Notes from the message “Don’t Bet It: the Gospel and Gambling” at Highland Baptist Church, March 4, 2012. Even though the immediate threat of expanded gaming in Kentucky has been averted, the issue will not go away. Disciples must be prepared to think and discuss this, like all social issues from a Biblical, gospel-centered viewpoint.
Gambling is… an act in which a person risks something valuable (money) on outcome of an artificially created, uncertain and uncontrollable event which is rooted in forces of chance rather than skill or reason in the hope of winning something greater (usu money) at the expense of the losers.
The Gospel is… the good news that by the perfect life, sacrificial death, and overcoming resurrection of Jesus, any human being can be forgiven their sin & restored to a life-giving relationship with God, their Creator and King. (Rom. 5:6-11) This not only assures rescue from death and hell, and secures eternal life, it enables a person to live life as God intended in to be lived. (John 10:10)
Both gambling and the gospel make promises. But they are not equivalent promises. They hold opposing values, so both cannot be true at the same time. If the gospel is the ultimate way to live, it’s crucial to grasp the superior truth of those promises. If gambling is not, it pulls a person away from God’s design for life. It needs to be seen for what it is and avoided.
+ Gambling appeals to greed and covetousness; the gospel is rooted in contentment. (Ex. 20;17, Lk. 12:15, 1 Tim. 6:8, Phil. 4:12-14, Prov.15:16)
+ Gambling trusts in the chance of an uncertain moment; the gospel trusts in the constant care of a sovereign Father. (Is. 65:11-14; Matt.6:25-26, 31- 33; Heb.13:5)
+Gambling pursues a life built on easy money; the gospel enables a life of noble work. (Prov.12:11, 2 Thess. 3:10)
+Gambling promotes a growing selfishness; the gospel accepts a grateful stewardship. (Ps.24:1; Prov.3:9-10; Matt. 25:14-30; 1 Cor. 4:2)
+Gambling feeds gullible foolishness; the gospel nurtures godly wisdom.. (Prov.3:13-18)
+ Gambling preys on the poor, the gospel life serves the poor. (Lev.25:35-38; Ps.14:6; Prov.14:31)
+Gambling steals from families; gospel-shaped persons provide for their families. (1 Tim. 5:8)
+Gambling turns government into a predator on its citizens; the gospel insists that government exists to protect its citizens. (Rom. 13:1,4)
+Gambling corrupts the surrounding culture; the gospel preserves the surrounding culture. (Jn, 10:10, Titus 2:11-12 / 3;1-3, 8, Matt. 5:13-16)
+ Gambling a lie that leads to destruction; gospel is the truth that leads to life. (Luke 12:16-21, 32-34) The gambling mindset says life is about money and what it can acquire, so get all you can, keep all you can. Jesus insists instead that life is about your soul, its destiny and direction. Since only God in Christ can determine either, it is crucial to get all of Jesus can provide—which is everything, the treasure in the heavens that He gives by grace. Above all, be rich towards God. And if you’re already involved with gambling, remember His Mercy is larger than your failures, and His resurrection is stronger than your addictions.
You can listen to the entire message, with more statistics and etc here