Question:

Hello, I ran across your web site and I thought your article "Is Gambling Sinful" was very well written.  Even though I am a Christian, I play the PowerBall.  I only play one set of numbers, but for every drawing. 

I have come to a point where I am not sure if I should continue playing.  I thank God for everything He has given me and I feel that the lottery would be another blessing.  Am I wrong for feeling this way? 

I have had this question for quite some time now and ever since then, I have continued playing the lottery.  If I would ever win, I would tithe on my winnings and give money to Christian charities.  I guess that may be why I still play the lottery.

Another question I have is why do church people look at playing the lottery so badly when many of those same people drink alcohol and use the Lord's name in vain but think nothing of it?

Anyway, thank you so much for your time and God bless.


Answer:

Notice how you are justifying gambling: If I ever win, I'm planning to give a portion to God. This reminds me of Saul's excuse when Samuel confronted him about disobey God's command. ""Why then did you not obey the voice of the LORD? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do evil in the sight of the LORD?" And Saul said to Samuel, "But I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and gone on the mission on which the LORD sent me, and brought back Agag king of Amalek; I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. But the people took of the plunder, sheep and oxen, the best of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal." Then Samuel said: "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams"" (I Samuel 15:19-22). Saul thought that because he planned to offer up what he didn't destroy as sacrifices that this would be acceptable to God.

It doesn't work this way. Your offer to give 10% of your winnings to the Lord won't make something that is wrong right. If it did then Paul's argument would be incorrect, "And why not say, "Let us do evil that good may come"? --as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just" (Romans 3:8). This is why you find in the Old Testament that God specifically states that money gained from sin was not to be accepted in His treasury. "You shall not bring the wages of a harlot or the price of a dog to the house of the LORD your God for any vowed offering, for both of these are an abomination to the LORD your God" (Deuteronomy 23:18). God did not want people justifying their sin by saying they gave part of it to Him.

Your second justification also doesn't work. Essentially you are saying that because other people sin; therefore, your sin isn't so bad. Getting drunk and profaning the Lord's name will get people into just as much trouble with God as other sins. Just because you prefer a different sin than someone else, it doesn't make your sin better or even less offensive.

For more details about why gambling is wrong, take a look at the sermon outline "Gambling" and look up each of the verses.

I thank you so much for your e-mail.  I've came to the same conclusion.  From the time I initially e-mailed you, I read a verse in the Bible to the likes of 'whatever you involve God in will surely prosper for you'.  That verse has really stuck with me.  I've decided that if I decide to start a business or whatever it may be to make a living, God will make it prosper so that I am sure to live a successful life.

That same verse comes into play even in my own family.  It has been happening all around me for such a long time and I never realized it.  My family owns a dairy farm which has been in our family for seven generations.  I never realized why dairy farming was the only thing my family had to do until now.  My father, grandfather and their fathers before that all were God-fearing people.  It makes complete sense why the operation has been so successful.

Once again, I thank you for your response.  It has truly been encouraging to me.  I seem to sometimes have the attitude that I want everything now.  However, like I already said, God will make things prosper.  Whatever I become, God will make sure I have enough resources to live a comfortable life.  Already things are happening around me that are so good.

I will say a prayer for your ministry and that you will be able to continue to help others become closer to God.