A while back we studied gambling on Sunday morning and I was so appreciative to hear the kind comments from brethren who are willing to stand strong against all forms (slot machines, lottery, rafﬂes) of gambling in every degree ($1 lottery ticket, $5 rafﬂe ticket, $1,000 poker wager). However, after the sermon, there were a couple of good questions that were not covered that this blog post will address.
The ﬁrst question was about going to the boats or casinos in Louisiana and gambling $50 just for fun. What if I’m seriously not trying to take someone else’s possessions for nothing? Gambling violates the “golden rule” whether you mean to do it by intention or whether you do it for fun. Gambling teaches one that if he can secure his neighbor’s possessions by chance, it is the loser’s tough luck (Matthew 7:12; Romans 13:10). The biblical pattern teaches that a man seeks his neighbor’s welfare (1 Corinthians 10:24; Philippians 2:4). When you gamble, even for fun, you are helping feed someone else’s covetousness and lust after riches, which does not produce contentment with what we have (Luke 12:13-15; Colossians 3:5-6; 1 Timothy 6:10; Hebrews 13:5).
The second question was about gambling for the purpose of supporting a good cause. Is it okay to gamble if all the money goes to support a sports team bound for a state tournament? Once it has been established by New Testament principles and accepted by God-fearing Christians that gambling is wrong, no favorable circumstance is going to make it right. Paul established in Romans 3:8 that we cannot do evil that good may come. If we understand that gambling violates the principles of good stewardship, promotes covetousness and laziness, and can be incredibly addicting and controlling, then no amount of good done will erase those facts. If you want money to go to a good cause, simply donate it.
Don’t become conformed to the world and compromise with sin. God is grateful for men and women who stand for truth and are willing to be counted among the righteous. John would write, “I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father” (3 John 4). As with any moral issue, God wants us to be a “holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).