I’ve seen what drinking does and I don’t want to have anything to do with it! I could tell you about my dear cousin who was killed by a driver who had been drinking. I could tell you about other relatives who were Christians but drank socially and ended up dying of liver disease or drinking themselves into complete oblivion.
Let me tell you about myself. I haven’t always been against social drinking. I’m not proud of it but I tried a few drinks when I was a teenager. I am just glad I woke up to the truth about it before I got into trouble, hurt somebody else or lost my soul in hell. You see, I used to say some of the same things that I’m sure some of you who are teens are saying, like…
“I can handle it.” Truth be told. Teens don't just drink. They drink to excess. More than 7 percent of eighth graders, 16 percent of sophomores, and 23 percent of seniors report recent binge drinking (5+ drinks on the same occasion).
Statistics show that the majority of current teen drinkers got drunk in the previous month. That includes 50 percent of the high school sophomores who drink and 65 percent of the high school seniors who drink.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that teens who start drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to develop an alcohol addiction than those who do not begin drinking before the legal age of 21.
Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker [it will embarrass you], Strong drink is a brawler [it will get you into trouble], And whoever is led astray by it is not wise [don’t be a fool].
Proverbs 23:29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? 30 Those who linger long at the wine, Those who go in search of mixed wine. 31 Do not look on the wine when it is red [lest you be seduced by its attractiveness as Jesus warned about looking at a woman in Matthew 5:28], When it sparkles in the cup, When it swirls around smoothly; 32 At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper. 33 Your eyes will see strange things, And your heart will utter perverse things. 34 Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: 35 "They have struck me, but I was not hurt; They have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?"
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 [including alcohol].
The problem with alcohol is that it is addicting. It will take over and ruin your life. You think you are in control but it is controlling you and you don’t even realize it until its already done its work of destroying you and others around you!
“It's not going to hurt anything to drink a little.” Truth be told. It doesn’t have to be digested, it goes straight to the blood stream and immediately to the brain. The first effect of alcohol is on judgment and self-control. Just one or two drinks will cause you to say and do things you would never otherwise.
Ephesians 5:18 And do not be drunk [grow drunk – W. E. Vine, begin to be softened – Robert Young, get drunk, become intoxicated – Thayer] with wine, in which is dissipation [wine itself is condemned here because it is the cause of dissipation, literally unsavableness]; but be filled with the Spirit,
1 Thessalonians 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober [be free from the influence of intoxicants – W. E. Vine]. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk [you can only get drunk by drinking] are drunk at night.
If one is social drinking he is not obeying the command to be sober but is getting drunk! Drunkenness is a matter of degree and it begins with the first drink!
“Jesus turned water into wine!” Truth be told. The words translated “wine” in the Bible are used to speak of fresh grape juice, as well as alcoholic wine.
Isaiah 16:10 Gladness is taken away, And joy from the plentiful field; In the vineyards there will be no singing, Nor will there be shouting; No treaders will tread out wine [that’s fresh grape juice] in the presses; I have made their shouting cease.
Isaiah 65:8 Thus says the LORD: "As the new wine is found in the cluster [you can’t get any fresher grape juice than that], And one says, 'Do not destroy it, For a blessing is in it,' So will I do for My servants' sake, That I may not destroy them all.
Jesus didn’t make some 150 gallons of alcoholic wine for people that were already drunk!
Habakkuk 2:15 "Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, Pressing him to your bottle, Even to make him drunk, That you may look on his nakedness!
According to ancient writers, the best “wine” was not alcoholic (see Albert Barnes on Pliny, Plutarch and Horace in his commentary on John 2:10). It was unfermented, filtered or boiled grape juice! Jesus made fresh grape juice that was much better than the grape juice the people had already filled up on!
“What’s the big deal?” Truth be told. Alcohol is poison. It is toxic.
It will mess up your brain. Research indicates that the human brain continues to develop into a person's early 20's, and that exposure of the developing brain to alcohol may have long-lasting effects on intellectual capabilities and may increase the likelihood of alcohol addiction.
It will ruin your grades. A government study published in 2007 shows a relationship between binge drinking and grades. Approximately two-thirds of students with “mostly A’s” are non-drinkers, while nearly half of the students with “mostly D’s and F’s” report binge drinking.
It will hurt, even kill you. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, about 5,000 kids under 21 die every year as a result of underage drinking – from crashes, homicides, and suicides. Forty percent of all alcohol-related fatal car crashes involve teens. Teens that drink also are at risk for a long list of other injuries and potential life-long alcohol abuse.
It will cause you to kill yourself. Alcohol use interacts with conditions like depression and stress, and contributes to an estimated 300 teen suicides a year. High school students who drink are twice as likely to have seriously considered attempting suicide, as compared to nondrinkers. High school students who binge drink are four times as likely to have attempted suicide, as compared to nondrinkers.
Let me tell you something I have learned since I became a Christian and let God guide my life: You will never regret doing right but you will always regret doing wrong (cf. Deu. 6:24-25; Ecc. 11:9-12:1, 13-14). Social drinking is a big deal not only because it can ruin your life now but even worse it can cause you to lose your soul in hell for all of eternity!
1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
I want to challenge you to set the example and be the one who will say, “No, I don’t drink.” You can give courage to others to leave it alone. Yeah, you will have to put up with a little harassment but you will be the better, stronger for it and you might be surprised at how many admire you for it!
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Romans 14:21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.
Truth be told. Jesus doesn’t want any of you drinking. He loves you too much to see you destroy your life and the lives of others (Eph. 5:2). He came down here to show us how to live and died to pay for our sins when we don’t live the way He showed us (1 Pet. 2:21-24). He was raised from the dead to give us the assurance and hope of eternal life (2 Cor. 4:14). It is the power of this message that can change your heart and set you free to live for God (Rom. 1:16). He challenges you to put down the bottle and take up the Bible. To be a Christian. There is no other life like it!
John 10:10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
That life begins in baptism where you die to self, bury the old man of sin and are raised up to walk in newness of life and continues as we present ourselves to God (Rom. 6; 12:1). Who will give their life to Jesus, today? Which one of you teenage Christians will step out and come clean about your drinking and start to make things right with God? God’s family does not seek to condemn you or to put you down, but wants to help you and to build you up. We love you and want to pray for you. We want you to come to Jesus, whoever you are!