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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

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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.


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