In the U.S, the Assemblies of God has traditionally adopted a position of “teetotalism” when it comes to the use of alcoholic beverages. Our church is no exception to that rule. But, in this age of moral permissiveness, how have we come to that position and how can we defend it?
Text: Proverbs 23:29-35 & Ephesians 5:18
I. The need for this message
A. The obvious damages inflicted in our society by the use of alcohol
1. Traffic fatalities.
2. Family breakups.
3. Loss of moral inhibitions.
B. The growing number of membership applications where the issue arises
1. The use of alcoholic beverages in our own church family.
2. The standard imposed upon candidates for leadership in our church.
II. From the Biblical perspective
A. What the Bible does not say?
1. One would be hard-pressed to prove a position of total abstinence from the Bible.
2. I have heard the arguments about “wine” Vs. “new wine”, (fermented Vs. unfermented) but they are weak and futile attempts to support a position which the Bible does not support.
3. The master of the wedding feast at Cana would certainly have been able to tell the difference if there had been one.
B. What the Bible does say?
1. Warns of the dangers of alcoholic drinks: Proverbs 20:1 “Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise.” (NIV)
2. 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” (NIV)
3. Proverbs 23:29-32 (See text)
4. Leviticus 10:9 (Aaronic priests forbidden to drink wine)
5. Nazarites were never to drink
6. John the Baptist was never to drink, (Luke 1:15).
III. Why then total abstinence?
A. Because it is the standard agreed upon by God-ordained authority, (Romans 13:1-5)
1. Whether you agree with the standard or not is irrelevant.
2. (4-fold standard imposed on the Gentiles in Acts 15:20)
B. That standard is irrelevant today.
1. Food offered to idols.
2. sexual immorality.
3. strangled food.
4. food prepared with blood.
5. Yet it was right and imposed at that time.
6. The A/G and our local church have agreed upon this standard. You have a scriptural responsibility to comply if you wish to be a member.
C. Because otherwise you may become a stumbling block to weaker Christians. 1. Romans 14:13-21 (Read this)
2. Note: What you do may not be wrong, but the fact that you do it is very wrong! 3. Your love for your brother should be more important to you than your own pleasure. (See Romans 15:1,2)
4. You may have discretion enough to stop with one social drink, but what about others who justify their abuse by your use? (See next point)
5. I Corinthians 8:8-13 (Read this). Our liberty must never become a stumbling block to others.
6. When we offend a weaker brother, we sin against Christ! (I Corinthians 8:12)
This message does not lead to a traditional invitation. However, if you feel that you have sinned against this body and you need to repent to them, I invite you to come. If you need only to make a personal decision, then please do so today.Taken from Dr. Arnold Lastinger personal sermons notes collection.