For some people, casinos are exciting places. There’s nothing like the sights and sounds of the game and the challenge of the games.
About those games — make no mistake, these are games of chance. There are some, like poker and blackjack, that have an element of skill. However, it is mostly just luck — and luck isn’t a concept that is found in Scripture.
And, while some Christians like to call gambling “sinful,” many of them look at their walk in faith as a game of chance. Give me a few minutes and I’ll tell you what I mean.
Hebrews 11:1-3 (AMPC) 1 NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation,the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses]. 2 For by [faith—trust and holy fervor born of faith] the men of old had divine testimony borne to them and obtained a good report. 3 By faith we understand that the worlds [during the successive ages] were framed (fashioned, put in order, and equipped for their intended purpose) by the word of God, so that what we see was not made out of things which are visible.
The first thing we need to understand is that faith has a source — and that source is sure. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. A misunderstanding and misapplication of this scripture sends saints straight to the faith casino. They start pulling levers, spinning wheels, and flipping cards, hoping that they will come up with a winning combination to obtain the faith needed to please God.
Then, there’s the possibility that they don’t do enough. Not enough giving. Not enough studying. Not enough praying. Not enough fasting. Not enough church. And they mistakenly believe if they don’t do enough, they will — at best — not receive the fullness of their heavenly reward in the afterlife or — at worse — be “blotted out of the lambs book of life.”
These same saints that think gambling is a sin are reduced to mere gambler because his or her faith in their eternal security is, in their minds, uncertain. They step up to the spiritual gaming table and place their bets with the hope of winning that eternal crown.
But one day — and I can’t put my finger on the specific day — God gave me a rhema experience on a couple of verses of Scripture that I’d seen, heard, and read many times:
Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV) 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
This blew my mind — I already knew that Grace came from God. But He showed me that Faith comes from Him, too!
Romans 12:3 (KJV) 3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
God has dealt or given this to us. It is part of the Gift of Himself He gives to us. It is His life, His mind, His nature that He imparts to us. Now, I taught a couple of weeks ago that the science of economics revolves around the concept of supply and demand but, in the Kingdom, God supplies what He demands.
It is impossible to please God without Faith, so He gives us His Faith! Wow! God has a more certain source of supply than a mere “faith casino.” God has given us access to a Faith Bank! Watch this:
Luke 12:32-34 (ESV) 32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
First of all, Jesus is not telling us to take a vow of poverty. He tells us first and foremost that it is the Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom. When He says to sell possessions to give to the needy, He’s telling us to do this without fear of loss — because, according to 2 Corinthians 9:8, in the Kingdom, you have all sufficiency in all things at all times to abound to every good work! In other words, NO LACK! Treasure in heaven means you have access to whatever you need, according to God’s riches in glory (Philippians 4:19).
In the Faith Bank, you have unlimited spiritual, natural, and emotional wealth at your disposal that you never had to either earn or deposit. It is your inheritance as a co-laborer with Christ and a joint-heir with Jesus!
Here’s the deal folks, trusting in works means you don’t fully trust in Jesus and His Finished Work. You’re just anteing up and rolling the dice, hoping you don’t crap out. But trusting in the fullness of the Finished Work gives you access to the very treasury of heaven. You can walk in certainty that you will be cared for — not because of what you do but because of who you are.
Casinos serve only to keep your mind busy while it robs you blind. Same as religion. The bank is a source of capital — as is the Kingdom.
© 2018 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)