Is buying lottery tickets a sin?

Thanks for the question Wade. It is a fair question that all Christians should be able to answer.

The Bible makes it very clear that it is a sin to gamble.

 After the fall of man God told Adam that man was to make money by working for it. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Gen 3:19) Buying a lottery ticket is a form of gambling. The very root cause of gambling is an attempt to receive money without having to work for it: the total opposite of what God commanded us to do. Gambling is attempting to gain money for yourself at the demise of other parties participating. Millions upon millions of people have bought lottery tickets, but only few, if any, can win.  This means that millions upon millions of people lose the money that they paid in hoping for quick profits.  The winner essentially profits from the loss of others.

 Gambling tempts people with the thoughts of “What would I do if I had that much money?”  That causes our minds to lust after the money and desire worldly wants instead of Godly gifts.  1 Timothy 6:10 says – “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”  This verse is clearly telling us to have faith in God to provide for us and not to covet or have this love for money.  God tells his people over and over again that He will take care of them, and we see so many times in the Bible where He did provide them with all they need.  He shows us this same idea in Hebrews 13:5 – Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.  To take money that God has given us & use it to attempt to cash in on some infinitesimal chance that you might get more is simply saying that I am not satisfied or pleased with what God has given me.  It saying that you want more things, and the only way to have more things is with all that money. Proverbs 28:20 tells us, “A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.” – Again, God’s Word show us that if we stay faithful to God, then He will provide all we need plus more, but those who want to get rich quick, shall not be innocent. 

 The prophet Jeremiah tells us that we are only suppose to receive money for doing right. “As the partridge sitteth on eggs, and hatcheth them not; so he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.” (Jeremiah 17:11) Gambling would clearly not be receiving money rightly. The Bible says that the end of that man shall be a fool. This is easily seen by reading the countless stories of those who have won big lotteries and in a very short time become miserable and in poverty.

 Proverbs 13:11 tells us “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.”

            The lottery isn’t something that is earned.  It’s something that when you buy a ticket, you are taking a chance with what God has given you.  God didn’t give us blessings for us to waste them or try in vain to get more, but He gave us those blessings to bring honor and glory to His name. 

 Proverbs 23:4 says, “ Labour not to be rich…”  – It’s telling us that we shouldn’t be worried about getting rich with money.  Sure, we have to make a living, but we can trust and have faith in the fact that God will provide that living for us. 

 Gambling has wrecked, and continues to wreck the lives of thousands of people, and as one buys a lottery ticket or gives money to a casino, that person is helping fund the very evil that is doing so much harm and wickedness to the lives of others.

 All the money that we have belongs to God and should be spent for the Glory of God. If all Christians would stand on that principle and say, “I am going to work for my money, and I am going to use it for the glory of God”, we would not have many of the problems that we have in our world today. I hope this has helped, Wade. Below We have posted a few more verses that pertain to the gain and spending of money. We challenge you also to search the scriptures yourself and see what the Lord says about money.

 “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:17

 “Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.” Proverbs 10:2

 “A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.” Proverbs 11:1

 Ecclesiastes 5:10 – “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.”

 1 Timothy 6:17, “Charge them that are rich in this world that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;