Russian roulette is a deadly little game once popular in the movies. Players took turns putting a gun to their head and pulling the trigger, gambling that the chamber with the solitary bullet would not have their name on it.
A couple of modern Russian roulette players came to my attention this week. One was a driver who ran the warning ropes, red flags, and stop signs on highway 15 at the detour crossing. Fortunately for him, his number did not come up.
A friend told us of another one, a man made aware of the gospel and who knew that he would be separated from God for eternity if he did not confess his sins and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of his life. But he wanted to “do his own thing” for awhile, so he memorized the sinner’s prayer and practiced saying it with speed. He thought that if he was ever in an accident he would be prepared to quickly get right with the Lord.
One day, he was in a car that was suddenly struck by lightning. Hair standing on end, frightened, yet relatively unhurt, he realized that death does not always give anyone time to get their relationship with God in order. He changed his mind about, quit trying to play games with the Lord and prayed that prayer.
King Saul of Israel played a similar game. He knew what God wanted but made one excuse after another to do his own thing. Finally Samuel, God’s prophet, said to him, “... You have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you as king over Israel” (1 Samuel 15:26). Saul lost.
Jesus told of another roulette player, a rich man who played the game by hoarding his wealth, and deciding to “eat drink and be merry.” God told him, “You fool...this very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” (Luke 12:20). He lost the game too.
James, in the New Testament book he authored, warns about being a boasting roulette player. That is one who makes great plans for his future with no concern for the Lord’s will. He says, “Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14).
The survival rate for running through stop signs is probably higher than it is for being hit by a bolt of lightning; however, no one survives playing Russian roulette with their soul. Proverbs 29:1 says, “A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed -- without remedy.”
If a person listens to God and is prepared for whatever may happen, they are already a winner and disqualified from even playing the game. If they are not prepared - there is no greater loss.