Alcohol & Christianity Part II: Did Jesus Really Turn The Water Into Wine? Can Christians Drink Alcohol Socially?
It's no secret that the Greek and Hebrew translation for wine in the Bible very often meant simply grape juice. Also, many times the same word could be translated as either grape juice or strong drink. This has given place for many to take the true interpretation and distort it.
Also see Alcohol & Christianity Part I
Today, liberal so-called Christian teachers have taken every opportunity to interpret that each instance where wine is mentioned should be interpreted as alcoholic wine rather than grape juice despite long standing Scriptural evidence to the contrary. They choose to believe a lie for the sake of conforming to the world and fulfilling their own lustful desires.
But I believe there is a very simple test that can answer this question definitively and put this debate to rest.
If you follow Bible prophecy you know that following the tribulation period, Jesus will come back to earth to rule and reign for 1,000 years. During His reign He will rule with a rod of iron. You have to ask yourself this question honestly. When the Lord does come back to reign for 1,000 years on earth will He allow alcohol (beer, wine, etc.) to be made and sold as it is today? If He does He will have the same problem we have today of at least 10% of the population turning into alcoholics. Christians who will live during that time will have normal human bodies that are still susceptible to addictions or simply not knowing their limits. During the Millennium, Satan will be bound for 1,000 years (will not be on earth or have access to earth), but we (humans) will still have a sin nature and poor judgment at times. It is for this reason that Satan is removed during this time period to prevent him from tempting the nations and exploiting our sin nature.
I believe the commonsense answer to the question posed is that Jesus will not allow addictive substances (alcohol, drugs, etc.) to be made during His reign. Drugs will not be needed since the Lord will be the Great Physician. Doctors and Pharmacist's will be obsolete. Hospitals will be non-existent. People will live to be 1,000 years old. Sin and rebellion against God will be the only reason a person will die an early death…and early death will be rare.
Will there be wine during Jesus' reign? Certainly, but it won't be alcoholic wine. Did Jesus turn water into wine while here on earth? Absolutely, but it wasn't alcoholic wine. So what kind of wine did He create at the wedding? The same wine that He said He would drink when He drinks it new with us in His Father's kingdom (Marriage Supper of the Lamb (heaven); Matthew 26:29). I have a hard time believing that Jesus will be drinking alcoholic wine with the Bride (church) at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb celebration.
Does the Bible have anything to say about what kind of wine Jesus will allow during His Millennial earthly reign? Yes! Amos 9:11-15 speaks of the blessings of the Millennium and what type of wine will be in abundance during that time:
In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.
This passage clearly is speaking about the Millennium and how the Lord's abundance will literally overtake us to the point that we can't keep up. His most descriptive example is the abundance of sweet wine. In the Hebrew, the words sweet wine is translated ‘ā·sîs, meaning fresh grape juice; as just trodden out; juice; new; just cut grapes. The Bible is clear in this passage what kind of wine will be tolerated in Jesus' kingdom. God didn't just say wine, but made a point of calling the wine sweet and used the word ‘ā·sîs to leave no doubt as to what kind of wine it was.
The Bible also says, during the Millennial Reign of Christ, "the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea (Habakkuk 2:14)." This will be a time unlike any other on the face of the earth where righteousness will reign. This would not be possible if alcohol were available as it is today.
You should also remember we (Christians) are priests of God. In the Old Testament, the temple priests were forbidden to partake of strong drink while ministering in the service of the Lord. In contrast, the Bible is clear, as Christians, we are considered God’s fulltime priests (I Peter 2:9) and are continually ministering in the Lord’s temple (II Corinthians 6:16). If this is the case, Christians should abstain from alcoholic beverages at all times (I Thessalonians 5:22) and the appearance of evil that is associated with it.
In conclusion, “the rules of interpreting the Bible include one that says when there seems to be a contradiction between an ambiguous or confusing text and the clear teaching of the main body of Scripture let the questionable passage be explained by the clear. Since it has been demonstrated that there is a clear teaching of Scripture that alcoholic beverages have no place in the life of the Christian any verse which seems to teach that they are permissible must be brought into agreement with it (Pastor Kirk DiVietro, Th.D., Ph.D.).”
UPDATE: (Boston; Feb. 14, 2013) – Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) have shown that alcohol is a major contributor to cancer deaths and years of potential life lost. These findings, published in the April 2013 issue of the American Journal of Public Health, also show that reducing alcohol consumption is an important cancer prevention strategy as alcohol is a known carcinogen even when consumed in small quantities.
Previous studies consistently have shown that alcohol consumption is a significant risk factor for cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus and liver. More recent research has shown that alcohol also increases the risk of cancers of the colon, rectum and female breast. While estimates have shown that alcohol accounts for about four percent of all cancer-related deaths worldwide, there is a lack of literature focusing on cancer-related deaths in the U.S.
Timothy Naimi, MD, MPH, from the Department of Medicine at BUSM and colleagues from the National Cancer Institute, the Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, examined recent data from the U.S. on alcohol consumption and cancer mortality. They found that alcohol resulted in approximately 20,000 cancer deaths annually, accounting for about 3.5 percent of all cancer deaths in the U.S.
Breast cancer was the most common cause of alcohol-attributable cancer deaths in women, accounting for approximately 6,000 deaths annually, or about 15 percent of all breast cancer deaths. Cancers of the mouth, throat and esophagus were common causes of alcohol-attributable cancer mortality in men, resulting in a total of about 6,000 annual deaths.
The researchers also found that each alcohol-related cancer death accounted for an average of 18 years of potential life lost. In addition, although higher levels of alcohol consumption led to a higher cancer risk, average consumption of 1.5 drinks per day or less accounted for 30 percent of all alcohol-attributable cancer deaths.
"The relationship between alcohol and cancer is strong, but is not widely appreciated by the public and remains underemphasized even by physicians," said Naimi, who served as the paper's senior author. "Alcohol is a big preventable cancer risk factor that has been hiding in plain sight." (BUSM)
I hope this answer has given you peace and assurance.
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