Summary: Statistics and Warnings Against Gambling
Rev. John W. Gerald
I. YOUR CHILDREN ARE YOUR HEIRS
Ezra 9:12 Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever: that ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave [it] for an inheritance to your children for ever.
God’s children are admonished not to intermingle with the heathen around them, for their sins will cleave to them. When we associate with the ungodly, their habits will not look so bad to us. They will persuade us to partake of their sins. It would not seem so bad to buy a lottery ticket, or roll the dice, or flip the cards when we see them doing it with such gusto. Soon we would be just as addicted to the
"sport" as they are. God wants us to securely keep our possessions as an inheritance for our children forever. Gambling them away would be a crime.
II. ALL IS LOST IN A MOMENT
Job 21:13 They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave.
Things change quickly. We may have sufficient goods for today, and in a moment, they are gone. The gambler will see them snatched away before his eyes, but he can not stop it then.
Psalms 44:10 Thou makest us to turn back from the enemy: and they which hate us spoil for themselves.
God will not defend us in the day of our desolations. The enemy will spoil us at will. The gambler will see this picture himself.
III. GAMBLING IS LIKE STEALING
Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with [his] hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Gambling is a form of stealing. It also results in the uncontrollable loss of a persons property. Everything is put at risk on the gaming tables. Whatsoever a man earns should be put to good use in the supply of his family’s needs, and to share with needy neighbors.
IV. WINNINGS ARE UNCERTAIN RICHES
1Timothy 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
The scriptural admonition to the rich is that they not act as rich men act, but to be humble, and trust in God, for their riches cannot save them in that day. God gives us all things to enjoy, not to hoard and deprive others of their use. We cannot hoard up the sunshine and the rain, the wind and all the gifts of nature. We share them, rich and poor alike.
1Timothy 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
Rather than gambling your goods away, be ready to give them away to the poor and needy. Gambling with your goods is not blessed of the LORD, but giving them away in His name is.
1Timothy 6:19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
V. COVETOUSNESS IS AT THE ROOT OF GAMBLING
Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Mortify means to let die, or crucify. The members which are upon the earth are carnal.
This is a typical list of carnal appetites:
1.) Fornication, an illegal act of sex by an unmarried person.
2.) Uncleanness, something defiled by contact with an unclean thing, sin, leprosy, a dead body or unclean animals used for food.
3.) Inordinate affection, inappropriate affection, or display of it, lustful acts.
4.) Concupiscence, lust, strong affection for anything that God forbids.
5.) Covetousness, greed, materialism, which is spiritual idolatry.
This is what is at work in the gambler’s mind and heart.
VI. GAMBLING RESULTS IN HARDSHIPS FOR THE FAMILY
Zechariah 7:10 And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.
There is nothing more oppressive to the poor than having a provider who gambles their assets away. It is the poor, who are the least able to afford it, who are enticed into gambling away the little they have in hopes of greater gain. The casinos do not care who loses his money at their tables, nor how well he can afford it. "Seventy percent of those who buy my tickets are poor or (minorities)" said a lottery agent in New York. Many of them spend up to 20% of their income on the lottery. Americans spent $350 billion in 1995 at the casinos! That is beside the government sanctioned lotteries, horse racing, dog racing and other assorted forms of gambling. I hope that none of you spent even one dime in one of them! Gambling is as bad, or worse, than drinking on the welfare of the family.