The truth about gambling
Since today is Easter many preachers all around the globe will be speaking about Jesus death, burial and resurrection and many within the church of Christ will probably be preaching lesson on how Easter is just a man made Holiday and how its not any more special than any other first day of the week because Jesus has commanded us to remember his death, burial and resurrection every Sunday when we partake of the Lords Supper. Well, this morning I will not be preaching on any of these topics instead this morning we will be talking about the truth about gambling.
Gambling is one of those words that can be used in many different ways. For instance one would say you gamble with your life every time you get in your car and you drive down the road because you on a small yellow line separates you from bad a car wreck.
If your wife ask you , “does this dress make me look fat” and you answer yes, you to may be gambling with your life.
If get pulled over by a policeman and you try to bribe them with a donut you would be gambling with your health.
While there are many ways people use this term gambling I
specifically want to deal with gambling as it relates to using ones money for
the lottery, slot machines or any other form of trying to win it big. Now
before we get into the Word of God and
what it teaches about this kind of gambling I want show several facts about
gambling in general and gambling in
First lets take a look at the term gambling.
The number 1 reason why people gamble is the hope of winning
a large sums of money. You see the thought of being able to win great sums of
money has become a real problem with in the
According to Gamblers Anonymous there are least 12 million
compulsive gamblers in the
Thomas Jefferson was quoted as saying this,
“Gaming corrupts our dispositions, and teaches us a hostility again all mankind”
Mark Twain said this, “The best throw at dice it to throw them away”
Some have thought that if Gambling was made legal that it
would decrease the amount of illegal gambling. However, just the opposite
happened. According to the department of Justice Legalized gambling increases
illegal gambling by 300%. There are those who seem to think that since legal
gambling helps the state and education that that is a wonderful asset but they
don’t want to think about how destructive gambling is on our society or who it
takes of advantage of. For instance take a look at how the
A 1 dollar lottery ticket is divided up like this. 52cents of it will go to whoever wins the lottery. 30 cents goes to education 12 cents operation which would include advertising and promoting the lottery. 6 cents goes to those who sell the ticket. Now someone might say isn’t that wonderful that 30% of every ticket goes to help education. Well, that money might help the education system but at what cost?
Based on the history of Gambling the people that are
affected the most are the poor and the disadvantaged. One
A major study on the effect of the
Another negative aspect of gambling is that crime rate increases where there is gambling.
According to the
According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report Statistic, “
According to U.S News & World Report, “Crime rates in casino communities are 84% higher than the national average.
I could show you great deal more on the negative effects of gambling but I believe this is enough to show that there is a very ugly side to gambling and even though some things such as education might benefit from it, it certainly isn’t worth all the problems that it causes.
One School system agrees with this thinking. The North Star
Public School in
Now real quickly let’s talk about the odd of winning the lottery. One person put the odd of winning into perspective this way. “A person is seven times more likely to be killed by lightning than he is to win a million dollars in a state lottery.”
Proverbs 28:22 A man
with an evil eye hastens after riches, And does not consider that poverty will
come upon him.
Did you know that a majority of those who win it big end up broke within years. Let me give you just a few examples.
A lady named Evelyn Adams won the
William Post won 16. 2 million dollars in the
Willie Hurt won 3.1 millions dollars and within 2 years lost it all because of drugs was broke and on trial for murder.
One last example, A southeastern family won 4.2 million in the early 90s and they bought new homes for them and their family and 11 years latter nearly all the money was gone. Then the husband and wife got divorced.
This is just a small sample of those who thought all that money would solve all their problems, but they ended up is worse shape than if they had never won. All a person has to do is to examine the life of Solomon who was one of the richest men that ever lived and they will find that his riches did not solve any of his problems. So far in this lesson we have simply looked at the ill-effects of gambling and how it affects our society.
Now I want to turn our attention to what the Bible says about Gambling and how it relates to the Christian today. Now the first thing I want to point out is that you cannot find one single verse in the Bible that says, thou shall not gamble. We need to realize that there are many specific acts that are named within the word of God. For instance you will not find a verse that say do not smoke crack or meth. While the word of God doesn’t state the specifics on any given drug we understand that that in principle that it would be a sin to take these drugs because it would do harm to the body and the Christian is suppose to be the temple of God. Therefore we are to take care of our bodies and not to subject them to harmful drugs.
Well this same principle applies to gambling because there are many verses that would be violated if we engage in gambling.
The first verse I want to look at is,
Matthew 19:19 You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'
cannot be a successful gambler and follow this verse because the very nature of
gambling violates having love for your neighbor. Now someone might say I love
you man as they are taking their money away from a person but I think we all
know that this is not the kind of love God is talking about here.
7:12"Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for
this is the Law and the Prophets.
don’t know of anyone who would boldly proclaim that they would just love it if
someone would take their hard earned money from them. No one gambles with the
hope of losing their money because they want to win and it doesn’t matter if
you are playing poker or playing a slot machine the money that you win is
coming from other individuals. So again we see that this scripture is broken
when a person gambles. Notice what Paul says in,
Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love,
if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being
like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one
mind. 3 Let nothing be
done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each
esteem others better than himself. 4
Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the
interests of others. 5 Let
this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
Can a Christian
follow what Paul has just said by gambling knowing that that they are taking
other peoples money? Surely we can see that gambling violates this passage. How
can a person say that they are looking out for the interest of others while
trying to win their money from them? They cannot. Now look at t verse 5 again
and notice that we are to have the same mindset as Jesus. Now I want you to
picture in your mind Jesus playing the slot machine or playing poker for money
or throwing the dice and saying come on lucky number 7. Can you see Jesus
wasting his time gambling with his money? If you can’t see Jesus doing it and
we are to be like him, then how can a Christian be involved in gambling?
1 Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever
you do, do all to the glory of God.
Again can we say that we
are bringing glory to God when play the slot machine, poker, or lottery? If we
can, I sure would like someone to explain to me how in the world that brings
glory to God. As Christians we are to abstain from the appearance of all evil 1Thess. 5:22 and we are to cling to
that which is good. Rom 12:9. Now I
have already established how gambling brings about all kinds of evil things and
so as Christians we should stay far from it. Again the main reason people go to
gamble is the hope of hitting it big and becoming rich. But notice what Paul
tells Timothy about pursuit of riches,
1 Timothy 6:6 Now
godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is
certain we can carry nothing out. 8
And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich
fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful
lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root
of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in
their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But you, O man of God, flee
these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience,
Those who gamble hoping
they are going to hit it big are not content with what they have. They are not
satisfied with what God has given them or blessed them through the jobs. So
gambling becomes an addictive snare that makes people lose site of God and
trusting in him to provide for there needs. See Timothy was to flee from the
evil allurement of riches and instead was to pursue after these other things which
keeps a person right with God.
When a person gets
wrapped up in the idea of winning it big which is taking money from the poor
and others, this is what is known as coveting something that is not yours and
the Bible says this is a sin. In fact notice what Paul says about those who
5:11 But now I have written to you not
to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or
covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner -- not
even to eat with such a person.
said that we shouldn’t even keep company or eat with someone who is evolved in
covetous practices and he goes on to say 6:10 that those who are
involved in this sin will not make it heaven. Now if gambling is not coveting
something that is not yours again I challenge you to explain to me how it is not.
thing that gambling does is it destroys the work ethic and can lead some people
to the point of neglecting their family and not providing food for them. The
Word of God teaches us several things about work ethic.
Ephesians 4:28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather
let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have
something to give him who has need.
2 Thessalonians 3:7 For you
yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among
you; 8 nor did we eat
anyone's bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day,
that we might not be a burden to any of you,
2 Thessalonians 3:10 For
even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work,
neither shall he eat. 11 For
we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not
working at all, but are busybodies.
As you can see from the
verses the Word of God teaches us the principle that we are to work to get
ahead in this life. However, those who become addicted to gambling will stop
working and they have way to much time on their hands so they tend to get
involved in all kinds of sins. We see that those who stopped working in the 1st
century became busybodies or gossips. Of course another result of those not
working because of their addiction to gambling also leads that person to
neglecting their family and not having enough money to provide for them which
is also sin according to,
1 Timothy 5:8 But if
anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household,
he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Part of being a faithful
Christian is being good stewards of our money because it belongs to God. We are
also suppose to be good examples to those around us and so I believe the
Christian should not buy lottery tickets or gamble in the gaming centers.
Now some Christians might
say that they don’t see a problem with spending a dollar or two on gambling as
long as they are not taking away from their family. Or they might say instead
of spending 20 dollars at the movie theater I will spend my 20 dollars as the
slot machine only for the purpose of entertainment so therefore it would be ok.
statements like these are nothing more than excuses to try to make it ok for a
Christian to gamble. Now I want you to think about the statement that spending
20 to watch a movie is no different than spending 20 on gambling because they
are both just for entertainment. First of all I have hard believing that anyone
could honestly say that they are just playing the slot machine for fun. How
much fun can person possible have pushing a button over and over again while
watching those cogs turn round and round. But lets just say for a min that
there is a person that exist that views playing the slot machine or the like as
just mere entertainment. Well, the first question I would want to know is what
is the Christian going to do if they hit it big knowing that the money they are
winning is coming from other people? Are they simply going to give it to the
house or are they going to fill their pockets full of the cash. You see if
gambling is just entertainment and you are just there for the atmosphere and to
play the game then you should not be interested in keeping anything you win.
Does a person like this exist? Well, I
have never meet one.
see when a person plays a game they play to win and those who claim to gamble
for mere entertainment also playing to win as much money as they can. If we
honest with ourselves I think we all know this is true. Now if a Christian
still wants to claim that they only gamble for entertainment don’t you think
that you can find some other form of entertainment that doesn’t have a
multitude of sins associated with it?
believe there are 3 questions every Christian should ask themselves before they
get involved in Gambling or in any other questionable thing.
What effect will it have on me?
What effect will it have on others?
How will this action affect the cause of Christ?
truly believe that if Christian will ask themselves these 3 questions they will
clearly see that should not be involved in gambling. Just because you do not
think gambling will hurt you or that you will never lose control does not take
away from the fact that every dollar that you contribute to gambling will in
part be used to promote gambling which will have a ripple effect. Your money
will be used to tempt the poor to gamble which causes neglect of the home and
higher divorce rates. It will increase suicides and the crime rates and these
are just some of the effects of what your money will help promote every time
you gamble and this certainly does not help the cause of Christ.
help put this into perspective let me ask you a question. If someone came around
and asked to by a raffle ticket for 1 for a chance to win 100,000 and then also
told you that money that was left over was going to be used to promote the
homosexual cause or perhaps they said the money be used to fund a xxx movie
would buy the ticket? I would like to think that every Christian would say no
because they knew that part of them money would be used to support the sinful
things. You see it is for us to see the problem with buying the raffle ticket
under this circumstance and should be easy for us to see the problem with
gambling knowing the multitudes of sins that it creates. I really hope that
this lesson the morning has opened you eyes to why gambling is wrong and why we
should not even spend 1 dollar on it. Nothing good ever comes from gambling and
our society would be better off if it did not exist.
before I close out the lesson I want talk about a few more questions that I
have heard in regards to gambling.
Should a Christian invest in the stock market since it a gamble or whether or
not you will loose you money?
of investing into the stock market and playing the casinos are not the same
thing. When it come stock market you are investing you money in product or a
service. It kind of like have your own business. Yes there is chance that your
stocks will fail and you can lose you money. Again we must get back to the
Biblical principle of being a good steward of your money. Now there are all
kinds of ways to invest you money in the stocks and they are ratted to from
safe to high risk. Now personally I would not invest in a high risk stock I
would invest in a moderate or safe one. Investing in a high risk stock would be
like me opening up a surf shop here
Matthew 25:27 'So you
ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would
have received back my own with interest.
As far as I can see there
is nothing wrong with investing your money in the stock market or interest
Some have even wondered
if it is wrong to have life insurance or health insurance but again I do not
see anything wrong with having these things in place because they are
investment that will help you and your family out in the long run which goes
hand and hand with what the word of God says about taking care of your family.
So, in conclusion I hope
this lesson had revealed to you the truth about gambling.