There is no verse that says, “Thou shalt not shoot up heroine,” yet we know it is sinful because of Bible principles. Likewise, the Bible is filled with principles which make gambling undeniably sinful. In this article, we will examine several of those principles from God’s Word.
1. Gambling Contradicts God’s Principle of Honesty
- According to God’s Word, there is a right way and a wrong way to get money, “As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool” (Jeremiah 17:11).
- Gambling breaks the spirit of God’s command in Exodus 20:15: “Thou shalt not steal.” In gambling, for every winner there has to be a loser. It’s predicated on getting what another person has.
- Gambling is one person attempting to get in another person’s wallet; and Psalm 37:16 says, “A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.”
2. Gambling Contradicts God’s Principle of Love
- According to Matthew 22:36–40 the Christian is to be governed by love for God and his neighbor. Nothing could contradict the spirit of that command more than gambling.
- Gambling is pleasure and profit at the cost of another’s pain and loss.
- First Corinthians 10:24 teaches us to seek our neighbor’s profit, not our own: “Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.”
- We are to use our resources to help others, not take from others (see Ephesians 4:28; Galatians 6:10; 1 John 3:17).
3. Gambling Contradicts God’s Principle of Work
- In the Bible, honest work and honest wages always go together (see Genesis 3:19; Luke 10:7; Exodus 20:9; Ecclesiastes 5:19; 1 Thessalonians 4:1–12; 2 Thessalonians 3:10).
- Nowhere does the Bible support the idea of getting something monetarily for nothing (see Proverbs 13:11 and Ephesians 4:28).
4. Gambling Contradicts God’s Principle of Trust
- Christians are to look to God to meet their needs, not to Lady Luck (see Philippians 4:19 and Proverbs 3:5–6).
- Gambling strikes at the root of our belief in an all-wise God who provides for the needs of His people.
5. Gambling Contradicts God’s Principle of Contentment
- The opposite of contentment is covetousness. Covetousness means you want something that’s not yours and that you did not earn. Gambling is a form of covetousness. (See 1 Timothy 6:6–11; Hebrews 13:5; Philippians 4:11.)
- In gambling, the emphasis is on gaining material wealth, “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” (Luke 12:15, cf. Proverbs 23:5; Colossians 3:1–2).
- According to Proverbs 21:26, the wicked are always seeing what they can get, but the righteous are always looking for ways to give: “He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.”
In conclusion, gambling undermines values, mocks work, finances crime, robs children, enslaves people, and poisons whatever it touches.