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Is Gambling A Sin?

The gambling scene is hot nowadays. People are going to race tracks, poker parties, casinos, and even indulging in online gambling. So is this all about having a good time or are these millions upon millions of people sinning? I’m going to attempt to answer this question.

Casting Lots

The closest thing we have in the Holy Bible to organized gambling is the casting of lots. This practice appears seventy times in the Old Testament and seven times in the New Testament. It was at times demanded by God to reveal His will (Num 33:54) and even unmasked Jonah as the culprit who brought about the tempest against the ship of sailors heading to Tarshish (Jonah 1:7). Roman soldiers also practiced this at the crucifixion to see who would get Jesus’ garments (Matt 27:35). Finally, lots were taken to choose Matthias as the apostle who would replace Judas (Acts 1:26).

Gambling as Not a Sin

I do not believe general gambling is a sin, especially when it is used to exercise God’s will. I also think it is fine when it’s not labeled as “illegal” or limited to pennies and nickels. Don’t gamble what you’re not willing or can’t afford to lose. If you lose, lose graciously and don’t increase your bet to recoup your losses, because this could possibly put you in the hole more. You must be sensible, responsible, and know when to walk away.

Gambling as a Sin

Gambling is a sin when it is labeled as “illegal.” This is true with a lot of online betting and underground casinos. If you’re betting the house, literally, you’ve crossed the sin line and you need to reconsider your thinking process. Don’t jeopardize your family or even yourself on a stack of playing cards or dice. Remember, the odds favor the house. That’s how these casinos make millions, and even billions in some cases.

Final Thought

Friends, if you’re going to gamble, please keep it to a minimum and be safe. Know God’s will in it and don’t let it go too far. Gambling can be a dangerous addiction that can not only hurt yourself, but those around you that love and care about you. If you really feel in your heart that all gambling is a sin, then by all means stay away from it. The important thing is to follow God’s leading. To me that is the best bet of all. Thank you for reading and God bless.

What are your thoughts on gambling?

About Joel Bauer

Joel Bauer
Joel M. Bauer is a 45-year-old U.S. Army Veteran from Dunn, NC, which is just outside of Raleigh. After being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army, he attended school at Taylor University, a Christian liberal arts school, in Fort Wayne, IN, where he received his BS in social work and psychology. He has worked in such places as a homeless shelter, a community based treatment center for severe mental illnesses, a school for troubled students, and other social service agencies. His current endeavor is to build The Bottom Line website into a site that inspires both Christians and non-Christians alike, and brings glory to God.

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2 comments

  1. John Clark

    The main issue here, especially for Christians, is to be good stewards of our money. Every situation needs to be weighed with that in mind.

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