People earning less than $10 thousand annually buy more Lottery tickets than any other income group.
Many people in the world are missing something HUGE in their lives…HOPE. We have the greatest hope ever to offer those individuals. Consider these verses:
Matthew 12:21 – and in his name the Gentiles will hope.
Acts 26:6 – And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in the promise made by God to our fathers
Romans 5:2 – Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 12:12 – Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
Romans 15:8a – [Christ the Hope of Jews and Gentiles]
Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
This goes on and On and ON throughout scripture! What a great hope we have to share with people who are so hopeless that they’re willing to shell out their last few bucks in misplaced HOPE of money solving all of their issues. People who are not only financially bankrupt, but spiritually bankrupt. Here are just a few ideas of how you can initiate conversations with people about the Gospel by using the Lottery as a topic of interest.
“I would hate to win the lottery.”
-WHAT? WHY? – “its that much harder for rich people to get into heaven…that’s what Jesus said and if i’m going to put my trust in anyone’s words, it’d definitely be Him.” (Mark 10:23)
“I feel bad for whoever wins…”
-You know how much harder it would be for me to go to church and stay focused on God and the things of heaven if I had 500 Million in my bank account? Even Jesus called earthly riches deceitful and deadly. (Luke 18:14)
“What a waste it would be to win the lotto…”
-Yeah you could buy everything that anyone could ever want here, but it’s eventually going to rust or be destroyed by moths. I’d rather store up treasures for myself where nothing will ever rot or be destroyed. (Matt. 6:19-20)
It’s safe to say that America is on a gambling rampage. Gambling is a sort of invisible addiction that is devastating millions of people around the world. Slots, Craps, Roulette, black jack, Texas Hold ‘Em, and more recently, the PowerBall Lotto has taken hold of folks whom have become seduced by this fantasy of winning it big. Approximately, 10% of all money earned by people in America, is thrown away in gambling. Annually, there is about 500 billion dollars wagered legally in America. Throw in estimates of illegal gambling and that number goes up to about one trillion dollars. The most reliable statistics one can find indicate that there are roughly ten million compulsive gamblers nationally. That’s more than the number of alcoholics in America.
George Washington once said, “Gambling is the child of avarice, (or greed,) the brother of iniquity and the father of mischief.” Oddly enough though, in 1776 the first Continental Congress of the United States sold lottery tickets to finance the American Revolution. In fact, President Washington bought the first lottery ticket to build the new capital called Federal City, now known as Washington, D.C. So our nation was founded on a lottery, the Revolution was financed by a lottery, and our capital city was also financed by a lottery.
More than 200 lotteries were sanctioned between 1744 and 1776 and played a major role in financing roads, libraries, churches, colleges, canals, ridges, etc. In the 1740s, the foundation of Princeton and Columbia Universities was financed by lotteries, as was the University of Pennsylvania by the Academy Lottery in 1755.
By 1974, the Gallup poll indicated 61 percent of Americans gambled, spending 47.4 billion dollars annually.
- 1989 – 71 percent of Americans gambled – 246 billion dollars.
- 1992 -That number shot up to 330 billion.
- 1995 – 95 percent of Americans gambled.
Percentage of Americans and types of Gambling:
- 82% lotteries
- 75% slot machines
- 50% race tracks
- 44% on cards
- 34% = bingo
- 26% = sporting events
You might not know this but, 74% of all Americans frequent casinos and 89% approve of gambling. Want another crazy fact thrown at ya? Gambling expenditures, each year, EXCEED the amount of money spent on films, books, amusements, music, and entertainment COMBINED. People spend more money gambling than they do buying tickets to all national athletic events put together. Five billion is spent every year just in the slot machines in Nevada alone.
The craziness doesn’t stop there… Ninety percent of today’s TEENAGERS have gambled by their senior year and college students are up to eight times more likely to develop gambling addiction than their parents because they have been susceptible to this tremendous escalation in state-run lotteries and continued development of casinos. How freeing would it be for someone stuck in this deadly trap to no longer hope in money, but place their faith in the only One that gives true hope?
Everyone everywhere needs to hear the gospel message. Be eager to share it…like the Apostle Paul:
So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.