Evil Alcohol or Christian Cocktail

red wine in glass
 
Our society for the most part condones the consumption of alcohol. The makers of strong drinks will market it as a “good time” and “lets all party” all for the sake of money. It is nothing uncommon to see people drinking beer in family TV programming. Even from years gone by, the media was training our world through light hearted comedies like the Beverly Hillbillies. Everyone would laugh as Granny would break out the rheumatism medicine or Otis Campbell in the Andy Griffith show would come into the jail staggering drunk.
 
In this article I am not trying to judge anyone’s salvation nor motives but I have no problem saying that the Bible teaches Christians to be a teetotaler, period. Most of the reasoning for acceptance by a Christian to drink in what is called “moderation”, I perceive as flat out deception within Christianity. The problem started infecting the church when the ministers of God stopped taking a stand for total abstinence in lieu of better attendance.
 
Don’t be fooled, full blown alcoholics did not start out that way, it was one drink at a time until they eventually lost control and no longer cared. Don’t be fooled, drunkards will not make it into heaven “ Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God”[1]
 
ONE DRINK LEADS TO MANY PROBLEMS
 
Probably more than any single one question asked by Christians. “Is it ok to drink a little alcohol?” The best answer to this question would be 1st Thess 5:22 “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”  When we become a new creation in Christ after repentance unto salvation, all the old things are supposed to pass away and a new creation in Jesus should come forth. So if we truly are born again, a drunken lifestyle in any capacity is certainly not of God and can also be a stumbling block to those around us.
 
We have to honestly ask ourselves, would the Lord condone alcohol that is responsible for more than 70% of home violence, kills more than 10,000 people on US highways every year, plays a role of more than 25% in suicides?  
 
I have personally watched many people die from the long term effects of alcohol. It is heart wrenching to watch someone die a painful death when the body shuts down because of the effects alcohol has on the body. Liver damage and liver cancer are very common in even moderate drinkers. In 2018 scientist released a report backtracking on previous “benefits” of small amounts of wine.
 
Doctors now say that abstinence is the best healthy lifestyle choice. Alcohol led to 2.8 million premature deaths in 2016; it was the leading risk factor for premature mortality and disability in the 15 to 49 age group, accounting for 20 percent of deaths, according to the researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.[2]
 
All of these studies and statistics merely confirm what the Bible has said for thousands of years – Drinking makes you forget your responsibilities, and you mistreat the poor. Beer and wine are only for the dying or for those who have lost all hope. – [3]
 
Some might say “I drink just one or two beers/drinks”. It is just common sense that if it takes someone 10 beers to get drunk and they have one beer, they are 1/10 drunk. I consumed all forms of alcohol for many years of which I am not proud to say the least. So I can testify without hypocrisy that my mind and attitude began to change with even one drink or one beer.
 
I cringe when I hear the statement “I only drink just one” because I know that is very dangerous ground to be on spiritually and physically. The Bible instructs the Christian to be sober and vigilant because the devil desires to crush you and your family with it. Many verses in the New Testament tell us to be sober. The Greek word for “sober” is nepho – it means to abstain from wine (keep sober) [4]. 12 verses in the New Testament tell preachers [5] and their wives[6] to keep sober. It instructs older men[7] to keep sober. It tells young men and women to stay sober.[8]
 
Especially as the end of days is at hand, be SOBER! [9]  
 
JESUS MADE THE WINE
 
Now let us look at probably the most often used excuse to drink wine or alcohol “Jesus made wine at a wedding” or “Jesus drank wine at the last supper”. First things first, the word wine as we know it in our modern culture is only singular in meaning , a fermented alcoholic grape juice. But wine translated in the KJV could have meant many different things. Dr. Ferrar Fenton, translator of The Holy Bible in Modern English, showed six different meanings of the Greek Word for wine “oinos” – actual grapes, raisins, syrup, fresh grape juice, jam and a fermented grape juice. Actually the word we use “wine” came into the current meaning as a drink of alcohol during the Prohibition Days of the United States. Words like “wino” evolved out of that.
 
I think to argue whether the wine made at the wedding was fermented or grape juice is not productive to what I hope to accomplish. It would take an exhaustive amount of words to explain in depth the Greek words that were in the original text and in what context they were used. Then there would be rebuttal over different translations. We must use a word for word translation and the KJV is undeniable the best according to Jewish historians. So to be short in my thoughts, the Bible cleary shows the wine at the wedding was grape juice and not fermented.
 
I think we are better served to ask ourselves “do we really think that Jesus would have created 150 gallons of alcohol to get people drunk”. I think the answer should be obvious, no, the Lord would not give anything to us that would cause sin or harm.
 
As far as the last supper and Jesus drinking wine, you will not find a verse in the Bible that says Jesus drank alcoholic wine. To suggest that Jesus drank fermented wine would have made the prophecy in Luke 1:15 untrue. “For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. “
 
It is a perversion of the Word of God to claim that Jesus produced or drank alcoholic wine. Let it not be said among Christians that we think that “a little drunk” is ok, because it’s not.
 
THE PATH TO VICTORY
 
Lastly, my heart goes out to you if you are struggling with drinking and maybe God put you in the path of this post to help you. When I first received the Lord as my savior in 2005, I still struggled with beer and cigarettes after I was gloriously saved. God stripped a severe drug addiction and many other things from me the day I repented at an altar, but I still had things going on I did not understand.
 
I was saved and knew it, but extreme conviction would sweep over me when I would drink even a few beers. I went searching for the answers. I found the truth I was looking for by supernatural intervention of God.
 
The answer to victory He showed me was in the Cross. I am not speaking of the wooden beam, I am talking about the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The same faith in Jesus Christ and His Cross that saved me, was the same faith God wanted from me on a daily basis. I had tried under my own will power and strengths to put down those things that I knew were wrong. I had tried to even condone it with “a little is ok”.
 
When God showed me that my faith in Christ and Him Crucified gave the Holy Spirit the means to work in my life, I was forever changed. When the truth hit me, I told God “if this thing is real, take the cigarettes and alcohol from me” and the next day I woke up free from the bondages that had held me for so many years.
 
Your victory over alcohol, or any sin, may not be instant. You may struggle with it. But dont quit, dont give up. God will bring you the victory. The danger is in when we think it is ok and we no longer allow the Holy Spirit to convict. We must never condone sin in any shape form or fashion. But God loves the sinner and wants you to change in all areas of your life. It is one thing to struggle under the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, but it is something completely different to condone sinful activity. If a Christian thinks that it is ok to drink alcohol in any capacity, they are deceived.
 
I know the idea of total abstinence of alcohol may not set well with many, but there is no doctrinal ground to stand on for consuming alcoholic beverages in any capacity.
 
God bless and may you discover the victory that awaits you in the Message of the Cross.
 
Pastor F. L. Wilson 
 
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” – 1st Cor 1:18
 
 

[1] 1st Corinthians 6:10 [2] Healthdata.org [3] Proverbs 31:5-6 CEV [4] 1st Timothy 5:8 / Strong’s ConcordanceG3525 / 1st Peter 5:8 [5] 1st Timothy 3:2 [6] 1st Timothy 3:11 [7] Titus 2:2 [8] Titus 2:4-6 [9] 1st Peter 4:7


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