This question was raised in our Bible Study group last week and I believe it is a good question we all must ask: is it wrong to dabble in things like poker; lotteries; bingos; smoking…………….
Is gambling in the Bible….not that I could find.
Is smoking in the Bible…..not that I could find.
Is bingo in the Bible……….not that I could find.
Is a lottery in the Bible……not that I could find!
Is alcohol in the Bible……..well, wine is mentioned over 212 times.
However, what is clear in the Bible…..what we are taught through God’s precious Word…..is temperance!
Be moderate in all things.
Matthew 21:12 tells us that Jesus was angry and threw the tables over in the temple. This side of Jesus that is rarely shown in the Bible indicates a clear dislike of what the ‘temple’ represented. The ‘temple’ (translated–the church) was a House of Worship. A place of Reverence to Honor God; to worship our Lord; to be with our God! This was, and is not today, a forum for making money; bingos; lotteries; gambling of any sort; homosexuality; or disrespect for our Lord! Jesus was indignant that His Father’s House had become a den of thieves! We must take this as an example. Jesus taught us temperance; but intolerance for over-indulgence. Too much of a good thing is NEVER acceptable.
So playing poker, cards, games of any sort is acceptable–when it is ill-gotten that is another matter. Ill-gotten (cheating, risking money ear-marked for substance, sinful ways)
Wine with a meal is one story–drunkenness is another!
Buying a ticket to focus on getting rich is sinful; buying a 50/50 to improve a club’s membership or to help the poor is quite another matter! Temperate in all things…….
Smoking……..well; again, temperate………is that an answer. If smoking is an addiction; then that is first in your life! Jesus said: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life: No one comes to the Father but by me! There is no other room for anything except Christ.
I know I am addicted: to Christ!
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