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In our nation, drinking is a very real and prevalent problem. The extent of this fact is illustrated by the popularity of groups such as Alcoholics Annonymous (AA), which try to help those who are addicted to alchohol. Drinking is a rather hot topic among both religious and political groups. There are some against it and some for it on both sides. Clearly, alchohol consumption is a big problem in our nation. Families are destroyed by a drunken spouse or teen. Innocent people are constantly killed by drunk drivers on our highways and byways. And many people are suffering complicated health problems due to drinking. Also, more and more counties and cities across this nation are becoming “wet.” That is, they are allowing alchohol to be sold within their borders. While many only allow beer to be sold, more and more are allowing hard liquor to be sold, and alchohol by the drink is quickly being legalized in more and more counties. Where will it all end? Sadly, we may never solve this great problem, but the starting place is to get back to the Bible - The word of God. There are many passages found in the Gospel which condemn the consumption of intoxicating beverages in any degree. Paul said that “drunkards...will not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:10). Drunkenness is listed among the works of the flesh as something which will prevent one from inheriting the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:21). Someone says, “But I’m not a drunkard, I just have a few every now and then.” How many do they classify as a “few?” And how many does it take to get “drunk?” A preacher friend of mine used to say that if you drink one beer, you’re one beer drunk. Who’s to say he’s wrong? Actually, there’s another passage which condemns all stages of drinking, including the “few” stage. Through Peter, the Holy Spirit said, “For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles-when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries” (1 Peter 4:3). This passage uses three words to condemn all three possible stages of drinking. In the king James version, they are translated “Excess of wine,”“revellings,” “banquetings.” The NKJV translates them “drunkenness,” “revelries,” and “drinking parties.” These three words have three different meanings which pertain to drinking. The word translated “drunkenness” or “excess of wine” comes from the Greek word, oinophlugiais, which shows a step in advance to methe which means drunk. So this word condemns the process of getting drunk. This would include social drinking, or just having a couple after getting off work, or just having one beer! The word translated “revellings” comes from the Greek word komois which denotes the conduct or the way one acts while he is drunk - The consequences. The word translated “banquetings,” or “drinking parties” or “carousings,” as the ASV translates it, comes from the greek word potois which means “a drinking bout.” Trench says that it is not of necessity in excess. Just having a drinking party, or social drinking, if you will. The word is chiefly applied to social drinking and banquets. Notice that all three of these are condemned separately. Drinking a little is condemned. Drinking a lot and being drunk is condemned. And social drinking is condemned. Statistics tell us that drinking on any level brings grave problems upon people in this nation. Most importantly, drinking on any level is definately a hinderance to heaven! Stay sober!
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