I have been a music fan almost my entire life. I grew up listening to what is now classic rock and country and western. I could listen to just about any kind of music except classical and Kenny G. I am still a music fan. I still listen to classic rock and country music. I get a lot of inspiration for my sermons and lessons from songs. I’m pretty sure the song writers and artists probably didn’t always intend to teach spiritual lessons with their music, however, if you listen closely, you can find them. Kenny Rogers’ song “The Gambler” is probably not the first song that comes to mind when you think of songs that can teach a spiritual message. That’s okay, maybe someday you can hear my spiritual take on Meatloaf’s “Paradise By The Dashboard Light.”


The song “The Gambler” was very popular as recorded by Kenny Rogers in 1978. It was a number 1 country hit and even crossed over to the pop charts. Obviously, the song spoke to many different people in many different ways. The song tells the story of a young man riding on a train with an old gambler who, after bored silence, offers the young man some life advice.


The gambler tells the young man, “If you’re going to play the game boy, you’ve got to learn to play it right.” This is sound spiritual advice. Too may people who call themselves Christians have decided to be Christians their own way. They will say things like, “I don’t have to go to church to be a Christian. As long as I’m a good person, that’s all that matters.” While this might sound good and give people a sense of security, it certainly is not what the Bible teaches: Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:25).


People often deny the essentiality of baptism; however, the Bible teaches it in several places. Jesus Himself said. 16 “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Peter also stressed the importance of baptism in his first sermon: Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).


One of the most important lessons we can learn from the song “The Gambler” comes from the line that says, “The secret to survivn is knowin what to throw away and knowin what to keep.” This is so true in our spiritual walk. There are countless books, videos, and other resources that can be very valuable to our spiritual growth. Still, many resources, though inspiring, may not align with what the Bible teaches. The only way we can be sure if we are keeping the right things is to compare it to the scriptures. Luke commended the Berean Christians for their adherence to the scriptures in Acts 17:11Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.


There are many people who want to be Christians on their own terms. The Bible is specific and plain that there is only one way to become a Christian and once we do that, our life is no longer our own. It belongs to our Lord and Master, and we must listen to Him if we desire to spend eternity with Him in heaven. Jesus gave a very pointed warning to those who want to do things their own way in Matthew 7:21-23-21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Jesus never said it would be easy, but it will be worth it!

Read Ephesians 4:1-6