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THE DECEITFULNESS OF SIN
Sin Will Always Carry You Further Than You Want To Go And Keep You Longer Than You Want To Stay!
In a previous article entitled “Gambling With The Lord’s Money” (http://www.cuttingedge.org/articles/p193.htm), I tried to point out the scriptural basis for gambling being a sin. And in light of something that happened recently to someone I know, a few more words on the subject seems appropriate.
To take calculated risks is a necessary part of life. Just getting in the car and going down the street a few blocks involves an element of risk because having an accident is always a possibility. Fueling up that car is also risky because gasoline fumes can ignite from a static electrical spark generated by our clothing or even by our bodies during certain atmospheric conditions. But in these and many other things we encounter on a daily basis—usually without giving them a second thought—the statistical probability of something bad happening is quite low. So for the purposes of this discussion, is taking such risks “gambling” in the generally accepted sense of the word? Because of the wide latitude allowed by the dictionary definition, one can easily construe the answer to be “yes.” But I believe one definition best fits the nature of the type of gambling associated with getting something for nothing: an undertaking of questionable outcome. So by taking reasonable and acceptable risks, the answer should be “no.”
Putting coins in a slot machine, pulling the lever and hoping for a big payoff is apparently exciting for some people. So is buying lottery tickets and dreaming about the possible riches they might bring. But when the odds against winning are carefully considered, such practices are virtually the throwing away of good money. People who would not dream of emptying their wallets into the nearest trash receptacle routinely achieve the same result when they gamble. “Oh but it is fun and I might win,” is the usual excuse when they are asked about such behavior—to which common sense must reply, “Yeah, but in a lot of cases the odds of being struck by lightning are better than those of your winning anything!
Statistics clearly confirm the fact that, over time, only a very FEW come out on the plus side where gambling is concerned and legion are those who have been ruined by its allure.
A few years ago, the person I mentioned earlier—a professed Christian—became enamored with the bright lights and titillating atmosphere of the casinos. Playing slot machines was a welcome diversion from the monotony of everyday life and as “luck” would have it—there ensued several instances of hitting the jackpot. What started out as an occasional trip soon became more and more often until all the warning signs of gambling addiction were obvious. As a result the individual was warned by a close relative, but surprise, surprise, that loving attempt was dismissed with a “mind your own business” response.
Eventually all four of the person’s adult children were sucked into the exciting vortex and wound up losing hard-earned money. One child even had to ask the parent to loan them enough money to buy food for their family that week, but the trips continued unabated. And through the grapevine tales of large winnings surfaced along with discussions about how “lucky” the individual was.
Then one day the grapevine had a different story to tell. That “lucky” person had been fired from their job amidst allegations of embezzlement. Many thousands of dollars were involved and when the relative who loved enough to offer a warning inquired about the details, they found it was true the winnings had been large—but the losses had been many times greater! In a tragic scenario that is as old as sin itself, Satan probed for a weakness, exploited it and then took the person on a wild ride that they were powerless to stop.
When believers realize they have sinned and do not claim the promise of 1 John 1:9 (“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”), fellowship with the Lord is broken and the individual is rendered vulnerable to demonic oppression. The protective “armor” of Ephesians 6:11-17 becomes ineffective until such time as the offense is properly dealt with and fellowship restored. In the interim a satanic onslaught becomes more inevitable with each tick of the clock because the perfect bait for the situation will quickly be dangled in front of the unsuspecting “fish.” Then when the “I can handle it” mentality sets in, it is unmistakable evidence that the devil’s hook has been set and the fight is on!
Sin often begins with an element of fun and excitement. And we see this principle in the Word of God where it speaks of the “pleasures of sin” (Heb.11:25). But Satan only uses them as bait to catch people and once they are hooked the pleasure comes to a screeching halt! Think about it—how many long term addicts do you think would be likely to claim their all-consuming dependence is nothing but fun and games?
Just like David in the Bible the person in question tried to hide their sin. Money that did not belong to them was “borrowed” to cover their losses and of course they intended to put it back. But the losses quickly escalated to the point where pay back was impossible and to make matters much worse, several credit cards were maxed out in the process. Then finally realizing that further attempts to hide what they had done was impossible, all they could do was wait for the inevitable audit that would blow the lid off their world—several weeks of a living hell for their conscience.
The initial audit has now taken place, the theft discovered, and the guilt-ridden person is currently awaiting arrest and prosecution. Financial ruin is a certainty and the shame/embarrassment it has brought their family was definitely an unanticipated consequence when they set out to have some “innocent fun.”
There has never been nor will there ever be an addict who did not take that first drink, smoke that first cigarette, take that first narcotic “hit,” or lay down that first bet trying to get something for nothing. As a friend of mine said years ago, “Dumb people call that dumb!”
It is indeed tragic, but we live in a society being driven by the pursuit of thrills and all the things that money can buy. Hedonism, the insatiable thirst for pleasure and prestige, has filtered down through all economic and social levels. Those who are very often the least able to afford it try to gloss over their unsatisfactory existence with “bling”—extravagant jewelry, cars, etc.—in a vain attempt to feel good about themselves. The result is that multitudes are winding up with staggering debts that only fuel the desire to escape reality.
My friend, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having money, but sooner or later the love of money will get you in trouble!
“For we brought nothing into the world, and obviously we cannot take anything out of the world; 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content (satisfied). 9 But those who crave to be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish (useless, godless) and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction and miserable perishing. 10 For the love of money is a root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many acute [mental] pangs” 1 Timothy 6:7-10 (Amplified Bible).
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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God bless you