May I? WEEK 1

Drink, Smoke, Chew and Hang with Those Who Do?

1. Scripture is our guide.


“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT)


2. We must not say more (or less) than what it says.


"Do not add to or subtract from these commands I am giving you. Just obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you.”   Deuteronomy 4:2 (NLT)


“...I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the words of prophecy written in this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book.”

Revelation 22:18 (NLT)



3. When God says “no” it is to protect and bless us.


“The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden—except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.”  Genesis 2:15-17 (NLT)


“The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”


“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”


“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” The woman was convinced.”

Genesis 3:1-6a (NLT)



“Father....MAY I...drink, smoke, and chew or hang with those who do?”


  • If it is against the law of the land...NO! You may not.


“Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.” Romans 13:1-5 (NLT)



  • If the Law of the land changes…MAYBE!


IT MAY BE LEGAL, BUT NOT GOOD FOR US OR GOD-HONORING!!


“You say, “I am allowed to do anything” —but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial.”         

I Corinthians 10:23 (NLT)


A FACT:  Drinking alcohol is NOT prohibited in the scriptures.  


- Jesus ate and drank with people so much, his enemies accused him of being a glutton and drunkard

- Jesus turned the water into really great wine

- Jesus used wine as a symbol and as a part of the Communion supper He served to His disciples


PAUL PRESCRIBED IT TO TIMOTHY:


“Don’t drink only water. You ought to drink a little wine for the sake of your stomach because you are sick so often.”      I Timothy 5:23


THE WRITER OF PROVERBS SAW IT AS A POTENTIAL DANGER…


“Leaders can’t afford to make fools of themselves, gulping wine and swilling beer, Lest, hung over, they don’t know right from wrong, and the people who depend on them are hurt.  



BUT ALSO AS A USEFUL TOOL:


Use wine and beer only as sedatives, to kill the pain and dull the ache of the terminally ill, for whom life is a living death.” Proverbs 31:6-7 (MSG)




A FACT:  Drinking alcohol is NOT a sin, but drunkenness (and much that comes with it) IS.


“Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always fighting? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes?  It is the one who spends long hours in the taverns, trying out new drinks. Don’t gaze at the wine, seeing how red it is, how it sparkles in the cup, how smoothly it goes down.  For in the end it bites like a poisonous snake; it stings like a viper. You will see hallucinations, and you will say crazy things. You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea, clinging to a swaying mast.  And you will say, “They hit me, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t even know it when they beat me up. When will I wake up so I can look for another drink?” Prov.  23:29-35 (NLT)


“What sorrow for those who get up early in the morning looking for a drink of alcohol and spend long evenings drinking wine to make themselves flaming drunk.  They furnish wine and lovely music at their grand parties— lyre and harp, tambourine and flute— but they never think about the Lord or notice what he is doing. Isaiah 5:11-12 (NLT)



“Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit…”

Ephesians 5:18 (NLT)


“Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.   Romans 13:13-14 (NLT)


My child, listen and be wise: Keep your heart on the right course.  Do not carouse with drunkards or feast with gluttons, for they are on their way to poverty…Proverbs 23:19-21 (NLT)


“Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character.". 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)


“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”  

Galatians 5:19-21 (NLT)



What we pursue…

What we desire…

What we allow to take the place of primacy in our lives…

What we “worship”, “cling to”, or even “refuse to give up”…

Reveals the place (or the absence) of God in our lives.

And it (not God) often winds up controlling and consuming us.


“FATHER, MAY I...drink, smoke, and chew or hang with those who do?”


  • IS IT LEGAL?
  • IS IT BIBLICALLY PERMISSIBLE?
  • DOES IT ALLOW ME TO FOCUS ON & GLORIFY GOD?
  • WILL IT/THEY BE A STUMBLING BLOCK TO ME, OTHERS, OR MY TESTIMONY?
  • COULD IT BECOME AN ADDICTION OR AN IDOL THAT DISPLACES GOD?
  • IS IT WISE?