God’s Answers About Gambling – Part 1

1Timothy 6:10


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


2.      National Lottery


a.       By the end of 2013, the National Lottery had achieved over €12 billion in cumulative sales, had paid out €6.7 billion in prizes, and had raised €4.4 billion for the good causes it supports.

b.      In 2011, 2.2 million Irish people (64 percent of the adult population) reported playing National Lottery games, with 1.5 million (42 percent) reporting that they played weekly.


3.      Euromillions


a.       On 31 July 2005, Dolores McNamara, a part-time cleaning lady from Limerick, won a EuroMillions jackpot of €115 million, which at the time was the largest lottery prize ever won in Europe.


4.      Powerball Lottery in the USA


a.       One ticket from Florida 18 May 2013 won $531 million

b.      Just a few weeks ago, two people shared $1.2 billion


5.      Governor Washburn of Wisconsin in his annual message of January 9, 1873, declared, "Some law seems to be required to break up the schools where gamblers are made. These are everywhere. Even the church (unwittingly, no doubt) is sometimes found doing the work of the devil. Gift concerts, gift enterprises and raffles, sometimes in aid of religious or charitable objects, but often for less worthy purposes, lotteries, prize packages, etc., are all devices to obtain money without value received. Nothing is so demoralizing or intoxicating, particularly to the young, as the acquisition of money or property without labor. Respectable people engaging in these chance enterprises, and easing their consciences with the reflection that the money is to go to a good object, it is not strange that the youth of the state should so often fall into the habits which the excitement of games of hazard is almost certain to engender." Remember: this was in 1873, not 2016!

6.      Down through history, key figures in Christianity have held an unfavourable view of gambling.


a.       Augustine said, "The devil invented gambling."

b.      Martin Luther proclaimed, "Money won by gambling is not won without sin and self-seeking sin."

c.       John Calvin outlawed gambling in the city of Geneva.


II.    Background


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.      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!


3.      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!


a.       Why?

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


D.    God shows us the Principles of the Biblical Management of Risk


III. Message


A.    Everything We Have We Got From God (1Cor 4:7) – Start Here!


1.      Some people have more money and possessions, and some have less


a.       Jesus declared that we will always have poor people

b.      Most people are poor not because of God, but because men make their wealth at the expense of others


2.      Therefore, 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


3.      Our money, out time, our very lives are to be wisely invested for the kingdom of God (1Peter 4:10)


B.     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


a.       Started small

b.      Invested their labours and monies

c.       Ended up with great wealth


4.      It is not wrong to have money

5.      HOW you got it, and WHY you sought for it is where the problem lies


a.       How people get money often is wrong – stealing it

b.      Why people seek money is often wrong too – to simply be rich


C.    The Problem is the Love of Money (1Timothy 6:10)!


1.      Addictive! One of the worst addictions!

2.      Shameful for a Christian, because you are trusting LUCK instead of God which commanded everyone to work in order to eat (2Thes 3:10)

3.      If you do win, you are actually encouraging to others to forget God’s principles, and to turn to lady luck

4.      When you don’t win, you have lost God’s money, and someone else now has it

5.      It ruins people’s lives


a.       Spend most of your time thinking how to spend your wealth

b.      Spend most of your money on yourself

c.       Your money will make wings and fly away (Pr 23:5)


D.    Beware of Covetousness (Luke 12:15)


1.      Pro 28:20  A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.

2.      Pro 28:22  He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.

3.      Pro 21:17  He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich. (AT LEAST BY GOD’S BLESSINGS)

4.      Contrast that with Pro 10:22  The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

5.      Exo 20:17  Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

6.      Heb 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

7.      1Ti 3:8  Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

8.      We are commanded to be Content (1Tim 6:8) – what a study in itself!


IV. Conclusion


A.    Living by luck is a sin

B.     Don’t listen you’re your heart and throw your money into the den of thieves called the Lottery!

C.    Live by faith, in GOD, not in lady luck

D.    If you love to gamble… admit it is a sin, and talk to Tony or myself tonight and get free

E.     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!


F.     Don’t only stay away from gambling with your money – don’t gamble with your soul (Mark 8:34-36)