BY: Gregg Purcell

Theme verse -- "For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith . . ." (1 Tim 6:10)

Gambling is becoming more and more popular in today's 'modern' world, but it has enjoyed popularity even since ancient times. Yes, gambling has been around longer than any of us, and so have the desires that motivate it. It is no coincidence that there are more lotteries and riverboat casinos at the same time that materialism and greed are on the rise. Evil things follow after the desires that bring them! So, can a Christian play the lottery, visit the Par-a-Dice, or play bingo at the local VFW or denomination? Is there anything wrong, sinful in the eyes of God, that is, with gambling? Let's go to the source and answer that question!!

1. Christians are commanded to work for their money

- Work has been a reality and a necessity for God's people since we were evicted from the garden of Eden!

- Look up these Scriptures and write the idea they convey concerning how Christians should obtain their living:

- Gen 3:19 --

- Eph 4:28 --

- 2 Thess 3:10-12 -

- How, then, are Christians to receive their money?

- Does the Bible leave gambling for money open as an option?

- Stewardship is the principle of taking care of what God has given us and using it for good purposes!

- Can a Christian who places the money God has blessed him with at risk for nothing be a good steward?

- Read Lk 16:1-2 -- What will happen to a Christian who is a bad steward of God's possessions?

- Read verses 3-12 -- How does this parable teach Christians to be good stewards?

So, we see that Christians should work for their money, and should also be good stewards of that money!!

2. Three biblical examples of how money can be given or received

- As you read the entire Bible, there are only three ways you encounter that money is given or received righteously.

- A. Labor -- A Christian, as discussed above, is told to work for their own living. This, then, is obviously one way!

- Look up the following verse and, combining it, with the ideas above, write how money was received righteously:

- Acts 18:3 --

- B. Exchange -- The Bible also shows examples of people exchanging goods or services for goods, services, or money!

- Look up the following passages and write how they show the principles of exchange (fair & unfair):

- Gen 29:15-26, 27-29; 30:25-33 --

- C. Love (gifts, Benevolence) -- God's Word also sanctions the use of money for giving out of love.

- Read the following verses and discuss who can receive gifts of love from Christians in them:

- 1 Cor 16:1-2 --

- Lk 6:38 --

- Acts 6:1, 1 Tim 5:3,9-10 --

So, which of these three righteous ways does gambling fit under?

- It does, however, fit under the same category as these following verses. Read them and write how they compare to gambling:

- Prov 28:6-8 --

- Ezek 22:12-13 --

Gambling is unjust and dishonest gain which does not fit under any way sanctioned by God to earn money.

3. Covetousness and Gambling

- Gambling is linked eternally to covetousness, because it is coveting that leads one to gamble. Here's how. Imagine 5 men at a poker game. Each wants to win the money of the other, which is not his own. He wants to take what belongs to another man. That is the definition of covetousness, to want that of others and, in this case, to try and take it from them! Lotteries and casinos work the same way. The money the winner wins is only the money of the thousands of losers before him!

- Read the following verses and write what God feels toward covetousness:

- Ex 20:17 --

- 1 Cor 5:10-11 --

- Eph 5:1-3 --

- Col 3:5-7 --

Coveting leads to gambling, and there is no way one can gamble without coveting!

4. Money is insufficient to save one's soul

- Money can't save us. It is here as a gift from God to bless us, but is also used by Satan against us.

- Consider these verses and write what relying on money can do to a man.

- Eccl 5:10 --

- Matt 19:16-26 --

- 1 Tim 6:9-10 --

Don't rely on money. Always remember, the true riches of a Christian are stored up in heaven!

5. Examples and Answers

- Consider the following instances. Could a Christian take part in this activity? Why or why not?

- Upon entering a seminar, you are given a card to fill out. Later your card is drawn and you win $100.

- At a carnival, a vendor invites you to burst 3 balloons with darts for $1 to win a stuffed animal.

- Upon entering a department store, you are asked to buy a $5 raffle ticket for a new car, for charity!

- After buying an X-tra Value Meal, a 'game piece' with your hamburger tells you you've won a new car.

The basic guideline:

If it puts any of your money

at risk for nothing, it is gambling!!