The Scriptures are not silent on the practice of drinking. It is wrong because it leads to drunkenness and addiction, both of which the Bible condemns. This habit leads many to despair, disgrace, and destruction. In one study of 882 criminal arrests, 72.7 percent of the crimes involved alcohol in some measure.
By Robert Henson
Getting the World in Proper Perspective
What do the world and the Christian have in common? Two Bible quotations provide the answer. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (I John 2:15-17). “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? \ whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).
In these passages, the “world” refers to the ungodly system that holds the earth in its sway. When Satan tempted Christ in the wilderness, he paraded before Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. In his clever attempt to thwart the plan of God, he insidiously associated with the world two powerful forces that are especially attractive to people: power and glory (Luke 4:6). Further, he intimated slyly that these forces were at his disposal and dispensable at his will.
If Satan possesses such ability, certainly it is reasonable to suggest that a new convert needs to be on constant alert. Satan is sure to dangle these two alluring attractions before him in an attempt to frustrate his life and hinder his progress in the Lord.
Christians often refer to certain things one says, wears, or does as being “worldly,” meaning that it belongs to the world’s values or system, which is influenced and controlled by satanic forces. The new convert should be reticent to partake of or participate in anything that threatens to involve him with, or make him a slave to, this system. Of necessity, we must live in this world, yet we must be as pilgrims and strangers to it (Hebrews 11:13).
The apostle Paul instructed, “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (I Thessalonians 5:22). We are to shun everything that could be construed as evil and disassociate ourselves from questionable practices that Satan could take advantage of. He longs for this type of influence in our lives (II Corinthians 2:11). Courting doubtful practices may well cause us to become entangled in the things of the world.
Paul commanded Timothy, “Flee also youthful lusts” (II Timothy 2:22). The Living Bible paraphrases, “Run from anything that gives you the evil thoughts that young men often have, but stay close to anything that makes you want to do right.”
These passages of Scripture indicate that the individual Christian has power to refrain or to participate, to run or to stay. Too often, people expect God to keep them from questionable or dangerous things, but this thinking is erroneous. The power to do or refrain from doing is within our own will, given by the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the knowledge of the Word of God.