Where Does the Bible Condemn Gambling?
Occasionally someone will ask, “Where does the Bible condemn gambling?” They would like a book, chapter, and verse that specifically mentions the practice.
Like many other sins, gambling is not directly named in Scripture. It is nonetheless, condemned in principle numerous times.
Gambling is a violation of faithful stewardship.
The Bible teaches that what we have belongs to the Lord and that it is entrusted to us for our stewardship.
Imagine leaving money to care for your children with a relative while you were away on a trip. How would you feel if your relative put the whole wad on Powerball Lotto tickets? The flippant person will say, “Great if he won!” But the reality is gambling empires are built on people losing, not winning.
To put at risk of loss our Father’s money on games of chance is poor stewardship.
- 1 Cor. 4:2
- Lk. 12:42
- 1 Pet. 4:10
Gambling ignores the welfare of your neighbor.
Gambling ignores the law of love for one’s neighbor. It is a zero-sum game. It is stealing by deception, because the loser, even though he grants permission never anticipates losing.
Love for other people means acting in their best interest even when they do not.
- Matt. 22:39
- Rom. 13:10
- 1 Cor. 10:24
Gambling is dishonest.
Gambling violates the principle of doing honest work for one’s bread. It places your prosperity in the hands of Lady Luck, rather than a fair exchange of value for value. Lady Luck owes you nothing!
- 2 Thes. 3:10
Gambling is highly addictive. According to the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, 15 to 20 million adults and adolescents have either problem or pathological gambling addictions, which is about 5-7 percent of the U.S. population.
“If you take 15 million people and place them in average-sized NFL Football stadiums that hold about 70,000 people, you could fill approximately 214 stadiums to capacity with problem and pathological gamblers in the U.S. alone!” (CitizenLink.com)
- 1 Cor. 6:12
- Gal. 5:23
Gambling sets an evil example.
How many parents who truly love their children would want them to experience the negative consequences of of gambling addiction? Your influence on others either makes this world a better place, or it leads your friends and neighbors farther away from Christ.
- Rom. 12:17;
- 1 Tim. 4:12; 5:14;
- 2 Pet. 2:2.
Gambling is often a gateway to crime.
Gambling is the frequent companion with other vices, e.g., stealing, drugs, prostitution.
Gambling destroys families.
Gambling is the destroyer of numerous homes. It takes food, clothing, and medical care from wives and children
- 1 Tim. 5:8
Gambling destroys the soul.
Gambling is the enemy of mental peace. It brings fear and anxiety. It creates an obsession with money that consumes the gambler. The suicide rate among gamblers is very high.
Let every person who wishes to honor God and respect his neighbor avoid this noxious habit altogether.