The Truth About Gambling

adapted from an outline by Joe Price

  1. Gambling Violates Legitimate Economy
    1. Three Legitimate Means of Transferring Property:
      1. Law of labor: Money is earned by the effort expended
      2. Law of exchange: Buying and selling, investments, etc.
      3. Law of love: Where money is given without expectation or desire for return.
      4. Gambling does not qualify in any of these
    2. God Recognizes These Principles of Economy and Authorizes Them
      1. Labor - Ephesians 4:28; II Thessalonians 3:12; Luke 10:7
      2. Buying and selling - Matthew 13:44
      3. Investment - Matthew 25:27
      4. Giving and receiving - Ephesians 4:28; Acts 2:45 - Voluntary gift to the needy
      5. Gambling is a violation of all of these
    3. It is a parasite on a legitimate economy and exists without divine sanction
  2. Gambling Violates Divine Law
    1. "Not specifically mentioned in Bible, how can it be wrong?"
      1. Not all specific sins are mentioned, such as pedophilia or pornography
      2. The Bible sets forth principles whereby specific conduct may be discerned as good or evil
    2. It violates private industry, which God ordained for man and makes him unfit for his mission in life - Genesis 3:19
      1. One’s income is to come from his own hard work
        1. I Thessalonians 4:11-12 - Work, having need of nothing
        2. II Thessalonians 3:10 - If one won’t work, not a charity case!
      2. The gambler profits solely at another person’s loss (cf. casinos)
      3. In using money to gamble, one evades his responsibility to provide for himself and his family - Luke 16:10-13 (Involves tragic waste!)
      4. Gambling perpetuates the "get something for nothing" mentality
    3. The essential motive for gambling is covetousness (greed)
      1. It seeks the rewards of another man’s efforts. (Get rich quick!)
      2.  "To fix passion upon," "To long inordinately for"
      3. I Timothy 6:10 - Love of money is the root of gambling
    4. Gambling is accompanied by other evils
      1. Matthew 7:16 - Know by its fruits (James 3:11-12)
      2. Fruits of gambling: Greed, broken homes, theft, organized crime, murder, drinking, suicide
    5. Gambling is opposed to the good of society
      1. Economic liability
      2. Attracts the criminal element. (Creates a lawless environment)
      3. Government creates bureaucracy to oversee it - Proverbs 14:34
    6. Gambling does not promote godliness
      1. Philippians 4:8 - Can these things be said of gambling?
      2. l Thessalonians 5:22 - Abstain from the appearance of evil
      3. Matthew 5:16; Titus 2:7 - To exert a good influence
      4. James 4:4 - Christians are not of the world
      5. I Timothy 6:17-19 - Stewards of our money to further the Lord’s work
    7. Neither the amount of the wager nor who benefits from your losses changes gambling into an innocent activity
      1. The amount of a wager doesn't change its nature ... gambling is a sin. (cf. Lottery)
      2. "It’s for a good cause" (cf. bingo for a church, a school, County Crisis Council) does not change that it violates God’s will!
      3. Gambling is not wrong only for those who cannot afford to lose!
      4. Whether for large amounts or the price of a cup of coffee it remains wrong!
  3. Conclusion
    1. Gambling is evil for secular and spiritual reasons.
    2. The child of God must not practice gambling in any way, shape, or form!

(Adapted from an article by Gene Frost, GOSPEL ANCHOR, Vol. 7, No. 8, pages 25-27)

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