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Is Gambling A Sin - What Does The Bible Say?

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by dannibear, Jan 5, 2013.

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  1. Question: Is Gambling a Sin?

    [h=3]What Does the Bible Say About Gambling?[/h] Surprisingly, the Bible contains no specific command to avoid gambling. However, the Bible does contain timeless principles for living a life pleasing to God and is filled with wisdom to deal with every situation, including gambling.
    Answer: Throughout the Old and New Testaments, we read about people casting lots when a decision had to be made. In most instances, this was simply a way of determining something impartially:
    Joshua then cast lots for them in Shiloh in the presence of the LORD, and there he distributed the land to the Israelites according to their tribal divisions. (Joshua 18:10, NIV)
    Casting lots was common among many ancient cultures. Roman soldiers cast lots for Jesus' garments at his crucifixion:
    "Let's not tear it," they said to one another. "Let's decide by lot who will get it." This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, "They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing." So this is what the soldiers did. (John 19:24, NIV)
    [h=3]Does the Bible Mention Gambling?[/h] Although the words "gambling" and "gamble" do not appear in the Bible, we cannot assume that an activity is not a sin simply because it is not mentioned. Looking at pornography on the Internet and using illegal drugs are not mentioned either, but both violate God's laws.
    While casinos and lotteries promise thrills and excitement, obviously people gamble to try to win money. Scripture gives very specific instructions about what our attitude should be toward money:
    Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. (Ecclesiastes 5:10, NIV)
    "No servant can serve two masters. [Jesus said.] Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." (Luke 16:13, NIV)
    For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10, NIV)
    Gambling is a way to bypass work, but the Bible counsels us to persevere and work hard:
    Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. (Proverbs 10:4, NIV)
    One of the key principles in the Bible is that people should be wise stewards of everything God gives them, including their time, talent and treasure. Gamblers may believe they earn their money with their own labor and may spend it as they please, yet God gives people the talent and health to carry out their jobs, and their very life is a gift from him as well. Wise stewardship of extra money calls believers to invest it in the Lord’s work or to save it for an emergency, rather than lose it in games in which the odds are stacked against the player.
    Gamblers covet more money, but they may also covet the things money can buy, such as cars, boats, houses, expensive jewelry and clothing. The Bible forbids a covetous attitude in the Tenth Commandment:
    "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." (Exodus 20:17, NIV)
    Gambling also has the potential to turn into an addiction, like drugs or alcohol. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, 2 million U.S. adults are pathological gamblers and another 4 to 6 million are problem gamblers. This addiction can destroy the stability of the family, lead to job loss, and cause a person to lose control of their life:
    …for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. (2 Peter 2:19)
    Some argue that gambling is nothing more than entertainment, no more immoral than going to a movie or concert. People who attend movies or concerts expect only entertainment in return, however, not money. They are not tempted to keep spending until they "break even."
    Finally, gambling provides a sense of false hope. Participants place their hope in winning, often against astronomical odds, instead of placing their hope in God. Throughout the Bible, we are constantly reminded that our hope is in God alone, not money, power, or position:
    Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. (Psalm 62:5, NIV)
    May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13, NIV)
    Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. (1 Timothy 6:17, NIV)
    Some Christians believe that church raffles, bingos and the like to raise funds for Christian education and ministries are harmless fun, a form of donation involving a game. Their logic is that, as with alcohol, an adult should act responsibly. In those circumstances, it seems unlikely someone would lose a large amount of money.
    [h=3]God's Word is No Gamble[/h] Every leisure activity is not a sin, but all sin is not clearly listed in the Bible. Added to that, God doesn't just want us not to sin, but he gives us an even higher goal. The Bible encourages us to consider our activities in this way:
    "Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12, NIV)
    This verse appears again in 1 Corinthians 10:23, with the addition of this idea: "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive." When an activity is not distinctly described as sin in the Bible, we can ask ourselves these questions: "Is this activity beneficial for me or will it become my master? Will participation in this activity be constructive or destructive to my Christian life and witness?"

    The Bible does not explicitly say, "Thou shalt not play blackjack." Yet by gaining a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures we have a trustworthy guide for determining what pleases and displeases God.
  2. I thought this topic was very interesting and full of knowledge. I would like to add that I play blackjack, but do not gamble with anything. It is a past-time for my sister and I. Sometimes we "gamble" with M&Ms if we want to be silly. Wanted anyone who reads this to know that so no one thought this thread was attacking or condemning anyone.
  3. It is a Sin and it leads to many evils.
    Anyone who takes part in it is under a delusion.
  4. #4 B-A-C, Jan 6, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
    While, I have never seen a "thou shalt not gamble" verse.
    The Bible does talk a lot about money.

    Now I suppose you could say, I'm just gambling for pleasure, and I don't care about the money. Well if you're donating all of your winnings
    to missions and orphanages perhaps you might be OK.

    But if not....

    Mat 6:24 "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
    Luk 16:13 "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."
    1 Tim 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
    Mat 19:24 "Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
    Mar 10:25 "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

    I think we need to ask ourselves.. why do we gamble? What s the purpose for it?
  5. #5 amadeus2, Jan 7, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
    Whether or not it is sin, should depend, I believe, on what is in a person's heart when he does it. If in remote hope of getting out from under all of our debts and living the "good" life of men, we gamble our entire pay check rather than paying the rent, buying groceries and providing other necessaries for our family, it is unlikely that God will look at it as an activity pleasing to Him.

    If after caring for all of the necessaries a couple of dollars are expended, it is less likely to displease God, but we should be very careful about establishing black and white rules that are applicable always to everybody. The laws written by God for the children of Israel in the OT did not cause all of those people to please God all of the time.

    What people are usually lacking when they displease God is the mind of Christ. When the Holy Ghost is in us, and we are regularly consuming scripture that so that it can be quickend in us by the Holy Ghost, we will then be able to please God, because He has given us the means. If we neglect what we have received from God and do not add our store from what God offers to us as we are able, how likely are we to please Him?

    Gamble away... if that is what the Holy Ghost is saying to your heart.
  6. A true Christian does not gamble at all. it's only for fools and sharks.
  7. #7 SpiritLedEd, Jan 8, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
    I'll avoid name calling, but I do believe gambling with money is wrong because gambling losses take away money that could be saved, used o pay down one's debts and provide for the poor among other things.

  8. never been a gambler ..always seemed foolish to use money that could help family or friends for it ..i do play a scratch off now and again but dont get all caught up in the ONE MORE TIME thing.....i do know that in some casinos they pump fresh o2 in to keep you awake and wanting to play....Rev
  9. I sometimes gamble in video games, but I use no money from real life to gamble with, just the in-game currency. I'm in agreement about not using money to gamble, but if one wants to spend a little money to buy a gambling video game, then that's probably not sin, provided the only cost is the cost of the game, and that the in-game currency does not affect one real life monetary status.
  10. #10 farout, Jan 15, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
    Gambling is stupid, especially for christians. $3.50 buys shoes for people that have none in Africa. Without shoeschildren and adults get a waterworm that enters in a wound in a foot, it can and does kill. As a christian you are accountable for the money God provides for you to use for His glory. These enormous gabling places are not built becaues they loose money to you. The fact is most people do not win a single cent. The odds are against you. This is such poor management of GOD's money. When you give money to those gambling places you are an unwise steward and helping evil to grow. There are many who are addicted to ganbling and famlies are being hurt. Don't buy how much money is given to education. Gambling is foolish, only a fool thinks he will win with such odds stacked against you winning.

    There is a saying "a fool and his money soon depart"
  11. Very interesting article Dannibear,
    I find Jack Zavada a very informative writer

    My personal conviction is that gambling is wrong, the incorrect use of money and addictive
  12. If gambling is taking a chance at gaining something by taking a chance at losing something; Isn't investing in the stock market gambling?
  13. I would not recommend it. There's nothing wrong with investing in a company it-self, and there's nothing wrong with making a profit, however, one only invest when one's heart is in the project or company.

    Example: Say a friend of mine wanted to open a grocery store, and me and another friend wanted to help. I volunteer to buy the first two batches of groceries and my other friend offers to pay for the building, either for the building it-self or the first nine months of rent. In agreement for our services, we receive 7% of the profits after restocking and payment of the employ's for five years. Now say we want to invest farther, so we agree to pay for a T.V. and radio ad for a local station for two years, and we receive another 7% cut from the profits, as above. This would be one example of appropriate investing.
  14. The act of gambling, is making an offering to an unknown god, looking at an unknown result and hoping for a return. God is our sole Provider. He gives us all things so going to something or someone else in hopes of gain, is surely idolatory in it's purest form.
  15. Gambling money is known as dishonest money:

    Prov 13:11 Dishonest money dwindles away, but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.
  16. Nice sister Dannibear. Consider this scripture heb 12:16 Esau who sold his own birthright for a single meal. How many believers sell there's for even less? Gen 25:33-34 verse 34 then Esau despised his birthright! Are believers ready to gamble the promises God himself gave to us,for what in return? A little pleasure for a time? If one has no thought about gambling the money they have,what else the devil thinks will they be willing as well to gamble with? I have played the lotto,I have played a slot machine,and after i lost a great deal of money I thought, was this worth the time i took in doing this?

    And if I am willing to do this,what else could i be open to in my life, that could even risk my very salvation?( eph 4:27) A opportunity!! A chance to win something, when the enemy has himself not gambled at all doing it!We have! The house wins! The point to us winning from time to time,is so you will look to rely upon this as your means! To replace Jesus with something we can see,feel,and touch!To associate more and more to the realm we live in! To become more and more like the nature of others! To follow after another.To counterfeit what we know is better! For if the Lord has blessed me with extra money,should i rather help those who have less? rather then looking for more?

    The world is active to one and only one purpose!!To make you like the rest!! To fit in! To take part of what most do! If one is ready and willing to gamble with there earthy wealth, why not there spiritual wealth as well? See the point? How much is enough? ( heb 13:5) For if we are content with what we presently have,then we are also being faithful in what little we do have,and hence more can be given!( luke 16:10) But the purpose of gaining is not for us,but rather for others to also benifit by seeing Jesus in us! And then be drawn towards HIM! Many have made some very fine examples here!

    And some very fine words to go along with those! It does not matter what others say about this,we will always do what we wish no matter the warning by others,but what many are not willing to admit,is the consequences that come from the actions taken! For there are those as well! If it is not a sin, what this surly is without any doubt can be a most heavy weight! ( heb 12:1-2) So no pointing of fingers to any of us! But I have learned the hard way what can happen to those who are willing to gamble what they can see,it can lead to gambling something far more precious! I cannot gamble any longer,for I am not willing to gamble my birthright from Jesus! I am sold out to Jesus, not to those things which only last for such a little time anyway! The will to part with something,in hopes of getting more, not less with the gamble! But after less is the result,what have we learned from it? Is this being good stewards? Can we be trusted by the Lord? These are questions i had to answer,but in order to answer,i had to be willing to become accountable! We are by are words,why not also are deeds?? ( matt 10:36-37)
  17. When I was young I gambled by flipping coins and playing cards with the paper boys down at the old train station. It was addictive for me. I would say it is wrong for me because of the reaction with in my body. The people that don't get that high, probably don't gamble.
  18. Whose money is it that the gambler seeks? The casino's, or other peoples', or both? Either way. it isn't the gamblers own money that he seeks to win.
    Can this money be classified as goods? I believe it can. so is gambling sin....

    Exodus 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ***, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

    1 John 3:4 ¶ Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

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