Gambling is becoming prevalent in the United States. Besides horse racing and private betting on sporting contests and cards, many states have lotteries
and licensed casinos. Even churches have bingo games and raffles. But is gambling approved by God? What does the Bible say? This Bible study discussion guide will lead you to discern what is God’s mind on the subject of gambling.
Evidence from Scripture
HAGGAI 2:8 “ ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
PSALM 50:10 For every beast of the forest in Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills.
PSALM 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.
1. Who really owns all wealth?
2. If we don’t own it, can we do with it whatever we desire?
DEUTERONOMY 8:18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth ….”
3. Where does our ability to get wealth come from?
LUKE 16:10 “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. (11) “Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? (12) “And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s who will give you what is your own? (13) “No servant can serve two masters for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”
4. Are we stewards of what God has given us?
5. Do good stewards waste the wealth with which they were entrusted? Consider verses 1 and 2 of Luke 16, and then comment.
6. Is gambling ever wasteful? Is it risky? What are the chances, say, of winning a state lottery? Would a good steward gamble?
7. Why is the statement, “You cannot serve God and mammon” in the context of stewardship?
I TIMOTHY 6:9 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.
8. Do people gamble to get money or other things of value?
9. Does gambling ever become addictive?
10. Does gambling promote lust for money?
11. Can desire for “easy money” have spiritual effects?
12. What are some evils that start with the love of money?
13. What is the end result of covetousness? Read Ephesians 5:5 Ephesians 5:5For this you know, that no fornicator, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
American King James Version×and comment.
MATTHEW 7:12 “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
ROMANS 13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
14. Does gambling take from others without giving anything in return?
15. Does gambling cause one to lose empathy for others in the desire to gain their money or possessions? Are opponents seen only as sources of income rather than as feeling human beings?
16. In what other ways does the law of love for your neighbor apply to gambling?
PHILIPPIANS 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. (4) Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
17. Do people sometimes gamble for conceit — to prove to others that they are right or smarter or better?
18. How does gambling show concern for the welfare of others?
EPHESIANS 4:28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to givehim who has need.
19. How does God want us to provide money for good causes? Read Proverbs 31:13-31 Proverbs 31:13-31 13 She seeks wool, and flax, and works willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchants’ ships; she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises also while it is yet night, and gives meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considers a field, and buys it: with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds her loins with strength, and strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good: her candle goes not out by night.
19 She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretches out her hand to the poor; yes, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes fine linen, and sells it; and delivers girdles to the merchant.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household, and eats not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but you excel them all.
30 Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
American King James Version×also.
20. Is gambling associated with work and industry or with laziness and thoughts of besting others?
21. Does gambling create wealth? Or, does it just change the possessor of it?
1. Is God in favor of gambling? Why or why not?
2. What do your peers believe about participating in gambling?
3. Explain your convictions concerning the morality of gambling.