It doesn’t take a Bible scholar to know that certain actions if not repented of, will disqualify us from entering heaven. If for example a person secretly gave me a small dose of poison every day, and after two weeks of drinking such a substance I died, certainly God would consider that person a murderer. Now let me ask you a question, if that person became a baptized Christian, but they still continued to poison others unrepentant, would they enter heaven? No? But what if this individual goes to church every week and reads his Bible yet they continue to poison people. Could they enter heaven? You’re correct they must stop poisoning people and repent in order to enter the kingdom of God for it is written “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:151)
The shocking reality is, today there are multitudes of professed Christians who are poisoning people. They know if they continue to do so, that person will die, yet they do it anyways. Because they are addicted, they have attempted to justify themselves, saying “well it won’t keep me from heaven”. But as we agreed already such is faulty logic, dangerous logic.
These professed Christians are using deadly substances arsenic, methane, methanol and stearic acid 2. The worst thing is these professed Christians are using this poison on themselves. Cigarettes come with a warning from the U.S. Surgeon General stating that using such will kill you. God also gives an even greater warning in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, it is written…“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” 3
If someone were to enter a church and start smoking, certainly people would be outraged. That smoker would almost instantly be thrown out of the church. Of how much more value in God’s eyes are you compared to some walls of a building! Of how greater magnitude then is the sin of defiling yourself with cigarettes than it is to pollute a building? 1 Corinthians says you are the temple of God. How then shall anyone justify defiling the temple of God? “If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him.” Let us be perfectly honest with ourselves, those who persist in the use of tobacco cannot enter the kingdom of God for “there shall in no wise enter into it (heaven) any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie” (Revelation 21:27 KJV). If we do not overcome sin in this lifetime, sin shall overcome us and we will find ourselves in the wrong resurrection. “But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope” (Ecclesiastes 9:4). Where there is life there is hope. The good news is the Bible says where sin abounds grace does much more abound.4 But where is our hope?
Perhaps you have learned the shocking truth that based on the Bible we cannot destroy our bodies through the use of cigarettes and enter the kingdom of God. Maybe you have tried to break the bonds of smoking, but have failed. And right now, perhaps you are discouraged or even angry at the above statements in this article. You know God wants you to quit smoking, but it seems like an impossible task. Beloved, you’re right, it is impossible in your own power. But your hope is not in yourself, it is in Jesus Christ. The Bible says “You shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21) Jesus Christ came to save you from your sin. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8) Friends, whatever chains Satan has bound you with, Jesus Christ can break. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) Jesus has promised to not just forgive but to also purify us of all unrighteousness. Do we simply take Him at His word? Do we believe? “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 5
Today God is asking you to give up smoking. It may seem to some a heavy burden to ask. “But what do we give up, when we give all? A sin-polluted heart, for Jesus to purify, to cleanse by His own blood, and to save by His matchless love. And yet men think it hard to give up all! God does not require us to give up anything that it is for our best interest to retain. In all that He does, He has the well-being of His children in view. Would that all who have not chosen Christ might realize that He has something vastly better to offer them than they are seeking for themselves. Man is doing the greatest injury and injustice to his own soul when he thinks and acts contrary to the will of God. 6
Gaining the victory will be a battle, it will be a fight. Yet the apostle Paul wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”.7 Paul said the Christian walk is a battle. And in a conflict there will be victories and defeats, but through Jesus Christ you must win the war. The battle against self is the greatest battle ever fought. In order to gain the victory and inherit eternal life you must fight the good fight. Keep the faith. Cling to Jesus Christ, do not give up. The reward will be glorious. A crown of righteousness, eternal life with Jesus Christ who loves you so much that He died for you. A world free of pain and suffering and death. Eternal joy, eternal happiness. Communion with holy angels. Being reunited with your loved ones who have passed away and died with faith in Jesus. Best of all, speaking with Him who was pierced for you face to face.
Friend, do not think that Jesus looks forward to destroying those who defile themselves. Quite the opposite, for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him.8 The only question is do we believe? Do we believe that Jesus can give us complete victory over smoking in this lifetime? The promise of God is powerful and clear, it is written….
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” ~ Philippians 4:13
Do not say “I can do all things except stop smoking.” Jesus Christ is stronger than your sinful habit. We believe that God will destroy murderers and those who defile themselves, then let us also believe that Jesus came to set us free of the sin that so easily besets us. Know that Jesus takes pleasure in setting you free from smoking. Don’t miss that point, Jesus wants nothing more than to grant you victory over smoking. He wants nothing more than to redeem you. He proved His sincerity for this mission, He proved His love for you, at the cross. Do not forget the words of Christ, “The Father Himself loves you.” John 16:27. He desires to restore you to Himself, to see His own purity and holiness reflected in you. And if you will but yield yourself to Him, He that hath begun a good work in you will carry it forward to the day of Jesus Christ. Pray more fervently; believe more fully. As we come to distrust our own power, let us trust the power of our Redeemer, and we shall praise Him who is the health of our countenance.9
Jesus has promised “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.“10 If Peter can do the humanly impossible and walk on water when he kept his eyes on Jesus, you can overcome smoking by keeping your eyes on Jesus. Friend, it’s time to die to self and live for Jesus. Throw away those cigarettes, cut off all forms of temptation. Take a stand for Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ gave everything for you, give up this sinful habit and surrender your will to Him. I invite you today to make a radical change in your life. “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:20, James 4:7-10, 2 Corinthians 5:17) Would you like to become a new creation in Christ today by making a decision to trust Christ and surrender this habit? If so I encourage you to bow your head with me as we pray.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Lord you are awesome. Despite the failures of our past, Lord you can break the chains which bind us. You came to set us free. Today Lord we pray that you set us free from everything which separates us from you. I pray specifically for my dear brother or sister here today, who desires to be set free from smoking. Lord you have all power, all strength, you have promised to set us free, may your will be done today. Grant my dear brother or sister the strength to overcome by the power of your Holy Spirit alone. We praise you Lord for what you are about to do and what you are about to begin even today. We thank you for hearing and answering our prayer, and we pray all these things in the name of your Son Jesus Christ, amen.
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.” 11
- See also Proverbs 28:13 ↩
- http://www.air-zone.com/images/cigarette_poisons.jpg ↩
- 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 All texts are from the NKJV unless otherwise noted ↩
- See Romans 5:20-21 ↩
- 2 Corinthians 7:1 ↩
- Steps To Christ p. 46, Ellen White ↩
- 2 Timothy 4:7 ↩
- John 3:16-17 ↩
- Steps To Christ p. 64 ↩
- Revelation 3:21 ↩
- Thessalonians 5:23-24, 28 ↩