Daily Devotional for Wednesday March 5, 2008

Selling your Soul to the Devil to Win the LOTTO

(Psalms 118:8)

Selling your soul to the devil to win the LOTTO! Several months ago, a multiple state LOTTO jackpot had rolled over to a whopping $330 million dollars. That night, 4 people had winning tickets, each winning ticket worth apx $82 million dollars. One of those winning tickets belonged to Elwood "Bunky" Bartlett from Dundalk, Maryland. What makes Bartlett's winning ticket unique is that he said he made a bargain with the multiple gods associated with his Wiccan beliefs: "You let me win the lottery and I'll teach," referring to the fact he taught Wicca at a New Age bookstore. So did this man make a deal with the devil to win the LOTTO?

Let me say right up front that the LOTTO is one of the biggest money scams there is. It is a modern day version of the old "numbers" game that organized crime used to run in local neighborhoods. 20 years ago when I was going through my legal problems stemming from insider trading, I was being held without bond at the Federal detention center in downtown Chicago (the Metropolitan Correctional Center) at the same time many members of the Chicago mafia were there after a major crackdown on organized crime.

I remember talking one night to the infamous mob hitman Harry Aleman about the Illinois lottery, and he was lamenting the fact that he and many people in his world actually went to prison over the years for "running numbers." Yet, now the state took over the business and they advertised on billboards, on TV and radio, encouraging people to gamble away their money.

In nearly 2 decades of ministry, I can tell you without any hesitation that a huge percentage of people I have dealt with in bondage to gambling, weren't betting in casinos, or on sports, or at the horse track, but on the lottery! The states love to make you believe that you are helping out the education system or other important areas that need funding. They advertise that the money they make from the lottery is helping to keep your taxes lower and the state's economy healthy. ALL BIG FAT LIES!

The states have now been in the gambling business long enough that we know all of their claims are false. The education system is no better, in most states it is worse. Various taxes aren't going down, they are gong up. Most states' economies are not in the black, they are in the red. The lottery being some sort of financial answer has proved to be a lie sold to the public by lazy politicians with no conscience. In the wake of that lie are the very real and destroyed lives of millions of people!

As for Bartlett. The odds of having a winning ticket were apx 1 in 176 MILLION! These "multiple gods" he made a deal with had no more to do with him winning than someone who rubs a rabbit foot for good luck. The fact is there is only one God, the God of the Bible. These multiple gods of Wicca are no more real than allah, the false god of the Mormon cult, or Mickey Mouse. THEY ARE ALL SIMPLY THE CREATION OF SOMEONE'S IMAGINATION! It was nothing more than mere chance that Bartlett won.

Sadly, with the better percentage of 2 full generations now that have never even been to church, as people get into their 30s, 40s, and 50s they begin to realize that there has to be more to life than just working and paying bills, more than just partying and having a good time. It is in these years that many people begin to explore the spiritual side of their lives. Having little or no connection with the church during their life, these people become easy targets for false religions like Wicca and Islam, cults like Mormonism and Scientology, and all of the various New Age philosophies that are out there.

God created us to have an eternal connection to Him. Our sin broke that connection, creating a spiritual hole that most men will seek to fill. There is only one way that hole can be filled and that is by coming back into an everlasting relationship with God your Creator through faith in Jesus Christ. All of the cults and false religions and worldly philosophies attempt to fill that hole, but can't. Faith in Jesus is God's one and only plan for man to be reconciled back to their Creator.

That is why it is so critical for those who know the Lord to follow the admonition of our Lord and be about our Father's business. While some have been called to serve Him in far off lands, I have made the case often that the greatest mission field in the year 2008 is right in your back yard, LITERALLY! Most need go no further than next door, or to the adjoining cubicle at work, or to the desk next to you at school, or to the person on the treadmill next to you at the gym, to find someone who needs to know Jesus!

I love you and care about you so much. When I read about people like Bartlett I have to laugh at how foolish people are to buy into a lie like Wicca. This man has bought the lie to the extent he is out teaching other people their lies. He is now firmly convinced his imaginary gods helped him win and he will even become a more passionate spokesman for and teacher of those lies. I also feel great pity for this man since I know he is following the lies of Wicca literally to the depths of hell for all eternity.

I can only encourage you today that if you have a personal relationship with Jesus, you know and posses the Truth. If someone can be so passionate about a lie to teach others, how much more passionate should we be about the Truth and out teaching others? Sharing our faith is not an option, it is a commandment God has given to all who know Him. In these last days of human history, now more than ever we need to be in the marketplace, sharing the hope we have in Jesus Christ with the lost and hurting who will die and go to hell unless they come to know the Lord by faith.

I pray today that Bartlett will come to a place in his life where he denounces the lies of Wicca and turns his heart and life to Jesus. I pray that the money he was blessed with, not by some non-existent god but by THE GOD OF THE BIBLE, will be used to bring help to the hurting and hope to the lost through Jesus Christ. May the Lord supernaturally visit this man and to all who are lost and speak to their hearts that Jesus is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, and that nobody comes to the Father except thru faith in Him!