Summary: So-called health professionals proclaim the health benefits of alcohol, are they right?


Proverbs 23:29-35

Scripture Reading: Proverbs 23:29-35


1. If you watch the news you have seen blurbs about the health benefits of alcohol

a. They often show a tiny village in Italy that consumes wine in small quantities each day

b. And they extol the virtues of alcohol in lower levels of heart attacks saying that alcohol has health benefits that extend the lives of its consumers

2. In my research for this lesson I found several websites operated by health industry professionals

a. None of them advised anyone to begin drinking alcohol

b. Most indicated that if you drink now you should drink very little and not depend on alcohol’s health benefits

3. As Christians we want to be God’s people and in this lesson we want to look at our approach to alcohol and how to remain HIS:

a. Health issues

b. Influence on others

c. Scripture teaching on the issue

4. I cannot point to a specific passage in the New Testament that teaches that alcohol is intrinsically evil but the clear teaching of the New Testament will show that it is something we should avoid, even in just social or minimal amounts

TRANSITION: First of all, many people claim that alcohol helps us live longer, let’s examine its:

I. Health issues

A. This matters because 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”

B. What are the best claims that the medical profession makes?

1. Reduce your risk of heart disease and intermittent claudication (leg cramps due to poor circulation)

2. Reduced risk of heart attack

3. Lower risk of gallstones

4. Possible reduced risk of ischemic stroke (restricted blood flow)

5. Possible reduced risk of diabetes

6. The best they can say is that you that you may be in a lower risk of these health issues if you drink one to three glasses of wine per day

C. What do the health professionals say of the risks of alcohol?

1. Increase risk of cancer of the breasts, pancreas, mouth, larynx, esophagus, and liver

2. Sudden death in people with pre-existent cardiovascular disease

3. Alcoholic cardiomyopathy which damages the heart muscle and leads to heart failure

4. Stroke

5. Brain atrophy (shrinkage)

6. Cirrhosis of the liver

7. Miscarriage

8. FAS

9. Injury due to motor skill impairment

10. Suicide

11. The list of dangers is greater than the list of benefits

12. And it is very interesting that an act that is used by some to escape the difficulties of life increases the risk of suicide

D. None of the sites I checked that were produced by reputable medical associations recommended consuming alcohol in any amount because the risks actually outweighed the potential benefits

E. The world has not even convinced itself that alcohol is good for you

TRANSITION: So the health benefits of alcohol are not really there, what about our:

II. Influence on others

A. We have discussed how we have certain liberties, things we are allowed to do that may not be best

1. 1 Corinthians 10:23, “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify”

2. There may be some things we are allowed to do

3. And God will not stop us from making just about any decision we want to make

4. But that does not make it the best decision

5. Our decisions must do two things

6. Profit, us and the kingdom

7. Edify the body, building it up

8. A decision that does something other than this is the wrong decision, even if it is not necessarily condemned in the Bible

B. Matthew 18:6 says that if we cause someone else to stumble we would be better off with a millstone hung around our neck and drowned in the sea

1. We would not survive that

2. It was done in the dark ages with those who believed that infants should not be baptized but adults who could understand and believe

3. And there was 100% mortality rate with that practice

C. We are to be careful with our example

1. Romans 14:21, “It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles”

2. We must remember that others are watching us to see what we do and how we behave

D. How dose alcohol hurt our influence

1. I cannot talk to someone else about Christ if I have a six-pack of Budweiser in my hands in the grocery store

2. If I am drinking alcohol in front of someone who is an alcoholic I am participating in his demise

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