The dictionary defines gambling as “to play a game of chance for money or other stakes, to wager money or other stakes on uncertain outcome, to expose something of value to risk or hazard in the advantage of gain.” A simple definition of gambling would be: desiring the possession (prize) of another, the gambler creates a risk (that of losing his own possession) in an attempt through chance to gain the possession of another with nothing given in exchange. It is a greedy desire to have what belongs to another.
Gambling takes many forms: card games, dice, numbers, betting on elections or sporting events, buying sweepstakes tickets, lotteries, playing slot machines, punch boards, bingo (for money or prizes), raffle tickets, matching for cokes, or even pitching for pennies. Also, whether you are gambling or not does not depend upon the amount you are risking. It may be $5,000 or $5, it may be 50 cents or 1 cent, the principle is the same. Only the amount differs. Jesus said a tree is known by its fruits (Matthew 7:15). What are the fruits of gambling? Its fruits are corrupt from the word “go.” Gambling conflicts with the Bible in at least six major areas: It violates the principle of: 1) Earning a living through righteous means (Ephesians 4:28), 2) Loving your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39; 7:12), 3) Shunning the appearance of evil (Romans 12:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:22), 4) Christian stewardship (1 Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7), 5) Showing a Christ-like example (Romans 12:17), 6) God’s plan for the home (Ephesians 5:23-31; 6:1-4). Gambling is a greedy desire to get something for nothing at the expense of the loser. It is not an innocent past time or fund raiser. It is covetousness. Colossians 3:5 says covetousness is idolatry; and, idolatry and sin. Gambling, in any form, is wrong– sinful. It was not given by God. It is not authorized by God. It stands condemned by God. Are you guilty of gambling? There is hope for you. You can be forgiven if you sincerely obey the gospel by believing in Jesus the Christ (John 8:24), repenting of your sins (Acts 2:38), confessing faith in Christ (Acts 8:37) and being baptized for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16). Obey the gospel today!
by Garland M. Robinson