INTRODUCTION: Much has been said and written on tobacco. Occasionally, you have a Christian defend it's use.

I will tell you up-front that I do not believe that a Christian should use either of these substances. I believe them harmful to us physically, morally, and eternally.


A. The Bible gives us the answers to all of today's questions.

B. Our bodies belong to God, therefore, anything that would defile them would be wrong.

C. God made us, therefore, He knows better what is good and right for our bodies than ourselves.

D. Human life is sacred. Therefore, the murder of innocent life is an abomination in God's sight.

E. Anything that would cause another honest brother to stumble is wrong.

A. The primary ingredient in tobacco is a poison.
1. Nicotine is one of the most deadly poisons available.

2. It's toxicity is comparable to that of cyanide.

3. The only reason why it is not more deadly is that is diluted on tobacco products and that much of it is excreted in the

4. Nicotine has been a traditional ingredient in animal repellants and insecticides, until costs became prohibitive.

B. Three important ingredients found in cigarette smoke.
1. Nicotine

2. Carbon monoxide - the same stuff that can kill people as emissions from automobiles.

3. Cancer causing carcinogens.

4. The fact is that every time a person ingests tobacco products he/she is taking poison into their system.

C. Some reasons why a Christian should not take tobacco products. (Much of this was taken from the excellent tract by A. G. Hobbs, What About Tobacco?
1. Tobacco users stand self-convicted.
a. I have never seen a long time tobacco user recommend that a non-user start. On the contrary, all I have talked to
have urged young people to never take up the habit. If it is such a good thing, why don't smokers recommend its use? Most will admit, "It's a bad and nasty habit."

b. Many will become angry when the subject is discussed. If a Christian can defend it as good and wholesome, why get so angry and defensive about it.

2. It is a questionable practice.
a. Even among those who will not admit that it is sinful would admit that they have some questions about it's use.

b. Romans 14:14, 23- "I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who
considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean....But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin."

3. It's use enslaves the user.
a. It is obvious that the use of tobacco tends to be addictive. How often have you seen smokers, etc. who have tried to
quit and have all kinds of problems "kicking the habit."

b. It tends to control the tobacco users actions. From getting out of bed to getting back into bed the tobacco user
is controlled by tobacco.

c. What the New Testament says about enslavement?

2 Peter 2:19- "While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage."

1 Corinthians 6:12- "All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any."

4. It is destructive to the body of the Christian.
a. Can there be little doubt that tobacco products are damaging to the human body? Check again the ingredients of
tobacco: Carbon Monoxide, Nicotine, and Cancer causing carcinogens.

b. There is abundant evidence to show that smokers have far more chance of getting sick than non-smokers. For
example, smokers suffer 70 % more heart attacks than nonsmokers.

c. What does the New Testament say about damaging the human body?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's."

2 Corinthians 7:1- "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. It hurts the influence of the Christian.
a. Many non-Christians are turned off by a Christian who smokes.

b. Most Christians understand this. Many who smoke will attempt to hide that they do so when in the presence of other

c. Those who use tobacco certainly do not help the influence of the church, and often hurt it.

d. What the Bible says about influence.

Matthew 5:16

1 Peter 5:3

1 Timothy 4:12


A. Some arguements that Christians sometimes advance.
1. "The Bible doesn't say not to smoke, chew, etc."
a. This is a useless arguement. While it is true that the Bible doesn't specifically say something about tobacco, there
are principles that would guide us in determine whether it is right to use it.

b. Such could just as easily be said about heroin consumption, eating rat poison, euthenasia, etc.

2. "The Bible says that it is not what goes into a man that defiles him, but what comes out."
a. This is a gross misinterpretation of Matthew 15:18. Jesus is speaking of the outward washing of hands. His disciples had been accused of not being righteous because they did not carry on the pharisical custom of washing hands before eating. He demonstrates that eating foods prior to washing doesn't make one holy or unholy, it is what is inside of you.

b. Would some drunkenness, cocaine use, or sexual immorality be ok, since it was not on the inside?

3. "I knew _________. He/She lived into their eighties and used tobacco every day of their lives. Tobacco didn't kill them."
a. This doesn't prove anything either. The fact is that every study, even though sponsored by the tobacco industry,
has found that those who use tobacco significantly reduce their life expentancy.

b. Someone may happen to beat the odds and live to an old age. Do you want to gamble with sickness, radiation and

chemotherapy, and an agonizing death? 

4. "I like it, and it doesn't seem to be hurting me."

a. Personal likes and dislikes do not change whether something is wrong.

b. But most tobacco users, who have been using it any length of time, admit that they would like to quit. If it is so
great, why do they want to quit?

5. "Overeating is bad for you too"

a. There is little doubt that many in the church do overeat and have a weight problem.

b. This can happen for various reasons.

c. But just because many preachers, elders, deacons, and other member of the church have a weight problem doesn't change the truth about tobacco. 

6 "It's none of your business"
a. This is the final resort of a person who cannot argue his case successfully.

b. Brethren, the fact is that they Bible does tell us that we should be concerned about others. See Galatians 6:1 and James 5:19-20.

B. Some final thoughts.
1. This writer does not know how hard it is to quit tobacco. However, many Christians have told me that it is about the
hardest thing in the world to do. If it is like taming hunger for food, it is surely difficult.

2. We should have compassion on those who smoke, chew, etc. We should any help we can in helping them quit. We should never be haughty and rude toward those who are weaker.

3. If you smoke, chew, etc. seek the Lord's help in prayer, seek help from other Christians, and do whatever it takes to quit.

CONCLUSION: William Talman was the actor who played District Attorney Burger on the famous Perry Mason television series. He made a commercial for the American Cancer Society shortly before his death. On it he told
how he smoked and how he was "in a battle I can't afford to lose." At the end he said, "If you don't smoke, don't start. If you do smoke, stop." Don't be a loser. As the screen faded, the message was flashed on the screen that Mr Talman died of lung cancer shortly after the making of this commercial.

Copyright 2000 by Grady Scott may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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