1. Gambling is an issue in our society and everywhere we look there is something to remind us of that fact:
a. Lottery drawings (Pick 3; Pick 4; Super Lotto, etc.)
b. Pete Rose (did he or did he not gamble on pro baseball games?)
c. Bingo at local clubs and churches; horseracing; Atl. City; Las V.
2. Gambling industry is big business in our country.
a. Legally , in 1988:
1) 17 billion ......... Lotteries.
2) 18 billion ......... Pari-mutuel (horse/dog racing).
3) 37 billion ......... Slot-machines (1-arm bandits).
4) 126 billion ......... Casino table games (roulette, black jack).
b. Total for last year roughly equal to national deficit!
3. Gambling is unquestionably part of our culture.
a. As Christians we must deal with this issue.
b. Today we want to approach this subject BIBLICALLY and PRACTICALLY.
1) This A.M. ............ Look at texts relating to this issue.
2) Tonight .............. Discussion in a Bible Class format.
c. Three questions:
1) What is gambling?
2) What is not gambling?
3) What does the Bible teach about gambling?
I. WHAT IS GAMBLING?
A. Some definitions:
1. "To stake or risk money, or anything of value, on the outcome of something involving chance" (Dictionary).
2. "The creation of an artificial risk and the assumption thereof" (Charles Hardy in Risks and Risk-Taking ).
B. Two types of risks:
1. Natural ......... Planting crops, starting business, driving.
2. Artificial ...... Situation where a risk is created purely for the purpose of taking a risk. (Outcome of ball game, lottery, card games).
C. What then is the distinction between gambling and normal risks?
1. The diff. between dealing with natural risks already present;
2. And creating a risk with the desire to obtain something which belongs to another person (a form of stealing).
II. WHAT IS NOT GAMBLING?
A. Let's specify some areas that are NOT gambling:
1. Putting money in the bank to draw interest (reasonable expect.)
2. Bonafide investor in stocks & bonds (part owner).
3. Insurance (protection for inevitable possibilities).
B. There are four possible ways to receive money:
1. Money can be earned ............ consideration for both parties.
2. Money can be given as a gift ... free, no strings attached.
3. Money can be found ............. no way to determine owner.
4. Money can be stolen ............ taken against someone's will.
5. What one receives from gambling:
a. Is not earned, is not given as a gift, was not found.
b. Only logical conclusion ....... stealing!
c. Illust . Someone says, "It's not stealing because the parties agree to it." Whether or not people agree to it does not decide the morality of an issue. Sexual activity between consenting adults not married to each other is not O.K.!
III. WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH ABOUT GAMBLING?
A. Nothing directly.
1. No "Thou shalt not gamble" in Scripture.
2. Bothers some Christians.
3. Not given exhaustive rules--God expects us to discern princip.
B. Some Biblical principles that indirectly teach against gambling:
1. Warnings against COVETOUSNESS.
a. Every form of gambling is covetousness--desire for something that is not yours!
b. Ex. 20:17; Col. 3:5-6; 1 Tim. 6:6-10.
2. Warnings against "SOMETHING FOR NOTHING" philosophy.
a. Work is honorable for Christians (Eph. 4:28; 2 Thess. 3:10).
b. Gambling is in violation of this principle.
c. Gambler does not want to earn his living, wants to win it.
3. Violates the "GOLDEN RULE" (Matt. 7:12).
a. Whole princ. of gambling is to gain at another's expense.
b. Totally contrary to spirit of Christ.
4. Failing to PROVIDE FOR YOUR OWN (1 Tim. 5:8).
a. Wage earner's first responsibility is his/her own family.
b. Gambling limits money that could be used for family needs.
5. Principles of STEWARDSHIP.
a. We are expected to put to good use what God has given us.
b. Gambling does not provide a good return!
1. Risk-taking is an inescapable part of life.
2. There is a sense in which all of life is a "gamble."
3. Big diff. between dealing with risks already present and making your own at other people's expense!