the steward and his role). This fact--of which the actions of entirely too many Christians today show they are ignorant--is why giving back to the Lord of the time, talent, and treasury He has entrusted to us is such a glorious privilege! Can you imagine a steward risking the Master's money by gambling? Common sense dictates that such a thing would be unthinkable, because sooner or later the inevitable loss will occur and a reckoning of accounts required. Therefore, the risk of being declared an unfaithful steward by the Master and losing that position of privilege is obviously an unacceptable one by any standard of measurement! Yet many born-again believers are living defeated lives and suffering the consequences of having failed the test of stewardship. And the odds are (pun intended) very good that the majority do not have a clue as to why they are having such "bad luck!"
Then there is the matter of the winnings--the money itself. Only God knows how many children went hungry and wives/husbands were deprived of necessities due to the compulsive urge to "get something for nothing" by those who should know better and spent their hard earned money on the lottery tickets. (These otherwise intelligent people would never dream of taking that money and throwing it into the nearest trash dumpster, but considering the astronomical odds against winning--it is essentially what they are doing.) Even Judas realized after betraying the Lord that the thirty pieces of silver was "blood money" and tried to give it back! But apparently tainted money causes no such qualms when the amount is so large and "so much good" can be done with it. What these pastors should do is please the Lord by refusing to accept the money.
And while we are on the subject, I may as well go ahead and upset some others! Do you really think the Lord is pleased by human attempts to raise money for His work by raffles, bingo games, bake sales, car washes, etc.? Is He broke? Can He no longer provide for His own? If that new Church building or other worthy project is truly needed, will He not answer the prayers of His people and open the windows of heaven?
"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" Malachi 3:10 (KJV).
The last time I checked, the Word of God says "we walk by faith and not by sight" (2 Cor.5:7). But our flesh will always demand that methods of fundraising be utilized which violate this principle, because we want to see immediate results. Then when we take matters into our own hands, we do an "end run" around the Holy Spirit and cheat ourselves out of immense blessings by not waiting upon Him to work on our behalf. If His people would only humble themselves and practice biblical stewardship, the raising of funds would be rendered unnecessary. The spiritual aspect of many lives has been replaced by a misguided sense of practicality and untold sums are being wasted on projects totally outside of God's directive will. Churches around the world are in literal bondage to financial institutions as they pay out God's money in interest. So a very good rule for both Churches and individuals to live by is that if you cannot pray it in, you do not need it! My friends, this world is on a greased slide to hell and only the foundations of that which is truly built in the eternal has any lasting worth.
If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
We hope you have been blessed by this ministry, which seeks to educate and warn people, so that they can see the coming New World Order—Kingdom of Antichrist—in their daily news.
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