LISTEN: ‘Wordless Truths,’ ‘Crosses We Build and Bear,’ and ‘Pastor Has a Serious Gambling Problem’ (BCNN1’s The Gospel According to Greenleaf Episode #18)

Welcome to BCNN1’s The Gospel According to Greenleaf Episode #18. The title for today’s episode: ‘Wordless Truths,’ ‘Crosses We Build and Bear,’ and ‘Pastor Has a Serious Gambling Problem.’

Over the past two episodes of Greenleaf, Jacob began wondering where Basie Skanks was getting the money to fund the building of the new Triumph Church campus. He found out that Skanks gambles like a big dog under an alias, sometimes with the church’s money. The fact that Skanks has tried to keep it a secret ought to tell us that he knows it is wrong. But he claims that he doesn’t love money or depend on Lady Luck to win. Is he right?

Some Christians might say that once they give their tithes and offerings to God, they can use the rest of their money as they please. But, the truth is, as Christians, we ought to use ALL of our money in a way that honors God. That includes what we buy, what we don’t buy, and how we invest. Our spending is a reflection of our priorities in life. And all of our priorities ought to be things that glorify God, not things that we feel like we have to hide from others, because all of our money and other possessions belong to God anyway. Psalm 24:1-2 says, “The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.”

While some Christians claim ‘liberty’ to gamble, play the lottery, or place bets, these activities are overwhelmingly a waste of the money that God has lent to us as stewards. They are also attempts to “get rich quick” and are often the result of a love of money which the Bible condemns. Unfortunately, for Skanks, he didn’t heed these teachings, and lost a bunch of the church’s money on last week’s episode.

Episode 7, titled, “Born to Trouble,” centered around the memorial service for Faith Greenleaf, the daughter who committed suicide by drowning herself in a lake on the Greenleaf property after she was molested by her uncle Mac. Bishop James Greenleaf points out that the lesson the entire family should learn from the events following Faith’s death is that the family members ought to be more open with each other and not hold on to “wordless truths.” This is something that cannot be emphasized enough, not only for the Greenleafs, but probably for every family. Even though it may seem like it is best to brush a negative situation under the rug at the time, it always turns out to be a much messier situation when it eventually comes to light later on. “Wordless truths” are like a cancer; if not caught and addressed early, it will spread, infecting other parts of the body, and eventually leading to death.

In closing, something Lady Mae said last week stood out as well. While speaking to Grace regarding her continuing slide into depression over Mac seemingly getting away with his crimes, Mae tells her, “Every cross you bear, you built.” While that statement may have been misapplied in Grace’s case, it is indeed true that we often build the crosses we bear. Our sins, our disobedience, and our lies all contribute to the burdens of life. Yes, some of our suffering is self-inflicted. If we are willing to admit this — instead of playing the victim and blaming our problems on others — we can take responsibility for our burdens, and, as Christian did in Pilgrim’s Progress, take our burdens to the Cross of Calvary and have them rolled away there.

As Ralph Hudson wrote:

At the Cross, at the Cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

In closing, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can be forgiven of your wicked sins of the past no matter how dark, God is available to hear your prayer of confession and to hear you ask to be saved from sin and from the punishment of sin which is eternal hell and separation from God. And you can begin a light-filled relationship with God Almighty today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s laws. You have done some bad things. You have broken the commandments of God. So have I. And so has the Pope. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…” We die physically because of sin and we go to hell to burn forever, to be tormented forever because of our sin. God does not put us into hell; we put ourselves into hell because of our sin.

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ, the loving Lord of glory, preached more on hell than anybody in the Bible. He preached more on hell than he did about Heaven. He said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Now that is bad news, and I know most people do not want to hear any bad news. But you have to hear the bad news because the good news is good news because there is bad news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins. He is the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world, your sins and mine. And all we have to do is trust Him and believe that He died for our sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you and me so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

And please believe these words found in Romans 10:9 & 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Saved from what? Saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell.

If you believe in your heart on the Lord Jesus Christ, that He died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer and mean it from your heart: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life — even some of the sins being brought out in this show called Greenleaf. I am sorry for my sins, and today, please have mercy upon me a sinner. I believe with all of my heart that You died for me, was buried, and rose again. Now, Lord I pray that You would fill me with Your Holy Spirit and help me to repent of my sins and to follow You for the rest of my life for Your glory, praise, and honor, and, from this point on, to be the shining light that You want me to be. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray, and for His sake, Amen.

Beloved friend, if you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light and read my pamphlet titled, “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

Until next time, my beloved, may God bless you and keep you. We look forward to seeing you for the next Gospel According to Greenleaf podcast.