Is casting lots gambling?
JUNE 23, 2021
Is casting lots gambling? Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
Key Life is a radio program for struggling believers, sick of phony religion and pious cliches. Our host and teacher is seminary professor Steve Brown. He teaches that radical freedom leads to infectious joy and surprising faithfulness.
Thank you Matthew. Jeremy who produces this broadcast and he’s in a little glass booth and I look at him through a glass window, but we have interesting discussions as we do this broadcast. And Jeremy often gets me thinking about things that I wasn’t thinking about. And he said that seem right to me that they were casting lots. And I thought, well, it doesn’t to me either. I mean, they had the Holy Spirit. They could have trusted God, this was a whole new deal. And that’s the point. It was a new deal. Casting lots is a sort of gambling. It’s a making a fleece and it’s testing the Lord God, and that’s forbidden. But that’s what they did. And God honored it. And God chose the right leader. Now, what does that say? That says that God knows how weak we are and how often confused and how often we do it and wrong. And out of that, he brings forth his glory and accomplishes his plans. There are people that use this text, where they cast lots to decide who was going to be the leader to say that gambling is okay. That’s not what that text says. God said, if you must, do it that way, but don’t do it again. Cause I’ve got a better way for you. And then, Jeremy and I were both and agreed about Judas. You know, it seems that from the beginning, this evil man was the man who accomplished the crucifixion. If it hadn’t been for Judas, the crucifixion would never have taken place. And you and I would still be in our sins. And so maybe, maybe Judas has gotten a bad rap. In fact, there was a cult that grew up in the early days of the Christian Church that was built, it was spurious, but it was built around the person of Judas. And recently the press has been reporting on a painting that the Pope had, where Jesus is after the crucifixion ministering to Judas. Now, that is a pleasant thought and it has some truth in it. Jesus reaches out to the marginalized and the evil and the sinners. And that would be you, not me, I’m ordained, but it would be you. And that’s a good thing to remember, and it’s good the Pope remembers that, it’s good that we remember that, but in this case, it’s an example of how God will take the most evil action in the world. And there’s a lot of evil in the world right now. Will take people who don’t care about him or what he would have happen in the world. He takes people like that and he uses them to accomplish his purpose. John Wesley said.
God buries his workman, and he goes on with his work. Hallelujah.
I agree with that, but God not only buries his workman, but he buries his enemies, and he goes on with his work. Hallelujah. He not only buries his enemies and buries his workers, he buries evil people and goes on with his work. Hallelujah. And I thought probably, it’d be a good thing to talk about casting lots and Judas before we talk about leadership. Now, a lot of what I’m going to teach over the next few days, is some basic observations that will be repeated for all, I mean, you know this, but the truth is that most of us need to be reminded more than we need to be taught. The Christian faith by and large is not that difficult. Somebody has said it’s a child’s wading pool where children can swim and a gigantic lake where elephants play and it is that, it’s complicated and it’s simple. It’s very simple. And so sometimes once we get the basics and we’re going to do that with leadership, we just simply need to be reminded and to stay on course from the Bible, which is God’s revelation to us. And so, let me give you three basic preliminary observations on this subject of leadership. The first one is this, while leaders are important, there is only one head of the church and that is Jesus Christ. In Acts 1, the leadership problems centered around apostleship. And the basic meaning of the word apostle, who is one who is sent forth. Sent forth by whom, sent forth by the head of the church, Jesus Christ, Ephesians 1:22.
God has put all things under Christ’s feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
And then in that same book in the fourth chapter in the 15th verse.
Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.
Jesus is the Supreme leader of the church. And that says that obedience to the head of the church is not optional, but mandatory, John 15:14.
You are my friends. If you do what I command you.
In Matthew 26:61. Jesus is accused of being a temple destroyer and he is that, Jesus leaves the building. When we decide to form a social club and build our lives around religious cliches, He’s the man. You think about that. Amen.
It’s Wednesday, and sometimes on Wednesdays, when we have a little bit of extra time, I spend the time, answering one or two questions. We get a whole lot of questions from you guys. And as you know, on Fridays, Pete and I sit down and devote the whole broadcast to answering questions. But sometimes in the middle of the week, when we have some extra time and I sit down and answer one or two questions, as I said, we love getting your questions. You can ask your question anytime you want, 24 seven, by dialing 1-800-KEY-LIFE and recording or questions. Sometimes we put that on the air. Or you can send them to
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Or you can send your questions by e-mail to Steve@keylife.org. And by the way, and we’ll take your questions seriously and we’ll take you seriously. And by the way, if you can help us financially, please do. I promise we’ll squeeze every dime for the glory of God. By the way, you can give on your phone. You can text Key Life at 28950. That’s 28950, and just follow instructions. If you can help us out. And I promise we’ll use it to help others out. And if you can’t, we understand, do say a prayer for this ministry. All right, enough said, let’s turn to one or two of these questions. Do you think baptism should be a requirement for local church membership? Yes. The next question is an e-mail, I guess I ought to say something a little bit more than that. But yes, I do, not because I think it’s required, but because Jesus thinks it’s required, it’s a sacrament and a command. And if somebody refuses to be baptized, they should be able to come to church to come to our parties and covered dish suppers, but they shouldn’t be allowed to join the church, because the church is made up a baptized believers. That’s what the church is. And if you think I’m going to get into infant baptism, or believer’s baptism, or whether you sprinkle our dunk or hose them off, you’re out of your mind, it’s always water. It’s always the triune formula, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But yes, baptism ought to be a requirement for church membership, because that’s what the church is about. I want to grow in wisdom. This person asked, another e-mail. What advice would you give? Read the book of James, where it says, if you lack wisdom, ask God and believe, and he’ll give it to you. So claim that promise, tell God, you said that you would give me wisdom if I ask and I’m asking and then get out of the way. Who was the bank president, who was asked how he became the bank president. He said, by making the right decisions. And the young man in business school said, how did you come to make the right decisions? And he said, by making the wrong decisions. Life will make you a wise and the Holy Spirit will help, if you ask him. And if you’ll be sensitive, but don’t expect that’s easy, because it includes failure, it includes doing it wrong, it includes not understanding and trying to understand, it includes confusion, it includes experience. And so wisdom is often from somebody, who says I’ve been there and I’ve done that and I’ve got the t-shirt, now let me tell you how I got the t-shirt and what it cost me and then that’s wisdom when you share it with somebody else. Wisdom is a gift from God. And, James says, if you ask him for it and you don’t doubt, that he’ll give it to you. And then one other one, a very quick one, what are your thoughts on near death experiences? Not very good. I mean, I think maybe sometimes it happens, but I’m not going to spend my life there or build my faith on it. My belief in eternal life has to do with a dead man who got out of a grave and he said I could do. And one other thing. Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.