I recently went to Las Vegas, Nevada (aka Sin City) for the first time. Vegas is infamous for being a huge party city where people go to escape their mundane reality to go a little crazy. The motto of the city is “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”.

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I, on the other hand, am not much of a partier, at least in the sense of getting drunk. My idea of a party is going to Taco Bell and telling my girlfriend that she can buy whatever she wants off of the value menu (cuz I spoil her), and eating what we bought with a cold can of Dr. Pepper. I don’t drink alcohol or do drugs, so Vegas isn’t really my scene. But I went to Vegas for a race my friends and I did. We stayed three unforgettable nights. We stayed at a hotel perfectly within walking distance of all the chaos that the city had to offer.

I will briefly go over my first impressions of Vegas to give those who haven’t been to Vegas an idea of what it is like, then speak on whether I think Christians should go to Vegas.

My initial thoughts on Vegas:

I didn’t expect to see creepy dudes on every corner yelling sexually explicit statements to entice me to go to some strip club. I wasn’t all about that at all. The only strip club I want to attend is a club completely devoted to the production and consumption of chicken strips, but that’s not what they were offering. No thank you.

On the ground, I saw cards scattered throughout all of the city that had naked women posing provocatively. I had never seen anything like that before. I just kept walking.

I had never walked around in a casino before, so I surprised to see all the cleavage typical of casinos. Waitresses go up to people gambling and ask to get them drinks. Their cleavage helps to get them more tips, so it’s common to see a lot. Seeing all this depressed me, since I kept thinking that that women is someone’s daughter and, in some cases, someone’s mom. And now they’re exposing themselves like that just to get a little more money.

I felt an overall emptiness in the city. I saw people smiling and laughing, but it seemed like they were playing in a shallow pool of pleasure.

People were enjoying the moment as much as they could, but moments come and go. Excitement based in gambling, drinking, or partying quickly evaporates. Then, you’re looking for your next game, next drink, or next club to attend. I saw this one girl crying and, at least to me, she seemed to represent the overall sentiment I received from the city. People playing in a shallow pools of pleasure, which will soon be gone.

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Those are just some of my thoughts of Sin City to give you an idea of what I thought of the city. I remember leaving Vegas and saying to myself that I would never go back to Vegas ever again. It just wasn’t my scene and I constantly felt as if I should have stayed home, since the city had nothing to offer me.

Well, then I bet you assume I think Christians shouldn’t go to Vegas either.

Not quite.

I don’t think it’s wise to go to Vegas for the purpose to party the night away. Even if you can control yourself like me, it’s still not the best place to go for fun. You’ll be surrounded by a lot of temptation to sin.

I’m not against Christians having a drink or two, but trying to drink a drink or two in Vegas is like trying to eat a candy bar or two in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. You’re surrounded by temptation to go further than you originally intended However, that is something you truly have to discern with Holy Spirit and some wise counsel.

I personally would never go to Vegas for the traditional reasons, but I would for ministry reasons. Vegas is entitled, “Sin City” for a reason. There is a lot of messed up things going down in that city. However, there is also a lot of good things happening in Vegas.

For example, XXXCHURCH helps share the love of Jesus to the sex industry and they also provide incredible resources to help people like myself to stop being addicted to porn. In fact, their founder, Craig Gross, is a big reason why I desire to be a pastor. And they’re based in Vegas. There are many also brothers and sisters in Christ who go to Vegas to share Christ.

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I had a pastor in Vegas tell me that Vegas isn’t Sin City, but instead it’s Grace City.

I like that.

Christians shouldn’t say that they will never go to Vegas again since Vegas (and any other city) is filled with people who need to hear about how much God.

I have to admit that my first trip to Vegas wasn’t all that great, but that was my fault. I didn’t seek out opportunities to share my faith. Instead, I was just stunned by what I saw.

However, the next time I go will be different. And I hope other Christians will join me in not writing off Vegas as a condemned city. God loves people in Vegas and He wants us to share the name of Jesus in Sin City.

Jesus said, “‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15).

Jesus didn’t command us to go into only the parts of the world where we want to go or where we feel most comfortable. Instead, Jesus commanded us to go into every city and proclaim the name of Jesus, so let’s do that.

“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20

Jordan Kranda
Follower of Jesus. Husband to Ariel. Master’s of Theology (Greek Track) Graduate. Future Pastor. Present lover of cheese, Blink-182, & watching sports.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Not all employees that work in the casinos are showing cleavage. A lot of casinos keep it professional and sophisticated. So overly dramatic you make Vegas out to be. You clearly have no grasp as to why such a city exists. And not everybody in Vegas is out partying, gambling or drinking. There is fine dining that is unmatched in many cities around the world. There is Lake Mead, Mt Charleston, Red Rock, Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon, where tons of non-drinking, non-partying, non-gambling people go to see. But your narrow mindedness lacks any observational skills besides observing what people are doing against your beliefs.

  2. This article is trash, I live in Las Vegas and there aren’t cards of naked women all over the city, that is just on the Strip. If you have no self control whatsoever, then don’t come, there are plenty of people who come who are not Christians that have self control. And by the way “Sin City” doesn’t even describe one bit how the city is. There are cities all around the world far more sinful than Las Vegas. Have you heard of Amsterdam? Where they actually have women standing at windows to sell sex and marijuana shops that sell weed with coffee. You’re so overly dramatic about Vegas it is almost hilarious.

  3. Wow thank you so much for writing this! I randomly googled “a Christian’s viewpoint on Vegas”. Wanting to hear maybe what other Christians thought about going here on vacation. You definitely broadened my perspective. It should be used as a ministry opportunity but sadly so many people I know claiming to be living for the lord go here to go for birthdays and anything else for fun. Getting wasted mostly and bachelorette parties. Everyone needs to be reached I wouldn’t want to be the person who was drunk and someone asks me about Jesus being there. I wish people would just wake up including myself and realize this life is not about you.

  4. I have been to Vegas like 5 times now. I don’t drink to get drunk. I remember just having a beer in a Copperfield show my sister treated me to. I will admit that the first few visits, I was heavily seduced to looking at women. I professed myself to be Christian though I was still worldly then. When and if I go there now, I just try to flick it off but the temptation is still there. I get all happy when I see people doing God’s work whether it is in downtown or the strip. I told the Lord once that Vegas is a beautiful city, then I felt the spirit telling me that what I loved was how the hotels looked on the outside, which is true. I do love how the skyscrapers look in Vegas, but what he was also telling me was how filthy it was in the inside. I saw only the outside but not so much the inside. Last time I was there, I was taking lots of pictures on how the city and it’s casinos looked. Thank God it wasn’t pics on what really makes Vegas tick. I don’t gamble much so Vegas overall, a nice city to visit, but not a place for me to live. Besides the strip and downtown, Vegas doesn’t have much to offer and you will get bored after a few days to months being there.

  5. You are absolutely right in every sense of this article. As I lie here in my hotel room after being in this city for 4 days I prey that I will forgive myself for what I have done. All I can say is that I can move past this low in my life and learn from my mistakes and move on. This city will leave you empty and ashamed and I cannot wait to get on a plane back home.

  6. Amen Jordan.

    I have been to Las Vegas twice because I like Poker, fine dining, and shows. They have some of the best shows in the world. You can also get a Spa package (I know it sounds funny), for like $30 more to your stay, so you can enjoy amenities that would normally cost much more for less.

    In regard to evangelism, you’re absolutely right. It remains me of Miami, FL (where I live). So many people thirsty for the truth, looking for the next party, club, high, drink, etc… If we reach out to the lost, and we follow the lead of the Holy Spirit, evangelism opportunities are numerous. I saw a guy with a microphone in front of Bellagio, and I admired his audacity. Facing countless people potentially critical of the Christian message, but persevering boldly by proclaiming it to the sea of people passing by him. I think I gave him a high five or otherwise some sentiment of encouragement, but I recall how blessed he was to expose himself to potential discomfort for the sake of the Gospel.

    I say discomfort and not persecution, because we have freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Although they’re often challenged, they’re not foreign to the U.S. With that additional capacity, we’re essentially entrusted with more, so we are responsible to be good stewards of it all. Not just money, but also time, energy, and resources.

    I would say that it’s possible to go to “sin city” without the intention to sin. I too saw the cards on the ground, the sea of sometimes promiscuously dressed women, and the cocktail waitresses. At the end of the day we need to know our strengths and weaknesses. We also would do well to be in a group, or with someone else, who will help us stay accountable. It’s difficult not to find oneself susceptible if one is given to any vice like drunkenness, compulsive gambling, or greed for instance. That said I do believe there’s value in reaching out to the lost, and there’s not too many places where you’ll be certain you are reaching out in a dark world that rarely gets a glimpse of the truth of God’s Word.

    I plan to go May 14th-16th, I pray that in my endeavors I bring God glory. I am going to accompany a friend who is heading out for a medical conference, and I myself intend to play cards and perhaps entertain a show. I think it’ll be a blessed time of fellowship with my friend, and I believe that God will prompt me by His Holy Spirit to share the Word of God. I have felt called to do so at Poker games before, where there are typically 6-8 other people or more who are within earshot of Christian oriented conversation. I also think that other circumstances could lead me to boldly share my faith.

    I am glad to see that you didn’t take a legalistic view, but rather kept an open mind to the potential for sowing eternal seeds out in Vegas. With respect to night life, clubs, and the general party atmosphere; it might as well be non-existent for me as well. I don’t even really often indulge any drink, let alone get drunk. I have never gotten drunk in my entire life. Provocative women can be a temptation, but I need to keep my eyes focused on the path set before me, and not allow myself to indulge lingering stares. Such a temptation is just as much, if not more prevalent, here in South, FL than Vegas though. It’s something that is worthy of conquering no matter what social context you live in, so we need to be personally accountable to God for that.

    Good piece, thought provoking. Hope all is well. God bless.

  7. Amen.
    I go to UNLV (right down the street from the Strip) & I had the same reaction the first time I walked on the strip.
    Many of the reactions I get when I tell people back home that I go to college in Vegas is nothing but judgement on this city. These people need Jesus just as much as we do.
    Be praying for this city. They need The Lord so desperately.

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