Q. Is gambling sinful?
A. It seems that in modern times Baptist people have become more and more ambivalent towards the practice of gambling. Once they many have gone a little overboard, eschewing the appearance of evil and the presence of a deck of cards. Many now will be stopped by no less than a text that says, “Thou shalt not gamble.” (I actually doubt even that would stop them.)
Clearly and without contradiction, there is no Bible verse that says, “Thou shalt not gamble.” Does that give liberty for a free-for-all in the matter. Methinks, not.
Gambling is generally a moral lapse – because of the reasons most people gamble. Some may approach gambling a form of entertainment, a harmless way to have fun. If so, it might not be more sinful than the different habits some of the rest of us have of wasting money. But, do folks really rush to buy “Mega Millions Jackpot” just to have a little fun? Or in hopes of getting rich? God will have to sort out the hearts, but I would bet on the latter. Gambling as generally practiced is a violation of biblical principles. Perhaps some of the following verses will speak to the heart of someone.
- Proverbs 12:11 He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.
- Proverbs 13:11 Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.
- Proverbs 23:5 Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
- Proverbs 28:19 He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough.
- Ecclesiastes 5:10 He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.
- Matthew 6:21 for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
- 1 Timothy 6:5-9 perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
- Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.