The Great Deceiver

by Pastor Paul M. Sadler

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“Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken.” —Habakkuk 2:15

There are many passages in the Word of God, such as the above reference, that are timeless principles. While the alcohol industry goes to great lengths to get people to believe that drinking is a harmless way to have a good time, the facts are otherwise. It is very careful never to advertise the alcoholic who is dying of cirrhosis of the liver or the homes that have been destroyed by strong drink. And of course, there’s always a voice in the crowd that says a few social drinks will never hurt anyone. Most recovering alcoholics, however, tell a much different story of how their slide into a life of drunkenness all started with social drinking.

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Prov. 20:1).

Many years ago, I was driving through Apollo, Pennsylvania, where I saw a mangled piece of wreckage alongside of the road. Upon slowing down, I discovered it was an automobile, or at least what was left of it. Apparently someone survived the crash because there were beer cans strategically placed beside the car with a sign, which read, “And they told us we were going to have fun!” Someone lied.

Contrary to the world’s view that alcoholism is a disease, the Word of God calls drunkenness a sin (Gal. 5:19-21). Excessive drinking is not a disease; it is a matter of choice. Although some drunkards overcome their addiction through programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, apart from faith, all too often they return to their drinking ways when confronted with a crisis. The world’s answer to the problems of this life is, “I need a drink.” However, the answer is not found in the bottom of a bottle. The answer is a personal relationship with Christ!

Everyone reading these lines has a family member, a dear friend, or a neighbor who struggles with this temptation. Yes, even believers wrestle with this sin, as Paul makes very clear:

“Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness….But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:12-14).

The best thing we can do for those who grapple with this addiction is to show them our love and support. It is important to share with them that they are dead to this sin in Christ and therefore, it doesn’t have to control their life any longer. Since alcoholism is such a deeply seated problem, encourage them to search out a godly pastor or Christian counselor who can assist them in a better understanding of Romans, Chapter 6.

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

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