The New Testament is not a book of law. But somewhere in the Bible, it warns us. It warns us to be careful of money.
What does the scripture tell us about gambling? The bible does tell us, it does encourage us to stay away from the get-rich-quick schemes and which gambling could be one of them. Nobody would ever view this as gambling but it may cause the same sense of preoccupation in one's mind.
The Bible does not specifically mention playing the lottery.
I'm sure where you live there is a lottery. And there's a lot of controversies and a lot of talks that people just feel so, like they're sitting by playing the lottery. You don't have to feel as though you're sitting by playing the lottery because the Bible doesn't specifically condemn gambling.
First of all, let me just tell you something. The Bible tells us...
A person who honestly works puts in an honest day's work, his money will grow. Wealth gained hastily, another translation says, will dwindle but whoever gathers little by little will increase in it.
Again, I know there are many people arguing with me that that's not dealing. But for me it created the same amount of being preoccupied with winning money and more money and getting more money.
Gambling, most definitely, does claim our focus on the love of money and, undeniably, tempts people into get-rich-quick schemes. So what does the Bible say about casinos and the lotteries? I mean, casinos use all kinds of marketing schemes to entice gamblers to risk all the money they have. Individuals will often win in the scratch-off cards and pay off all of his debts that they had accumulated by gambling. Everything in a casino is perfectly rigged for taking advantage of folks like that.
They offer you, usually, discounted prices and food and drinks and entertainment. The allure of getting rich quick affects us all. It's a great temptation to resist for those who are desperate. When you're desperate, it's hard to resist those get-rich-quick schemes. The chances of winning are almost minute, which results in many people's lives being ruined. Of which, I have somebody close in my family that was ruined by it. Listen, don't allow the love of money to ruin you. Is gambling a sin? Are you gonna go to hell for getting a scratch-off ticket? Absolutely not. However, don't let gambling master you, you master it.
And if gambling is one of those areas in which you have very little control over, just trust God. As the Bible says, dishonest money will dwindle away but he who gathers money little by little, makes it grow.
Get yourself a good job, cut the grass for somebody, go ahead and build a house or go ahead and save your money in the bank and just do those things that are honest, good and wholesome and God will protect you. May God bless you.
What Scriptures Would You Use To Teach A Christian That Gambling Is Wrong?
The second question also has to do with dealing with another Christian, I think of this dealing with my own children. So I may have said this morning, dealing with family, this doesn't really say family members but I just sort of put that on it in my head.
I don't know if you know this, but that's a topic that I have stayed away from because it's not an easy thing, it's not an easy question. And one of the things that I always try to avoid doing, especially when we have a wide variety of people here listening, is I try to be very careful not to go too far and not to say things that I can't defend strongly with the Bible. And where I can say to a person, this is why I said what I said, and if I don't have that Bible to back it up, I'll try to point that out and say this is my opinion or this is my theory. But even then, I try to avoid something that's going to be critical if it's my theory.
There is no passage in Scripture, and every time I think about this, I keep thinking there ought to be a passage in Proverbs that says something negative about a game of chance. There ought to be something, somewhere that says something about throwing dice or something that calls it evil, it's not there. But that doesn't mean that it's right, I don't think it's right. I, literally, am not sure when it becomes a sin but I know that it becomes a sin and I'll show you why. And I also know that it's very beginning, at its very earliest stage it is foolish. And there are some things that are sinful and then there are other things that are foolish because they're harmful but the Bible nowhere calls sinful.
The very earliest stages of gambling, maybe in the foolish but not condemned section but it very quickly goes over into the absolutely condemned section. The principles are condemned. And so, maybe too much tiptoeing for you but I'm trying to be intellectually honest, I'm trying really hard. So, to answer the question, here are some of the verses that I would use, and I could use a lot more but here are some of the verses.
Gambling Is Usually About The Love Of Money
Gambling has led a lot of people to financial ruin, to theft, to divorce, to embezzlement, to crime, to drug abuse and all kinds of evil. The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil. Gambling usually has to do with a person fixing their hope on riches and seeing riches as the key to their problems and that's wrong, it's false.
You cannot serve God and wealth. That's what Jesus says, you cannot serve God and wealth. People who get involved in gambling, are getting involved in an addictive pursuit and it begins to consume the mind, it begins to consume the heart, it begins to consume your time, and it begins to consume your wallet. And it is a desire for money, most of the time. And when you love it, you raise it up above God and you are violating the scripture and it is unquestionably a sin at that point.
Second thing is that gambling is always with practically no exception associated with worldly behaviors. There's almost never gambling that is not associated with some other type of vice. Whether it be the abuse of alcohol or drugs, sexual immorality or various other kinds of sinful behavior.
Paul told the Thessalonians, abstain from every form of evil. Gambling is one form of evil that leads to other forms of evil, the way evil does. And we're told to be different, we're told to be transformed into something different from the world. And so, we look at worldly pursuits and we look at worldly things in a different way. We have a different attitude, a different mindset, a different outlook, and to engage in gambling is almost always a turning away from that transformed mindset and an embracing of that worldly mindset.
The quick dollar with no work, the quick dollar with no labor, the quick dollar with no effort, brings problems and punishment.
People see that lottery figure and if you win the lottery, what would you do? Well, I want to find out who bought me the ticket. I've never bought a lottery ticket, I hope that I never do. Everything is cheap in Vegas because they want people to come gamble. Two cups of coffee and two danishes, will e $25.
They're trying to get your money and you think that they're the secret to your success. You think people think, that wagering that money will make their dreams come true.
The Bible says, want will come on you. That's the foolishness of it. You're being fooled, you're being lied to and you're believing the lies of Satan.
Finally, it's about covetousness and greed.
When I was looking at this, somebody said, I should have written it down, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, and then there's whatever the other ones are. Whether there is you shall not, it is that simple, you shall not commit adultery, five words. Four or five words for all of these negative Commandments, things not to do. But the last commandment, the tenth commandment is about your heart. It's about what you think inside, what you feel inside, listen to what it says.
I don't have any idea how many that was but it was more than 25. You see how many words he put into coveting? It means it's a big deal. It means it's something you're going to struggle with and so he gives you a bunch of examples of what not to covet because you're gonna struggle with it. It's gonna be a problem and so he wants to make it really clear. You're going to struggle with coveting a lot more than you struggle with murder and we do.
Be Careful Of Greed. Be Careful Of Covetousness
Paul calls covetousness, idolatry, worshiping money. Can you gamble with no immorality, no impurity, and no greed? Maybe you can make some sort of philosophical argument that you can but it'll be rare and you won't stay there long. Pretty soon you'll be coveting, you'll be in greed, and you'll be tempted with immorality because that's what gambling is for. It's to take your money and to take your soul. That's what it's for. That's why it was invented.
And for people to think that they can play around with it and it not be a big deal, it's foolish to the point of losing your soul. When exactly does it become a sin? Is it a sin with the first dime? Is it a sin when it starts to affect how you think?
Absolutely. Is it a sin that will destroy your soul when it starts to affect your life? Yes, to that question.