Thou Shalt Not Smoke!

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

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Have you read about the clear law against smoking cigarettes in the state laws of Illinois? It’s been on the books since 1907 and here is what it says:

Every person who shall manufacture, sell or give away any cigarette containing any substance deletrious to health, including tobacco, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $100.00 or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed 30 days.

This law has been on the Illinois state law books for 96 years, but in late years, certainly, it hasn’t been enforced and most Illinoisans don’t even know it’s there. The reason is that so many people smoke cigarettes that the authorities don’t even try to enforce it.

The prohibition era demonstrated the fact that human behavior cannot be legislated. This is so even with the law of God. Some people think that the Ten Commandments were given to help us to be good, but this is not so, for the Scriptures themselves state clearly that they were given to show us that we are bad and need a Savior.

Rom. 3:19 declares that the Law was given “that every mouth may be stopped, and that all the world may be brought in guilty before God.” Rom. 3:20 says: “By the law is the knowledge of sin.”

This is why we read in Rom. 8:3 that “what the law could not do, in that it was weak [on account of] the flesh,” God sent His Son to accomplish. Also in Heb. 7:19 we read that “the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did.” This is the “better hope” that we proclaim: that through Christ we may have “the forgiveness of sins” and that “by Him all who believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38,39).

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."

To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.

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