Daily Devotional for Monday January 29, 2007
Is Las Vegas a Miracle in the Desert or a Modern Day Sodom and Gomorrah
(Numbers 32:23; Proverbs 26:26; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Luke 12:2; 1 Corinthians 4:5)
Let me say right up front I am well aware that Las Vegas in 2007 has become a much more diverse place, with new nongaming businesses opening up every day and a large percentage of the population that has no contact with the "strip." Many in the Liveprayer family, some who have made great financial sacrifices to support God's work here, live in and around Las Vegas. Vegas is also the home of many great churches and ministries. However, the fact remains the foundation of Las Vegas and the reason it even exists is because of gambling despite the recent diversification.
The city of Las Vegas has recently put out a multi-million dollar national ad campaign designed to go back to its adults-only roots. For many years known as "sin city," Las Vegas spent the '90s trying to market itself as a family-friendly vacation paradise. As we moved into the new millennium, they decided to go back to their adults-only roots. The slogan of their new ad campaign, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," is a deceptive lie straight from the pits of hell itself!
Las Vegas in the year 2007 is a far different place than what mobster "Bugsy" Siegel envisioned in the mid '40s when he built the Flamingo. By the late '80s, the organized crime influence over Las Vegas was replaced by the corporate gaming giants that now control the billions of dollars flowing into Las Vegas each year. The Las Vegas of 2007 is no longer run by organized crime bosses, but by CEOs of publicly traded corporations. To support the ever growing gaming industry, Las Vegas has actually become one of the fastest growing areas of the nation. Outside of the strip you have a vibrant, active community made up of people no different than in any other town you might visit.
However, the only reason Las Vegas exists is simple-sin. What drives the Las Vegas economy and the only reason it exists is gambling. I have done entire Devotionals in the past on why gambling is a sin. It is a horrible use of the resources God entrusts to us, it is putting your faith in "luck" or "chance" instead of in God, it promotes greed, and it is a horrible witness to the lost in the world who we are supposed to be witnessing to. While there is no verse in the Bible that says, "Thou shalt not gamble," it is clearly a sin for the above reasons and is not something a follower of Christ should be involved in.
The problem with sin is once you open the door and allow it into your life, you end up becoming involved in many different types of sins. Gambling is not the only sin associated with Las Vegas. You also have drunkenness, every type of sexual sin imaginable, they have made a mockery of God's Holy Institution of Marriage, in addition to a plethora of other sins that truly earn Las Vegas the moniker, "Sin City."
Let me explain why their new marketing slogan is a lie from the pits of hell itself. The message it is sending to adults is that you can come to Las Vegas, do whatever you want, and nobody will ever know about it. For people already predisposed to sin, this is like a special invitation to come and sin and nobody will ever know about it. Here is why this is a lie straight from the lips of satan, the father of lies himself - (John 8:44) - GOD WILL KNOW!!!
My friend, there is NOTHING you do that God does not see. You may be able to do things in secret that no other man will ever know about, but God knows. If you think that you can go to Las Vegas or down the street and do things in secret that nobody will ever know about, you have bought satan's lie hook, line, and sinker. Never forget, you don't sin in a vacuum. There are ALWAYS consequences for sin. Satan conveniently forgot to tell you that there was a price for your sin. SIN IS NEVER FREE AND ALWAYS ENDS UP COSTING MORE THAN YOU EVER WANTED TO PAY!!!
I love you and care about you so much. I will be praying for you today to recognize that satan will always try to entice you to sin. He is the great justifier. He will always help you come up with excuses to sin and make sinning as convenient as possible. He is great at opening the door to sin, making it look so wonderful if you will only come inside. If you need a little push, he will even give you a great lie like "don't worry, nobody will ever know." Sadly, once you walk through the door and into sin, that door slams shut. You can't go back and act like you were never there. On top of that, there will be consequences from your sin.
That is why you must stay connected to the Lord each day through prayer and the Word. You need to be an active member of a local church where you can be fed spiritually and find fellowship with other believers. You need to find ways to serve the Lord with your life. All of these are ways to stay in that daily, intimate fellowship with Christ that gives us the strength to not fall into satan's traps, helps us to flee from sin instead of running to it, and keeps us focused on the Lord. He loves you so much and has a wonderful plan and purpose for your life if you will only faithfully serve and follow Him each day.
The lie says, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." The truth says, "There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known." - (Luke 12:2)
A VISION FROM GOD! Let me take a moment to share a vision God has given me concerning Las Vegas. I flew out there a few Saturdays ago to do a memorial service for a family. I was only in Las Vegas for about 10 hours, but God spoke to my heart during my time there. That short time in Vegas motivated me more than ever to press forward in the work of Liveprayer. It literally made me cry looking at billions and billions of dollars that were spent on grand palaces to attract people to a place where they could squander what God has entrusted to them on gambling, sex, alcohol, unGodly shows, and buying anything you could ever imagine from the unlimited amount of upscale stores. The billions that flow through the Vegas casinos alone on a daily basis is staggering!
LAS VEGAS IS PROOF THAT THE WORLD CAN FIND A SEEMINGLY UNLIMITED AMOUNT OF RESOURCES TO "ENTERTAIN" PEOPLE AND FEED THEIR CARNAL LUSTS. THAT MEANS THE MONEY IS OUT THERE FOR THE WORK OF GOD, WE SIMPLY HAVE TO GO GET IT!!!
God showed me that there were over 30 million from all over the world that come to Las Vegas each year. THIRTY MILLION! All I could think of was 30 million souls, many who need Jesus. In the coming years as the TV program becomes firmly established in the national marketplace, I plan to put together some of the most talented, gifted, and creative Believers in the world and create a world-class production that will rival any of the shows that exist on the Vegas strip. It will be entertaining, geared to the millions of nonChristians who flock to Vegas each year, but of course, have a clear presentation of the Gospel built within. The same God who has given us favor with the secular television world, is the very same God who will open the doors of Las Vegas to be able to reach millions of souls with His Truth and love. Please start praying for this now, even though it will be many years before this vision becomes a reality.