I. Introduction (1Timothy 6:10)
A. Is Gambling Sinful and Wrong?
1. Some believe it to be a bit of harmless fun – a game – a bit of entertainment
2. Some think it is the best way to raise taxes without people knowing
3. Some think it is very legalistic to believe it is wrong
4. Does the Bible have anything to say about gambling?
B. What is Gambling?
1. Popular definition is: “to play at any game of chance for money or other stakes.”
2. More thorough definition: “to lose or squander money by betting”, “to wager or risk money based on chance”, “to make fast money by taking risks, than by working for it (i.e., lucre)”
3. Gambling is leaving to ‘luck’ what you should trust to our Lord. Christians should trust in the providence of God and not in "chance" to provide for their needs. This is why gambling cannot be endorsed Biblically.
C. Popularity of Gambling
1. People gamble over almost anything
a. From who is going to win in the elections… “At 14/1 the FG/Lab/Renua option is screaming value right now. Get On.”
b. To who is going to win at a sports match
c. Dog racing, horse racing, lottery
2. National Lottery
4. Powerball Lottery in the USA
D. Wicked Things That Go Along With Gambling
1. Materialism – believing life is made up of what a person owns (“I’m a material girl, living in a material world”, Madonna)
3. Discontent – never happy or content with what you have!
4. Reliance on chance instead of reliance on God's providence and hard work
5. Seeking to gain from the loss of others – not caring that it is costing others
6. Exploitation by the government, and others who “want to take care of you”
7. Poverty! Poor people gamble the most – turn to the lottery to get them out of debts and troubles
8. Laziness instead of working
9. Ignoring charities, and only throwing money away on lotteries
E. God shows us the Principles of the Biblical Management of Risk
A. Much of Life is a Gamble – is risky
1. Starting a business is risky – it might work out, it might not
2. Buying a house – you are counting on keeping your job, and interest rates not going through the roof
3. Driving down a highway – very risky!
4. Those are all risks we have to take to live, and most of them are acceptable
5. God didn’t call any of us to just sit in our room, and hide from risks
B. Gambling WITH YOUR MONEY Is Risky Business
1. The Lotto ads say, “It COULD be you…” but what they should say is, “It probably won’t be you!”
2. A popular slogan promoting a lottery says, “Millions Won Weekly,” but fails to tell the other side of the story – “Countless Millions Lost Weekly,” not to mention ruined lives, broken homes, hungry children, and the accompanying rise in organized crime, prostitution, and theft.
3. What does the Bible have to say on this matter? What direction does it give either by specific command, divine principle, or experiential wisdom?
4. You almost always lose your money. 99.9% of the time.
a. They don’t build those billion euro casinos on the Las Vegas Strip by them losing money!
b. And, Countries don’t adopt lotteries as a means of distributing excess government funds to low income families!
c. Gambling, is always a BIG winner for casinos, bookmakers, and government revenues!
5. Gambling doesn’t raise the poor up out of poverty, doesn’t pay off national debts, and rarely does what the promotors say it will!
b. Because there is so much overhead – paying for the machines, paying off each business that sells the winning ticket, paying the high salaries of the lottery management, paying BACK to the government all the taxes on the winnings, and paying the winner is small portions over long times
C. It is Some People’s Business to Take Risks with Money (Matthew 25:14-28)
1. Investing, NOT gambling – there is some difference
2. Investing is:
a. Finding companies, businesses, and people to invest money in, for a return
b. Putting money into company Stocks
c. Putting money into Bank savings accounts for THEM to make interest off of it
d. Some people buy old things, fix them up, and sell them for a profit
e. Investing is very serious work, not high risk – and it is NOT a game, an entertainment
3. Investing is Managed Risk of money, and effort and time
4. Gambling is ALL risk, of money
5. Investing is when you have 1000 and you risk only 100 of it and being able to lose it
6. Gambling is when you have 1000 and you risk all 1000 of it, and you believe you won’t lose it
Everything We Have We Got From God (1Cor 4:7) – Start Here!
1. We Are Not Our Own to Do As We Please (1Cor 6:19,20)
a. We are stewards of everything we have
b. We have been given money and life, and possessions FOR A GREATER PURPOSE than just ourselves
2. Our money, out time, our very lives are to be wisely invested for the kingdom of God (1Peter 4:10)
3. And therefore, Gambling is Poor Stewardship
a. Gambling is the antithesis to (opposite of) faithful stewardship
b. No one ever really wins by indulging in gambling.
c. According to 1 Corinthians 4:2, God requires each Christian to be F__ __ __ __ __ __ __ over all that has been given to him from God’s hand.
d. Anything else is playing with fire!
E. It’s NOT Wrong to Get a Lot of Money
1. By Inheritance
2. By Success at work and innovation
3. There are plenty of wealthy people in the Bible: Abraham, Job, king David, Solomon, etc
F. The Problem is the LOVE of Money (1Timothy 6:10)!
G. The Bible is FULL of Warnings to Beware of Covetousness (Luke 12:15)
A. Gambling in the Bible was Always Wrong
1. Squandering your money by betting – throwing it away, into a crook’s pockets!
a. Wagering or risking money based simply on a chance
b. Seeking to make fast money by taking risks, than by working for it (i.e., seeking filthy lucre)
c. Trusting in ‘luck’ instead of the God of heaven.
2. Only example in the Bible of wagering for goods - The soldiers gambling for the clothes of Jesus (Mt 27:35)
3. You don’t find it happening much because everyone knew it was so wrong, AND stupid!
B. Sometimes, when people were not sure how to make a choice, they cast lots – not gambling with money or for money
1. We say, drew straws, or do “Eeney, Meeney, Miny, Mo” or Flip a coin
2. To cast a lot, would be to gather up all the options, and use a different number to represent the choice to make, and then put stone dice into a cup and jostle, and then pour them out on the table. The name or the numbers on the dice would give the answer.
3. Haman cast lots to decide when best to kill off all the Jews (Esther 3:7)
4. Peter cast lots to find out God’s will for Judas’ replacement
5. Joshua used casting lots to divide up the land to the twelve tribes
C. Gambling is an Insult to God
1. God shall supply A__ __ our N__ __ __ __ (Philippians 4:19).
2. God will see to it that His children will have all S__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ in A__ __ things (2 Corinthians 9:8).
3. Christian, realize that your life and destiny are in God’s hands (Psalm 37:23; Romans 8:28).
4. When we gamble we are in affect saying to the Lord, “I do not think You can or will keep Your promise to take care of me.”
D. Gambling is Spiritually Dangerous
1. It is a sin that has destroyed many people.
2. In Proverbs 11:28 God warned, “He that trusteth in his riches shall __________: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.”
3. 1 Timothy 6:9 instructs those who will be rich (that is, they want riches above all else), that the danger before them is serious.
E. Gambling is Basically Selfish
1. It is seeking prosperity at the expense of others.
2. Greed is the motivating cause. Where do the funds in the million-euro jackpot come from?
3. “Thou shalt not _________________” (Exodus 20:15). No one gambles to lose. The prime motivation for all forms of gambling is to gain at the expense of others. That is covetousness. Pure and simple!
4. 1 Timothy 6:10 does not teach that money is a problem, but rather the ___________ of it is.
5. God’s Principle of Gain is that there must be:
a. WORK BEFORE WEALTH
b. SOWING BEFORE REAPING
c. “…this we commanded you, that if any would not ___________, neither should he _______.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10)
d. “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, _________________ with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” (Ephesians 4:28)
6. Gambling violates God’s natural law because the gambler seeks to reap what others have sown.
F. Gambling Often is Just Plain “Superstition.”
1. One often hears of “lucky numbers,” “lucky systems,” “keeping your fingers crossed,” etc. Read what God has to say about such things in Isaiah 47:12,13.
2. Romans 8:28 says, “All things work together for __________ to them that love God…”
3. According to 1 Peter 5:7, you are to be “Casting _______ your ________ upon ______...”
4. One word that needs to disappear from the Christian’s vocabulary is luck. It plays no part in God’s loving and providential care for His own.
G. Gambling nurtures the “Get-Rich-Quick” mentality in every country it is allowed.
1. We are losing the work ethic of previous generations. They knew they had to earn something before they could have it. No one was going to step up and hand it to them; and, they didn’t expect anyone to. They were willing to work hard and make something of their lives by building it themselves.
2. But change began in the 1930s, and today, many people don’t want to work and save for something; they want it now. They also want something for nothing, believing that they deserve things they haven’t earned.
3. This get-rich-quick mentality is being propagated through advertising; through professional sports, Hollywood, and rock stars; through the “magic of the stock market;” through the lottery; and more.
A. Get Money the Right Way
1. Hard Work (Acts 20:35; Prov 13:11) – EARN money
2. Tithe First – put God first in your finances, 10% (Mal 3:10,11)
3. Bless the Poor – be a giver, a helper, putting others next (Prov 19:17; Luke 6:38)
4. Spend Frugally – wisely (Prov 21:20)
5. Save back money – don’t spend all your money - put it away for the future
6. Pay your bills – get and stay out of debt - owe no man anything (Rom 13:8)
7. Trust God (Prov 3:5,6)
8. No room for living by luck!
B. To Get Money Any Other Way is Sin
1. By deceit – fraud
2. By theft
3. By taking advantage of others – pyramid schemes, not paying employees
4. Use counterfeit money
5. Not paying your taxes and just keeping them
6. Insurance Fraud – claiming for a need that is not true
7. And putting your money at risk for the purpose of a fast payoff
C. Living by luck is a sin
D. Don’t listen you’re your heart and throw your money into the den of thieves called the Lottery!
E. Live by faith, in GOD, not in lady luck
F. If you love to gamble… admit it is a sin, and talk to Tony or myself tonight and get free
G. What if you ever did win a lottery?
1. It can be refused
2. Give it ALL away
3. And then get back to work, living for God, and for others, the right way!
H. Don’t only stay away from gambling with your money – don’t gamble with your soul (Mark 8:34-36)