Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
This question was asked me recently: “Geoff, what do you think about Christians buying a lotto ticket?” The timing of this question coincided with the Australian record of one hundred million dollars being up for grabs for some ‘lucky punter.’
I then heard all the great things that a believer could do with a slice of that pie. Even things like buying a church building to meet our needs, along with other benevolent gestures.
Although some of these things were said with some jest, the question about gambling is a good one. So where do we stand as Christians on this issue?
My response was, “I do not and have never purchased a lotto ticket of any description.” I also said that no amount of promise or benevolent gifting of any possible winnings justify the action to buying a ticket in the first place. The end does not justify the means.
But is this just my opinion and if so where did it come from? I suggest that even though there is no Scripture that forbids gambling as such, we do have principles in Scripture that rule it out. Asking ourselves, this question, will help us see one such principle. “The money we have belongs to whom?” Surely it is the Lord’s - right? We are merely stewards of all that He has entrusted to us - including our money!
Let John Piper make this a little clearer for us:
It is wrong to wager with a trust fund. And all we have, as humans, is a trust fund. Everything we have is a trust from God, to be used for His glory. “[God] Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:25). Faithful trustees may not gamble with a trust fund. They work and trade: value for value, just and fair. This is the pattern again and again in Scripture. And when you are handling the funds of another, how much more irresponsible it is to wager! [Grace quotes]