Summary: This sermon is dealing with the consumption of alcohol.
It would not be much of a stretch for me to say that when it comes to teaching and preaching about alcohol; this subject can really bother some people. I have seen people storm out of churches just because of what the preacher was preaching about. Instead of confronting him on the issue and attempting to setup a bible study of some sort or something of that nature; they instantly went off in the deep end and acted foolish, extremely foolish.
This subject, I feel, should not be something that just “shocks” us. Alcohol gives people more problems than they know what to do with. For whatever reason, people attempt to justify some things by trying to “but/what if” their way into believing something that's just not so. I have done extensive studies on what the Bible has to say about alcohol. I have never preached on this subject because my grandfather always told me to never preach on a subject that I didn't fully understand. So that's why I've never preached on alcohol because well, I'm just going to be honest. I've seen SO many conflicting beliefs on alcohol that I didn't know where to begin. So I opened up my bible...
Rom 10:17 ESV
(17) So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Act 17:11 ESV
(11) Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
Now I want to be very clear. I do not advocate drinking and never will advocate drinking. However, it is not up to ME to decide whether alcohol is sinful or not. Just as we discussed in my last sermon; we have got to go back to the scriptures in order to determine what something really is. We can't just define something in our own terms and expect it to be righteous and “godly”. It is not up to us on whether to decide on whether something is SINFUL or not. All we can do is go to the scriptures and see what they say, not what I say...Of course we have to keep in mind that the bible grants us certain liberties but we have to determine individually whether or not those things are right in the sight of God. It's not up to me to decide whether eating pork is sinful, celebrating christmas secularly is sinful, or anything of that sort for other people. If someone doesn't want to eat pork then that is THEIR choice. I have a feeling that many Christians today are confused on the subject of alcohol. Some of the arguments are pretty well presented and some arguments are extremely poor. Either way it goes, I fear that when it comes to alcohol that man thinks that they have all of the answers but some of them are EXTREMELY misleading. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with someone being more “liberal” or more “conservative”. What does the bible say?
Mat 15:10-20 ESV
(10) And he called the people to him and said to them, "Hear and understand:
(11) it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person."
(12) Then the disciples came and said to him, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?"
(13) He answered, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up.
(14) Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit."
(15) But Peter said to him, "Explain the parable to us."
(16) And he said, "Are you also still without understanding?
(17) Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled?
(18) But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.
(19) For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.
(20) These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone."
Usually the first argument that is thrown towards this scripture is that he is only talking about eating here. For one, that would be completely misleading and dishonest. How often do you eat a meal without drinking SOME form of liquid? What does the context say though? It says that “it is NOT what goes into the mouth that defiles a person”. So what all goes into your mouth? Food...some form of drink as well correct? This is where necessary inference comes into play. Although I would call it an unavoidable conclusion. The reason being is that we can obviously and HONESTLY conclude that drinking involves SOMETHING going into your mouth, not just eating.