By Ron Halbrook
For The Truth’s Sake, all men need to learn the sinfulness of drunkenness. Though Noah was a great man of faith, he stumbled on one occasion by this sin. A proper sense of restraint, caution, and modesty is weakened or destroyed by drunkenness–Noah laid naked, a thing he would not otherwise have done. His son Ham was led to gaze sinfully upon his father’s naked body and so was cursed (Gen. 9:18-27). In a drunken condition, Lot commited incest with his two daughters (Gen. 19:30-38). Husbands and wives, children and parents abuse one another while drunk. Marital promises are broken and purity violated by those in a drunken state’ divorces result, homes are destroyed, and children are deprived of family blessings.
“Who bath woe? who bath sorrow? who bath contentions? who bath babbling? who bath wounds without cause? who bath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine. . . At last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder” (Proverbs 23:29-35). The writer went on to explain some of the consequences of drunkenness: fornication and adultery, vile speech, lack of caution in the presence of danger, brawling and fighting, and addiction.
Drunkenness has been a common sin throughout man’s history. God’s people were warned against it in the first century A.D. when the New Testament was written. Aged, godly women who expected to set a good example were to be “not given to much wine” (Tit. 2:3), nor were mature men who desired to be special servants in the church (1 Tim. 3:8). The Lard directed that each local church be overseen by men of age, experience, and maturity; these overseers were variously known as elders, bishops, pastors, or presbyters (Acts 20:28; Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:1-2; Tit. 1:5,7). In no case could these leaders be “given to wine” or drunkards (See 1 Tim. 3:3; Tit. 1:7).
Drunkenness is sinful. Like any sin not repented of, it will bar us from heaven and condemn us to hell. Those who die guilty of such things “shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19-21). The debauchery called “excess of wine” in 1 Pet. 4:3 rendered Alexander the Great senseless and killed him in the youth. of manhood. The world will “think it strange that ye run not with them” to the excesses of such sin, so that they will speak “evil of you.” Not only will they be judged for this evil speaking, but for their drunkenness as well (1 Pet. 4:1-5).
No matter what sin we are guilty of, we are all invited into the Lord’s family on the same terms: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38). Christians who sin must repent, pray God’s forgiveness, and turn away from their error (Acts 8:22-24; 1 John 1:6-9).
Truth Magazine XXII: 47, p. 763
November 30, 1978