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Summary: Biblical principles and scriptures which contradict the concept of gambling. Powerpoint at website.

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When the Chips are Down—Gambling & the Bible

Acts 19:21-29; 1 Timothy 6:9-6:18 ; Col. 3:2

Powerpoint and formatted sermon at

http://www.gbcdecatur.org/sermons/WhenChipsAreDown.html

The Governor’s budget speech this week left some unanswered questions about gambling expansion. Dozens of bills are in the works now to raise more money for the state and other causes thru expanding riverboat gambling, online casinos, and video gambling. IL was the 2nd state in the US to jump on these opportunities years ago, and yet today 60% of our residents are against it. I think the “higher ups” would love for us to be ignorant so they can again make a red state blue!

We need to know what we believe, and why we believe it.

What if someone came to you and said, “what’s wrong with going to the casino, if we’re just going for a little fun?” what would you say?/lottery tickets?/betting on the ballgame?

Paul was always in the middle of the action. For that reason he had a lot of confrontation. Whenever Paul preached, there was always either a revival, or a riot! When the Word is preached, people ought to feel something, right? (glad/sad/mad)

Paul here preaches Jesus and the people became very mad! Because his preaching damaged the very occupation of these people, who worshipped the false goddess Diana.

It is important to know that these people had made a lot of money as a result of their worship of Diana. If you really want to offend someone, talk about their money. His preaching hurt their business…selling statues and shrines to diana…and when people got saved, they renounced these false gods, and didn’t buy them. Well, a riot ensued, and about 25k people filled the local amphitheatre in opposition to Paul.

Notice the mob mentality in this text:

v. 24-25 they had a profit motive

v. 26 they had a propoganda machine

Demetrius is going to smear Paul’s name, and rally the troops against him.

Paul is a bigot, narrowminded, intolerant, doesn’t accept us, has no respect for our historical beliefs.

v. 27 now he’s appealing to their patriotism…and he’s using the “bandwagon” method of advertising…everyone believes in diana! This guy’s a master of manipulation!

The big problem in all of this is how he’s leading people to believe in something for all the wrong reasons…mostly from a profit motive. And he is a master of rationalizing it, and giving them “good reason” to feel ok with what they’re doing.

Today, people don’t worship Diana, no, we worship a different god, that goes by the name, “lady luck”. And they worship lady luck under the guise of gambling.

Anytime you deal w/ the gambling crowd, and anytime you hear someone try to defend the practice of gambling, you always come up against these same 2 elements:

Profit motive

Propoganda machine

It all results in the mob psychology:

v. 28-29a

I want to say that 2,000 years ago, 25k people chanting a lie didn’t make it the truth! Today in 2005, millions of people chant the lie, but it doesn’t make it true.

Many times christians say, “show me a verse in the Bible that prohibits gambling."” (thou shalt not.…?)

The Bible is not a book of minute laws, it is a book of great and grand principles.

For example: you won’t find a scripture that says, “thou shalt not use cocaine” so is it alright? Of course not! Biblical principles take care of that.

(Thou shalt not drive 80 thru school zone)

I’m glad the Bible is not a simple list of don’t’s, because if it were, it would be so large it would take a freight train to haul it around, and secondly, you can always find loopholes in laws. Laws are for the immature, for children.

For example:

1908, Carlisle institute and Harvard University were football rivals. The Harvard coach believed in a straight-forward, hard hitting game…he depended upon the basics. But the coach at Carlisle was different, he depended upon the razzle dazzle…trick plays, ways to bend the rules to his advantage…

well, the week before Carlisle was to play Harvard, they played Syracuse, and when they came out on the field, Coach Warner of Carlisle came up w/ an ingenious scheme which won them the game. He took brown material, the same shade as a football, cut that mat’l into shapes like a football, same size, and had them sewn on the jerseys of his offensive players. So, when all 11 men were out there on the field, it looked like they all had a football!

He had checked the rules, and had found out it was not against the rules.

It wasn’t breaking the letter of the law, but it certainly broke the spirit of the law…violating the principles of good sportsmanship…

Well, the next week, they faced Harvard. The day before the game, the Harvard coach met w/ Coach Warner and said, listen, are you gonna use those trick jerseys tomorrow? “There’s nothing in the rule book against it!”

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