Vol. 6, No. 3
~ Page 10 ~
The Psalmist's prayer should be the objective of every Bible class lesson and sermon, "Give me understanding, that I may observe Thy law, and keep it with all my heart" (119:34). The Holy Scriptures are certainly able to guide us in choosing how to live (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Our goal in Bible study should be to examine the Scriptures and discern how we should live. It is incredible that some maintain the Bible does not address "modern" choices. Having made that assertion, they feel justified in participating in many unethical activities. One of these is gambling. But, it is error to say the Bible does not call gambling a sin. Look at these principles that reveal the sinful nature of gambling.
The Bible teaches that we are to work for what we get. A number of texts urge us to be diligent in our work ethic (cf. Ephesians 4:28; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12; Proverbs 28:19; 13:11; 15:27; etc.). A Christian who gambles is trying to get something for nothing and that is sin according to God's Book!
The Bible teaches that we are to feel compassion for others. The "Golden Rule" (Matthew 7:12), the "second greatest command" (Matthew 22:39), and Christian benevolence (Galatians 6:10) advocate compassion. But gambling prods us to rejoice when another is wronged.
The Bible teaches us to avoid materialism. The apostle's simple command is "Love not the world!" (1 John 2:15-17). The reason is explained by Paul, a love for the world will compromise one's love for God (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). But gambling thrives on materialistic thinking.
The Bible teaches that we are to be God's stewards. As such, we must be "faithful" (1 Corinthians 4:2). We will be held accountable and sternly punished if we mismanage God's money (Matthew 25:14-30). But gambling encourages foolishness in money matters. How wise is it to take a chance on something that has such ridiculous odds?
The Bible teaches us to live by faith. We are to trust in God's provisions and find contentment (Proverbs 30:8-9). The honest laborer finds satisfaction in living with "enough" (1 Timothy 6:8). But gambling encourages us to strive for fleeting riches that will never satisfy (1 Timothy 6:9ff).
Let all reason with confidence the sinfulness of gambling. There is no justification for a Christian ever taking a "chance" in a gambling practice. The only option that is urged by Scripture regarding gambling is a total rejection!