Summary: America’s #1 Drug & #1 Killer. A Biblical look at God’s mind on alcohol, inc. Heb./Greek study. You can vote against the sermon, but you can’t argue with God! DESCRIPTION of Alcohol, DESTRUCTION, DECEPTION...and DELIVERANCE! PowerPoint at website.

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DUI: Dying Under the Influence

Prov. 23:29-35

We have a drug problem in the U.S. We could talk about:

cocaine, marijuana, meth, or heroine.

America’s #1 problem drug is not any of these illegal substances,

But a legal drug called ALCOHOL. [In the Bible: "Alcohol" represents all of the above]

Beverage Alcohol Has Produced:

1. The Most death

Produces more death than any other drug. Over 55% of highway deaths are alcohol related. It causes heart probs, liver probs, and powerful addiction…a walking death!

2. The Most addiction

There are over 17 million alcoholics in America today, and rising. They, by far, outnumber the addicts of any other drug.

3. The Most misery

Think of the death, disability, psychosis, addiction…it produces more misery than any other drug.

But…what makes alcohol so dangerous is that it is sold legally.

Not only is it sold legally, but it is as widely available as a bottle of ketchup, a bottle of shampoo, or a baby’s bottle of milk…it’s just another bottle!

$25 billion will be spent this year on beverage alcohol. Not million, billion!

While it is the most dangerous drug in the world, there is no warning label on the bottle! The can doesn’t read, “#1 producer of death”, “#1 producer of addicts”, “#1 producer of misery.”

Advertisers will spend $600 million, quite a lot of it today, telling you that you ought to drink.


With so many telling us why we should drink, I don’t mind today sharing what God says about it.

Abe Lincoln said, “Alcohol has many defenders, but no defense.”

Let’s look at what God’s Word says:

A. Description of Alcohol

Here’s a blanket command God gives concerning the use of beverage alcohol:

v. 31 “Don’t look at it!” At what? “wine”.

Here’s some controversy: what does “wine” mean?

“Wine” in the Bible is a generic term. It is a general term that may at times refer to an intoxicating beverage, or at times it may not.

Like we use the word “drink.” “I gotta have a drink!”

We assume they mean alcohol.

In a restaurant w/ attached bar, the waitress may ask you if you would like a drink before dinner. In that context, you understand she means alcohol.

Or, you might be traveling down the road w/ the family, and one of the kids might ask to stop so they can get a drink. They probably mean soda.

Bro. Bob may walk thru the lobby by the fountain and say, “I need a quick drink before church.” We all trust he means water. (If it’s after a deacon’s meeting…well, who knows what he might mean!)

Allow me to introduce you to a little Hebrew and a little Greek:

(they went in together and started a pizza shop down the street!)


“Shekar”—that which intoxicates.

Always translated in KJV as “strong drink”. Every time this word is translated wine or strong drink, it is always *condemned…

…with one exception: as a narcotic.

When there is great physical suffering or distress.

[*another possible exception exists in Deut. 14:26, which may be explained as a ‘drink offering’ as in Num. 28:7, or more likely just a mystery to chalk up to Acts 17:30 and some of the things God ‘winked at’ during times of ignorance, while His progressive revelation was still being made known to mankind, ie. Polygamy, and other occurrences we don’t today understand.]

Prov. 31:4-6 Position of responsibility at all…NO!

Medicinal purposes…YES!

Alcohol is still used in this way today. “Baptist Bourbon” NyQuil (25%)

Hospitals used to use it and now have better drugs than alcohol to accomplish the task of relieving pain.

Of course, this has nothing to do w/ social drinking.

“Tirosh”—wine or new wine

Always a reference to grape juice, non-intoxicating.

Is. 65:8—“new wine is found in the cluster” (still on the vine)

“yayin”—maybe fermented, maybe not…depending upon the context

Is. 16:10 [on screen]

We’re in the vineyard, treaders are stepping on grapes. What is exploding out of the grapes? Wine! Fermented? Intoxicating? Of course not! It’s grape juice!

Same word, however is used in Prov. 20:1. Look at it. [on screen]

This verse is talking about intoxicating, fermented wine…and warning against it.

In the NT, there is a 4th word used…

…the Greek: word “oinos”, which also may or may not mean fermented wine.

I Tim. 5:23—“infirmities”, again, medicinal in nature.

Just 2 chapters previous Paul used the same word, or derivative, and told Timothy not to be given to wine, and that the deacons should abstain as well.

The distinction is clear that these men of God should not drink socially, but then balance is given medicinally.

…imagine one of our deacons in the hospital in pain, and Mrs. Sharon or Mrs. Kim comes in and says, “in accordance w/ I Tim. 3, you’re gonna have to suffer!” Chapter 5 would entitle you to that morphine you’re in need of!

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Jerry Carter

commented on May 6, 2007


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