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Luck, Hap, and Chance (Part 1) - Christians Are Lucky

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Outline is attached below.


 

Luck, Hap, and Chance

I. The purpose of this study.
1. There are some people who believe that the idea of luck is pagan and that Christians should never use the words lucky or luck.
A. I used to believe this years ago.
B. This study will show that this idea is not true.
2. There are some people who think that nothing happens by chance, but all events that happen are predestinated by God.
A. Christians in another church once told me that they believed that nothing happens by coincidence.
B. This study will show that these ideas are not true.
3. Believers sometimes say that "Christians are not lucky, they are blessed."
A. I used to say this myself.
B. This study will show that lucky and blessed are synonyms.
C. Therefore, the above statement is self-contradictory, just as is the statement "Geniuses are not smart, they are intelligent."
4. This study is designed to clear up misunderstandings about the concepts of luck and chance and also to relieve Christians of the burden of being afraid to use certain words that are perfectly fine to use.

II. Definitions
1. Luck n. - 1. a. Fortune good or ill; the fortuitous happening of events favourable or unfavourable to the interests of a person; a person's condition with regard to the favourable or unfavourable character of some fortuitous event, or of the majority of the fortuitous events in which he has an interest. Often with adj., as bad, hard, evil luck, good-luck, ill-luck. Also, the imagined tendency of chance (esp. in matters of gambling) to produce events continuously favourable or continuously unfavourable; the friendly or hostile disposition ascribed to chance at a particular time.
2. Fortune n. - 1. a. Chance, hap, or luck, regarded as a cause of events and changes in men's affairs.
3. Fortuitous adj. - That happens or is produced by fortune or chance; accidental, casual.
4. Lucky adj. - 1. Of persons: Having, or attended by, good luck. In early use often, Fortunate, successful, prosperous. Now with narrower meaning: Favoured by chance; successful through causes other than one's own action or merit.
5. Fortunate adj. - 1. Favoured by fortune; possessed of or receiving good fortune; lucky, prosperous. Said of persons; also, of an enterprise, event, etc.
6. Hap n. - 1. Chance or fortune (good or bad) that falls to any one; luck, lot.
7. Happy adj. - 1. Coming or happening by chance; fortuitous; chance. 2. a. Having good ‘hap’ or fortune; lucky, fortunate; favoured by lot, position, or other external circumstance. b. Blessed, beatified.
8. Blessed adj. - 1. Consecrated, hallowed, holy; consecrated by a religious rite or ceremony. 2. That is the object of adoring reverence, adorable, worthy to be blessed by men. 3. a. Enjoying supreme felicity; happy, fortunate.
9. Chance n. - I. 1. a. The falling out or happening of events; the way in which things fall out; fortune; case. b. A happening or occurrence of things in a particular way; a casual or fortuitous circumstance; = accident n. 1b. II. Phrases. 7. by chance: a. As it falls or fell out; without design; casually, accidentally, incidentally, haply; by any chance = PERCHANCE adv. 3.

III. As the definitions plainly show, luck, hap, and chance are all synonyms.
1. The words luck and lucky are not in the Bible, but the concept most definitely is.
2. Fortuitous events happen to God's children such as Ruth whose hap it was to end up gleaning in Boaz's field (Ruth 2:3).
A. Hap n. - 1. Chance or fortune (good or bad) that falls to any one; luck, lot.
B. In other words, Ruth was fortunate and lucky to land in Boaz's field.
C. There is nothing wrong with using the word luck to describe Ruth's circumstance because hap means luck!
D. Did Ruth end up in Boaz's field purely by random chance?
i. No, of course not.
ii. A man's heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps (Pro 16:9).
iii. Ruth trusted in the Lord with all her heart (Ruth 1:16), and the Lord directed her path (Pro 3:5-6).

IV. Happy is a synonym of lucky and blessed.

1. Happy adj. - 1. Coming or happening by chance; fortuitous; chance. 2. a. Having good ‘hap’ or fortune; lucky, fortunate; favoured by lot, position, or other external circumstance. b. Blessed, beatified.
2. Blessed adj. - 1. Consecrated, hallowed, holy; consecrated by a religious rite or ceremony. 2. That is the object of adoring reverence, adorable, worthy to be blessed by men. 3. a. Enjoying supreme felicity; happy, fortunate.
3. Women who conceive and bear children are said to be both happy and blessed (Gen 30:13).
4. Therefore, women who conceive and bear children are lucky, since happy means lucky.

5. Consider other people whom the scripture calls happy (lucky, blessed).
A. People who are saved by God and belong to Him are happy (Deu 33:29; Psa 144:15).
B. Therefore, I am a lucky man.
C. Those that get to learn from wise men and find wisdom are happy (1Ki 10:8; Pro 3:13).
D. Therefore, I am a lucky man.
E. Those whom God corrects are happy (Job 5:17).
F. Therefore, I am a lucky man.
G. Those who have many children are happy (Psa 127:5).
H. Therefore, many of the people in this church are lucky.
I. Those who suffer for Christ are happy (1Pe 3:14; 1Pe 4:14).
J. Therefore, I am a lucky man.
K. Those who know that we ought to wash each others feet and do it are happy (Joh 13:17).
L. Therefore, the members of this church are lucky people.

6. In that happy, blessed, and lucky are synonyms, don't make a man an offender for a word (Isa 29:21) if he says that he was lucky that a certain good thing happened to him.
A. If the man says that he is happy or blessed that that thing happened to him, he is saying that he is lucky because the words are synonyms.
B. If you wouldn't reprove a man for saying he's happy or blessed, then don't reprove him for saying he's lucky.
C. The important thing is not whether the word happy, blessed, or lucky is used, but rather to whom the hap, luck, or blessing is ascribed.
D. Fortuitous events happen to all of God's children.
i. Some happen as a direct gift of God, such as salvation (Deu 33:29), conceiving a child (Gen 30:13), finding a godly wife (Pro 18:22), etc.
ii. Some happen by chance (or at least they could be by chance) like getting a hole-in-one golfing, winning a raffle, or finding $100 bill in an old couch someone dumped off at the dumpster.
iii. Chance will be covered later in the outline.

E. When we say that we are lucky to have this or that, we should always recognize that the blessing either:
i. 1) came directly as a gift from God,
ii. 2) might have come directly from God, or
iii. 3) God allowed it to come to us through chance, and therefore He is still to be thanked for it.
F. So, no matter what, we should always thank the Lord for every good thing (and "bad" thing - Ecc 7:14) that happens to us because they all, either directly or indirectly, come from God (Jam 1:17).

V. God is sovereign over all creation (1Ch 29:11-12; Psa 115:3; Psa 135:6; Isa 14:24; Dan 4:35).
1. Though God could actively cause every movement and event that occurs in the universe, some things He does leave to chance.
2. There are things that happen by chance (Luk 10:31).
A. Chance n. - 7. by chance: a. As it falls or fell out; without design; casually, accidentally, incidentally, haply; by any chance = PERCHANCE adv. 3.
B. If words mean anything, the priest did NOT walk by the man that was fallen among thieves by design.
C. The young man that reported Saul's and Jonathan's death to David said that he happened along them by chance (2Sa 1:6).
i. David slew him for claiming to have slain Saul (2Sa 1:9-10 c/w 2Sa 1:14-16).
ii. But he didn't chastise him for saying that he came upon them "by chance."

3. The scripture teaches that time and chance happens to us all (Ecc 9:11).
A. Chance n. - I. 1. a. The falling out or happening of events; the way in which things fall out; fortune; case. b. A happening or occurrence of things in a particular way; a casual or fortuitous circumstance; = accident n. 1b.
B. Fortune n. - 1. a. Chance, hap, or luck, regarded as a cause of events and changes in men's affairs.
C. This verse clearly teaches that luck happens to all men at times.
D. It teaches that sometimes things fall into our laps that we are not working for and that we are not deserving of.

4. God can allow things to happen by chance and still be sovereign.
A. God allows things to happen (1Co 16:7; Heb 6:3), which means that He doesn't actively cause those things to happen.
B. Permit v. - To allow, suffer, give leave; not to prevent.
C. If God allows some things to happen, that demands that He does not actively cause those things to happen, or else words have no meaning.
D. Just because a thing happens by chance doesn't mean that God has no control over it or that He didn't know it was going to happen.
i. God knows everything and all possibilities of things that could happen (Psa 147:5).
ii. Therefore, nothing that happens by chance happens without God knowing about it and permitting it to happen.
iii. Therefore, God has a design in chance when He allows the outcome of chance to occur.

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