First, we had the casinos. Now, a new scourge has arrived on our shores – legalised online betting. According to the Straits Times (29 September 2016), online betting services will be rolled out over the next two months. Two operators, the Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club, have been given exemption from the Remote Gambling Act. Despite the claims that “casino-style games” will not be permitted online, it is right to claim that a form of the casino has indeed been brought into the home via the computer!

This is troubling news. In the past, people may be afraid to be seen walking into a casino or a legalised betting stall. However, it is now possible to hide in one’s closet and gamble. Instead of discouraging people from gambling, more will be tempted to try their “luck” online out of the sight of loved ones and friends. Our worry is that Christians will now join the “merry” men of the world and engage in the vice of gambling. “Nobody sees so it must be alright!”

As Christians, let us not deceive ourselves that so long as an activity is made permissible by the Government, it is therefore acceptable in the eyes of God. A believer’s standard of right and wrong lies solely in God’s Word and not in the laws of man. For example, it is not a crime to commit adultery in Singapore. Neither is it a crime to have premarital sex. However, the Seventh commandment makes it clear that all forms of adultery and sexual sin is an abomination before the Lord. Just because adultery is permitted in the nation does not mean that a Christian should engage in sexual sin.

Online gambling is a transgression of the 10th Commandment (Exodus 20:17). It is an inordinate love for money coupled with a laziness to obtain something without working. The Scripture sounds a brazen warning against the love of money – “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced them-selves through with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:10)

To warn students concerning the plague of gambling, the Principal of the Far Eastern Bible College would often cite the words of Stanely Ho, a casino mogul of Macau. Speaking to Asiaweek, Stanely Ho confesses, “Don’t gamble, you can never win!” Gambling operators base their games upon Game and Probability Theory. There is no way anyone can beat the opera-tor. You may start off with some small winnings, but once you get hooked, you will lose much more! You will soon need to borrow money. When the bank refuses to loan you any cash, you will turn to the loanshark and suffer dire consequences. Your family will be broken due to your sin. Most importantly, you have displeased the Almighty God by transgressing His law.

Dearly beloved, please do not engage in any form of unrighteous activity for the sake of sordid gain. If any man does not work, neither should he eat (1 Thessalonians 3:10). Let us be found engaged in honest and diligent work for the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. Always remember, godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6).


Statement by the Bible-Presbyterian Church of SingaporeAgainst Legalised Gambling
(Published in the weekly of Life Bible-Presbyterian Church on 8 September 1985)

The Holy Scriptures teach:

1. That righteousness exalts a nation (Proverbs 14:34);
2. That Christians live in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (Philippians 2:15);
3. That the love of and greed for money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10, Ecclesiastes 5:10, Jeremiah 17:11, James 5:3);
4. That an avaricious attitude is the cause of many domestic troubles (Proverbs 15:27);
5. That it is a sin to covet (Exodos 20:17) and to steal (Exodos 20:15); and
6. That it is the duty of all who can to work or else they should not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10).

We therefore advise the members of the Bible-Presbyterian Church in Singapore and all Christians in Singapore :

1. That it is against Biblical principles to advocate or participate in gambling, legalised or otherwise;
2. That while we respect the decisions of a government, these are not sacrosanct and whenever they conflict with our Biblical teachings we have the responsibility to express our dissent (Acts 5:29);
3. That while we certainly do not want to impose a Christian ethic on a non-Christian majority in Singapore, and while we detest the “holier-than-thou” attitude, nevertheless, it is our duty as citizens of Singapore to speak our minds and bear witness to the truth.
4. Let us help promote a vision of a nation of hardworking, honest, and thrifty people.

Waiting for Christ’s Coming
“. . . waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:7)

As Christians, we “wait” (apekdekomai) for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:7). This “waiting” has the idea of eager anticipation for something good to happen. This waiting is one which is anxious, persistent and assiduous, almost like a parent waiting for his son to return home from a long study trip overseas Similarly, Christians await Christ’s return with much eager anticipation. It will be a day of Christ’s revelation (apokalupsis) in His glory and splendour.

However, we must not understand this “waiting” to be a period of inactivity or passiveness, just like waiting for a bus or a train. Waiting for Christ’s return involves much activity, service and labour. Some cults teach their believers to sell all they have and go to an appointed place to wait for Christ to appear. What a devilish and wicked teaching to deceive the masses!

Christ gave us the parable of the talents in the Olivet Discourse to dispel any wrong notion of what it means to wait for His coming. A Christian is one who is characterised by a life of faithful stewardship. He will make use of whatever resources which the Lord has given to Him to magnify Christ and His Word. Is our life characterised by such diligence and faithfulness for the Lord Jesus Christ?

A Christian should also look forward to day of Christ for he will be presented “blameless” before God. We will be given a glorified body just like that of our Saviour. How should we respond? “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” (1 John 3:2-3) Waiting for Christ’s coming also re-quires us to be wholly committed to walk in holiness and purity. How is our walk before our God? Amen.

Lovingly in Christ,
Preacher Clement Chew