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Should we Purchase Lottery Tickets?

Should followers of Jesus purchase lottery tickets?

There is no verse in Scripture that directly prohibits gambling or playing the lottery. Perhaps a more important question centers on our motive. Virtually everyone who buys lottery tickets does so to gain wealth. This, according to Scripture, seems unwise. First, we are told to be good stewards of the money God has given us. Jesus taught that “if you have not been faithful with unrighteous money, who will trust you with what is genuine” (Luke 16:11)? Gambling is never a good investment.

Second, Scripture tells us that desiring wealth is dangerous. Paul wrote, “Those who want to be rich fall into temptation, a trap” (1 Tim. 6:9). The truth of this is evidenced by many lottery winners whose lives have been ruined as a result of winning. Third, gambling is unwise because it is unbalanced. We need to practice contentment with what the Lord has given us. For this reason, Paul reminded us that “godliness with contentment is a great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6).

BY Dr. Michael Rydelnik

Dr. Michael Rydelnik is a professor of Jewish Studies at Moody Bible Institute and the host of Moody Radio’s Open Line with Michael Rydelnik. He is the author of 50 Most Important Bible Questions inspired by both his radio show and his columns for Today in the Word. Michael served on the translation team of the Holman CSB Bible and contributed to several other books and study Bibles. Michael also appeared in the Lee Stroebel video The Case for Christ. Michael and his wife, Eva, have two adult sons. The Rydelniks live in Chicago, Ill.

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