Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to motivate the hearers to affirm to others that the Roman Soldiers displayed circumstantial ignorance and was forgiven.

25 November 2007

U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris

Ord Military Chapel

Seaside CA

BIG IDEA: The Roman Soldiers were forgiven for executing the death sentence and gambling for Jesus’ garments.

REFERENCES: Psalm 22:18-23 (NIV); Luke 23:33-43 (NIV); John 19:23-25 NIV (Power only through Christ); Acts 1:22 (Casting lots for the replacement of Judas); Leviticus 16:8 (God lays out the method of choosing the sacrificial and scapegoat for the annual offering); Joshua 18:6 (The casting of lots were to determine the allotment of the lands to the tribes); 1 Corinthians 10:31 (whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God".); Proverbs 28:20 ("One eager to get rich will not go unpunished"); Proverbs 28:22 (He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil [envious] eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him); Proverbs 13:11 ("Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow".); Matthews 27:35 (KJV) And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots; Matthews 25:14-28 (The parable of the Talents); Isaiah 65:11-12a RSV (But you who forsake the Lord, who forget my holy mountain, who set a table for Fortune and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny; I will destine you to the sword, and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter);


II. READ THE PERICOPE: Luke 23:33-43 (NIV)

III. READ THE TEXT: Luke 23:34 (NIV) Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

IV. PURPOSE: To motivate the hearers to affirm to others that the Roman Soldiers displayed circumstantial ignorance and was forgiven.

V. SERMONIC THEME: “The Gamble that Paid-Off”

VI. INTRODUCTION: Our sermonic theme is a contradictory, because gambling doesn’t usually have a long-term positive pay-off. Gambling is highly addictive. There are over 6 million compulsive gamblers in the U.S., alone, and it is a growing problem.

In fact, twenty-three years ago, Walter Read - Chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, was quoted as saying, "Fifteen years ago there were [almost] no women and no teenagers in Gamblers Anonymous.” Today, in the state of New Jersey, five percent of Gamblers Anonymous are under twenty-one, while thirty-two percent of Gamblers Anonymous are women."

In fact, the latest report of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey reports that the average compulsive gambler owes $ 25,727 and made their first bet by age 13.

Now, if those numbers are alarming, you should be aware that Gambling is a 14 billion dollar business in California;

and California is the sixth largest gambling state in the United States of America behind Nevada, New Jersey, Mississippi, Illinois, and Louisiana. California is only one of six states that don’t have high-stakes casinos.

********************TAKE 5 BEATS*****************

MOVE 1: In a recent trip from Virginia back to Monterey, I was routed through Sin City (Las Vegas, Nevada – the largest gambling state in America) and to my surprise, …

a. … when I got off of the plane, I saw something that I had never seen in an airport before – rows and rows of slot machines and people gambling.

b. I’m here to tell you, “I had never seen anything like it.”

c. Therefore, I have several questions for you to consider: What are the ethical and moral implications of gambling? Is gambling something that Christians should be doing? Why or why not?

d. While you’re thinking about the questions, at hand, you should know that those that are in favor of gambling are often heard trying to place gambling in the same category as other ventures involving risk.

******************TAKE 5 BEATS*******************

MOVE 2: For instance, those that are in support of gambling described farming, business, insurance, and even investments as gambling …

a. … because the outcome is unpredictable and losses can occur.

b. In this way they hope to transfer legitimate respect for gambling.

c. It has been said that “gambling exists in many forms and people in increasing numbers are exposed to its temptations” in places such as Sin City.

d. Therefore the responsible Christian must formulate an opinion concerning its respectability.

e. The legalization of gambling by governments or its acceptance by some religious organizations cannot be the overriding justification.

f. For don’t you remember, what Isaiah said would happened to some of the people of God (65:1-12) who in the midst of their Babylonian Captivity were trusting in the ancient symbols of chance and risk rather than God.

g. For the scriptures tell us that although the believers didn’t totally desert God altogether, …

h. … they combined His worship with the cult of Good Luck and Bad Luck (Gad and Meni).

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