The high one gets can be pretty intense when purchasing a lottery ticket that has a chance of winning someone $640 million. The fantasies begin shortly after the purchase of the ticket. Yeah, it’s more probable that you’ll be stuck by lightning five times this year than win the lottery (or something like that), but that doesn’t stop you from thinking of the debts you could pay off, the houses or cars you could buy, the people you could help, the vacations you would take, etc. These are fanciful dreams, and it is healthy to fantasize once and a while. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with it; dreams would never come true if we didn’t entertain them in our head beforehand.
So, this begs the question, especially of the faithful, is the attitude you might have toward a $640 million lottery the same as your attitude about the greatest lottery of the temporal life; eternal salvation? Think it over. Very few happy endings occur for those who win millions of dollars, and many of the stories are riddled with divorces, broken friendships, insurmountable debts, suicides, and other things that make one believe there is a curse that goes along with the winnings. Just a heads up, it is not a curse, but man’s natural inclination to be greedy and to worship that which he believes will bring him his greatest comfort and joy in life. If money is the new god, man will invest everything he has into his belief in money’s ability to bring him happiness, and regrettably will find out that it will only bring despair.
Look at the excitement involved in the inheritance or winning of a large sum of money. Do people who receive these payouts act the same with their eternal lotto winnings, wishing to share it with their loved ones and even strangers? One might pay off his or her parent’s house with the lottery winnings or give them enough money to retire on (I would), but has he or she shared Christ’s love with the parents?
I think I read that 1.5 billion lottery tickets were sold. This number reflects almost the same amount of Christians on earth. Imagine if instead of everyone excitedly going out to purchase these tickets, they instead gave to their communities or churches. The $1.5 billion dollars could feed a lot of poor families, give critical care in children’s hospitals, or build hundreds of more churches around the world to treat, feed, and cloth the downtrodden.
There is an eternal lottery that can bring more bliss, excitement, love, and grace, and it’s odds of winning are far better than the Mega Millions or being struck by lightning. In fact, it is almost guaranteed, as long as someone do something to enter into the lottery. You must leave your home and buy a ticket for a very small chance to win a lottery. In like manner, you much leave where you are comfortable and act, or buy into the eternal lottery.
I’m sure you’ve heard it said before that it is better to believe in God and find yourself to be wrong, than to not believe in God and find yourself to be wrong in the afterlife. Makes sense, right? Well, though the chances of winning the Mega Millions or any lottery are slim, one must buy a ticket to win. Likewise, one must “buy” into God and salvation in order to win the eternal prize.
Now, I’m going to get complicated here… Someone you know might buy you a ticket for the lottery as a gift to you. You might have not even thought about playing. And, if you win the lottery, how thankful you might be to that person who thought about you enough to buy you the winning ticket! This can be applied to the nonbeliever or scoffer who doesn’t buy into salvation or God’s love. He might not even know how to “purchase” the ticket for the eternal lottery. But, someone who thinks about and prays for him regularly might have, on his behalf, purchased with prayers, fasting, and almsgiving, the eternal winning ticket for his friend. There is no limit to the number of winning tickets for the eternal lotto. Some will not buy into it, some will lose their tickets, others will put their ticket in a safe place in order to match their numbers on the day when the Creator of the eternal lotto call’s his number.
I pray the three winners of the Mega Millions do not allow their winnings to tempt them or their relationships with those who are close to them. I pray for their happiness and joy in this time, and that they might see this as a blessing to be used for the glory of the Almighty.
What are you doing to “entice” or “excite” others to play in the eternal lottery?… Tickets are going fast!… But don’t worry, they can’t run out!