Cigarette Smoking and the Bible

Although smoking was unknown during the ages when the Bible was being written, the Bible provides adequate teaching, through principle, about this relatively modern habit.

In I Corinthians 6:19-20, the Apostle Paul wrote to Christians, "Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price: Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit which are God's". Much modern evidence shows smoking to be a health hazard to the extend that each package of cigarettes must, by law, bear this message, "Warning: the Surgeon General has determined that cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health". Obviously, something dangerous to the health cannot possibly enhance, or build up, the body. Smoking is contrary to healthful practices and acts to weaken or destroy the body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Christians do not own their own bodies their bodies are Christ's, bought and paid for by his death. Christians are not free to use their bodies for pleasure and in any way they choose. They are to glorify God in their bodies and since smoking does not glorify God, smokers are in violation of this precept.

In Romans 14:21 and Romans 15:1-2, we are taught not to offend our fellow-Christians and to take care to please our neighbors that they might be saved. While smoking will not be noticed by some and might please a very few, most people will be displeased by it and quite a few will be greatly offended by it. Soul winning is more difficult for smokers. In Philippians 2:3-4, we read ". . - Let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others". In other words, be considerate. Be thoughtful. Smokers cannot be thoughtful when smoking in a non-smokers car, it will be weeks before he will be able to get all the odor from the upholstery.

In a house-, cigarette odor will linger for 2 or 3 days. To non-smokers this is intolerable, to a few individuals smoke from other's cigarettes can produce dangerous toxic reactions. Smoking is against the principles of being careful not to offend and of being considerate.

Smoking is wasteful of time and of money. Christians are to be faithful stewards (Read Matthew 25:14-30), for, like our bodies, our money and our time, are not ours, but Christ's.

Christians also need to come face to face with the shocking realities that while more than 90% of all lung cancer victims are smokers, scientific studies have also shown that smokers have more than three time as many heart attacks as do non-smokers. We can simply find no way by which we can justify the willful destruction of our bodies in such a manner. The Apostle Paul said, "Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are? I Corinthians 3:16-17.

Most smokers find quitting difficult. The smoker who loves Christ has good reason to want to quit, and thus the battle is nearly won. Paul wrote in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me". If you are a smoker and wish to quit, pray often for strength. Some smokers can quit easily, while others find it difficult. If you are one of these, endure the discomforts, remembering always that you can do so for your Christ; your agony is small compared to that which He suffered for you. You can quit for Him, for His cause, and for the sake of all those who your smoking might otherwise lose for Christ.

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