What about Gambling?

Malcolm Horlock, Cardiff, Wales

"Gambling" usually consists in the betting or staking of something of value on the outcome of a game or contest. It normally involves three things:- a consciousness of risk, a hope of gain, and a likelihood of loss!

Gambling is far from being a new activity. Archaeologists have found articles used in games of chance in Egypt about 5,500 years ago. Today gambling represents a large scale in­dustry. It was estimated that in 1961, in the U.S.A. alone, the total value of betting exceeded 500,000,000,000 dol­lars. Yes, I mean five hundred thousand million!

The Christian's attitude to gambling can be determined by several simple biblical considerations.

Leaving aside the element of excite­ment, gambling is prompted by the desire to obtain something without any great effort. The emphasis of Scrip­ture, however, is that if you want something you should work for it and obtain it by honest labour. See the repeated references to the enjoyment of the benefit of one's own labour, Eccles. 2. 24; 3. 13; 5. 18, 19. Paul commanded those who were not work­ing to "work, and eat their own bread", 2 Thess. 3. 11-12.

At the root of most gambling lies the wish "to get rich quick". The Bible speaks out plainly against all greed and covetousness. "Beware", the Lord said, "of covetousness", Luke 12. 15. It is a form of idolatry, Col. 3.5. "Let your way of life be without the love of money (and) be satisfied with the things you have", Heb. 13. 5 lit. See also 1 Tim. 6. 9-11.

Great numbers of people have found gambling to be habit forming. Many have become enslaved to it with dis­astrous consequences for themselves and their families. The proper Christ­ian attitude is that, though "all things are lawful for me", yeL "I will not be brought under the power of any', 1 Cor. 6. 12.

Generally speaking gambling in­volves the outlay of some stake or other. The Christian should remember that he is only a "steward" of his possessions. While, in one sense, our own is our own, Acts 5. 4, in another sense, it is the Lord's. When making a vast offering to the Lord's work, David acknowledged, "all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thec", 1 Chron. 29. 14. The Lord Jesus has made it clear that one factor in determining our heavenly reward will be the use which we have made of our money, Luke 16. 11, 12.

The Christian is advised to exercise great care over the milder forms of gambling — such as fruit machines, other arcade games and even the "free" bingo-type games run by many large stores, supermarkets and petrol stations. By all means make a contribu­tion to worthwhile charities, but it would be wise to decline the raffle ticket which often accompanies the appeal! Our prayer should be, "Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness", Psa. 119. 36.

There are 9 articles in
ISSUE (1985, Volume 36 Issue 1)

Distinguishing Words That Differ: The Stranger (Paper 1)

The Glory of His Heavenly Kingdom

Gospel Work and other Assembly Activities

Notes from Numbers - Chapters 22 - 25

Paper 2: Philippians 3

The Sayings from the Cross, 1

Survey of James’ Epistle, Paper 7 James 5. 1-20

Truth Unchanged, Unchanging

What about Gambling?

This article is not part of a series

There are 71 articles by this author

1 Corinthians 14 (1)

1 Corinthians 14 (2)

1 Corinthians 14 (3)

1 Corinthians 15-16 (1)

The Coming of the Son of Man (3)

1 Corinthians 15-16 (3)

1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 15-16 (2)

So much Better than the Angels (2)

1 Corinthians 12

Isaiah saw His Glory and spoke of Him

So much Better than the Angels (1)

The Coming of the Son of Man (2)

The Coming of the Son of Man (1)

Jacob at Bethel (1)

Jacob at Bethel (2)

1 Corinthians 8 (1)

The Temptations of the Lord

1 Corinthians 8 (2)

All Things Work Together for Good

A Bird’s-Eye View of Philippians

What about Gambling?

What about Television?

Christ our Forerunner, Hebrews 6. 18-20

Philippians 3. 20, 21 (2)

Absalom and Christ

My Responsibility to Civil Authorities

He Shall Be Called a Nazarene (1)

He Shall be Called a Nazarene (2)

The Gift Laid at the Altar

Possessed and Possessing

This is our God - Introduction, Isaiah 25. 9

This is our God - The God of Unlimited Power and Authority (1)

This is our God - The God of Unlimited Power and Authority (2)

This is our God - The God of Holiness

This is our God - The Eternal God

This is our God - The Presence of God (1)

This is our God - The Presence of God (2)

Which Church?

Lessons in Service

Philippians 3. 20, 21 (1)

1 Corinthians 9-10 (1)

1 Corinthians 9-10 (2)

1 Corinthians 9-10 (3)

The Church in Ephesus

1 Corinthians 9-10 (4)

1 Corinthians 11 (1)

1 Corinthians 11 (2)

1 Corinthians 11 (3)

Cyril Hocking

The Seven Golden Lampstands (1)

The Seven Golden Lampstands (2)

God and the Gospel

His Own Son

The Lamb and the ‘Beast’

The Parable of the Good Samaritan - Part 1

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant - Part 1

The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ

The Parable of the Good Samaritan - Part 2

Thy Shield and Exceeding Great Reward

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant - Part 2

The Parable of the Workers in Vineyard - Part 1

The Parable of the Workers in Vineyard - Part 2

The Parable of the Unjust Steward - Part 1

Our Lord’s Outststretched Hands

The Parable of the Unjust Steward - Part 2

The Parable of the Pounds - Part 1

The Parable of the Pounds - Part 2

The Parable of the Unprofitable Servant

Miracles and the Revelation of God

Miracles and the Revelation of God - Part 2