Faith and high stakes gambling

July 28, 2017
I CORINTHIANS 2:5 - ...that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

I’m for gambling! If that offends you, please keep reading. I believe that risk-taking is part of the fabric of life, and that God has built into each one of us a desire to venture beyond what we can see. But there is gambling...and there is gambling. There is the kind of high stakes gamble of a God who would wager His only Son for a lost, dying world....and there is what I call “foot of the cross” gambling: the simple, petty gaming of the men who cast lots for the robe of the crucified Christ. Martin Luther, meditating on the mighty grace of God said, “If you are going to sin, sin big.” I would say if you are going to gamble, risk it all. I know that to call faith in Christ a gamble will offend some. The Gospel itself was, is, and always will be scandalous. It offends the self-righteous man the most. It is true that placing our faith in Christ is “gambling” on a sure thing—that is, the power of God to save us...but it is a power we cannot be completely sure of until we have put our full weight down on it.

The philosopher Pascal proposed a skeptic’s wager that went something like this: If God is the true God, and able to save us, why not place our faith in Him to do so? If we are right, we have gained everything. If we are wrong, we have lost nothing! What kind of gambler are you? Have you wagered everything on the power of God to save you by placing your faith in His Son Jesus Christ? Or are you holding your cards “close to the vest,” carefully watching and speculating and waiting for a more opportune time to risk it all? Don’t waste time on the small-time, “foot of the cross” gambling that goes on everywhere, every day. Step into the big time, and say “I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and I am placing my faith in Him and never looking back.” Is it a risk worth taking? You bet!