Thursday, February 22, 2007


(Ref: What Does God Think About Gambling? By Gene Gregory

Brothers and sisters, we have been chosen to be the light and the salt (Matthew 5:13-16)

– to bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Our message has never been a popular one – but guess what – God has chosen us, He has equipped us, and He will hold us responsible. If not me who? If not now when? Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Rise up good men and do something!

Those who would cater to the lusts of the flesh would say “Play Responsibility” – “Have Safe Sex,” “Drink responsibly”. Such warnings – may justify the conscience of those involved in promoting social ills but does little to prevent or heal the harm caused to families, children and communities.

With gambling so prevalent in our country and our state and perhaps soon to be in Sullivan County, it is time we stopped to ask, “What does God think about gambling?”


Mark 12:28-31

“And one of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, "What commandment is the foremost of all?" [29] Jesus answered, "The foremost is, 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; [30] and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' [31] "The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

Jesus commanded us to “Love our neighbors as ourselves.” When you gamble or encourage gambling, you do not love your neighbor as yourself. You are trying to take something from your neighbor, for yourself, and he is getting nothing in return. For you to win at gambling, others must lose.

In addition to the material goods lost, gambling hurts homes and families in many other ways. In areas where casino gambling has been legalized, it has been reported that:

  • Gambling plays a part in 1/3 of divorces
  • Domestic abuse cases increased over 300% in a 4-year period
  • Calls to one Gulf Coast Women’s Center crisis line in Florida doubled within 3 years after the introduction of Casinos.

The National Gambling Impact Study Commission reported, “Children of compulsive gamblers are often prone to suffer abuse, as well as neglect, as a result of a parental problem or pathological gambling.”

After they legalized casino gambling in the state of Mississippi, pawn shops became the fastest growing business in the state, as people pawned their possessions to pay their gambling debts.

In Kansas City, the number of pawn shops increased from 4 to 38 after casinos came to the area (Judy Thomas, “Pawnshops, Casinos thrive in KC Market,” The Kansas City Star, August 21, 1995, A1).

These are only a few of the devastating statistics.

Can we really say, “I love my neighbor when we are willing to contribute to the legal destruction of his life, the life of his children and family and the corruption of the community in which he lives?

What does God think of gambling?

He hates it because it does not show our love to our neighbor.


Proverbs 14:21

He who despises his neighbor sins, But happy is he who is gracious to the poor.

Proverbs 14:31

He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him.

The Bible makes it very clear that we are not to oppress the poor. Gambling preys on the desperation of the poor:

According to The National Gambling Impact Study Commission:

  • Those with incomes less than $10,000 spend more on lottery tickets than any other income group.

  • On the national average, lottery gamblers with household incomes under $10,000 bet nearly 3 times as much on the lottery as those with incomes of more than $50,000.

  • High school dropouts spend 4 times as much as college graduates.

  • When the lottery was introduced in Kentucky, the stores in one community reported a 17% drop I grocery sales.

  • Gambling, and lotteries in particular, are a tax on those who can least afford it.

What does God think about gambling?

He hates it, because it preys on the poor.


Luke 17:1-2

“ And He said to His disciples, "It is inevitable that stumbling blocks should come, but woe to him through whom they come! [2] "It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble.”

The Bible, God’s Word, says that we have a responsibility to teach children correctly, and that those who lead children astray will pay a terrible price - gambling hurts children.

George Meldrum of the Delaware Council on Gambling Problems says, “This is the first generation of kids growing up when gambling is legal and available virtually nationwide.”

The result?

According to a Florida high school gambling survey in 1995:

  • 90% of all teens surveyed reported gambling at some time in their life. 6.6% of them are already problem or compulsive gamblers.

  • Nationally, 1 in 10 teenagers have a gambling problem and 1 in 8 college students do.

What does God think about gambling?

He hates it, because gambling leads children astray.




Exodus 20:17

"You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

1 Tim. 6:9-10

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. [10] 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.”

Why do people gamble? In a recent national poll, 2/3s of respondents stated that the reason they gamble is to win money. The Apostle Paul specifically warns us about the love of money, and God specifically forbids coveting what others own.

Gambling breaks both of those commands. In addition, gambling also displays a lack of trust in God’s provision and dissatisfaction in what He has already provided.

What does God think about gambling?

He hates it because it is a root to other sins and because it shows a lack of trust in Him.

As Christians, as those called to be light and salt what do you suppose we should do?

1. Refuse to gamble

Isaiah 5:20

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;

Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;

Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

2. Vote against it and let your representatives know how you feel and why According to the Bible the God-ordained purpose of government is to protect the welfare of its citizens and to suppress evil. State-sanctioned gambling does the opposite.

Romans 13:1-5

“ Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. [2] Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. [3] For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; [4] for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil. [5] Wherefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake.”

3. Pray (talk to the Father) about it

Matthew 18:19

"Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.”

What does God think about gambling?

Who has been called to be light and salt?

If not me who? If not now when?

Is Gambling A Moral Issue?

Nothing is politically right that is morally wrong.

Carved on the ceiling of the Missouri Senate Chamber

The Democrat (Dec 21) reported that Les Kristt, Secretary of the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce, “said there were only two issues with gambling; morals and economics. He argued that gambling is no longer a moral issue, as churches and synagogues have long paid their bills through bingo. New York State has every conceivable lottery game available.” Are we to believe that church and state approval decides morality? With this kind of reasoning we should all approve: abortion, prostitution , gay marriage, violence, sex and profanity on TV, pornography on the Internet, genicide and euthanasia - each of these is approved by some government and/or church. Perhaps another standard should be considered. Just because some church (religion) or a government or the people approve does not mean that God approves. Greed, lust, pride, selfish ambition and envy are often motivators for each of these. If you do not believe in God look at the facts! Countless studies have shown that gambling destroys individuals and families, increases crime, promotes prostitution and drug use and has long lasting harmful effects on children. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this one out. Check it out -; Perhaps it is time for a class action lawsuit. Are we a society where there is no “right” or “wrong”? Where there is no “truth”? Where everyone does what is right in his own eyes? With freedom comes responsibility. Our representatives are expected to be responsible. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” ( Edmund Burke) Rise up good men and do something! What if the Bible is true?

Bob Paquet
Crying in the Wilderness Ministry

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