Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What Does The Bible Has To Say About Selling Hot Drinks and Cigarettes?

Should a True Christian Run a Business That Involves Selling Such Things As Beer, Hot Drinks and Cigarettes?

Question : Please sir, may I know, should a true christian run a business that involves selling such things as beer, hot drinks and cigarettes?

Answer : Greetings to you in Jesus name! Bible does not prohibit anyone from drinking wine or beer. Wine is made when yeast consumes the natural sugars in fruit such as grapes, and beer is made when yeast consumes the sugar derived from grain. The Bible says that, God is the one who brings forth the wine which makes the heart of man glad
(Psa 104:15). In the olden times when the nation of Israel celebrated any traditional festivals, they would use wine greatly as it is the heart of their celebration. Also wine was used as a good health drink when it is used in a limited way, which Paul the apostle advises his apostolic son not to neglect to take (1 Tim 5:23). "Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine..." (Gen 14:18; cf. Gen 27:25) to Abraham, which made his heart glad and strengthened his heart in the Lord by a close communion with Him, which symbolized the Lord's supper in the future which Jesus had institute and fulfilled (Psa 104:15; Matt 26:26-29). It is not a sin to take Wine or even strong drink, or else the Lord would not have encouraged a person to rejoice and drink in His Presence (Deuteronomy 16:13-14). "Wine" was offered to God at His command as part of the prescribed ritual (Exo 29:40). Thus it was part of the temple supplies available for purchase by pilgrims so that they could offer it to God (1 Chron 9:29).

Some people who wanted to restrict people from drinking because of their fear that they might become uncontrolled drunkards started to say that wine in the Bible means unfermented drink. But when we see the Scripture, we can notice the Hebrew word 'yayin' is used in the Old Testament for wine and the word 'oinos' in Greek is used in the New Testament for wine. Both these words denotes that they are fermented in its content. Wine is wine and there are no unfermented kind that is used famously as people try to make it seem to be.

Also we see that the King Solomon understood all these above advantageous nature of wine to humans, so he said,
“Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart; For God has already accepted your works.” (Ecclesiastes 9:7) and a little later in the next Chapter he also wrote, “A feast is made for laughter, and wine makes merry.” (Ecclesiastes 10:19). Though the Bible does not prohibit strong drink yet at the same time it does not encourage anyone to get drunk and become intoxicated to lose control over themselves except to the Spirit of God (Eph 5:18), because these are the moments Satan will try his best to take control of their mind to fulfill his will to steal, kill and destroy themselves and others (John 10:10; Prov 31:4-5; 23:29-35). If some one has self control, it is Ok for them to take wine, yet without being a stumbling block to a Brother who has been a drunkard and has been delivered from that bondage by the Lord (Rom 14:21). As for the leaders of the Church, Apostle Paul says that they should never be slaves to drink (1Tim 3:8; Tit 2:3).

We see that Noah the great man of God who walked with God planted a Vineyard after the flood and got tempted to get rip roaring drunk which actually set a very bad example to his sons
(Genesis 9:20-21). So if we do not have self control, it is better to stay away from it considering the dangers that a strong drink may lead a person in to.

Regarding smoking, we all know the harmful effect of it towards our health, environment and others. Smoking is harmful for each and every organ of our body. Nicotine which is found in tobacco is a highly addictive drug and once it starts to control the mind of its users, it is like walking in a way that leads a smoker in a short cut to demise, which for sure will take that person very soon to death stage. Medical experts say that smoking inflicts the body with many irreversible damages and reduces the human life span by 25 years. It also causes others around a smoker to be affected by the same harmful effect when the smoke spreads in the environment and kills their lives too slowly.

What does the Bible say about this? It does not say we should not smoke, as smoking tobacco became famous around the world only after 1800's. These intoxicating smoking leaves were used as incense in the pagan temples in the ancient times to get the people who worshiped their deities in to trance and to come into contact with the spirit world. But the Bible clearly says that,
"16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are." (1 Cor 3:16-17). In other words, as we know very well medically and scientifically that smoking is injurious to health, any one who knowingly destroy their bodies which is God's temple and others bodies who are around them will be destroyed by God, who will allow their life to be taken out of their body in death before their God-appointed time itself (Psa 90:10). All believer's in Jesus are God's temple unlike unbelievers. So we must carefully preserve our body on earth as long as we live, and as smoking directly destroys our body it is implicitly prohibited by God.

Paul the apostle says that although all things are lawful for a Christian to do, he tells all believers not to be brought under the power of any
(1 Cor 6:12). Many of us know that when the reformation was spearheaded by the Holy Spirit during the 1500 to the early 1900, God used men like John Wesely, Charles Finney and others in such a way that all those who were touched by God including the owners of the wine shop, became serious enough to stop drinking themselves and also closed their own shops. These men were touched in such a way by God that many shops which supplied wine became completely empty and many ownners because of the conviction of the Holy Spirit left their wine buisness to start some other useful trade which God blessed later in their lives (John 16:8).

The Old Testament people who walked by the law of Moses became so engrossed in keeping the law that they lost all the heart connection with God and started doing it as an act of soulish religious worship of pride and tradition
(Mark 7:6-8, 13). They were so completely occupied with keeping the intricate details of the the law that they completely forgot the most of important and weightier matters of the law which are justice, mercy and faith (Matt 23:23). When finally Jesus came and exposed these so called religious hypocritism of men, they got so angry to reject Him and finally kill Him without any truthful reason for doing it except false charges. Those who kept the law only understood that they have sinned when they sin, but had no power to overcome it because the law never gave its followers the overcoming power to do any righteous thing except convict them as sinners and make them guilty before God (Gal 3:19, 21; Rom 7:7; 3:19, 21). Thus it was weak and unprofitable to live true godly lives (Heb 7:18).

But now we in the New Testament do not look for a law based relationship with God by searching for what is wrong or right in the Bible. When people do this, they are actually returning back to the spirit of the Old Testament, even though they are saints of the New Testament in Christ Jesus
(2 Cor 3:14, 6). So there is no right or wrong in these matters of conscience, but only the law of the faith and Spirit which is written in the heart of all saints in the New Testament which should make them realise that it is wrong or right to do a particular thing at a particular time because of their love for what God has already done for them through Jesus (Rom 8:2; 3:27; Heb 10:14, 16, 17; John 14:15). The question a good christian should ask himself before setting up a wine shop to sell wine and cigrattes is, 'If Jesus was with me physically at this time, will I choose to set this buisness up for His Glory and ask Him to inaugurate it? Will it really glorify God? Should I do this buisness to express my love towards God and others who are my neighbours through serving Him this way? Does what I do bring a blessing to people in Jesus name, or will it destroy their lives? The buisness I do, does it bring people in to liberty or in to bondage?'

Yes we know by asking such questions, we should become mature enough to take solid food which is in full age spiritual category. This spiritual sense to understand what to do and what not to do comes only by reason of use which make our spiritual senses excercised to discern both good and evil
(Heb 5:14). Keeping the new covenant gives us a inheritance to inherit from God unlike the Old (Rom 4:13; Heb 9:15). The new perfects all believers alike, unlike the old (Heb 7:19; 10:14). The Old Testament was for Israel only, but the New Testament is for all mankind (Deut 4:7-8; 5:3; Mark 14:24; 2 Cor 5:14-19). The Old was abolished but the New Covenant continues in glory (2 Cor 3:13, 11). Old purified only the external flesh, but the New Covenant purifies our internal conscience and make us serve God without fear (Heb 8:13; 9:14). Christ removed the OLD and faulty shadow covenant by fulfilling pefectly the entire law of God without breaking even one in His life and thus enacted the NEW reality perfect covenant which is now in force (Mat 5:17-18; Heb 10:9; 7:19; Col 2:14-17; Heb 8:6, 10:9). Jesus single handedly fulfilled all the law of God and tasted death through God's grace for us so that we believers could enjoy our relationship with God in liberty rather than be in fear and bondage to the Old Testament way of following the law (Matt 5:17-18; Heb 2:9; Gal 5:5).

Much Blessings.....


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Gabriel 'Niyi Adegbami. said...

Wonderful Insight! Please I observed that you wanted to refer to Deuteronomy 16:14 and not 14:16.Thank you!

Abraham Israel said...

Thank you Brother Gabriel. Much Blessings....

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