I recently came across a video of a pastor preaching and vehemently condemning alcohol on Facebook. In the comment session many persons were divided as to the sincerity of his gospel. No doubt, many persons have been divided on the issue of Alcohol. Many Christians struggle to understand the mind of God on this matter. While some Christians drink and come to say ‘God I am sorry’ others hide to drink; and many just follow their capabilities and dispositions. Is alcohol a blessing or a curse? Is it true that those who drink alcohol will go to hell? Attacking the morality of this issue many people run to the scriptures. What then is our hope? Look at these subtitles and bible verses carefully and objectively.
A. ALCOHOL: ONE OF GOD’S GOOD GIFTS.
1. Alcohol is presented as a blessing from God: Psalm 104:14-15 “He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts.” Eccl 9:7 “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.”
2. Alcohol is used positively in celebrations: Gen 14:18-20 “ Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was a priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Deut.14:26 “Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God and rejoice.” Isaiah 25:6 on this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine the best of meats and the finest of wines. Mark 14:23-25 then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many, he said to them. Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day”. John 2:1-11 “On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
3. Alcohol is also used for medicinal purposes: Proverbs 31:6-7 Let beer be for those who are perishing, wine for those who are in anguish! Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. Luke 10:34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 1 Tim. 5:23 Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.
B. ALCOHOL POSES SPECIAL DANGERS (PROVERBS 20:1)
1. The danger of intoxication: Lev 10:9 “You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the tent of meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come; Eph 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Lists of vices (Rom 13:13; Gal 5:19-21 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.
2. The danger of potential addiction: Isaiah 5:11 “Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine.” 1 Cor. 6:9-10 do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. Titus 2:3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.
3. The danger of negative influence: Proverbs 31:4-5 “It is not for kings, Lemuel—it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.” 1 Corinthians 8:9 “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.” 1 Timothy 3:2-3 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
C. ALCOHOL USE IS A MATTER OF CHRISTIAN FREEDOM
1. We should not judge those with different convictions: Romans 14:1-3 Talking about the weak and the strong the Bible says accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.
2. We need to be sensitive to those who struggle with alcohol: Romans 14:13-16 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil.
3. We need to maintain a clear conscience before God: Romans 14:22-23 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from is a sin; 1 Corinthians 10:31so whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Teens drinking: Is it against the law? In Nigeria alcohol is absolutely off-limits until you’re 18. Many minors are guilty today. God commands us to obey laws like these when he says, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.” (Rom. 13:1) If you disobey the law, then you’re also disobeying God.
The Bible does not forbid drinking alcohol, but it does warn against dangers of drinking too much, engaging in immoral behavior, and other consequences of alcohol abuse. While the Bible recognizes that drinking in moderation can be enjoyable and even safe, it contains passages that advise against heavy drinking.