What does the Bible say about gambling?

John Hines | via Watching & Waiting (woodlandchurchofchrist.org)

Many turn a blind eye to it. Many see nothing wrong with it. States have legalized it telling us how the money goes to support the schools yet just as quickly as money comes in the front door it leaves through the back and the schools are worse now financially than ever while gambling revenue has done nothing but increase. But rather than appeal to what the common man or the common politician may say, what does the Bible say about gambling?

People gamble for one reason: greed. Nobody gambles in hopes of losing their money. They gamble because of covetousness. They love money. “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). Idolatry is alive and well. You find it online. You find it in the gas stations. You find it in the casinos. You find it on the riverboats. You find it in people’s hearts. They love money. You cannot participate in that which is the root of all kinds of evil and still be a God-fearing Christian. You are practicing idolatry. That is what God says.

Gambling is robbery. If you win in gambling, have you worked for those winnings? The only way that you win at gambling is if somebody else loses. You are taking what someone else worked for and what someone else hoped for. You are in fact wanting something for nothing when you gamble. That is robbery and it is not honorable. “The laborer is worthy of his wages” (Luke 10:7). Have you worked for your winnings? Not hardly. It is state legalized robbery but it is against God’s law.

Would you say it is being a good steward of what the Lord has blessed you with? When you enter into a relationship where the motto is “The house always wins,” would you call that being wise with your money? Surely not! For every winning ticket how many hundreds are wasted finding it? make no mistake. Gambling is not a charity wanting your money. It is a business. It is a racket determined to take what you have worked for.

“Now godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6). Gamblers are neither godly nor content. Let us love those things that are good and holy. Let us enjoy God’s blessings and use them wisely. Let us reject the devil’s vices and cling to the Lord. Lay aside the love of money and work what is right, taking care of your family and helping others.

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