Can Christians Gamble in Good Conscience?

Obviously, addictive gambling is a major problem—and one not to be taken lightly—but what about the person who buys a lottery ticket now and then? Are they sinning?

Can Christians gamble in good conscience?

What do you think?

40 Responses to “Can Christians Gamble in Good Conscience?”

  • Chris smith says:

    A lottery ticket is not like casting lots, but self control is imperative when engaging in such things.

    • bruce d says:

      I came upon this site when I started a biblical search on gambling. I have found references to casting lots as an obvious decision making tool, for example where another was chosen to replace Judas. What I want to know is, is it okay to play Poker at a friend’s house occasionally (maybe weekly, maybe monthly)like others play Bridge. I’m talking about very small pots that may total $40 an event. Thanks any help would be appreciated.

  • LIONEL says:

    I believe that gambling is a sin and wether you have control over it or not, I believe it will still remain a sin. The bible clearly teaches us that we should not sin.

    • Claire says:

      True, the bible clearly teaches that we should not sin, but where does it say that gambling is a sin?

    • Sean says:

      Lionel, the Bible teaches us not to sin, this is true. However, where is there an explicit command in the Bible against gambling or is there any scripture that clearly defines this activity as sin? Certainly, the love of money is sin, so too is coveting and idolitary but can you with certainty link these with a biblical prohibition on gambling.

      I think the issue here is the heart condition of the individual. Are you obsessed with money to the point of uncontrollably spending huge amounts on the chance of winning? If so, then ‘doing’ the lottery is wrong for THAT person. Is it a sin to buy a lottery ticket? Well, that is a matter of conscience.

      Let us be very careful not to impose OUR ideas on biblical law. And if your ideas are based on the ‘Old’ Testament, then we must consider EVERYTHING written in the Torah, the prophets and the writings not just the bits that relieve our consciences and make us feel ‘good Christians’.

  • william lugo says:

    The Apostle Paul writes in the book of Corinthians chapter 10 beginning at verse 23, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful;all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.” There is a liberty in Christ that only our hearts by the Spirit of God can judge. The word of God command us to, love God with all of our hearts and our neighbor as we love our selves. In understanding this we as the Apostle Paul, we do not entangle in sinful ways as godly children. Regarding what is lawful to me I keep myself from offending anyone who doesn’t understand my liberty in Christ Jesus that the Gospel and the name of God may not be ridiculed. If I know that my liberty offends some one save or unsaved I must restrain from doing that which offends another. Regardless of what I do my trust is in God and God along, for as we trust God we will not become entangle in earthly things and all things are lawful to me but not necessary.


    • Jak says:

      I agree Sheunesu. that’s why i’ve decided to stop working my 40-hour a week job and just totally depend on God to supply my needs. Live by faith and not by efforts, right?

  • Laura Victoria says:

    Yes. All things in moderation.

  • Laura Victoria says:

    William Lugo: Always a good bible quote, but one can offend others, especially new believers or potential believers and turn them off from coming to the lord by going in the direction overlawing.

    Also, the question is not talking about someone gambling as a means of earning a living, but simply spending a dollar once in a while in what is a harmless game (if done once in a while). It is like drinking of wine, a glass a day is healthy for most people, more than that is not.

  • abel cantarell says:

    i dont see none giving a response that is final. i think that i will go on what apostol Paul said corinthians 10 not every one is to do certain things, some should not do it if is affecting another with not so much understanding. but to those who knows, and try to condemm i feel u are as wrong as having a real beting problem. me i dont see nothing wrong every excess of anyhing is wrong including working to much drinking lots of coffee,

  • Robert says:

    This was covered well in an article by a Christian ethicist I read a while back.
    Start from the greatest commandments – i.e. think “When I gamble, do I love my neighbor as myself?” That means everyone – other gamblers, non-gamblers, employees of gambling companies, etc.

    It’s clear from the Bible that getting money from others is fine when it’s in return for useful work, since you are are earning what is fair in return for serving others. The money must be received with good motivation, mind: Ephesians 4:28 –

    “He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.”

    So when we look at gambling we need to consider whether it obeys the commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves by:
    (1) Is the act of gambling doing something ‘useful’ for our neighbor (more generally, is it a wise use of God’s resources of time and money?)
    (2) Are we motivated to use the money we ‘win’ to help those in need.

    (2) is easier to address.
    I suspect many gamblers – even Christians who buy lottery tickets as a harmless “one off” are secretly motivated “to spend what they get on their own pleasures” (James 4:3). Even if you are promising to give 50% of your winnings to the poor, should you really be risking your heart going the way most gambling advertisements are clearly enticing it to go? Not many lottery adverts where the winner is shown giving the money to charity, are there!? That said, (2) doesn’t prevent gambling, it’s just shows the importance of guarding your heart.

    (1) is more difficult. Obvious gains from gambling are the following:
    1. support the livelihoods of those who earn money from the gambling industry
    2. those who win prizes (but is it good for their heart? See point (2))
    3. charities and communities which may receive some of the funds
    4. fun and friendship with others who are gambling
    5. the personal enjoyment in the activity (1 Tim 4:4)

    However, if we love our neighbors consistently, then we won’t support jobs which don’t offer genuine service to others, so those who get their livelihoods from gambling should only be supported by our custom if in fact the other groups (2 to 5) gain.
    Similarly, 3 (charities) and 4 (socialising) are easily dismissed as good reasons because there are better alternatives available – charitable donations and non-gambling social activities.

    I’ll skip some reasoning, because I think you have enough info to make a sound Bible-based judgement. My conclusion is as follows, but you may have a different one:

    The main problem is that the winner is not really earning his/her money, and is obtaining it through an intrinsically unjust system of chance rather than need or merit. Everyone else is losing out, and they are being bound by a system which promises a win, but cannot give out a win except to a very few. It also results in inequality which as Christians we should be opposed to. Thus, even though a single gambling session may seem harmless, we should oppose such a system as best we can, which at the least means refraining from participation and hopefully we can also avoid supporting it in our employment if that option is available to us. I would go as far as to oppose church raffles, but I respect the opinions of those who highly value this and other fund raising methods.

    • Chris says:

      Robert, thanks for sharing! I know you didn’t write the article, but it did spark a few thoughts. None of which I’m a 100% sure about:

      1. Point (2) seems to argue that gambling isn’t good for the heart because of how it’s advertised. If we’re going to think along those lines then shouldn’t buy anything that’s advertised in a way that’s contrary to Biblical teachings. Cars–for instance–are often advertised using sex or power metaphors.

      2. “However, if we love our neighbors consistently, then we won’t support jobs which don’t offer genuine service to others”

      How do we define ‘genuine service’? Technically dry cleaning isn’t necessary, because we could stop wearing clothes that need dry cleaning. Or, closer to the point, where do you draw the line in the entertainment industry between genuine service and disingenuous? Do we need comedians, or actors, or musicians? Are blogs necessary?

  • Suresh Kumar Khati says:

    Don’t yoke with the worlds. That’s the key sentences for me not to cheat like the people in the world. Gamble at anyway doesn’t support for love. It cheats, it hurts who lose the gamble though he engaged. Lottery is the gamble because it is not sure it gives return. It shows no respect to our hard earning and our skill. Comparing with lottery, giving tithe is blessing. though it do not give return, but it fills me with his grace. Jesus want us to care for other, not to be thug to others. In my heart, I will not gamble in any way because it’s from world, not from spirit.

  • Gambling create addiction, a christian have to reliate and trust in God,
    he said we cannot serve two masters. Be a follower of Jesus is to understand that everything that we need came from heaven.I have a friend, an old man, who spend all money he got, in lottery tickets,
    for this addiction,his wife abandon he, and loose his job.If my master
    is not Jesus, who is may master? the devil with out doubt.

  • Heather says:

    My husband has a huge gambling addiction and it is ruining our marriage. I have been brought up in church all my life unlike him and I do not believe in this. I can’t convince him he is doing wrong….can someone give me some advise, Biblical. We have 3 kids, both of us lost our jobs and he is losing our savings. I am desperate.

    • jim says:

      Heather, I am supprised that I find no response to your request for help here. This is my first time at this site, so maybe I am misseing something. I am not a professional, so anything I could say personally would not necessarily apply. However, you should seek professional help. First go to your Pastor. If you do not have a church affiliation, go to the Churh that is closest to you. There you should be directed to those who can help, and if you need assistance they should be able to find you several organizations that are funded to support people exactly in situations such as yours. Prayer is required, but you must take action on your own. Also, ask to be put on the church prayer list.

    • Alexis says:

      trust in Jesus, lay Gods word upon your heart that you may not sin against him. pray, and study his word and get out Gods way and let him deal with your husband. If you trust and obey God he will provide for you and your children. You can’t not try and change your husband or fix him as us women are built to do we have to hand them over to the Lord and let him do his work. it is not in our timing but GODs. Most of the time a husband has to see a difference in you and or completely at his lowest to have the scales to finally be removed before God will come around and pick him up and begin dealing with him. when we are weak He is at His stongest. Don’t always listen to friends or family because it is not always sound advice that is Godly. Listen to God speak to you through the holy spirit he will show the way. Work on your relationship with God and not be your husbands holy spirit it is not for you to be. Ephesians 5:33 (New International Version)
      33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. There is no if ands or buts in this passage it is a must. No matter how ugly he gets or how rough it will be trust and obey there is no other way! it is not about your spouse it is about Jesus and you.

  • Adrian says:

    My question is then how is gambling different from say investing in the stock market. I know that there are some people who treat gambling as a business and are very careful about money management and excessive wagering. But wouldn’t you say that most people invest in stocks because the motivation for that is to gain for which the motivation for gambling is the same. I believe some people are addicted to gambling, but there are many addictions in this world but they are not condemned if done in moderation. I am not sure what the right answer is.

  • Wilson says:

    I work as a professional poker dealer. I do not take winnings from any player, rather I am paid a fee for my entertainment services and sometimes get tips.

    My wife believes that this work is morally wrong. Do any of you have an opinion on this?

  • Elaine says:

    The Bible clearly instructs us to refrain from unwise activity. In today’s world we partake in many unwise activities; therefore, gambling is in the company of over eating, owning too many pairs of shoes, spending money on golf, drunkardness, the football board at the job, or the Christmas raffle, just to name a few. It is therefore in error to proclaim an unwise activity as sin. God’s Law is clear and was passed down from God to Moses which established the description of sin. “Sin is not represented in the Bible as the absence of good, or as an illusion that stems from our human limitations. Sin is portrayed as a real and positive evil. Sin is more than unwise, inexpedient, calamitous behavior that produces sorrow and distress. It is the rebellion against God’s law- the standard of righteousness”. (Nelson’s New Bible Dictionary)

    A search of scripture (King James Version) will reveal the absence of the word gambling, however you will find the term “casting lots”. Casting lots is taking a chance. Nelson’s New Bible Dictionary states “A way of making decisions in Bible times, similar to casting a pair of dice to determine what course of direction to follow. For example the high priest separated the Scapegoats from the one he sacrificed by casting lots (Lev. 16:8-10). This practice occurred most often in connection with the division of the land under Jousha (Jousha 14-21), a procedure that God directed several times in the Book of Numbers (Numbers 2655; 34:13; 36:2). Various offices and functions in the Temple were also determine by lots (1 Chr. 24:5; 31:; 25:8-9; 25:13-14. The sailors of Jonah’s ship (Jon. 1:7) also casts lots to determine who had brought God’s wrath upon their ship. While the solders cast lots to determine who would win Christ’s robe after the crucifixion, only once in the New Testament did the casting of lots happen with Gods approval. This occurred in the selection of Matthias to fill the spot vacated by Judus among the apostles (Act 1:26). It is important to note that Adam and Eve were introduced to the awareness of sin and evil after Eve’s disobedience to God’s Word. Unwise acts may oftentimes lead to disastrous consequences. What does the Word of God say about gambling – is it unwise, or is it sin? The Bible does not address gambling only the casting of lots.

  • rikki simpson says:

    I keep waiting for someone to refer to the Bible for a reason not to buy lottery tickets or play games with prizes etc.,but no one ever does. You see a lot of “I think this and I think that.” What peoples opinions are doesn’t concern me.People used to think the Hymns that we sing in almost every single church today were of the devil back in the days of John and Charles Wesley.If you think something is a sin there should be at least one Biblical example or reason of why that you can show.I personlly “think” it is ridiculous that you will see the lottery listed right up there with our national sins of homosexuality, abortion, all manner of sexual perversion etc.God’s Word is crystal clear on those matters but as far as a friendly game of poker with a 50.00 pot I haven’t seen one thing about it one way or another. Yes you can be an idiot about it and go overboar just as you can become addicted to sex or food or anything for that fact but that doesn’t make them sins within themselves.

  • Michael Stafford says:

    In practical terms the BIBLE does not say that gambling in itself is a sin, However, we all know the WORD of GOD says we are not ot take advantage of the poor nor gain by anothers misfortune. Where do your winnings come from when you gamble, or play these games of chance? You win because many others lose, thereby taking advantage of their misfortune. Gambling promotes something for nothing which violates BIBLICAL principal. If you are a student of the BIBLE, you will know where to find these scriptures. The BIBLE also says to not cause a brother to stumble, thereby making you responsible for anyone who sees you doing this and believing it to be okay, then falls in to the addiction. There are many things the BIBLE does not expressly say are sin that we know are, because the words we use today and the words they used then are not the same and meaning has changed over time.
    You might want to study Ephesians Chapter 4 before you say the BIBLE does not say gambling is not sin. Check out the meaning of the words in greek, the original language.

  • Anne says:

    Luis, you were dead on. As Christians, God should be our center. If money is an issue, don’t even dabble in gambling, or it is a sin to you. If you put money above God, you are worshiping an idol.
    The Bible doesn’t say “do not gamble,” but if you feel convicted by it, do not ignore your conviction.
    If gambling is controling your life, ruining your relationships with others, depleting your savings, or consuming your thoughts, please go talk to a pastor or another mature Christian you trust.

  • Linda Huff says:

    After all those responses. The question still has not been answered.
    Yes or No, is it a sin for Christians to gamble???????

    • kenny says:

      SIN – yes or no. There are many variables.
      1) Do you have debt?
      2) Is your family taken care of? Immediate and extended.
      3) Why do you want to gamble? Luck? Chance of the biggun?

      Many of the folks that have opinions about these kind of things are black and white people. If you do this or that – DOOM!!! Then there are people that have no stand on most everything. It is ok to do it, everyone does.

      I know that there are things in the Bible that are called sins. These things can not be changed from being a sin to being ok for any reason. God himself calls them sins, so they are sins. Gambling is NOT one of them. Not mentioned in the Bible except by casting lots. Elaine explained that.

      There are many things we do everyday that some would call a sin. I have known people that have given all of their time, money, and energy to the church. They have neglected their own wives, husbands, children, and work for the sake of the church. Is that righteous or sinful?

      There are many things that are also in the scriptures that are sin and are also condoned by God.
      1) Sex – Marriage bed Holy and undefiled, fornicators
      2) Alcohol – A little wine for the belly sake, drunkards
      3) Money – A worker is rewarded for their labors, love of money is the root of all evil.
      We could keep going, and going like the energizer bunny.

      If gambling is used to replace faith in God for your finances, if it consumes time that should be spent other places, (family, friends, work) or if gambling is taking money that is needed to pay debts or bills, then there is a problem. Could it be sin? Only God can answer that one. It definately is a problem and should be addressed.

      To me, gambling is no different that skiing, reading the latest novel, driving a nice car, or watching a movie. Everything has entertainment value and has cost us money. Yes I know, money we should be giving to everyone else that is less affluent than us. That is another can of worms to be opened later… Everything makes us spend money for the entertainment value. If you want to spend some of YOUR money gambling for entertainment, go ahead.

      Didn’t Jesus himself frequent bars and hang with the prostitutes? Another can of worms…

  • Grant Davis says:

    Wow, this is all good stuff. Linda I feel that the best answer to this question is, “What is the Holy Spirit telling you?” Humans love the law. It is safe and it tells us yes or no. As you can see here on this thread everyone wants to say their opinion and put their keywords in all CAPS. The truth is that New Testament Christianity is guided not by the law but by the Holy Spirit. We forget that too often–I forget that too often. The following is a few selected scriptures from Galatians. These are all in the New Living Trans. If that is offensive to you I’m sorry, look it up in your more inspired version and let the Holy Spirit to its thing.

    “Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.” <(Gal 3:24-25) "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened by a yoke of slavery." <(Gal 5:1) "For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. So I say let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves." <(Gal 5:13-16) "Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another." <(Gal 5:24-26)

    There is not a blanket yes or no. I feel many of the points made here on this thread are valid but we cannot submit to legalism, especially when the Bible never says, "do not gamble." Listen to what the Spirit is telling you. (my assumption is that everyone reading this thread has a personal relationship with Jesus.) I feel that Robert ^ had some great points. The argument about only supporting businesses that offer a "genuine service" was not his strongest. How honest do you want to be with yourself about not wanting to support businesses that take advantage of others? What kind of shoes are you wearing? Where did your shirt come from? Most likely a sweat shop in a Asia or South America. Are you wearing a diamond ring? The African diamond industry is a mess! It is a slippery slop to begin to analyze any secular business.

    Finally as for the act of gambling itself. I really liked the example that rikki gave about gambling in your own home with friends. This is by far the best argument for gambling. Neither are you in public nor are you funding some flawed system of corruption. As long as we are not violating what scripture says, your own conscience or the conscience of your brothers and sisters in Christ you are not sinning. (Granted, addictions are sin.) Even a home gambling game can be used to share Christ with your unsaved friends. Is gambling a wise use of your money? Well…what about those $100 pair of jeans or that $1000 new MacBook you just bought. God wants your heart–not your money (He already owns everything). We tithe and give our money as an act of worship that God is our #1 and money is not. So with that said if you don't go buy that $100 pair of jeans next weekend but instead want to sit down with your friends and gamble…I personally would rather have that MacBook but…if your heart is in the right place with God you're free to use your "extra" money (not your family's savings or your rent money) as the Holy Spirit allows. Let's not be legalistic but let us be sensitive to the Holy Spirit in each and every one of us. If you need more help deciding for yourself, read your Bible! Read Read Read! Scripture and prayer do so much for Christians and we (I) forget too often how important they really are.

  • slackoforever says:

    What happens if i compete with my friend over, say, academic results? whoever loses will treat the winner one can of coke or a meal. Is that gambling?

  • Evang f walter says:

    sometime is very disturbing when you here people say’s that gambling is a sin,which of course they have on cleatigy about bible refrence,all they know gambling is a see alot of people will live in adject poverty even when goverment offer a mis of getting money for them,it a fact that every one of us will not reason in the same perspective but than my own opinion that gambling is not a sin.all these things that they are saying is just head knowledga.

  • Howie says:

    I have a situation here. I am on a team for Relay for Life and our goal is to raise $100 each. Me, being a person that doesn’t have a job nor do i like to ask people for money, thought of the idea to gamble to get the $100. In a couple days, I managed to win $100 from the casino and I’m going to give it all to Relay for Life. Is this bad that I got this money from a casino?

  • Anthony says:

    Thank you so much for this thread. Many of the comments I have found very insightful; there are a few that really stand out to me, Grant Davis’ response being one of them. It seems as if there is no yes or no answer, because it doesn’t exist. It seems to me that the question is answered by a: It Depends.

    The above arguments have lead me here in my spiritual understanding:
    1. Believe the Lord Jesus is your savior, and that God will provide all things you need in good time.
    2. Don’t hurt others by your gambling (using money that would be used to feed or support your family).
    3. Don’t hurt yourself by your gambling (is it addictive? Do you play “religiously”?, has it put you in debt?).

    With that said, I believe that people take things too far sometime (ie: it’s a sin stop now or be cast down to hell). Religion doesn’t have to get in the way of your relationship with God AND having fun/enjoying life’s little pleasures. Have God in mind with all things that you might be conflicted with, because that conflict might be the spirit working in you. Oh, and if you do win the lottery, don’t be like King Neb; proceed as if it was a blessing by God, and do good works in his name.

  • gundee says:

    Well I stumbled to this site when searching scripture on ‘gambling being a sin’ after being confronted by a very respectful person of God. Poker was mentioned as an example of gambling. What about watching the horse races and making a wager here and there?? I’m with Grant. It doesnt state that it is a sin in the Bible. Casting lots is the closest and bottom line it’s all in the heart. Once a year, set to the family budget of what will be spent including admission costs, food costs, wagering costs….and main purpose is fellowship with great Christian friends and all involve have very close relationships with God and seek a pure hearts daily and are very sensitive to the Holy Spirit who do not feel condemed by the action at all. How is it wrong??? It’s when you cross the line of it controlling you or you putting it before God is when it becomes an immediate sin, that is clear.

  • Gary says:

    Wow, my heart is heavy. I, myself, have wrestled w/ a lot of these same questions and reasonings. In the past, I would go online and play craps for fun. It was a rush to see the chips pile up in front of me. I began thinking of going to a casino to try my hand at the real deal, but I decided to check online first to see what others might say about gambling, and I got my wife’s opinion. You can probably guess what my wife said, she’s a great friend! Needless to say, I never went. From what I have read about the addiction of gambling, and what other men of God have wrote on the subject I will say that it is one of the cleverest traps of Satan. You can’t find a verse of scripture against it! He’s so slick like that,” Did God REALLY say that? ” That was his first question put to man.
    Let me ask you folks, what is sin? Is it that which is done outside of the body? No, it is what’s in the heart. The things we do, the words we say, the decisions that we make; they are all based on where our hearts are. A reflection of what’s really inside.
    I will leave with this, a verse that grabbed hold of me a long time ago and I will never shake it Matt. 7:21-23 “Not every one that saith to me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Is Jesus really Lord of your life?

  • Sheila says:

    What About if they ONLY enter a scratch card Competition, & Use The Money they win, to Feed The poor & Rescue Someone in Desperate need…? Even with a good & Controlled Motive? What about if a Christian uses the money to buy a house for a poor person, who is 1, Homeless, and 2. has know-where to go, and has no money?

    What if they just want to be a blessing with, the money, and make a SACRED Vow & Promise to God, that they WILL NOT Use the money to satisfy, or Please themselves, but that they will dedicate it to Being a blessing. (PHILLIPIANS 4:8) If I Have a good, Pure, noble, lovely, Motive then why Shouldn’t I just enter the competition JUST Once, & use the money to make impact in someone’s life.. After Praying, & have searched deep within my heart…

  • Roy C B says:

    This may seem odd but hang with me, there is a connection.

    How many times have you been struck by lightning? How many pearls have you found in an oyster?

    The state of Florida has more lightning strikes every year than all the other states in the USA combined. You have approximately 1 chance in 750,000 of being struck by lighting in a given year, maybe as little as 1 in 2,000,000. A pregnant woman has a 1 in 705,000 chance of giving birth to quadruplets. Someone eating an oyster has a 1 in 12,000 chance of finding a pearl inside of it.

    Never once in my life have I been struck by lightning. Never once have I been in a plane accident. One time in 40 years of driving have I been in an accident. Why would I think that I can win the lottery? You have better chances of getting into a car accident, plane accident, or struck my lightning, than to win your lottery. How many people enter the World Series of Poker every year? Only one of them wins the pot.

    And how is it edifying to your brothers and sisters in Christ when you gamble? “Let all things be done for edification.” Day after day, week after week and dollar after dollar all being used for the ‘chance’ of winning. “Pursue love” is what I Cor. 15:1 says. How is gambling pursuing love?

    Gambling, my friends, is of the world. “Come out from among them and be separate.” It is more related to coveting than it is to loving. “Let all that you do be done in love.” “Be holy for I, the LORD your God, am holy.” Every word, every breath, every deed, every thought is to be holy, set apart to Him. “…our God is a consuming fire.”

    If I am honest with myself and my Lord, I have to admit that I don’t keep my promises. I have defaulted on my sacred vows. I am a sinner in constant need of grace and forgiveness even though the Lord Jesus has forgiven me. Why would I think that if I gamble things would be different?

    I Tim. 6:8-12 says, “If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang. But flee from these things, you man of God; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called,…”

    Jesus is our example. He did what He saw the Father doing. Did the Father gamble, or did He know the outcome before He did anything? He knew we would sin yet created us anyway. He made a way for us to be redeemed from our sin before the foundation of the world!

    “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”

    Choose today whom you will serve…and bring forth life, not death.

  • Maddie says:

    Is fishing and hoping to catch some then also gambling?

    Still nowhere in the bible where Jesus Himself said that gambling is a sin?

    I am also looking for an answer. If you tell people you are buying lottery they are very quick to tell you it is a sin, but still none of them could give me the scripture as evidence. Are we not just to quick to put everything to sin?

  • James says:

    I was raised in casinos in Reno Nevada and have always been around it. I was 9 years old then I am 38 now with family of 6 and gambling is destroying my life should be what I am to say but it is not. My free will is destroying my marriage and my life. It is a decision I make to go to the casinos in my area, It is my decision to withdraw money with no money in the bank and pay overdraft fee over and over to $1000 overdrawn each month. My wife hates what i do, my kids hate my decision making, but up until 2 days ago when she packed up and said NO MORE, you are not the priest of your home and you are no longer following after GOD you are following after idols and we will no longer follow you into the abyss. I took a long hard look and said is this gambling truly what i would trade for my marriage and kids. NO wsa the answer and I am 3 days sobriety so far. Pray for me. It wasnt even the money it was the winning and the thought of being financially free that made me decided to go. $1000 a month more in my income if I stopped, $1000 more i was trying to gain. ISNT THAT JUST IRONIC !
    Love you all Saints,

  • Beth says:

    I too came looking for answers while doing a search. We are a family of five. My husband works very hard at his job and I am a Stay at home mom. I watch other peoples kids to make ends meet. We have barely enough money to pay the bills and food. Sometimes when we do get a little extra as a gift my husband like to go play blackjack. My problem is not that my husband is losing money at the casino but is Winning. He just goes for fun and lately has been doing very very well. It has helped pay bills and fix cars and buy things that we have needed. We will be able to pay off debt and other many blessing.
    My church does not approve of gambling or casinos. Is it wrong for me to give some of the winnings to the church (Which we have already done)? So far it has not become a addiction for him he knows he only wins if he goes out of fun and not a need to win. I am so torn because I feel that this money is a blessing from the Lord but I feel bad when I think about how the money came from others misfortune. However I am having a hard time discouraging him to go when it has helped our family so much.
    So many on here are looking for a yes or no about it being a sin so was I. Maybe only time will tell.

  • Scott says:

    This is an interesting thread and I feel the need to offer my opinion. Anyone who has studied probability theory and some of the technical details of the gaming industry will learn that gambling, in most forms that know, is an elaborated investment scheme. For instance, there are games (and people love games to pass time – games have been with mankind since prehistory) that can provide reasonable returns if you understand how they work, games that you break even on and games that you will lose no matter what. This is not much unlike investing in the sense that investing in very risky high potential return investments (speculative) are often many times worse for your “odds” than playing a number of casino games (often on different scales of course). The difference being that in a casino game you get to settle your account immediately versus a stock which tends to hold your money longer and requires 3 days to settle for your funds (what is left of them in the case of speculatives). So where am I going with this? Well as Paul writes to us in Philippians 4:5 we should have moderation in the things we do as seen by others. If some activity, for instance drinking cokes, becomes addictive to you then you are not taking Philippians 4:5 into consideration – especially if all your friends know you are addicted to coca colas – and I, for one, believe that is a personal sin for you. The same is true with gambling, stock investing, and many other activities in which we as Christians sometimes participate. I also believe that we should not engage in activities we do not understand very well – so my suggestion would be first to consider your conscious testimony before the Lord (what is your motivation for doing what you do) and second, if you feel the urge or desire or leading then by all means get educated on what you are doing (know your “odds”) and like stocks, understand the mechanics of the game and consciously decide on an amount you are willing to part with for its entertainment (or investment) value and be sure that you part with no more than that amount, remembering that money from sweat (and God’s provision) is really Kingdom money. If you are obsessed (playing alone, playing often, losing a lot of money) then I do strongly believe that you are at the very least not manifesting the Fruit of the Spirit of Self Control.

  • Scott says:

    Incidentally, I also really like Roy C B’s perspective on this topic. What I saw upon visitation to a Casino once (for the meal of course, and for a brief foray onto the floor) was indeed a lot of lost and hurting people – and some of them probably Christians who got off the trail. Well, as Jesus Himself visited places where people of questionable repute hung around, I feel so should we if the opportunity manifests itself. I was invited to a concert and that’s how I landed there that night. We were with guests who invited us so it was hard to break away, but I told myself, however, that if I decide to go back and take a meal sometime, it would be a great opportunity to strike up conversation and offer some real hope to the hurting…if you know what I mean…without falling ourselves. With a lot of prayer, fasting and some humility (a great deal in fact), it could be a fruitful way to break a fast and bring in a sheath or two. Just a little food for our collective thoughts while on topic.