Mark 8:36 What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
I think of the above Scripture many times when I see the lottery booths, and all the contests that are sent our way via the mail. My home receives anywhere from five to ten contests per week promising me the chance to win millions. I wonder sometimes how many people fall prey to the gimmicks that are used, and how much money is actually stolen through some of these contests from sincere people who are just looking for a little break in life.
Oh, I know that there are winners in the lotteries, and in some of these contests, but I am sure that the companies, and the governments are not doing it just to give money away. Jesus said in the above verse, that the most important thing is not how much you gain in this world. The most important thing is the condition of your soul. What is your relationship with God? Are you prepared and ready to stand before the Lord?
All of the contests and lotteries offer promises of possible success in this life. If the truth is known, the lotteries put out by the government are simply taxes on the poor and middle class person. They are the ones who are spending thousands of hard earned dollars out of their own pockets, reaching for a dream that only happens to about one in every 25,000,000 people. The odds of someone winning are very remote to say the least.
The thing that keeps some involved is when someone they know, or someone around their area has won the "BIG ONE". They think that maybe it will happen to them, and that is a possibility, but highly improbable. These lotteries are not started to give people a chance to make it big, they are started to raise dollars whether it is the government or some contest.
What Jesus was talking about is worth far more than what the world has to offer. The great thing about the Lord, is that it is not a matter of luck or chance. It is a promise. What He offers us is a sure thing. When we make Him Lord of our life, our eternity is settled. We are assured of a place with Him. In John 14:2, Jesus said there were many mansions in His Fathers house, and that He was going to prepare a place for anyone who would receive Him as Lord and Saviour. He also said it was for all who will come.
You cannot buy a ticket to get in. There are no draws. It is not by what you can do. It is by grace, that we are saved. We receive Christ into our hearts by faith. It is not by Church attendance, or any particular Church. It is not by doing good works. It is only by the grace of God, through faith that we receive Him as Lord. That is when we have really won the "BIG ONE".
Pastor Gary K. Mason