Sharing The Light – Question 1 July 2021 Part Three

This week we continue with our question and answer(s) program. This is part three of their replies. Watch next week for Tommy Kennedy’s answer.

Question #1, July 2021:

Is it okay for a Christian to gamble at pool?

Tom Rossman

Tom “Dr. Cue” Rossman:

This is a fantastic question and has been a point of controversy among players for years. According to the New Oxford American Dictionary, when used as a noun as in an “act of gambling”, it is defined as an enterprise that is untaken or attempted with a risk of loss and a chance of profit or success. 

Any “risk taking” becomes a “HUGE RISK” when “God’s money” * is used without prayer and a confirming peace about “taking such risks”! When “self” gets in the way of the divine direction of the Holy Spirit, we often miss the special joy and righteous blessing the Lord He has prepared for us and wants to give us. 

  * According to Psalms 24:1 (ESV) – “The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof”

There is no verse in the Bible that says: “Thou shall not GAMBLE”!! However, we are instructed in Proverbs 16:9 (KJV) as follows: “A man’s heart devises his way; but the Lord directs his steps”. As we focus on Jesus and what He did for us ALL on the Cross, the Holy Spirit will then (and only then) have latitude to work in our lives. Through our “spiritual senses” the Lord will help us to plan the way He wants to us to plan, and will lead us in the way He wants us to be led. 

The pitfalls of gambling (broken relationships, jealously, greed, and so much more) are held at bay by the love of Jesus when it is Him working through us with the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)

By simple logic, gambling can easily be perceived as a non-righteous entity because of the negative images and destructive-laden traits of this vice…and by assimilation…something contrary for a Holy Spirit led Christian to engage in. In addition, a major issue of a Christian gambling is that it can “cause another brother or sister” or “anyone else for that fact” to stumble or to be led astray in their life’s journey. Below is a Biblical reference to this very important principle:

Roman 14:13-19 (ESV)

13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

Note: Verses 17- 19 above are the key to “doing the right thing” and exhibit a Holy Spirit focus and selfless walk, as we “share the light” of Jesus to and among others. 

Other items to consider in the overall gambling issue are as follows:

• Acts 20:35 (NIV) – “It is more blessed to give than to receive” – gambling is almost always focused on the “receiving” aspect…often in some “staged / impure motive” manner – to be honest with oneself, no one really enjoys the “giving” aspect of gambling – they would much rather “receive”!!

• 1 Timothy 6:10 (KJV) – “For the love of money is the root of all evil” – normally gambling is based on the “love of money” …often with a coveted / deceptive attachment from using a “set up of odds or favor” on the front end of any negotiated engagement / match up 

• II Corinthians 9:7 (NIV) – “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” – I can’t remember ever seeing a “cheerful giver” after watching a gambling match – reluctance to pay the “risk loss” can easily accompany “risky situations”!  

Personal commentary points: 

• I realize that Christians have a free will choice to gamble or not. However, just because Scripture doesn’t explicitly call something is a sin or tell us not to do something, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prayerfully consider it. Ask and seek the Lord’s opinion of it for your own life – He will guide you!

• Since September of 1972, whenever I have been confronted by someone that wants to “gamble”, any feelings, desires, and / or compulsions within me to do so have been quelled. In other words, God has not confirmed in my Spirit to “go ahead” and use “His money” in this manner. I do not foresee getting His permission / confirmation any time soon to do otherwise. 

• My main focus / reason for playing our (God’s) beautiful “sport gift” of billiards (in any form) was deeply etched in my mind and “purposed in my heart” back in 1959. Elsie, my first employer, at Elsie’s Pool Room in Minonk, IL taught me the sights (“colors of the rainbow” – solids and stripes as Roy G. Biv) and sounds (“birds chirping” – when balls click against each other). This led to a main foundational and Biblical principle to “Play Skillfully with a Shout of Joy” (Psalms 33:30 NKJV). The “receiving” (in so many special ways) has been beyond abundant, and the beauty of the game has been a masterpiece to behold. Thank you, Jesus!! 

A copyrighted article written in 1999 by Focus on the Family entitled A Biblical Look at Gambling highlights several soul-searching points with specific Biblical reference verses. For anyone (Christian pool player or otherwise) interested in a broader perspective of this subject, please visit the following link:


I found the following point of this article to be heart-piercing and worthy of focused consideration by anyone struggling with a perceived notion that is OK to “use God’s money” to gamble with “on or off” the table. 

Gambling undermines a believer’s trust in God. The Bible teaches that Christians are to look to Him as their sole provider and to be content with the material blessings they receive from His hand. Involvement in gambling indicates both lack of trust and dissatisfaction with the Lord’s provision. See, for instance, Matthew 6:25-34; Philippians 4:11-12, 4:19; 1 Timothy 6:6; Hebrews 13:5.