Saturday, May 19, 2018

Why Not Gamble, When The Bible Is Not Against The Practice Of It Specifically?

Is Gambling A Sin?

Question: I would like to know, Is Gambling a Sin? Is it mentioned anywhere in the Scripture as a sinful thing to practice? As much as I know, it cannot be found anywhere in the Bible.

Answer: Greetings in Jesus wonderful name!

The word Gambling does mean,
'play games of chance for money; bet, bet (a sum of money), take risky action in the hope of a desired result.' The English word 'gamble' originated from the obsolete 18th century word 'gamel', which means 'play games'. So expecting a 18th century import in to English which became the word 'gamble' to be mentioned in a historical document of the Bible which dates back to several thousand years is not fair or unreasonable. But our modern words gambling, betting, or the lottery all relates to the same meaning which we have seen above. The one main desire that drives gambling as a whole is to play games and earn money as soon as possible even at the cost of many other livelihood, no matter whether it is righteous or unrighteous to do it.

So is gambling mentioned in the Bible? The very word 'gambling' as a sin is not mentioned in the Bible, but the exact meaning and description has been mentioned through out the Bible and being warned by God not to go in to such temptation to amazz wealth in a moment of time.

The clearest verse regarding it is given by apostle Paul to the not to unbelievers who are normally obsessed to amass wealth as soon as possible in this life which is their only aim, but to the believers to whom he warned saying,
"6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." (1 Tim 6:6-10). Here in this verse we can see that money in itself is a neutral thing that God has given in the world among men to trade, but when someone starts to love money instead of God who is worthy of our love, then they enter in to a danger zone where that desire for more money causes to drown them in to destruction and perdition. When a love of money takes over the heart of a believer, then they will stray from the faith in greediness to do all kinds of evil selling their conscience for mammon, thus they pierce themselves through many many sorrows in their lives which only leads to destruction and chastisement from God if they are born-again child of God, if they are not and are unrepentant then it only leads to perdition of hell fire and eternal judgment of utter ruin.

Thus to overcome this temptation of love for money and attitude of gambling which makes people go for quick buck to become involved in 'get rich soon' schemes, we need to inculcate in our lives an attitude of godliness and contentment which is a great gain because it satisfies the soul within us immensely and gives us an awareness of an eternal perspective in our lives. To develop this attitude of contentment, we ought to intentionally think the thought,
"we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out" when we die at the end of our lives. And thus having "food and clothing" which is the daily needs which God provides and have promised to continue to provide us if we continue to seek His kingdom and His righteousness to fulfill His purpose and plans for us on earth (Matt 6:31-33). When we receive from God our daily needs for survival and provision to carry on His purpose for our lives, we should come to realize that this is more than enough to be content and carry on thankfully to fulfill the eternal plans of God in our lives. Thus if we gain the eternal perspective to keep our lives in spiritual reality of God's will for us and not get deluded by the love of money, it can only come to us through consistently training ourselves to get satisfied in the Presence of God regularly through drawing near to God and holding on to His promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us when the storms of life comes to trouble us in our lives (Heb 13:5; John 16:33; 14:27; James 4:8).

As far as God is concerned, there are no “luck” or “chance,” when it comes to the children of God, all temptation and intense desire towards the love of money can only be a test for a child of God
(Prov 10:15; 16:33; Deut 13:1-3). We see a lot being cast for both godly purpose of selecting an apostle and ungodly purpose of dividing the garment of Jesus in the Bible, which shows that God is in control over them all (Acts 1:26; Matt 27:35; Psa 22:18). So when people of God depend on luck or chance while gambling, actually they are putting their trust in chances and luck rather in God who is in control of the life of the child of God. It is indeed a sin to take one's eyes off God and put their trust in luck and chances. God doesn't want our heart to trust in the treasures we have on earth to fulfill His purpose for our lives, that is why He doesn't give a lot of money or materials in a moment to pamper us and comfort us to self-destruction, but rather gives us the ability day by day to trust Him and increase in His favor for a lifetime of benefits and eternity ahead (Matt 6:11; Psa 68:19; 30:5). This is God's way of prospering in life. It takes a lot of hard work of walking with God for a lifetime to be truly prosperous for now and for eternity. Hallelujah!

The Bible also says that wealth gained in a hurry, will sprout wings and will fly away from them soon towards heavenly purpose of God for which He wants to fulfill in each generation, thus the person who loves money will not be satisfied with it at any point of time in his life
(Prov 13:11; 23:5; Eccl 5:10), till one day God takes it all the ill gotten wealth that has been acquired through evil ways of oppression, deceit and dishonest trading is given to the righteous to fulfill the will of God in their lives and for the world around them (Prov 13:22; 21:13; Deut 24:15; Jam 5:4; Jer 22:13; Col 4:1; Luke 3:14).

To ask the question specifically to know whether something is in the Bible or not is not wrong, but it is legalistic way of following the spirit of the law which brings only death and not the Law of the Spirit which gives us life that has already freed us from ill effects of law keeping without the Spirit
(Rom 8:2). And we must understand that 'gambling' is actually a strong desire for something else more than for God who is worthy of all our love and worship, which bring 'gambling' in to the sub category of sins under the last commandment which says "You shall not Covet" (Deut 5:21), which is a internal sin which only we and God knows.

All the nine other commandments of the Old Testament law of Moses, deal with the external sins which can be kept externally
(Exo 20:1-16), but when it comes to internal sin (Exo 20:17), none of us can keep ourselves from the subtle desires of the heart that makes us think sinfully in our heart in a moment of time if we are not carefully guarding our heart by walking in the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit (Prov 4:23; Gal 5:16; Prov 20:9; Mark 7:20-23). When we want to follow God, first He invites us to follow the Law sincerely, if we follow the Law sincerely, then God wants us to ask in sincerity whether we are keeping all the commandments without breaking anything, if we have been deluded in to religiosity and its pride, we will be responding to him saying dishonestly, Yes I am. But if we are honest before Him, we will be telling to Him that we are not able to keep the last but not the least important command of which if we break it is equal to breaking all the commandments altogether (Matt 19:16-22). Only when we come to the realization that we cannot keep the law and get saved, that is when we take refuge in Christ to get saved by His righteousness that comes through faith (Matt 19:23-24, 25-26; Gal 3:24-25; Rom 10:6-12). So as long as we keep the law of the Spirit by faith, we need not bother ourselves whether gambling is in the Bible or not, because ultimately we will be able to keep our heart clean before God and men by walking in the grace of our Lord Jesus by walking in the Spirit (Rom 8:4-5; 6:14; Gal 5:16).

Jesus Christ himself has warned all believers saying,
“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15, NIV). So we can see in our times that we live, a simple game like a football or cricket or any other game which in itself is a good thing for our physical fitness and entertainment, can become a place of betting to gamble and earn money easily, which shows that a simple game can become a sin when it takes over our minds and hearts and leads us down a road of never being satisfied with what we have, that is the Presence of God on earth and all the promises of the Bible for the present and the future (Heb 13:5; 2 Pet 1:4).

Some people would like to reason out in this following way to justify the sin of gambling, they say, 'If I win a lottery, or in gambling, I will use it to be given to the cause of the Church and God's kingdom activities.' Is God concerned about the route through which we earn the money to offer Him or just whatever money we give pleases God? Only evil hearted heathen looters do worship their family deity or go to the temple of their belonging before they go, and they promise that they will give a part of the loot to its nefarious activities of idolatry. Do you think the Living God is pleased
(Jer 10:10; Matt 22:32)? Not at all with such money through gambling or betting or lottery which are money taken from other people because it is like stealing, and the only difference is that they are stealing people with a vain promise of giving them more, but research show that those people who are regularly involved and addicted in gambling or betting or lottery become so poor to lose nearly the peace of their families and their well being along with all of their physical health too. So will it please God when we gain money through stealing the well-being of others and then try to reason out saying that we will give to the Church most of the money we get? By no means God will be pleased with such offering, as He says, "Seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness" (Matt 6:33), which shows that unless we live righteously to promote the kingdom of God, He will never be pleased with what we do for Him or give to Him through means which are a abomination and sinful to Him (Deut 23:18; Prov 11:1).

God says in
Proverbs 13:11, “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.” It means all those who work hard day by day and live in this earth according to the righteous means they get through righteous way of hard work will only be able to make their money grow righteously in the sight of God. They will be blessed in their life to become rich and God will add no sorrow to their lives (Prov 10:22; 13:11). In fact, God reveals that the more easily we get our wealth, the less good it will do to us over time at the end of our lives (Prov 20:21).

God owns everything from all the silver and gold, the sheep's and animals on the thousand hills, and the earth and all those who live in it belongs to Him
(Hag 2:8; Psa 50:10,12). Then what is it that He desires from us who are His dear Children? The only thing that God desires as a sacrifice from us are a broken spirit which obeys Him to tremble at His word (Isa 66:2), and a contrite heart which is repentant for sins which He will never ever despise any time (Psa 51:17; 1 Sam 15:22-23).

The bottom line is, we cannot love both God and money at the same time, only one can be our master at a time. So it is always safe to love God and use the money He gives to glorify Him through our lives in all things
(Matt 6:24). Money becomes the god for those who reject the love of God, they end up in the unsaved condition of their soul or those who are saved but choose to love money instead of God get destroyed by all kinds of evil on earth and end up in heaven without any reward to look forward to (Matt 6:19-21).

Much Blessings....


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