Scripture Passage: Acts 19:21-32
If you take a stand for the truth, you are not always going to be popular. We see an example of this in Acts 19, when Paul visits Ephesus and sees that they are engaging in wicked ways of making money. The most vital nerve in the human body is the one that runs from the heart to the wealth, and what Paul does in Ephesus is put his finger directly on it.
There are four principles laid out in Scripture that confirm why it is wrong for Christians to gamble, and unwise for societies to endorse it.
- Gambling transgresses the principle of Honesty. It is robbery by mutual consent. It is the transfer of wealth (not earned or given) without giving anything back in exchange. Somebody has said, “He who gambles and loses is a fool. He who gambles and wins is a thief.”
- Gambling transgresses the principle of Love. Gambling is pleasure and profit at the cost of someone else's pain and loss. You cannot win unless someone else loses. If you win at gambling, you victimize your neighbor.
- Gambling transgresses the principle of Work. The Bible does not teach getting wealth by gambling. The Bible teaches getting wealth through work. Gambling produces no real wealth. It merely redistributes it from the hands of the many into the hands of the few.
- Gambling transgresses the principle of Providence. A gambler is depending upon chance. The Bible says that we're to rest upon providence. Matthew 6:33, "But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Adrian Rogers tells us: “There's less laughter and gaiety in a casino than any other public resort. The Christian doesn't need to get his thrill from covetousness and dishonesty.”
No matter how alluring it may look, gambling contributes nothing to the common good. It undermines values. It mocks work. It finances crime. It robs children. It enslaves people. And it poisons whatever it touches.
The wealth you obtain for yourself will pass away. Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Apply it to your life
Do you find yourself entangled by the allurement of gambling? Flee from it! Pray for the strength to resist it. Christians don’t need to get their thrill from covetousness and dishonesty. What is good and true and honorable…cling to these things.