Is it a sin to gamble?
Yes, it is a sin to gamble. It is a sin because one goes against Godís plan for man, that he is to earn his living by the sweat of his brow, Genesis 3:19. It is a sin because it will cause one to spend their salary on gambling instead of providing for oneís family. It is a sin because it can cause someone to become so heavily indebted that they lose their job, their home, and their family. It is a sin because it will cause one to do dishonest things in order to get more money to gamble. It is a sin because it can be addictive, just like drugs or alcohol, killing oneís initiative to do honest work. It is a sin because basically it is taking money from many to give to a few. It is a sin because, as all studies show, a community is negatively impacted when gambling is allowed.
Is it wrong to play the lottery?
It is our firm conviction that playing the lottery is wrong. The lottery is recognized in all circles as gambling, and such does not mix with Christianity. Christianity is designed to promote the well-being of all adherents, whereas gamblings purpose is to line the pockets of a few. There is a saying in gambling "the house wins" which is just the opposite of Christianity where everyone wins. However, the highest cost of gambling is not the amount lost but the lives that become marred by obsession, cheating, thievery, lack of self control, the effects of ones loss upon families, friends and businesses. These are but a few of the tragic results.
The law of God does not allow the "something for nothing" philosophy. Man is not to "sponge" off of those who do work (II Thessalonians 3:10-14; Ephesians 4:28). Gain obtained through exploitation of other people is wrong (James 5:1-4).
While there is no specific Biblical command saying, "Thou shalt not gamble", the principle is there in positive commands and precepts in such scriptures as already cited as well as numerous others some of which are, Matthew 7:12; I Corinthians 8:1-13;10:31; Romans 14:13-21; Colossians 3:1-3.
Christianity and gambling do not mix. Therefore, we would discourage a Christians involvement with the lottery or any other form of gambling.