Is God Okay with Christians Buying Lotto Tickets?
As this is posted, the biggest lotto jackpot in U.S. history is up for grabs and Christians everywhere wonder if God is okay with gambling. The jackpot total posted on the Texas Lottery website for Mega Millions is $1.6 billion. Drawings are Tuesdays and Fridays. The estimated cash value, after taxes, is $904.9 million. Tickets are $2 each and odds of winning are so miniscule, getting all the numbers right will feel like a miracle to the eventual winners. But does God even want us to gamble?
Pastor Roger Barrier wrote a terrific Biblical response to the question: Is it okay for Christians to buy lottery tickets, or is it a sin? The following answer summarizes some of his brilliant responses.
Gambling May or May Not be a Sin
The Bible clearly shows in Romans that we should not judge others’ actions but should follow our own personal convictions, in all that we do. In Romans 14:23, it says, “Whatever is not of faith is sin.” If one of your life’s purposes is to obey God in everything, anything you do is perfectly fine, as long as you can do it with zero concerns that you’re embarking upon a questionable course of action. Our consciences raise red flags that should not be ignored. There are, no doubt, Christians who can buy lotto tickets without sinning because their faith allows for it.
Christians and Get Rich Quick Schemes
If you are a Christian and your life is such that buying a lottery ticket is the only thing you are truly pinning your hopes on, that is definitely a problem. There are several warnings in the Bible about the foolishness and wickedness of seeking riches and of materialism. The New Living Translation (NLT) of Proverbs 28:20 says: “The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble.”
Is it “Profitable” for Christians to Buy Lotto Tickets?
Paul comes right out and says in 1 Corinthians 10:23 that everything is permissible for Christians but not everything is beneficial or builds others up. Consider if another Christian observed that you were involved in gambling, especially a new Christian who may consider you a good spiritual example. That individual could end up gambling, too, but it becomes a snare for them. They could end up with a gambling addiction. Whether this seems likely or not, it’s a real possibility and definitely does not meet the test of “building others up.” And as far as being beneficial to you, wise financial advisors say it’s always better to take whatever money you may use to buy lotto tickets and use it for investment purposes, instead, to build up a more secure financial future.
God or Gambling, Our Provider
God wants us to trust in him, even for our daily bread, as it says in the Lord’s Prayer. He is never pleased when we place our dependence on anything other than him, which includes our paychecks. Following the words of Jesus found in Matthew 6:33 is better than winning the lottery because it’s the secret to always having everything (or “these things”) we need in life: “But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”