Bible Question:

Where oh where does it tell us not to smoke in the Bible?

I have a big problem with quitting. I recently quit for 2 1/2 months and then I gained 18 lbs. It occurred to me that gluttony is a “Thou shall not” but smoking is not a “Thou shall not” so I started again to lose the ugly fat. Why do Christians think that smoking is a sin or do they think its a sin? Some have told me its not a sin. On the other hand others say we should not but stop short of calling it a sin to smoke. What is the truth? Where can I find this truth in the Bible?

Bible Answer:

The only reference to smoking in the Bible occurs in Genesis,

And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel. (KJV) Genesis 24:64

That is supposed to be a joke since “Camel” is or was a brand of cigarettes. Seriously, the answer is, “No!” smoking is not specifically prohibited in the Bible. God never, anywhere says, “Do not smoke.” And you are correct, scripture does prohibit gluttony, just as it does not prohibit drinking, but it does prohibit drunkenness,

For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags. (NASB) Prov. 23:21

Here is a stronger statement about our desires,

For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite (NASB) Philippians 3:18-19

The Greek word for “appetite” really means “belly.” The idea is that a person is consumed with his own pleasures and impulses. The old saying, “Food and drink for the stomach” is close to the meaning of this word. Gaining weight because you stopped smoking is not gluttony. The question is do you eat more than is necessary? Some people have a natural disposition to gain weight; as they say, “It is in the genes.”

When it comes to smoking the question is, “Does it control you? Is it your god?”

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. (NASB) 1 Cor. 6:12

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. (NASB) 1 Cor. 9:24-25

Did you notice the phrase, “self-control in all things.” We need to know what controls us. For some of us it is food. For others, it is sex, recreation, Coca Cola or whatever. In your case, the question is, “Does smoking control you?” What controls you other than the Holy Spirit? Whatever it is, STOP it!

Conclusion:

God desires that only His Holy Spirit control us (Eph. 5:17-18) and nothing else.

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