Is Health a Criteria of Salvation?
Posted on 10 May 2012 11:18 AM

I was raised Adventist but have not practiced for years. I respect the health message and think it is correct but always resented the idea that my eternal salvation could be endangered by drinking or smoking. I don't find this to be Biblical. Could you clarify? Also the concept that wine in the Bible was just grape juice is childish. I read the Bible to say that it is a sin to be a drunk which I am but am working on it. I am so glad I found your site. Please encourage Professor Veith to keep preaching about some of the things that are angering some adventists. It is one of the main reasons I find him credible. Keep up the Good Work!

We find that counsel very much Biblical. If smoking is linked with deadly lung cancer, and the smoker contracts it and dies, would that not be murder—of self? If second-hand smoke is linked to cancers in non-smokers, wouldn't the smoker also be responsible for their illnesses and possible deaths? One of us here has a sister slowly dying of lung cancer. Normally someone her age would have had years left of useful service, but her kids and grandkids will soon be without her voice and her love. What a human tragedy.

If we are to pray for the mind of Jesus, and yet our minds are dulled by drugs (nicotine) or alcohol, so that the voice of the Holy Spirit cannot be discerned, how can that NOT affect your salvation? Remember that Satan tempts us through our senses, but the Holy Spirit communicates with us through our minds. That's why even careless dietary habits are connected with our salvation. 

Remember 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20? "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." So if our bodies belong to God, and we abuse them with alcohol and tobacco, what are we saying to God? If our bodies are temples, polluted with nicotine-dense smoke and beer or whatever, why would we lie to ourselves to think the Holy Spirit would "abide in" us? And do we think we're a match for Satan without the Holy Spirit? Then we are REALLY deceiving ourselves.

Actually, God's true people are far nobler than you may yet see. They have a sacred purpose, the most incredible message ever to give to others (save, maybe, for the first advent of Christ). They have a health message that exceeds all others. What a privilege, and what power God will give to that message when it's given in faith.

The warnings about smoking and drinking affecting your salvation are given to us by a God who loves us. He's wise enough to see what we may not see for ourselves. He also knows the effect drinking has on families and marriage--not good-- and we are to be good stewards of our finances. If we have enough to waste on cigarettes, where else could that money have gone to alleviate hunger, pay someone's heating bill or repair their car, etc., etc. Lots of ethical issues tied to those two vices--- and ethical issues affect our salvation.

So far as wine being grape juice, we point out this: Proverbs 20:1 "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise." So wine muddles the mind and mocks the drinker, and you can see for yourself that world conditions are serious enough that we are going to need every cell of our brains to be as clear as possible, because things are winding up. We are about to see the final events unfold rather quickly, we believe.

We have never needed the Holy Spirit with us as we need Him now, and we pray that you will find and join an Adventist group that tells the truth without covering up anything. We think you'll find the strength to quit the bad habits and start helping others give them up, too. Someone who's "been there" is a very credible teacher. That's our prayer for you-- and them-- today.

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