No, not unless it's ridiculous (20 tickets a week, etc)
See you on the Battlefield,
I’m struggling with this a bit and am seeking a ‘multitude of counselors’. Most Christians I know would advise against playing the lottery. I’ve never delved into why, just kinda went along with them.
But here’s the deal…I’ve been layed off for over a year and I believe that I need to open ALL the doors I possibly can to allow God to deliver me. I have no idea how His deliverance will come - only that it WILL. (but through a lottery? I don’t know)
A few months ago, Bruce Wilkinson spoke at our church and on of his concepts was to create a “God pocket” wherein you keep some money to use as the Holy Spirit prompts you. I was wondering how the money gets in there in the first place, so I decided that for every dollar I use playing the lottery, I would put one dollar into my God pocket…I started it 3-4 months ago and just 2 weeks ago got prompted to give it all to a waitress at Shoney’s who had just out of the blue, started telling me about her getting a 120$ ticket..and that was 3 days pay for her.
After I got prompted and finished my meal, I gave her the money and told her “I’m holding some money for a friend of mine and He wants to give your 3 days back.” I handed her the money along with a card I had printed: “This money has been brought to you by Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, Who loves you very much.
Please tell Him, ‘Thank you’ for it.”
She was very grateful – hugged me and all, but I got out of there fast- I want God to get the thanks.
So, bottom line… is playing the lottery wrong/sinful?
Prov 16:33 talks about ‘men cast the lots, but the outcome is the Lords’… is playing the lottery the same as 'casting lots'?...and I KNOW if I hit the big one- it would for sure, be GOD.
Interested in your thoughts- thanks
It is wrong for me Tom. I think it is essentially a tax on poor people. Gambling is generally frowned on in the scripture and wrecks many homes. God on the other hand encourages us to work for our money.
Thanks ya'll... maybe I didn't 'splain it right... I don't have an 'addiction'.. I also don't have a job. I have been 'opening every door' that I can think of, and some (like the lottery) that I would have never considered if i was still employed.
I guess my main thought is that I do not know how God will deliver me/us from this valley. I don't know what form that will take. maybe a job, maybe something waaay outside my normal lifestyle (again, like the lottery). My hope is NOT in winning the lottery, but in doing/being where God wants me. My hope is NOT in getting a job, but in Jesus Christ, my Lord. Only He is Worthy of my Hope.
By the same token, I do not want to be sinning while I am counting on His blessings...that won't work.
I have not talked with anyone about this...my 'multitude of counselors' is you guys..so far I have 2... .. and 'struggling' may be too harsh of a word..let's try 'puzzling'... I'm curiously seeking some Scriptural advice...
I'm not operating from a 'love of money', but seriously trying to find out if playing the lottery is a sin.
From Proverbs, it doesn't appear to be... is that correct or not....and I realize that I may hear dozens of different opinions, but that's what I'm here for.
Well I for one have gotten caught up in buying lottery tickets........ I did not buy them regularly but when the jackpot was high, I would buy a couple of tickets.
Recently, however, I have been giving some thought to why I was buying these tickets and what the Lord might say. The scripture that came to mind was: "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus".
Had I been buying the lottery tickets because I did not trust God to meet my needs? He is afterall, Jehovah Jireh - Our Lord that provides.
I have not bought a ticket in sometime and when I was leaving work today, I noticed the Lotto Max was up to fifty million dollars for this week's draw. I sure was tempted but walked right on by.
I don't know if buying a lotto ticket in itself is scripturally wrong but what it can do is allow us to take our eyes off the Lord for meeting our every need and in some instances it can lead to a greater problem of "gambling" that could lead to an addiction. That brings with it another whole dimension of problems that not only can affect the individual but often times the entire family.
I have played the lottery, and really don't have a problem doing it myself, but I could not see myself buying a ticket if I did not have a job or steady source of disposable income. God does not need your "help" in His plans for you.
On the other hand, just as drinking one beer is okay for some people, there are others who aren't capable of doing so (addiction), and others still who are compelled not to. This is one of those topics.
Sometimes I receive lottery tickets as gifts. It used to be fun scratching and fantasizing. Then I did the math, after some words of warning in my spirit. The way I figure it, the odds are about equal that the state will send me the check by mistake, as opposed to having the winning ticket. Everytime someone says "somebody has to win it". I think ...and for every winner there are 65 bazillion losers. Other people suppose that winning the lottery may be God's way to provide for their needs, once and for all. They haven't heard that the manna came everyday, and was good for that day only. I discovered there is a "skin" lottery where you give somebody needy a couple of bucks, and "ca-ching" goes your account in heaven.
Fella keeps praying that God would allow him to win the lottery.
Prays every day all day for years and finally God says to St. Peter - "Send an angel to down to earth to whisper in that guy's ear that if he wants to win the lottery he has to at least help Me out and buy a ticket."
Of course the joke speaks to the old adage you can't win if you don't play but it fails to address the morality or lack thereof in making a decision to gamble. Biblically, there are compelling reasons to argue on both sides of the issue. If gambling is an addiction (vice) causing financial harm then the obvious answer would be to not place a wager. If the wager is small and creates no hardship otherwise, examine your heart to see if any ulterior motives lurk within.
Remember this -
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Why do you want to win? Is it for God's glory or your comfort?
Come soon Lord Jesus - Take us Safely Home
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Basically, gambling when you are unemployed is not very sensible.
Arguing that you are trying to help God out by providing the means is stretching things a bit ...
Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right. - Charles H. Spurgeon
This is a question that only you can answer as the Lord reveals it to your heart between you and Him. For some it is a sin, and for others it may not be...depends on if it becomes addicting (or if you know you have tendancy towards that even...) I think there are certain things we just know we are supposed to do or not do, and if we disobey this knowledge imparted to us by the Spirit, then I think it's a sin.
I Cor. 6:12 "Everything is permissible for me-but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me-but I will not be mastered by anything."
James 4:17 "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins."
I just think it's one of those grey area's that you cannot get a firm answer from others, but need to just go to the Lord about. He will make it clear to your soul if this is ok by Him or not for you to do.
There is one, and only one non-self-destructing approach to the lottery and that is to keep it to "a dollar and a dream".
Relying on the lottery or any other form of gambling is economic suicide unless you are the house and booking the action.
Here's a question to ponder... if you went in to a convenience store to purchase a lottery ticket, and your pastor happened to follow you in and was standing behind you in line to pay for his gasoline, would you purchase the ticket? In the past, I have purchased a few scratch tickets for fun, or to send in someone's birthday card, and used to go to casinos once or twice a year just for fun. But now, I feel in my spirit it's not right. It may be a stumbling block to a "younger" brother or sister in Christ who sees you and thinks, Oh, Ok, that must be ok for us to do. And it's not OK for everyone to do. So, I feel we just shouldn't do it. I just believe that buying lottery tickets/gambling is not being a good steward of the money God has given you. Instead, send that money to someone in ministry, and store up treasures in Heaven!
The Bible does not specifically condemn gambling, betting, or the lottery. The Bible does warn us, however, to stay away from the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10; Hebrews 13:5). Scripture also encourages us to stay away from attempts to “get rich quick” (Proverbs 13:11; 23:5; Ecclesiastes 5:10). Gambling most definitely is focused on the love of money and undeniably tempts people with the promise of quick and easy riches.
What is wrong with gambling? Gambling is a difficult issue because if it is done in moderation and only on occasion, it is a waste of money, but it is not necessarily evil. People waste money on all sorts of activities. Gambling is no more or less of a waste of money than seeing a movie (in many cases), eating an unnecessarily expensive meal, or purchasing a worthless item. At the same time, the fact that money is wasted on other things does not justify gambling. Money should not be wasted. Excess money should be saved for future needs or given to the Lord's work, not gambled away.
While the Bible does not explicitly mention gambling, it does mention events of “luck” or “chance.” As an example, casting lots is used in Leviticus to choose between the sacrificial goat and the scapegoat. Joshua cast lots to determine the allotment of land to the various tribes. Nehemiah cast lots to determine who would live inside the walls of Jerusalem. The apostles cast lots to determine the replacement for Judas. Proverbs 16:33 says, “The lot is cast in the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.”
What would the Bible say about casinos and lotteries? Casinos use all sorts of marketing schemes to entice gamblers to risk as much money as possible. They often offer inexpensive or even free alcohol, which encourages drunkenness, and thereby a decreased ability to make wise decisions. Everything in a casino is perfectly rigged for taking money in large sums and giving nothing in return, except for fleeting and empty pleasures. Lotteries attempt to portray themselves as a way to fund education and/or social programs. However, studies show that lottery participants are usually those who can least afford to be spending money on lottery tickets. The allure of “getting rich quick” is too great a temptation to resist for those who are desperate. The chances of winning are infinitesimal, which results in many peoples’ lives being ruined.
Can lotto/lottery proceeds please God? Many people claim to be playing the lottery or gambling so that they can give the money to the church or to some other good cause. While this may be a good motive, reality is that few use gambling winnings for godly purposes. Studies show that the vast majority of lottery winners are in an even worse financial situation a few years after winning a jackpot than they were before. Few, if any, truly give the money to a good cause. Further, God does not need our money to fund His mission in the world. Proverbs 13:11 says, “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.” God is sovereign and will provide for the needs of the church through honest means. Would God be honored by receiving donated drug money or money stolen in a bank robbery? Of course not. Neither does God need or want money that was “stolen” from the poor in the temptation for riches.
First Timothy 6:10 tells us, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” Hebrews 13:5 declares, “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” Matthew 6:24 proclaims, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.
There's something called, "Sure, you had your fun". Some people would take the above as a classic example of that.In the past, I have purchased a few scratch tickets for fun, or to send in someone's birthday card, and used to go to casinos once or twice a year just for fun. But now, I feel in my spirit it's not right. It may be a stumbling block to a "younger" brother or sister in Christ who sees you and thinks, Oh, Ok, that must be ok for us to do. And it's not OK for everyone to do. So, I feel we just shouldn't do it.
I think you have been given some good advice on both ends. So, if you want to go buy a lottery ticket, stop torturing yourself and go buy one......
Years ago, I use to play. Didn't think much of it at first, when I had money. It was not a habit or anything. Usually I only played if the jackpot was big. But funny thing about my personality. I actually expected to win each time I played...really I did, and I would be disappointed that I didn't. I would always dream of all the bills I could pay off and buy a nice house...pay for my son's college and buy homes and cars for my family. "Oh Lord, please let me win" was a prayer I had....the wrong prayer over the wrong things...then when I lost my job, I played even more...prayed even more. Was disappointed even more. Playing the lottery when I had no money seem to cause me to really want to win bad...real bad. I would wait purposely to check the numbers the next day, thinking how nice to have gone to bed poor and woke up rich.....I really was focused on winning the lottery!!!!
Now I am not saying this would be you, but in the end, I just did not want to play anymore when I realized God was still providing for me and here I was wanting the money to take care of "worldly" things...and so I never bought another ticket again.
I'm no expert here either, but I have played the lottery serveral times. I know the bible speaks of "casting lots" (gambling), and I'm also aware there is alcohol mentioned in there too (wine). Not sure if these are deemed sinful acts unless they become an addictive nature.
Great post, as I just bought 2 tickets for the other nights drawings.
I find it uneasy the relative ease certain Christians have in participating in this ungodly form of covetousness. Praise the Lord when you have nothing , Praise Him when you have everything. Rely on Him to provide you with a job, do not rely on your flesh which would desire you to throw all your money down the drain playing this wordly game.