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Playing the Lottery

posted Jan 12, 2016, 2:42 PM by First Baptist



Have you purchased your lottery ticket?


The Powerball jackpot is up to $1.4 billion, the largest in history, and Americans are buying tickets in record numbers. For example, ticket sales totaled $900 million during the period January 4-9.


Your odds of winning are 1 in 292 million. What does that mean? Well, assume you have 292,000,000 pennies and one of them is marked with an X and randomly scattered among the others. What are the odds of choosing the marked penny in one try? 1 in 292 million.


Do you see how irrational playing the lottery is?


Gambling is not specifically condemned in the Bible and many consider it just another form of entertainment, but the wise Christian will think carefully before engaging in this practice. I Corinthians 10:23 says: “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable; all things are lawful, but not all edify” (NASB).


Here are 5 “problems” with gambling:*


1)      It denies the reality of God’s sovereignty by affirming the existence of luck or chance.

2)      It is built on irresponsible stewardship by tempting people to throw away their money.

3)      It erodes a biblical work ethic by demeaning & displacing hard work as the proper means for one’s livelihood.

4)      It is driven by the sin of covetousness (tempting people to give in to their greed).

5)      It is built on the exploitation of others (often taking advantage of poor people who think they can gain instant wealth).


Somebody described the State-sponsored lottery as “a tax on the stupid.” Think of that the next time you’re tempted to buy a ticket.



Pastor Dan


*Adapted from a sermon by John MacArthur.