IS IT A SIN TO GAMBLE?
Colossians 3:1-7 Introduction:
1.! Andrew J. Whitaker, Jr., a 55 year old president of a construction
! company, won $315,000,000 in the Powerball jackpot in 2002.
! a.! I saw Mr. Whitaker on TV when he announced his winning.
! b.! He was accompanied by his wife and daughter.
! c.! He promised he would give generous donations to churches.
! d.! At the time of his win, he was already worth $17,000,000.
2.! Whitaker kept his promise to give money to good causes.
! a.! He gave $14,000,000 to a charitable foundation he set up.
! b.! He also gave ten percent of his winnings to churches.
3.! After this, it appears everything went downhill.
! a.! Whitaker began to drink heavily, gamble and go to strip clubs.
! b.! In 2003 thieves broke into his car and stole $545,000 in cash.
! c.! In 2004 thieves stole $200,000 from his car; it was recovered.
! d.! In 2007 thieves accessed his bank accounts and emptied them.
! e.! His granddaughter’s boyfriend died of a drug overdose in Mr.
! ! Whitaker’s home.
! f.! Three months later, his daughter died of a drug overdose.
! g.! In 2007 Mr. Whitaker owed $1,500,000 in gambling debts to a
! ! casino in Atlantic City which he was unable to pay.
4.! Whitaker said: “I wish I had torn up that ticket!”
5.! Occasionally a lottery winner will invest his winnings, but stories
! like Andrew Whitaker’s seem to be the norm for those who win.
6.! Is gambling sinful according to the Bible?
! a.! There is no place the Bible says: “Do not gamble.”
! b.! Are there Biblical principles which make gambling sinful?
I.! WHAT IS GAMBLING?
! A.! By definition, gambling is “a wager or bet in which each player
! ! agrees to risk some material possession to other players in
! ! exchange for the chance to win the possessions of the other
! ! players without any compensation to the loser or losers.”
! B.! There are four essential elements in gambling:
! ! 1.! It is a game of chance with an uncertain outcome.
! ! 2.! Each player must risk something of material value.
! ! 3.! Each player agrees to risk his possession in order to gain
! ! ! that of the others.
! ! 4.! Nothing of fair value is given in return for what is lost.
! C.! Some examples of gambling are:
! ! 1.! Casino gambling: slot machines, roulette wheels, dice,
! ! ! and card games.
! ! 2.! Racetrack betting on horses, dogs, etc.
! ! 3.! Lotteries.
! ! 4.! Charity and church sponsored bingo, raffles, etc.
! ! 5.! Poker games, office pools, etc.
! D.! Some things are considered gambling, but really are not:
! ! 1.! Playing cards or other games for fun with no money
! ! ! involved is not gambling.
! ! 2.! Some say “everything in life is a gamble,” confusing risk
! ! ! with gambling.
! ! 3.! Farming or running a business is not gambling, but an
! ! ! effort to produce goods to be sold for a fair price.
! ! 4.! Investing in stock is no different from part ownership in
! ! ! a business.
! ! 5.! Buying insurance does not involve a wager and no one
! ! ! gains at the expense of another’s loss.
II.! WHY IS GAMBLING WRONG?
! A.! The Bible recognizes only three legitimate ways for money or
! ! property to be transferred from one person to another.
! ! 1.! One is paid for work to produce goods or services.
! ! ! “The laborer is worthy of his wages” (1 Timothy 5:18).
! ! ! “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him
! ! ! labor ....” (Ephesians 4:28).
! ! ! “... that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your
! ! ! own business, and to work with your own hands, as we
! ! ! commanded you” (1 Thessalonians 4:11).
! ! 2.! One agrees to a trade or fair exchange of possessions
! ! ! (goods or money).
! ! ! a.! Abraham bought a field and paid a fair price set
! ! ! ! by its owner (Genesis 23:1-18).
! ! ! b.! A merchant sold his possessions to buy a pearl
! ! ! ! of great value (Matthew 13:45,46).
! ! ! c.! Jesus’ disciples bought food (John 4:8).
! ! 3.! One chooses of his own free will to give possessions or
! ! ! money to others.
! ! ! “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
! ! ! “... working with his hands what is good, that he may
! ! ! have something to give to him who has need” (Eph. 4:28).
! B.! Gambling is motivated by covetousness (greed).
! ! 1.! The entire reason for gambling is a desire to gain the
! ! ! possessions of others without giving fair value for them.
! ! 2.! Jesus warned:“Take heed and beware of covetousness,
! ! ! for a one’s life does not consist in the abundance of (3)
! ! ! the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15).
! C.! Gambling violates the principle of good stewardship.
! ! 1.! A steward is one who is entrusted with the possessions
! ! ! of another and must give an account for them (Matthew
! ! ! 25:14-30; 1 Corinthians 4:2).
! ! 2.! Everything we have is given to us by God and one day
! ! ! we must give an account to Him.
! ! 3.! A gambler risks losing that which God has entrusted to
! ! ! him to use in His service.
! ! 4.! Donald Trump, a casino owner admits: “People will spend
! ! ! a tremendous amount of money in casinos, money that
! ! ! they normally would spend on buying a refrigerator or a
! ! ! new car.”
! D.! Gambling violates the “Golden Rule.”
! ! 1.! Jesus said: “... whatever you want men to do to you, do
! ! ! also to them” (Matthew 7:12).
! ! 2.! If you would not want others to take your possessions,
! ! ! then do not take theirs!
! E.! Gambling has evil associates.
! ! 1.! “Evil company corrupt good habits” (1 Corinthians 15:33).
! ! 2.! Some of the evils of gambling are:
! ! ! a.! Divorce: Nevada has the highest divorce rate in US.
! ! ! b.! Poverty: 1 of 5 homeless people blame gambling
! ! ! ! as a contributor to their plight.
! ! ! c.! Suicide: Nevada has the highest rate in the nation.
! ! ! d.! Addiction: So many have become addicted to
! ! ! ! gambling that Gamblers Anonymous was formed.
! ! ! e.! Prostitution: The Las Vegas Yellow Pages has 136
! ! ! ! pages of listings related to prostitution.
1.! A Christian who gambles is not letting his light shine (Matthew 5:16).
2.! One not a Christian must trust and obey to be saved (Mark 16:15,16).
! ! !