Addictions - Gambling


09/03/2006
Is there scripture in the Bible to back the fact that gambling is wrong?

I think that the best answer that I can give you is the teachings that Jesus gives us throughout the gospel in Luke chapter 16, Matthew chapter 25 where He teaches us about stewardship. God gives us what He gives us and we will be held accountable for what we did with what He gave us. Gambling isn’t the only thing that is poor stewardship. There are other things that God would probably consider to be poor uses of our resources and our talents and our gifts. So, I think that you have to be an individual priest before the Lord and you have to be able to hear from God to know what is best for you.

But the fact is that the people that put Jesus on the cross also gambled for His clothing and that was certainly not something that Jesus honored. It was certainly not something that God honored. And so, we can certainly use that as an illustration of how gambling creates bad motives, it creates greed, it opens us up to greed and lust and it opens us up to obtaining things in a way that is different than how God told us to obtain them. He said in Proverbs, maybe in chapter 21 or chapter 22, “An inheritance gained quickly will come to ruin.” Look up in a concordance all the scriptures about inheritance and you’ll find it. He said that we should be faithful with the little things and then He’ll put us in charge over much in Luke chapter 16. So, there’s something about being faithful and being a good steward and not putting our money in positions that put it at risk to luck, to chance when God told us to make decisions that are responsible and that are healthy.

So I think that all of those scriptures that I’ve gone over are where we gather the principle that gambling is wrong. Anything that can become an addiction is probably something that we should avoid: drugs can become an addiction - it’s probably advisable not to do any of them; alcohol can become and addiction – it’s probably advisable not to do any of them. There are certainly things that can become addictions that are not necessarily bad if they’re in moderation, but gambling is not one of them. I don’t think that gambling is healthy or appropriate use of our money or our time. But, it’s not going to send somebody to hell

Addictions - Gambling


09/03/2006
Is it okay to play the lottery?

Is it a sin to play the lottery? I don’t find in the Bible where it’s necessarily defined as a sin, or gambling is defined as a sin. But gambling is a form of man’s way of hoping that he can get lucky and it shows that people are not putting their trust in God and in God’s way of doing things. God has a way of doing things.

It’s kind of like in the movie Bruce Almighty and everybody’s prayer request was to win the lottery. And Bruce Almighty, who was now empowered with the abilities of God, he answered yes to all of their prayer requests and so everybody won. And when everybody won, they only won ten dollars or three dollars or something like that. Nobody really benefited from it. If God got involved in the lottery, if somebody says, “Well, I believe God gave me those numbers, and that’s why I bet on them.” Well, then, since God is no respecter of persons, God would have to give those same numbers to everybody else who asked Him and therefore, nobody would end up winning and we’d all just end up with the same amount of money that we started with.

So, I’d keep my money and I’d invest it into the kingdom of God and I’d invest it into good investments that are healthy and wholesome where you can buy into some of the dividends and the profits.

The difference between gambling and investing in the stock market or in real estate is if you invest in a company through the stock market, you’re buying into the profit sharing of their success. As long as they’re successful, you’re successful. But when it comes to gambling, you’re not buying into the profits of that casino. They’re not sharing a percentage of the profits with you based on your shares or based on how much stock you have. You only win as a matter of luck and everybody eventually loses. That’s why those casinos cost billions of dollars and they’re paid for because they’re using all of the money of the people who gambled. I don’t believe in that and so, no, I don’t encourage that at all.

Addictions - Gambling


09/03/2006
I understand that gambling is unbiblical. Is investing in the stock market considered gambling?

Is investing in the stock market considered gambling, like the lottery or casinos? That’s a great question because so many people wonder, first of all, is it OK to gamble? I don’t ever believe that throwing away money is a good thing, and you’re always going to throw away money with gambling. After all, there wouldn’t be so many nice casinos if they didn’t make all the money. There’s a reason they’ve got marble floors in those places! There’s a reason they can build two-billion-dollar casinos in Las Vegas. Because the house always wins! Now, certainly a few people win sometimes, but it’s all a matter of luck. And luck really comes from the word Lucifer. So if you want to line up with him, then get yourself to Las Vegas as soon as you can.

Christianity is not about luck. It’s about making quality decisions that God has promised will produce quality results. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 30, “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life.” Life and blessing come through making the right choices, not from gambling.

Having said that, let’s address the stock market for a minute. The stock market, which is an investment, and gambling are two different things. An investment is when you give a company money and say, “Use this money to advance the purposes of the values of the company that you represent. If my investment and your decisions work for your company’s advantage, they’re going to also work to my advantage.” In other words, if the company wins, you win, too, because you share in the profits of that company, and that’s what makes it a good investment.

Obviously, there are companies that are very speculative, but if you do your homework and find out who makes the decisions for that company, what kind of decisions they’ve made in the past, and whether they have a good track record, then that is a sound investment. Why? Because you are investing into the way they operate as a business and you are investing into their product. And you’re going to get a return on that investment as they succeed and prosper. That’s why the stock market is completely distinctly different from gambling.

In gambling, you never participate in the winnings of the casino. They win it all, and if you get lucky, you win some, but usually you don’t win. Usually you lose and it feeds into addictions – gambling feeds into people who are desperate and are using their money in a poor way.

Is it a sin to gamble ever? It’s not necessarily always a sin to gamble, but it’s a sin to be a poor steward of your money. I’d rather sow my seed into changing people’s lives, not making rich people richer by building casinos and taking advantage of poor people who go and spend their welfare checks on gambling. So, dissuade your relatives from gambling at casinos. Encourage them to stay away from that kind of stuff, and it will really be a better investment.