By Paul Smithson
Alcohol is a device Satan uses to deceitfully destroy the lives and souls of many people. In the U.S. today, over 65 million people above the age of 20 drink alcoholic beverages. Alcoholism affects one out of three American families. America spends an annual 10 billion dollars on liquor. Twenty to 50% of general hospital beds are occupied by the people whose illness is associated with alcohol abuse. Alcohol is involved in over 50% of all arrests.
The Tenn. Alcohol & Drug Assoc. reports show that drinking is also a problem among our youth. It reports that over 50% of seventh graders and nearly 90% of high school seniors have tried alcohol. They tell us the leading single cause of death among 15-24 year olds is drunk driving and that 40 – 60% of all fatal crashes involving a young driver are alcohol related.
Drunkenness is included among the works of the flesh which will not allow an individual to inherit the kingdom of God, (Gal. 5:21).
The use of alcohol impairs the qualities one must possess to be pleasing to God such as self-control, reason, and sound judgment (1Pet. 1:6; 4:7; Gal. 5:23). It is difficult at times to live and act properly before God when one is sober, let alone while under the influence of alcohol.
Some ask, “If drinking is wrong then why did Jesus turn the water into wine in John 2?” Surely Jesus would not provide for some what He condemns for others. It is a fact of history that what was drunk at the table in the ancient world was not the intoxicating wine of today. Not only the Greeks, but the Hebrews and Romans alike cut their wine with 3 and 4 parts water to drink as a beverage. Wine that was not deluded was referred to as strong drink, which the Bible so clearly warns against. Every product drank as a social drink today, such as beer, wine, or liquor, has the alcohol content to be classified as strong drink.
Some defend social drinking stating, “I can control my drinking, I don’t get drunk.” But the very example that drinking sets before others condemns it before God (1Tim. 4:12).
Could anyone who defends social drinking be willing to say: 1. That they believe they could convincingly have an righteous influence on others with a drink in their hand? 2. That they would want others, especially children to follow their example? 3. That when Jesus comes in judgment they would be perfectly comfortable meeting Him with a drink in their hand?
Billions of dollars are spent to advertise the use of alcohol as fun and glamorous. To drink, we are told, is to “go for the gusto,” “the high life.” We are told that when you drink “it just doesn’t get any better than this”, that when you drink “life is good.”
However, Satan never gives the true picture. “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2Cor. 11:14). Never do the alcohol commercials show the guy in the gutter in his own vomit. Never do they show hungry children where some mom or dad drank up the paycheck. Never do they show the dead and mangled bodies in a pile of twisted metal where a drunk has hit a car head on. Neither do they mention God’s displeasure.
Be warned, sin is deceitful (Heb. 3:12-13).