Bible Answer: My stepbrother wrote a catching
tune, "Gamblers Ain't Allowed in Heaven." While many gamblers
will find themselves outside the gate of heaven, gambling itself does
not keep a person out of heaven. God can forgive any sin, including
There are not many specific references to gambling in the Bible. The
major one is when some soldiers at the foot of the cross gambled to see
who would win Jesus' garments. Some gamblers justify their gambling by sighting
the fact of the lack of biblical references on gambling. They assume
that since gambling is not specifically forbidden, it must be okay. If
we took this logic, then we could argue that taking drugs is okay too,
since the Bible does not specifically forbid it.
Let me share five basic reasons why I believe gambling is wrong:
1. It's against the golden rule.
Jesus teaches us to "Do unto others as you would have them do
unto you." Gambling perverts this law by wording the golden rule
this way: "Do unto others before they do it unto you." No
gambler desires the best for his fellow man. Instead, he wants his
fellow gamblers to lose so that he could win. This is selfishness.
A man asked the Lord if gambling was right or wrong. The Lord
answered him, "Son, I want everyone to win, and in gambling some
have to lose so others can win." We are to pray for others,
not prey on them.
2. It's against the work ethic.
Ephesians 4:28 says:
He...must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that
he may have something to share with those in need.
Gambling does not produce anything useful or profitable. Gambling
does not increase our gross national product; it only causes money to
3. It's against godly prosperity.
Proverbs 13:11 says:
Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little
by little makes it grow.
God's plan for prosperity is simple: Make all you can, save all
you can, and give all you can. Notice that this scripture proves
that prosperity comes when you allow it to gradually grow. In gambling,
people are looking for the big-pie-in-the-sky. They want to hit it
big RIGHT AWAY.
The only ones making money in gambling are the casinos and bookies.
And how do they get rich? Little by little. Bookies are satisfied
with simply a small percentage of everyone's bets. In time they become
4. It's against the command not to covet.
The tenth commandment says, "You shall not covet...You shall not
set your desire on your neighbor's house or land...or anything that
belongs to your neighbor." Gambling is based totally on coveting
what belongs to others.
5. It's against wisdom.
And finally, it's plain stupid to gamble. The odds are always against
you when betting against organized gambling—casinos, race tracks,
bookies, lotteries, bingo halls, etc. Organized gambling will prance the
few gamblers who got lucky in order to entice others into stupidity.
Don't be fooled into thinking that you're going to get rich by gambling.
6. It's addictive.
There are some addictions that are quite harmless, such as coffee.
However, gambling is not one them. It is very addictive and this
addiction will ruin families and wreck people's financial security.
Peter said, "For a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him" (2 Peter
I have seen good people turn into thieves all because of the
uncontrollable urge to gamble. A lady in my church told me how faithful
she once served the Lord until she became addicted to this vice. One day
in a casino she lost everything, and while she thought no one was
looking, she stole a bucket of coins and ran off. She got caught and
learned the high price of low living. It can happen to anyone.
These are some of the reasons why I feel that gambling is wrong.
[Editor's Note: Jean wrote back with a praise report.] The
older couple I mentioned came over yesterday and received the
message on gambling "joyfully." I have a feeling
they might have been buying a few lottery tickets also, but now they
know the truth and the truth has made them FREE! They believe
that this may be why they have not been able to sell a piece of land
they own. But now, they are believing that God is their supplier
and that this is not the way to go. They really are a precious
couple and seem so eager to be obedient children. They just have
to be transformed by the renewing of their mind, and I am confident
they will be.