By Pastor Dan Parton
Timberline Baptist Church, Manitou Springs, CO
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Text: Proverbs 20:1
Introduction: It is evident from Scripture that no good thing has ever come from drinking fermented wine or strong drink. Since there are no contradictions in the Bible, God cannot condemn alcoholic wine and strong drink on one hand and condone it on the other. Therefore, Proverbs 20:1 stands faithful to the whole of Scripture. Wine remains a mocker and strong drink remains raging, and both are great deceivers of mankind. Even a casual study of the Scriptures surrounding the use of wine and strong drink in the Bible, shows plainly that alcoholic wine and strong drink are not good.
However, today there are still many who have swallowed wine and strong drink's lies, literally, by the bottle and glassful. As has been said in an earlier study, wine and strong drink are liars. This is not surprising because alcohol is of its father, the Devil. "Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8:44)
Lucifer started out lying to himself and to God. He then lied to Eve in the Garden of Eden and encouraged her to lie to Adam. Adam believed the lie and plunged the entire human race into sin. Satan's plan never really changes. He is the great deceiver, and everything he involves himself with is full of deceit. Alcohol is not the exception to the rule. Alcohol has been deceiving mankind for as long as man has been drinking it.
I. The evil effects of alcohol.
- Alcohol diminishes morality; "And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant." (Genesis 9:20-26)
- It is associated with stubbornness, rebellion, gluttony, and dishonor to parents. "And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard." (Deuteronomy 21:20) - Drinking brings spiritual blindness and uselessness. "But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment." (Isaiah 28:7)
- Alcohol brings hopelessness. "And behold joy and gladness, slaying oxen, and killing sheep, eating flesh, and drinking wine: let us eat and drink; for to morrow we shall die." (Isaiah 22:13) - Strong drink is deceptive. In fact, according to Proverbs 20:1, one of its main characteristics is that of deceitfulness.
* Great amounts of precious food are destroyed so that strong drink may be extracted from the rubbish. For example, alcoholic beverages are distilled from many selected fruits, vegetables, and grains.
* Nations are deceived by alcohol because of the vast amounts of revenue they receive through its production and sale.
* Friends are deceived as many friendships are made on the basis of social drinking. This is a worthless counterfeit for real friendship.
* At the first, alcohol allows you to hold it; but as time goes by, it requires you to hold it. After that, those who drink refuse to let it go.
II. The folly of alcohol.
- Alcohol is full of mischief and folly.
- It mocks its user by promising satisfaction and happiness. There are things that alcohol cannot deliver.
- It mocks its user by pretending to be a sociable thing.
* Individuals think it makes them socially acceptable when, in reality, it makes them unfit for society. Most folks cannot talk or socialize and drink at the same time. Certainly, no one is encouraged to drink and drive at the same time. Alcohol makes the tongue abusive and removes whatever controls a person may have in their passions.
- Those who are deceived by alcohol are not wise. The Bible warns about the effects of alcohol, time and time again, only to be ignored by those who have believed alcohol's lie. For example, it is the fool who ignores all of the road signs that warn him of the bridge that is out. The fool plunges head-long over the edge. In the same way, it is the fool who knows all of the warnings along the roadside of life concerning alcohol, and drinks anyway.
** Let's go back to a verse we read a while ago concerning the drinking of alcohol, "But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment." (Isaiah 28:7)
- The heart you have for God will be lost through wine and strong drink, "Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart." (Hosea 4:11)
* Preaching against the sin of immorality, is something that Christians don't mind. Everyone knows that whoredom and harlotry are evil sins. No one has respect for that area of town known as the "red-light district." The words prostitute, whore, pimp, and prostitution are words that we associate with the worst of sins. According to Hosea 4:11, wine and strong drink have the same effect.
* Wine and strong drink will render, those who are deceived by them, incapable of getting wisdom, for alcohol is a sin that so captivates an individual that it takes away his heart.
Conclusion: I would like to close this week's Bible study on alcohol with the following story as told by General Harrison, one of the candidates for the Presidency of the United States, in connection with a public dinner given him on one occasion. "At the close of the dinner, one of the gentlemen drank his health. The General pledged his toast by drinking water. Another gentleman offered a toast and said, 'General, will you not favor me by taking a glass of wine?' The General, in a very gentlemanly way, begged to be excused. He was again urged to join in a glass of wine. This was too much. He rose from his seat and said in the most dignified manner, 'Gentlemen, I have twice refused to partake of the wine cup. I hope that will be sufficient. Though you press the matter ever so much, not a drop shall pass my lips. I made a resolve when I started in life that I would avoid strong drink. That vow have I never broken. I am one of a class of 17 young men who graduated together. The other 16 members of my class now fill drunkards' graves, and all from the pernicious habit of wine drinking. I owe all my health, my happiness, and prosperity to that resolution. Would you urge me to break it now?'"
As I said at the very beginning, no good thing has ever come from the drinking of alcoholic beverages. Again, even a casual study of Scripture, shows plainly that God does not want us to be controlled, nor influenced in any way, by alcohol, the great deceiver.
** Don't forget, Jesus may come back today!
"He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds."
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