According to the dictionary, gambling is “playing games of chance for money or some other advantage.”

Gambling has been practiced almost as long as man has been upon the earth. It has been found in some form in almost every society from the very earliest times.

Throughout the history of Christianity, God-fearing men and women have strongly opposed gambling as a moral, social, and spiritual evil.

Is gambling a sin? There is no specific statement in the Bible which says “Thou shalt not gamble.”

However, gambling is a clear violation of many basic Bible teachings.

The basis of gambling is the sin of covetousness or greed. Paul listed covetousness as one of the sins which Christians must “put to death” (Colossians 3:5).

Gamblers are greedy to become rich quickly with very little work and investment. It is God’s plan that man earn his living by honest labor: “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth” (Ephesians 4:28).

Gamblers want gain, but they do not want to work for it.

Gambling appeals to man’s selfishness. It is a desire to take wealth which belongs to another, without any concern for the other person.

Gambling, therefore, is a violation of Jesus’ “Golden Rule” which says, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12).

I would not want another person to take my food, clothing, house, or money without giving me something in return. Therefore, I should not take the possessions of another without giving something in return.

The evil of gambling can be seen in the company it keeps.

Paul wrote, “Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

Should a Christian gamble? Certainly not! Most Christians would not lose their money in a gambling casino. Most Christians realize that gambling on races is wrong.

But what about buying a lottery or raffle ticket? Sometimes such tickets are sold in order to raise money for charity.

Since money is being raised for a good cause, would it be wrong to buy a ticket? It is wrong to do evil that good may come from it (Romans 3:8). To say it another way, it is never right to do wrong, even for a good cause.

Christians are different from the people of the world. The Bible tells us “be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).

We must not compromise with any kind of evil, no matter how tempting or how popular it might be.

The apostle Peter wrote of Christians “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

Gambling is a sin! God’s special people will not participate in it!