The Bible does not specifically forbid gambling, but there are several biblical principles that should make Christians hesitate to participate:
- God presents work as the normal way to get the money we need (Eph 4:28; II Thess. 3:12; Prov. 31). When a person cannot work, the second choice is prayer (Phil. 4:6, 19).
- All my income belongs to God, not me (Psa. 24:1), and I am not free to use it as I wish. I am a steward, who should use it for God's purposes. Christians are called on to meet the needs of their family (I Tim. 5:8), and share with others, particularly Christians who have needs (2 Cor 8-9; Gal. 6:6-10; 3 John).
Ask: Does God want me to use His money to buy a lottery ticket?
- God uses money to accomplish important purposes in my life:
- Meet basic needs (Matt. 6:11; I Tim. 6:8).
- Build character (Phil 4:10-13)
- Give direction, by providing or withholding resources.
- Helping others through me.
- Show His power by providing miraculously.
Ask: Does gambling accomplish these results? Am I looking to God or to the lottery for my needs?
- Greed and covetousness are sin (Ex. 20:18; I Tim. 6:9; Heb 13:5), and these are motives in most gambling.
- Proverbs warns of disaster for people who want to get rich quickly (28:20,22).
- Wealth that comes easily goes just as easily (Prov. 13:11).
- Wealth gained the wrong way breaks up families (Prov. 15:27).
- Gambling can be addictive, and even if you don't fall prey to it as a compulsive habit, your example may cause others to be enslaved by it (I Cor. 8:9, 13).
Author: Dr. John Bechtle
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