Whats Wrong With Gambling?
Our town has a large racetrack. Our state has the oldest state-run lottery in the nation. Since our society seems to accept gambling as legitimate, should the believer assume that gambling is acceptable behavior before God? What does the Bible say about it?
Gambling can bring you under its control.
I Cor.6: 12 - "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any."
- The number of Gamblers Anonymous chapters in the United States has nearly doubled in the last eight years. The state of Georgia now has more than 1,200 chapters meeting regularly across the country.
- In 1996, Mississippi and Louisiana ranked number three and four, respectively, among the states in terms of the amounts of money legally wagered. Recent studies indicate that 7 percent of adults in both of those states have been classified as problem or pathological gamblers.
Gambling is based on raw greed & covetousness which are sins.
- The Tenth Commandment admonishes us not to covet. (Ex.20: 17)
- The Lord Jesus warns us to BEWARE of covetousness it may take forms that are not easily recognizable! (Luke 12:15)
Gambling hurts THE WEAK.
- Like alcohol, gambling is a stumblingblock to many! (Rom. 14:13)
- It may not bother you but your actions CAN lead another brother into sin and ruin! LOVE demands that we not gamble.
3.) Gambling Attracts the Youth
- Howard Shaffer, director of the Center for Addiction Studies at Harvard Medical School, conducted a meta-analysis of youth gambling studies in North America. Shaffer concluded that the rate of problem gambling for youths ranged between 9.9 percent and 14.2 percent, while an additional 4.4 percent to 7.4 percent were already exhibiting compulsive gambling behaviors. 1
4.) Gambling Affects the Poor
- A 1996 Mississippi State University study found that poor Mississippians living in counties with casinos lost a far greater percentage of their income in the casinos than did wealthier gamblers. Gamblers earning less than $10,000 per year lost about 10 percent of their family income to casinos, while those earning more than $40,000 spent only about 1 percent of their earnings on casino gambling. 2
Gambling undermines the Biblical work ethic.
- Colossians 3:23-24 "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ."
- II Thess. 3:7,10 "For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; 10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat."
- The book of Proverbs has much to say about the work ethic. Look up the following passages in your Bible. (Prov.13:4; 21:25-26; 24:30-34)
- I Thess. 4:11-12 work is part of our Christian testimony in the world!
- Gambling is also a violation of Genesis 3:19. In this passage, it is revealed that it is Gods will for man to earn his living the old fashioned way - by the "sweat of his brow."
"The more people believe in the importance of luck, chance, randomness and fate, the less they believe in the importance of stern virtues such as industriousness, thrift, deferral of gratification, diligence and studiousness."
George Will, syndicated columnist
Gambling destroys families.
- In 1 Timothy 5:8, Paul says that a person who refuses to care for his family is worse than an infidel.
- II Cor. 12:14 commands parents to provide for their children.
- Too many fathers, addicted to gambling, forsake the care of the children to feed the one armed bandit!
Gambling Has the Appearance of Evil
- I Thess. 5:22 - "Abstain from all appearance of evil"
- I Cor. 10:31 - "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God"
- Can a believer really go into a casino (a place of crime, nudity, cursing, & drinking), and gamble for the glory of God?
Gambling Can Become a false God
- Thus it violates the first commandment. (Ex.20:1-3)
- Gambling can become another Master. (Matt. 7:24)
- Gambling is almost totally motivated by covetousness. God says that covetousness is idolatry! (Eph. 5:5)
- It causes men to trust in Lady Luck, the goddess of chance, rather than to trust in the Heavenly Father.
"This is a vice which is productive of every possible evil, equally injurious to the morals and health of its votaries. It is the child of avarice, the brother of iniquity, and the father of mischief. It has been the ruin of many worthy families, the loss of many a man's honour, and the cause of suicide. To all those who enter the lists, it's usually fascinating. The successful gamester pushes his good fortune, till it is overtaken by a reverse. The losing gamester, in hopes of retrieving past misfortunes, goes on from bad to worse, till grown desperate, he pushes at everything and loses his all. In a word, few gain by this abominable practice, while thousands are injured."
* George Washington
Gambling Is Not Good Stewardship
- I Cor.6:19-20 all we have belongs to God.
- Dare we BET Gods property away?
- Gambling is the worst kind of financial management.
- The gaming industry is designed such that you CANNOT win in the long run.
- Luke 16:10-13 - The Christian is commanded to be a good steward of that which God has given including our money!
Gambling leads to other sins
- I Tim.6:6-19 the love of money is the root of ALL KINDS of other evils!
- Gambling Is Related to Suicide Increases
- In a 1997 study, a University of California-San Diego sociologist found that "visitors to and residents of gaming communities experience significantly elevated suicide levels." 3
- Nevada had the highest suicide rate in the nation from 1990-1994, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- In Gulfport, Mississippi, suicides increased by 213 percent (from 24 to 75) in the first two years after casinos arrived. In neighboring Biloxi, suicide attempts jumped by 1,000 percent (from 6 to 66) in the first year alone. 4
3.) Real life examples of what gambling can do
- An Iowa teenager, despondent over blackjack gambling debts, killed himself;
- A church secretary in Minnesota stole $186,000 from the church to finance her casino and lottery obsession;
- A Pennsylvania "model citizen" Little League coach, Eagle Scout, high-school class president embezzled nearly half a million dollars from his job for gambling before he was sentenced to prison;
- A South Dakota Air force Sergeant with an otherwise exemplary career is serving a life sentence for murdering a casino operator in a dispute over bad checks;
- A 73-year-old retired Colorado man gambled away his entire life savings $63,000 at nickel slot machines.
Gambling Sets Our Affections on earthly, rather than heavenly things.
- Colossians 3:1 "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God."
- Matthew 6:19-20 "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal."
- II Corinthians 4:18 "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal."
- Philippians 4:11 "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
Jesus Christ can set you free!
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 8:32 "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
John 14:6 "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
Romans 6:22 "But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life."