Friday, August 15, 2008

Sipping Soul-winners?

You Sanctified Or A Silly Sippin' Sinning Saint?


Are you a Christian who likes to get a buzz going with alcohol? Do you consider yourself a righteous social drinker and you enjoy that buzz and it loosens you up to meet and talk with people? Do you use it as much as you can get away with …or are you one who likes to get buzzed on something else.. something "natural" that grows freely here on God's earth? May I ask why?

Billy Graham said, "The Bible teaches that there is deliverance from the things that come upon the world ... not by chemicals, but by Christ, bringing the mind and heart into harmony with God through submission to His will and accepting His forgiveness... In Christ alone there is deliverance from man's tortured thoughts and freedom from the sordid habits which are destroying so many people. Why does the Bible so clearly denounce drunkenness? Because it is an enemy of human life. Anything that is against a person's welfare, God is against."

You know, sipping doesn't really have to be an issue with every Christian, but how much do you sip and for what purpose? Motives and personal convictions have a lot to do with it whether sipping is right or wrong for you. Are you trying to escape something? Is it a wing or a weight? Do you know with your wine… where is the line? We all want to please and cling to God for victory constantly and never be self-confident like I've got this wired. Remember Pete by the fire, remember the Israelites and Ai, remember that no Alcoholic ever planned on becoming addicted. Hey, if you never drink, you'll never fall into this sin of drunkenness.

Listen, you don't need to get buzzed, plastered, blitzed, wasted ...blasted. That only hurts you and the work of God. So stop that! God has something better for you—He wants to fill you with His Spirit, power and His peace...for a purpose. He wants to use you to wisely fish and hook people; those He is targeting. Do you have an evangelistic passion and vision of how He specificlly wants to use you in reaching out? There really are no good reasons for Christians—fishers of people—to drink alcohol. There are actually many good reasons why we should totally avoid it all together:

Domestic arguments or fights

Marital strife

Crashing into precious people

- About 185,000 people are killed each year in drunk driving accidents

- Three in every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lives (MADD).

Family breakdown

Violence even among friends or coworkers

The economic costs involved

It brings a reproach on the Cause of Christ and upon your Christian witness

It causes pain and harm …or worse to innocent people

It leads to crime in general

Losing self-control and sound thinking

Giving yourself serious health problems such as liver damage and literal shrinkage of the brain

You trash your calling, testimony and ministry potential

God is not pleased to use sipping or buzzed saints in His evangelistic enterprise. Why be put on the shelf? He'd rather use godly Christians to build His Kingdom

Allow me ask you this: Are you good at telling the difference between a "no-doubt Christian" and a "maybe Christian" today? You know, I'm not always good at it, but I think there will indeed be spiritual results in a real Christian's life—hard evidence—in the life of the real Christian. There will be fruit, faithfulness and the holy fear of God! The real Christian will daily be in hot pursuit of knowing and serving Jesus better and won't be periodically getting buzzed …that is for sure.

I would say that here in America today (where it is socially acceptable for people to get drunk), what is considered bona fide Christianity by many people would not at all have even qualified as a real conversion experience in the early church of the first century. To Paul in his day, it was full commitment or no commitment, red hot spiritually or freezing cold, in or out, heaven or hell. Jesus was Lord of all or not at all. Are you for or against Christ, gathering with Him or scattering?—there's really no in-between.

Represent Him! Let us no longer sleep as others are doing, but be sober and non-strange! Christian, you've come too far to digress spiritually now. Repent if you need to. Do what ever it takes. You might need to sever a relationship that is pulling you downward. Paul said, "But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation" (Thess. 5:8).

Sadly there are a lot of Christians today who are messing around, when they should be praying around …the globe. The battle ground is viewed as merely a playground. You've gotta be—you must be—strong now for too much is at stake with those around you ...who are looking to you!

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