2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

In God’s ten commandments humans were warned not to have any other god beside the Creator but sadly the world did not heed God’s voice. Having other gods simply means using all your time, attention, whole heart to devote to something other than God.

People worship their wardrobes full of cloths, others worship video games, T.V Shows, friends, pastors, teachers, ministers, and the list goes on…

Among all these, sports have emerged predominantly above all the rest and its worshipers are professed Christians.

Most Christians worship sports instead of Jesus Christ. The time and attention they give to sports is no match for the time they give to Jesus.

How is it so? Statistics show that over 54 Billion US Dollars is spent on sports annually in the United States alone.

Also the sports betting and lottery market size worldwide was over 200 billion U.S. dollars in 2019

When you come to Sub-Saharan Africa many youths spend about 40 US Dollars a month on betting. Kenya has the highest number of youth who have participated in gambling or betting in the past at 76% followed by Uganda at 57%. Ghana has the least number at 42%.
Source

Today we have Christians especially the young men who spent the whole day at soccer centers watching soccer and making predictions.
Money is wasted on sports betting everyday.

Those who invented these sports betting knew that people worship sports vehemently and they planned to tap into this opportunity and unfortunately majority of Christians have been caught in this snare.

Let’s lay the matter straight: Anything that prevents you from seeking your own salvation is very dangerous and Satanic.

The devil invented sports some centuries ago and its mission was to entertain and divert the people mind from real life issues.

Today sports serve the same purpose and has even become more intensed that people leave Church to attend sport events!

While people are engrossed in “who’s the GOAT of football” debate the devil is working hard behind the scenes to make sure no one leaves his net of deception until probation closes and it’ll be too late.

Why fall for this snare? I’m not saying never set your eyes on television or watch sports but don’t be fooled by the devil. Instead of wasting time on sports fixtures and predictions turn off your TV and read your Bible for your life depends on it not sports.

Today many get their hearts broken not because of relationship stress but football! How sad. Football has now become the life partner of many people. They marry sports, they spend on sports, they worship football icons and don’t care about their own souls.

The devil does not care who wins the league or who doesn’t because he controls all these but what he hates is you trying to break free from these shackles.

The coming of Jesus will be a great surprise to the world and people will cry to the mountains saying “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” Revelation 6:16

Because they never spent time to get prepared they devoted all their time for sports and wasted all their monies on betting.

Do you want to get out of this snare? Maybe you didn’t know this is a great tool of Satan to lead people to perdition but now you know so God require you to take action, He won’t force you though.
Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

Pray to God for strength so that you can overcome sports addiction and use your precious time to glorify the God of heaven and not the god of this world.

God help you overcome all the snares of Satan and always remember the choices you are making here on earth WILL DECIDE WHERE YOU’LL SPEND ETERNITY!

1 John 2:15 LOVE NOT THE WORLD, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

2 Corinthians 6:17 WHEREFORE COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

I entreat the students in our schools to be sober minded. The frivolity of the young is not pleasing to God. Their sports and games open the door to a flood of temptations.–Sp. Test. {PH048 20.5}
Revelation 14:4: These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.

Amusements.

 There are persons with a diseased imagination to whom religion is a tyrant, ruling them as with a rod of iron. Such are constantly mourning over their depravity, and groaning over supposed evil. Love does not exist in their hearts; a frown is ever upon their countenances. They are chilled with the innocent laugh from the youth or from any one. They consider all recreation or amusement a sin, and think that the mind must be constantly wrought up to just such a stern, severe pitch. This is one extreme. Others think that the mind must be ever on the stretch to invent new amusements and diversions in order to gain health. They learn to depend on excitement, and are uneasy without it. Such are not true Christians. They go to the other extreme. The true principles of Christianity open before all a source of happiness, the height and depth, the length and breadth, of which are immeasurable. It is Christ in us a well of water springing up into everlasting life. It is a continual well-spring from which the Christian can drink at will, and never exhaust the fountain.--Test., Vol. 1, p. 565. {PH048 13.1} 1 Chronicles 16:10, 27, 31: Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. . . . Glory and honor are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place. . . . Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth. {PH048 13.2} They can find that amusement which springs from principle, and which will yield them true happiness, and their time will not be spent in trifling or in selfish indulgence.--Test., Vol. III, p. 223.{PH048 13.3} Psalms 118:15: The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly. {PH048 14.1} We cannot innocently indulge in any amusement that will unfit us for the more faithful discharge of ordinary life duties.--Test., Vol. II, p. 587. {PH048 14.2} James 1:22, 26: But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. . . . If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. {PH048 14.3} Many gatherings have been presented to me. I have seen the gaiety, the display in dress, the personal adornment. All want to be thought brilliant, and give themselves up to hilarity, foolish jesting, cheap, coarse flattery, and uproarious laughter. The eyes sparkle, the cheek is flushed, conscience sleeps. With eating and drinking and merry-making they do their best to forget God. The scene of pleasure is their paradise. And Heaven is looking on, seeing and hearing all. . . . {PH048 14.4} The once earnest Christian who enters into these sports is on the down-grade. He has left the region pervaded by the vital atmosphere of heaven, and has plunged into an atmosphere of mist and fog. It may be some humble believer is induced to join in these sports. But if he maintains his connection with Christ, he cannot in heart participate in the exciting scene. . . . {PH048 14.5} Young men and young women who have tried to be Bible Christians are persuaded to join the party, and they are drawn into the ring. They did not prayerfully consult the divine standard, to learn what Christ had said in regard to the fruit to be borne on the Christian tree. They do not discern that these entertainment are really Satan's banquet, prepared to keep souls from accepting the call to the marriage supper of the Lamb; they prevent them from receiving the white robe of character which is the righteousness of Christ. They become confused as to what it is right for them as Christians to do. They do not want to be thought singular, and naturally incline to follow the example of others. Thus they come under the influence of those who have never had the divine touch on heart or mind. {PH048 14.6} In these exciting gatherings, carried away by the glamour and passion of human influence, youth that have been carefully instructed to obey the law of God are led to form attachments for those whose education has been a mistake, and whose religious experience has been a fraud. They sell themselves to life-long bondage. As long as they live, they must be hampered by their union with a cheap, superficial character, one who lives for display, but who has not the precious inward adorning, the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great price.--Sp. Test. {PH048 15.1} The low, common pleasure parties, gatherings for eating and drinking, singing, and playing on instruments of music, are inspired by a spirit that is from beneath. They are an oblation unto Satan.--Sp. Test. {PH048 15.2} Job 1:4: And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. {PH048 15.3} Like Israel of old, the pleasure lovers eat and drink, and rise up to play. There is mirth and carousing, hilarity and glee. In all this the youth follow the example of the authors of books that are placed in their hands for study. The greatest evil of it all is the permanent effect these things have upon the character. {PH048 15.4} Those who take the lead in these things bring upon the cause a stain not easily effaced. They wound their own souls, and will carry the scars through their lifetime.--Sp. Test. on Ed., p. 211. {PH048 16.1} Exodus 32:6: And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. {PH048 16.2} We are not to imitate the churches by instituting bazaars and various God-forbidden expedients to bring in a little means. We see no direction in the word for fancy fairs, concerts, and other objectionable practises for raising funds to advance His work. The curse of God is upon all this kind of work. It is polluting and degrading the work of God, defiling his holy temple.-- Unpub. Test. {PH048 16.3} John 2:14-16: Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; and said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise. {PH048 16.4} If you truly belong to Christ, you will have opportunities for witnessing for him. You will be invited to attend places of amusement, and then it will be that you will have an opportunity to testify for your Lord. If you are true to Christ then, you will not try to frame excuses for your non-attendance, but will plainly and modestly declare that you are a child of God, and your principles would not allow you to be in a place, even for one occasion, where you could not invite the presence of your Lord.--Y. I., May 4, 1893. {PH048 16.5} 

I entreat the students in our schools to be sober minded. The frivolity of the young is not pleasing to God. Their sports and games open the door to a flood of temptations.–Sp. Test. {PH048 20.5}
Revelation 14:4: These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.

If God requires us to go amid infernal spirits, where is the blackest darkness, in order to do good and glorify his name, he will encircle us with his angels and keep us unsullied. But if we seek the company of sinners, and are pleased with their coarse jests, and are entertained and amused with their stories, sports, and ribaldry, the pure and holy angels remove their protection, and leave us to the darkness we have chosen. {PH099 10.2}

I could refer to chapter after chapter of the Old Testament Scriptures that contain precious encouragement. These Scriptures are a treasure house of precious pearls, and you all need them. How much time is spent by intelligent human beings in horse racing, cricket matches, and ball playing! But will indulgence in these sports give men a desire to know truth and righteousness? Will it keep God in their thoughts? Will it lead them to inquire, How is it with my soul? {13MR 264.1}

 All the powers of Satan are set in operation to hold the attention to frivolous amusements, and he is gaining his object. He is interposing his devisings between God and the soul. God calls men to look upon the heavens. "Lift up your eyes on high," He says, "and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might" [Isaiah 40:26]. We are not merely to gaze upon the heavens; we are to consider the works of God. He would have us study the works of infinity, and from this study learn to love and reverence and obey Him. The heavens and the earth with their treasures are to teach the lessons of God's love, care, and power. {13MR 264.2} Satan will manufacture his diversions that men may not think about God. The world, filled with sport and pleasure-loving, is always thirsting for some new interests. And how little time and thought are given to the Creator of the heavens and the earth. God calls upon His creatures to turn their attention from the confusion and perplexity around them, and admire His handiwork. The heavenly bodies are worthy of contemplation. God has made them for the benefit of man, and as we study His works, angels of God will be by our side to enlighten our minds and guard them from satanic deception. As you look at the wonderful things God's hand has made, let your proud, foolish heart feel its dependence and inferiority. As you consider these things, you will have a sense of God's condescension. [Psalms 147:2; Isaiah 45:22-24, quoted.] {13MR 265.1} How terrible it is when the acknowledgment of God is not made when it should be made! How sad to humble one's self when it is too late! Why, oh, why, do not men heed the invitation? The psalmist said, "When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face, my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek" [Psalms 27:8]. The whole of this psalm is excellent, and should be placed in the reading and spelling lessons of the classes. The twenty-eighth, twenty-ninth, and seventy-eighth psalms tell of the rich blessing bestowed by God upon His people, and of their poor returns for all His benefits. The eighty-first psalm explains why Israel was scattered. They forgot God, as the churches in our land are forgetting Him today. Read the eighty-ninth, ninetieth, ninety-first, ninety-second, and ninety-third psalms. My attention has been called to these matters. Shall we not consider the Word of the Lord? These things were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come, and should they not be the objects of study in our schools? The Word of God contains instructive lessons, given in reproof, in warning, in encouragement, and in rich promises. Would not such food as this be meat in due season to the youth? {13MR 265.2} In an assembly where the school question was being discussed, the question was asked, Why has not appropriate matter for reading and lesson books been selected and compiled? Why has not the Word of God been extolled above every human production? Have you thought that a better knowledge of what-saith-the-Lord would have a deleterious effect on teachers and students? There was a hush in the assembly, and self-conviction came upon students and teachers. Men who had considered themselves wise and strong saw that they were weak and lacking in the knowledge of that Book which concerns the eternal destiny of the human soul. {13MR 266.1} 

The pursuit of pleasure and amusement centers in the cities. Many parents who choose a city home for their children, thinking to give them greater advantages, meet with disappointment, and too late repent their terrible mistake. The cities of today are fast becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah. The many holidays encourage idleness. The exciting sports—theatergoing, horse racing, gambling, liquor-drinking, and reveling—stimulate every passion to intense activity. The youth are swept away by the popular current. Those who learn to love amusement for its own sake open the door to a flood of temptations. They give themselves up to social gaiety and thoughtless mirth, and their intercourse with pleasure lovers has an intoxicating effect upon the mind. They are led on from one form of dissipation to another, until they lose both the desire and the capacity for a life of usefulness. Their religious aspirations are chilled; their spiritual life is darkened. All the nobler faculties of the soul, all that link man with the spiritual world, are debased. {CSA 23.1}

It is true that some may see their folly and repent. God may pardon them. But they have wounded their own souls, and brought upon themselves a lifelong peril. The power of discernment, which ought ever to be kept keen and sensitive to distinguish between right and wrong, is in a great measure destroyed. They are not quick to recognize the guiding voice of the Holy Spirit, or to discern the devices of Satan. Too often in time of danger they fall under temptation, and are led away from God. The end of their pleasure-loving life is ruin for this world and for the world to come. {CSA 23.2}

Cares, riches, pleasures, all are used by Satan in playing the game of life for the human soul. The warning is given, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2:15, 16. He who reads the hearts of men as an open book says, “Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness and cares of this life.” Luke 21:34. And the apostle Paul by the Holy Spirit writes, “They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil; which, while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:9, 10. {CSA 23.3}

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