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Summary: Is it wrong to buy a lottery ticket? Is the Bible against playing bingo? What if the money goes to the church? Is betting on the horses, or on sports wrong? There are no verses in the Bible that say, “Thou shalt not gamble” so does that mean that gambling

Proverbs 3:5-6 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. (NAU)

Purpose: To show that gambling is contrary to God's will.

Aim: I want the listener to hate the sin of gambling.

INTRODUCTION: While the American economy continues to be in a tailspin, there is one industry that is booming. So far this year 41 of the 50 states have seen large increases in one segment of their economy: legalized gambling. It seems as if more and more people have given up expecting to earn money and are spending money hoping to hit it big.

Is it wrong to buy a lottery ticket? Is the Bible against playing bingo? What if the money goes to the church? Is betting on the horses, or on sports wrong? There are no verses in the Bible that say, "Thou shalt not gamble" so does that mean that gambling is OK?

► I. Why Do People Gamble?

► A. To get rich

"Tomorrow I'll win big! All I need is a little more money." "If I just hang in there and don't give up all of my money problems will be solved."

One in five Americans are now looking to some form of gambling as the answer to their financial problems.

"In inner-city areas, gambling is seen as a 'ticket out of poverty' and a last chance for riches. As such, it preys on the desperation of the poor and its promises are based on lies. When state lotteries are proposed, for example, the public is assured that enormous funds will be generated for education, despite studies showing that after states legalize lotteries they actually reduce spending for education. The promised 'money for schools' has been a scam, just like so much that is associated with the gambling industry." [1]

► B. To have fun

Gambling carries with it the thrill of not knowing for sure what will happen. It can break the monotony of life. To some, there is no greater feeling than the adrenalin rush of risking something for instant wealth.

► C. To escape reality

Gambling is a way to forget problems at home, or at work. It is a way to ignore relationship problems, financial problems, or the fear of work.

► II. What are the Common Results of Gambling?

► A. Recklessness

That is, "easy come, easy go." Losing a lot of money can become no big deal because you can always win it back. It tends to take away a sense of personal responsibility and the need for hard work.

► B. Callousness

Gamblers gradually become indifferent to the needs that others have. It becomes an additive habit that consumes more and more of a person's time and energy.

► C. Financial problems

Money that should have gone to pay bills now goes for gambling.

"Tom A. worked up his courage to speak [at a Gamblers Anonymous meeting] after about 15 minutes; the young man with longish, sun-bleached hair, a denim shirt and an expression of concern that belied his casual appearance talked about making restitution, which is part of the GA's prescription for healing. After the meeting, he spoke about how gambling has ruled his life for almost 20 years.

"'You can stay away from gambling for a long period, then all of a sudden you fall back and it gets worse,' he explained. 'You gamble longer, you gamble more. It starts to affect all aspects of your life. You become what everybody who gambles becomes: You start lying, you start selling everything, you work extra, you borrow money, you do everything possible you can to get the money.'

"For Tom, that ultimately meant embezzling money from his employer....

Case in-point is Deadwood, S.D. It has been less than a decade since the state opened a casino there, and already the town has seen an increase in serious crime of 75 percent and rise in child abuse of 42 percent.

"'Gambling, for all its newfound respectability and acceptance, is ultimately like Las Vegas itself,' the Boston Globe reported last fall. '[It's] an idea and an industry built on sand, a corrosive tax system in disguise. And states that embrace it are turning into gamblers themselves, growing increasingly dependent on its false promise of easy money.'

"...[Tom A. went on to say] 'I was In Keno, I guess, when I turned 21 and I started gambling,' he said. 'It's just like what everybody does when they turn 21, they start drinking. It didn't seem a problem. Of course, right away I enjoyed the gambling and I started losing more than I could afford. Like all gamblers I gambled my check away, then a month would go by and I'd gamble my check away again.'

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