Is Smoking Cigarettes a Sin?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Will a Christian who has been born again be lost if they don’t stop smoking?  Is it sin for a Christian to smoke?  If a Christian smokes, does it mean they really aren’t saved?  Is smoking and being a Christian incompatible?

The Definition of Sin

The Bible gives us the proper definition of sin.  It does not come from human beings or human opinions.  If you watch today’s talk shows, you can see just how far human opinions can deviate from the Word of God; therefore a biblical definition of sin is accurate since it is a definition from God Himself.

In First John 3:4, the apostle gives us the proper definition of sin, “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.”  This means that every human that has ever lived has sins and continues to sin.  So we are all in big trouble since we all have and will continue to sin in this life.  Jesus is the only human who never sinned.  He was both man and God and lived a perfect live.  Consequently, this is why Jesus made the perfect sacrifice because He was without blemish and the only perfect One that ever lived.  His death reconciled humans to God.  But only those who believe in Him are the ones reconciled to God (Acts16:30-31).

Sin leads to death as James says in 1:15, “Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”  The wages or what we earn from sin is death (Romans 6:23). But whoever believes in Jesus Christ is saved from the penalty of sin (John 3:16).  Since all have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard, every human is in big trouble (Romans 3:23).

What Saves Us From Sin?

Humans are unable to save themselves.   Paul quotes Isaiah when he tells us about human efforts to save themselves by works, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away“(Isaiah 64:6).  Paul clarifies it in Romans 11:6, “And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”  Any attempt to save ourselves by works is self-righteousness and God will not accept our own works because they are not sufficient.  It is only those who believe in Jesus Christ that are saved from the penalty of sin (John 3:16).

Our best efforts to overcome will never save us.  Holiness is not the way to Jesus; Jesus is the way to holiness.  There is only one way to salvation that is only in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).

Famous Christians Who Smoked

Is Smoking Cigarettes a Sin

God tells us that we are to be perfect and abstain from every appearance of evil

There is a veritable who’s who list of Christians who smoked.  One of the greatest preachers and evangelists of the 19th century loved his cigars.  He was Charles Spurgeon.  Other famous Christians who smoked or still do are J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Chuck Colson, Johann Sebastian Bach, Billy Graham, and Jerry Farwell (although the last two quit in their latter years).  This article has addressed all types of tobacco:  cigarettes, pipe, cigar, snuff, and chewing tobacco.

The same questions could be asked about drinking beer, or wine, or eating pork, or…the list goes on.  The fact remains that moderation in all things is a Godly attribute.  Smoking is obviously not healthy and the believer should be diligent in their efforts to quit but what is there in this world that isn’t good for you.  I love to go to fast food restaurants but don’t go very often because I know the menu carries high fat volumes in their foods.  The fact is that it is a fallen world and that there are no perfect Christians.  None are perfect but they are forgiven.

What Saves Believers?

Jesus was more concerned with what came out of the mouth (in words) than what was going into it saying in Matthew 15:11, “What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”  It is what comes out of the mouth that defiles believers; it is by our words that our heart is revealed.

Yes, you can still be a Christian and smoke. Is it God’s will that you would quit? Of course because God tells us we are to be perfect and to abstain from every appearance of evil and He desires that we live a happy, healthy, prosperous, and long life.  But at the same time, we shouldn’t judge those who do smoke or those who we see are not perfect. If I caste the first stone, it would have to be aimed at myself.  We should be concerned about our own sins and repent daily and come to the cross of Christ for daily cleansing.  We will still sin and fall short of the glory of God, but whoever believes in Jesus Christ remains his possession forever and He will never leave you, forsake you, or have you snatched from His hand or the hand of God the Father (John 6:37, 10:28-29).

Conclusion

As covered by the apostle John in 1 John 3:4, a true definition of sin is “lawlessness”. Then James reminds us that sin leads to death (James 1:15). The good news is that John also shares that when we believe in what Jesus did for us on the cross we are saved from death, which is the penalty for sin. We are unable to save ourselves, only Jesus saves. Because of sin we live in a fallen world and therefore there are no perfect Christians. Yes, you can still be a Christian and smoke, however God desires that we live a happy, healthy, prosperous life and quitting smoking would be a good thing for any Christian.

We have collected many questions and answers here at WCWTK. Perhaps you will also like these articles which are similar:

What Are the Signs of the Second Coming of Jesus?

What Do Christians Believe About Dinosaurs?

What is Speaking in Tongues?

Resources:

Holy Bible, New International Version ( NIV)

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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{ 94 comments… read them below or add one }

rey May 16, 2011 at 3:33 am

Psalm 62:12 “Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.”

Works-based justification is more gracious than grace-bases justification, in that it presents God as placable, able to be pleased. In grace-based salvation God is depicted as implacable, unpleasable, a crazed perfectionist who can think of no better thing to do with an imperfect creation than to burn it in hell forever. But in works-based salvation, God’s forgiveness is able to work together with man’s works without any false dichotomy between the two. The Psalmist here praises God as “MERCIFUL” for rendering to every man “ACCORDING TO HIS WORK.” To the Psalmist, grace would be tyranny. If God could render to an immoral man a great paradise, then he could equally render to a moral man great torment. In such a case, God’s justice would be the opposite of justice. Grace creates chaos and inconsistency: it creates unpredictability, much like a Communist economy. But in a world where God (as in Romans 2:6-10) renders ETERNAL LIFE to those who “by patient continuance in well doing seek glory and honor and immortality” and TORMENT AND ANGUISH to those who “obey unrighteousness rather than righteousness” there is predictability and true justice, and in this predictability and in this consistency there is a MERCY that transcends all the cruelty of that unpredictable and repugnantly inconsistent thing called GRACE.

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Jack Wellman May 19, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Sometimes we forget just who our Savior is. The preacher may say, “We are saved by grace.” Someone will reply, “Don’t forget about works.” Is our salvation due to God’s grace plus our own works? The scriptures answer, “No!” The Apostle Paul wrote, “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace” (Romans 11:6)

That is not to say that works are unimportant. The person who is saved by grace will have works in his or her life. The scripture affirms that God’s elect are “predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29). How can a person be conformed to the image of Christ without doing good works? Jesus certainly did good works (Acts 10:38). The scripture affirms that God’s gracious offer of salvation is to be accepted by faith (Romans 3:25). Faith that doesn’t show itself by works is not real faith; rather, it is dead (James 2:17). Real faith is completed by works (James 2:22).

But when it gets right down to it, we are not saved by doing good works. The scriptures clearly state, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God–not because of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). If we were good enough that we just needed a little boost to make it to heaven, we could certainly brag about how good we were.

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Susie June 26, 2011 at 9:21 am

Jack – Thank you so much for this wonderful article. Well said! When I was living a works based religious life, I was constantly depressed because I always fell short of being “perfect”. No one is or was sinless except Jesus and I can’t expect myself to be perfect, nor anyone else. Praise God and blessings to you. ~Susie

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Jack Wellman June 26, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Thank you so much for the encouragement Susie. I struggled with this for a long time before I realized that holiness is not the way to Jesus, Jesus is the way to holiness. Our salvation is not all of our responsibility…it is our response to HIS ability. Thank you and God bless you my friend. And I thank God that by HIS perfection and its being accounted to us as our righteousness that we are saved and not by works…otherwise, I would really be worried! LOL 🙂

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David July 11, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Thank you Jack for this article. I always say I am a work in progress… the more God works on my heart, the more I progress!!!

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Jack Wellman July 15, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Same here my friend. I will be left as like summer highway construction work…still in progress and sometimes it might look like I am still under construction too. LOL. Thanks my friend.

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jacki lamphire August 21, 2011 at 11:35 pm

My husband is a Pastor.
I heard a Pastor friend, Charles Millhuff say once,
JUST BECAUSE IT IS NOT SIN DOES NOT MAKE IT RIGHT.
I try to think about that and stay as far away from Sin
as I can. NOT AS CLOSE AS I CAN.
Smoking is not a good example. Sin? That’s between you and God. It is “wrong” for me. The question is, will do find and do HIS WILL? Thank you, Jacki

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Jack August 22, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Thank you Jacki. Great comment. If it is not sin in one person’s opinion but may be a stumbling block to another, then I say don’t do it…at least in their presence. As a pastor, we know that we must be above reproach in as far as it is humanly possible. Amen for some it is wrong, for others if they don’t see it as such, then who am I to judge them? You make some really great points. Pastor Milhuff is spot on the mark. Great message and I thank you so much for visiting our site. God bless you and your husband’s ministry as I consider you as part of the team of the ministry as husband and wife are one in Christ and in the ministry together. As I love to repeat the famous saying:
“in essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity”

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Clara September 9, 2011 at 3:27 am

This is a breathe of fresh air. So many people are put of Christ and Christianity because of taboos that have no biblical foundation. I don’t smoke and don’t see any good in it but lets share the love of Christ and help victims overcome bad habits.
Thanks again.

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Jack Wellman September 10, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Thank you so much Clara. I agree. We must realize that none of us are perfect and yes, only the power of Christ can help us overcome bad habits. Thank you so much my friend.

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Naomil October 16, 2011 at 1:45 am

Thank you so much this really touched me and I will remain to repent of thy sins and pray everyday because Jesus is life and that he gives me everyday

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Jack Wellman October 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Naomil, your comments make it all worthwhile my friend. Thank you. Yes, Jesus is life and he gives us all life everyday. Well said. I appreciate your visiting us here.

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oLIVIA October 24, 2011 at 7:14 am

OMG,am so so blessed by dis portion of scriptures.continue in the work of God lots of love,Cheers

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Jack Wellman November 28, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Olivia, thank you so much for your comment. I am glad you came by to visit us and this article in particular. I have actually heard other Christians condemn other Christians to hell for smoking…we go way to far in judging others. I am not saying that Christians should smoke, but that we need to be tolerant of others for no one is near perfect. I can look in the mirror and see that! 🙂 God bless you Olivia. Thank you.

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Jack Wellman November 28, 2011 at 7:38 pm

My friend Olivia, thank you so much for your comment. I am glad you came by to visit us and this article in particular. I have actually heard other Christians condemn other Christians to hell for smoking…we go way to far in judging others. I am not saying that Christians should smoke, but that we need to be tolerant of others for no one is near perfect. I can look in the mirror and see that! 🙂 God bless you Olivia. Thank you.

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Robert November 28, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Since I was young I was raised in the church. I have always believed in Christ as I grow older he becomes even more personal. I have recently joined another church and participated in a sprinkle baptism. I have been struggling with smoking but I believe God is dealing with me because there is a strong urge on my heart to quit. Great article I don’t think we should judge others because God is the judge. We should persevere and keep encouraging others in Christ, thanks.

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Jack November 28, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Robert, you are so right my friend. We must work out our own salvation and none of us will ever be perfect. I appreciate your comment. Every one of us struggle with things in this life and though I am not condoning smoking, neither am I in a position to judge someone if they do. Let each one work out their own salvation as Paul said and the fact that you are trying is testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit working in you Robert.

God bless you for your walking in love and not in judging others. Thank you for visiting the website sir.

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Jack November 28, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Robert, you are so right my friend. We must work out our own salvation and none of us will ever be perfect. I appreciate your comment,

“Since I was young I was raised in the church. I have always believed in Christ as I grow older he becomes even more personal. I have recently joined another church and participated in a sprinkle baptism. I have been struggling with smoking but I believe God is dealing with me because there is a strong urge on my heart to quit. Great article I don’t think we should judge others because God is the judge. We should persevere and keep encouraging others in Christ, thanks.”

Amen sir. God bless you for your walking in love and not in judging others. Thank you for visiting the website sir.

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Nicole January 13, 2012 at 9:17 pm

This helped cause I was confussed! Sometimes I think Christians over the years have picked what is a sin and not a sin on their own and it just stuck! I mean think about it, caffiene is bad for you and very addicting; but it is not considered a drug or a sin when it is a drug!! But yet Christians drink it and serve it in church!!
God gives us convictions and if u are convicted about what u are doing then quit!
No one can judge anyone.. and the things u are enjoying on earth (that are not illegal and does not impair your judgement) make sure u are NOT putting them before God cause then it is wrong:)

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Jack January 13, 2012 at 10:08 pm

SO true Nicole. Great observations. I know that one of the greatest preachers of all time, Charles Spurgeon loved cigars and C.S. Lewis, one of the best Christians writers and theologians loved his pipe, yet today they are in heaven. God looks at the heart and I remember what Jesus said, ““It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.” (Matt 15:11). This may not be what He was precisely talking about but Jesus is nonetheless scolding the Pharisees about judging things that men and women do that is external, but Jesus told them, “the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.” (Matt 15:18).

Thanks for your encouraging comment. I can see that you are not one to judge someone outwardly. Nicole, please return and visit us again.

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Mary Ausdahl June 11, 2012 at 2:01 am

Nicole coffee is thought to have cancer preventive benifits etc. esp. for men and colon cancer but not used in great excess and NOT decaff…limit the amt. and hr. you drink till and or just have a (weaker?) nightcap. Same thing with dark chocolate…a square of chocolate a day may keep the cancer away…these are beans…beans are good. Seems to me when the anti-coffee fad raged it didn’t help the stroke rate much but I’m sure stay awake pill sales rose and colon cancer esp. in men seemed to become the norm. I suspect thats how we found out! Nice closing statement…I agree

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Jack Wellman June 11, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Mary, this is most excellent. We really needed this common sense solution to help us. I love coffee but I was a several pack a day smoker but I have also heard that chocolate and coffee is good to reduce cancer risks. I appreciate your lovingkindness in these remarks. Please do come back again soon to grace us with more wisdom from you. Love it Mary.

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neohistory March 1, 2012 at 2:46 pm

I believe, it is by not just works alone, but faith in Jesus Christ…No man can be like Jesus, no man can be perfect like Him. If you strive to be perfect, you defeat the purpose of Jesus making his sacrifice. You look Jesus in the face and say “see? see? Look what my hands do Lord, my hands make works that help me be like you!” and I faithfully believe, Jesus would say “No child, thou hands are not like mine, for mine are pierced for your sins; but thy work is good, so do not forget the happiness it brings.”

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Jack March 1, 2012 at 4:54 pm

neohistory, amen to your comment. Thank you for it. You are spot on the mark of truth. If works were involved, I would be highly worried and fearful. I like the statement, “Holiness is not the way to Jesus…Jesus is the way to holiness.” Striving by good works is like saying, “Jesus, your work at Calvary was not enough…I must add my good works to it” so I totally agree….it is not by works that we are saved…and for that I thank God, I thank Jesus for.

I hope you will return again soon to the website.

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neohistory March 1, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Amen

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margarita March 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm

This article feels meant for me. So I will share my point of view as well. I am a christian and have known Jesus as Lord all my life. I am also a crazy addicted cigarette smoker. I have never been at peace with this lifestyle for myself personally. I feel like others feel when they see a christian smoker. How can I represent The Lord with a cigarette in my hand? I am ashamed of this addiction of mine. And I know that there is no place in the bible where it says that smoking is a sin. What I do know, however, is the bible teaches us not to love any THING of this world. And cigarettes are of this world. This remains my biggest problem to this day. I am desperate to be rid of this evil addiction. I will never feel right as an ambassador of Christ while I have this habit.

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Jack March 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Thank you Margarita for your comment and your open honesty. I understand your comment. I myself battled an addiction of a controlled substance and it was a huge, uphill battle. I was constantly on my knees asking the Lord for deliverance. I know what you are going thru but never give up even though at times I felt like it. We can do all things thru Christ Who will strengthen us. This is a battle you don’t have to go it alone with. If not for my Lord, I would never have broken free of my days on marijuana…but praise Jesus, He delivered me: Not only from sin but from one of the most powerful addictions there is. Take heart. God bless and thank you for visiting us Margarita.

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neohistory March 3, 2012 at 9:57 am

I also, with conviction from the strength of Jesus in my life now, admit that I had challenges of substances which are tools of evil. Satan crafts the ways of the world, for he believes the world is his domain, yet only a prison which will lead to another prison of 1000 years. I quit smoking cigarettes after many attempts. I showed patience as he asks us all to show to our enemies. Be patient with your troubles, and give Lord the time to create the day of your freedom. I also dealt with Marijuana, and every now and then the desire to ingest pain killers. Also, alcohol has been in my past…yes, the tools of satan are many, but it only takes one path which Jesus sets down for us all to walk with him.

Rejoice that Jesus provides a single path to relief, while satan attempts to provide many paths to destruction. I feel that as scoffers will try to undermine the importance of community in the Holy Spirit, regardless of its venues (Speaking, Technology) such as this very comment might reach those who are looking for companionship amongst those who share their spirit of belief. Pray, as I did and still do, and show the Lord determination, and you will translate that determination to one of quitting which satan continues to throw in your face. Trust in scripture, not in me. But heed the words of those who are in the church, the body of Him, and take strength from where it began, in God.

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Jack March 3, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Thank you for such a powerful testimony neohistory. Truly, as I give sermons, I try to always be totally transparent in the hopes that others can confess their past but this speaks of the unsearchable grace that our Lord and Savior has provided. Your line, “Trust in Scripture, not in me” is so moving. I take heart from your lines and your comment is so full of open honesty that we share many things that I can now see. I do rejoice that Jesus alone provides that path to relief, as you so wisely stated. Well said and thank you and God bless you my friend. I wish we had more such Christians as you and Margarita in the church that I under-shepherd.

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margarita March 6, 2012 at 10:08 am

You know, this has been a major help, because most of the christians that I know have the appearance of perfection. I’ve read over and over again in my bible that christians ought to confess their sins to one another as well as our Father, who only can forgive us through the blood of Jesus. In my church, one would think that they never struggled with anything at all. What a refreshing website. And thank you also neohistory, for the comment that you made concerning giving The Lord time to create the day of my freedom. I have struggled with alcohol and marijuana in the past as well, but by the grace of God haven’t struggled with them as of late. It’s these stupid cigarettes. I am grateful for all the comments and advice on this site. It has been incredibly uplifting to hear that other christians have struggled too, and that I’m not the only one who has sin and struggles as a born again believer since childhood.

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neohistory March 6, 2012 at 11:40 am

Matthew 23:27
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every impurity.”

Just as we who have accepted Jesus Christ as our personal savior, to forgive our sins, we obviously expect to see this. For the scripture tells us these things, so we trust in God because his word is truth. Don’t feel left out, because there are people out there meant to help you who work in the Holy spirit, and you are never alone. While it is nice to have people who actually do the word, Jesus died on the cross for a reason because we are not perfect, because sin is within. They read the bible thinking it’s all about image, yet they are only following the white washed tomb scenario in the bible. While you are saved when you accept Jesus Christ, satan still tortures us with sinful desires. While you and are saved by accepting Jesus Christ as our savior, those who are not sometimes think we are doing the deed of the devil with sinful desires, or doing things society as deemed untasteful in regards to what is accepted. Cigarettes kill, they are associated with rebellious characters (I am taking a class on Film noir this semester which started in the late 20’s and usually had characters smoking in them, which upon viewing these films, you see heavy presentation in existentialism and at times seem to project there is no God, although this is my interpretation, but satan has tools does he not?) After the Industrial age, were there not chemicals and insanely dangerous violations of health codes (which didn’t exist yet, mind you) that would damage the body…but the body will perish, it will be changed through our Faith in Jesus Christ…but the actions could be perceived and twisted to the delight of satan to people who are not saved yet. So the delimma is this…we suffer our afflictions, the temptations of sin, and others view it with satan twisting their perceptions in his favor. All in all, we must pray for each other, and for those who are not saved. This is a non-stop battle between the spiritual…but keep the armor of God polished, and pray pray pray! God bless all who take shelter in our Lord.

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Jack Wellman March 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Wow my friend….what a superb comment. I truly wished that we had more Christians like you my friend. I believe that we need for such godly believers like you. I see you as being so loving and in an unconditional way in this and your other comments…this truly reflects the agape love that God has for us. My sincere compliments my friend. Thank you so much.

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Jack Wellman March 6, 2012 at 5:32 pm

I agree with your comment to Neohistory. His comments are truly reflective of the unconditional (agape) love that God has for us. I remember that Paul also struggled with sin and the church is not a home for saints but a hospital for sinners, of which I am the chief. Paul wrote in Romans 7:18-20, “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” His conclusion in verses 24 & 25 gives me, a sinner, even though a pastor, great hope. He said, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? [boy, I know what he feels here] Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! ”

When I’m down on myself I read Romans 7. God bless Margarita.

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neohistory March 6, 2012 at 6:17 pm

My grandfather, who was very loyal to the Good Lord passed away last year. I remember him telling me the light has been shown to people differently. While I take no credit in the work of the Lord, I understand maybe at times I might be able to talk deeply about it. But, I fear that sinful desire of pride and therefore say that every Christian is just as important…for the meak shall inherit the earth. The prideful will not, and while I have accepted Jesus Christ as my savior, I wish to take the focus on myself and place it where it belongs. I hope that people reading this do not give up hope, for the Good Lord is always with is, and no barriers will keep you from him, unless you deny Jesus Christ as your savior. I don’t know if I was ever meant to speak to people about God, I was just too scared back then. I don’t know what lie ahead, but I take comfort in knowing God is at the helm of our future, praise be to God!

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Jack March 6, 2012 at 6:25 pm

Amen my friend. God never gives up on us and in fact, Phil 1:6 says, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” and your comment brought this to mind Neohistory. You said, “I don’t know if I was ever meant to speak to people about God” but friend, as a pastor and evangelistically passionate person, I believe God intended you to speak for you have a God-given natural ability with your loving comments, your unconditional love for the brethren and sisters, and an open, honest, refreshingly transparent nature. God bless. I thank you my friend.

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margarita March 8, 2012 at 9:01 am

I agree with you also, neohistory, because the bible calls him our accuser for a reason, he accuses us before God day and night. Along with you, I thank God for Jesus, who is our Mediator. Otherwise, His face would be turned from us forever and there would be no hope at all. Neohistory, that was totally The Holy Spirit speaking through you. You are a vessel of mercy being used by The Lord through His Holy Spirit. Man, I’ve never been so happy to click on a website! Jack, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate YOUR honesty about your struggles. Praise God for your deliverance. If more people spoke of their hardships and failures, perhaps maybe they could also lift up His name and testify of how He has changed their lives. I know that despite my falling continuously He is working in my heart. I thank you all for your comments and honesty. This has really helped me A LOT! For The Lord knows those who are His, and no one is able to snatch them out of His hand! AMEN.

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neohistory March 8, 2012 at 11:36 am

Yes, you are completely correct. “He accuses us before God day and night.” satan uses us, yes, uses us in thinking he is putting attention on us. Jesus is that ultimate sacrifice and piece of the puzzle to completely fulfill us all. Satan was struck down before the cross, yet he still has his reign on the earth for now. Margarita, it is my sincere hope that you find strength in the Lord, even though you already do, please, CONTINUE. Just as the accuser who accuses us before God day and night attempts to find us guilty in the court of the most high, Jesus Christ arrived just in time to proclaim us “Not Guilty” so he would pay the price. Praise God the most high, for this wonderful intervention to bring us before him in eternal Grace and Peace, Amen.

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Austin May 8, 2012 at 5:31 pm

I just wanted to say this post is sad. I am a Christian, saved by grace. We are to call out sin and not beat around the bush about it. Smoking IS a sin. While judging is wrong, calling out sin in our Christian brother is not. In fact the Bible says if we see a brother stumble to go and help them. Your post here does not come from a Biblical viewpoint. You point to the sinful addiction of smoking as just a “pastime” that even some supposed Christians did. Smoking is a sin and if you are still doing it you are running from God. There are NO gray areas with God. Something is either right or wrong. It is either a sin or its not. I pray you come to see the truth in this matter.

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Jack May 8, 2012 at 6:04 pm

Thank you sir for your comment. Austin, do you believe that these men like C.S. Lewis, Charles Spurgeon, the Dutch reformed theologian (later Prime Minister of The Netherlands) Abraham Kuyper, J.R.R. Tolkien, Johann Sebastian Bach, Karl Barth, G.K. Chesterton, the late Chuck Colson, and hundreds more are all “supposed Christians”?” How can you judge them without knowing their heart? Jesus said that its what comes out of a man’s mouth that pollutes him and not what goes in. I pray that you would not cast stones, for surely you can not cast the first one can you? I am not condoning smoking but saying that we can not judge a person by their exterior. Do you also feel this way about drinking? What about overindulging? What about…the list is endless. Quote me a Scripture and verse for your saying, “We are to call out sin and not beat around the bush about it. Smoking IS a sin.”

Truly we should stop, I am not promoting it but to make a sweeping generalization of all smokers are “supposed Christians” is to make a judgment only God is qualified to make.

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JACKI May 8, 2012 at 9:24 pm

It is not that many of us do believe that smoking IS A SIN FOR US…possibly others. But, we cannot judge THEIR life with Christ, nor whether they will make it to Heaven or not because they do so.
It is a nasty , unhealthy habit. However, so is many of the things I have done in life, and hope that Christ will forgive me as I forgive others. Thank God through Jesus Christ, I gave up that habit when I was born again, I want to be a good example for others. I heard a little poem once, IF JESUS DIDN’T SAY IT, I WILL NOT RELAY IT, IF JESUS DIDN’T DO IT…THERE IS NOTHING TO IT.
I cannot imagine my Lord and Savior with a Beer Bottle in His hand or a Cigarette in his hand. It’s the action we should judge but not the person.

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Jack May 9, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Thank you Jacki for your comment. Amen to your not judging them to heaven or hell. So well said my friend. I see what you mean about Jesus not having a beer bottle in His hand or a cigarette, but He did make 160 gallons of wine and so He likely had a wine cup in His hand at times(John 2). What is the difference between wine and beer? It is moderation that is the key. Regardless of Jesus moderation, we can be sure of that, they still called Him (falsely) a “winebibber” because He drank wine with the publicans and sinners. To make judgments on the “actions” of a Christian is to not allow them the freedom of there likely struggling with this. We all struggle with things and I myself are no exception of course. The principal means is by stealing their liberty we can do that by binding them with chains where God has left them free. We will direct their attention to a different law, a false law, a new law. This is the work of the Holy Spirit to convict people and allow their own conscience to work in them. The legalists will tell them that what obedience to the enemy really requires is that they refrain from dancing, from smoking, from wearing lipstick, and from going to movies, etc. By putting the accent there, we can keep their attention away from pursuing real righteousness and the fruit of the Spirit. In a word, the strategy we will employ is to make them legalists.

If I knew someone who was a member at my church and who smoked, and I do know some, I would talk to them about it. And if they gave me a blasé response, then, yes, maybe it would be a problem. But if they said, “I’m working on it. I’m struggling with it,” then I would go a long way with a struggler because I am struggling too.

Not all sinning results in church discipline. It is usually those sins which are public, flagrant, and continual and the most serious ones as Paul dealt with were sexual immorality and causing division in the church. These God takes very seriously but since about every Christian who smokes that I have spoken with is struggling with this I can not cast the first stone for I am still a sinner and working on my own sanctification and as long as it does not affect the church, then yes I can try to persuade a believer to stop for their own health sake, but it can not result in church discipline. Where do we draw the line…no drinking, no smoking, no dancing, no r-rated movies, no gluttony….but when its sexual immorality and church division, you can bet I’m going to confront them with that. Thank you for your comment.

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JACKI May 9, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Yes, I thought about that as I was writing the article. But if you do studies on wine, you do know it was a good possibility that it was UNFERMENTED WINE that Jesus turned the water into..not saying it was….but I do believe it to be a good 50-50 chance. Back in his day, we had no “pills” for pain, and no hospitals as today to care for us…Wine was often used for medicine and for pain….I don’t want to get in to personal opinon here because that could go on forever. Like the smoking thing….but the Bible tells us to stay away FROM THE VERY APPEARANCE OF EVIL. Since my husband was an alcoholic before he was converted….you can’t convince me that any drinking is good for you or a good example to set. And I doooo like wine. LOL but I obstain. I saw the evil that the Devil can use…just take one drink….that’s all it takes to start it…just like smoking. Ahhh I don’t smoke much…I can quit when I want….but in the meantime you stick up your home, the air around you, cause loved ones to inhale your nasty habbit and so on…..I just think…we need not to judge the other person…BUT WORK ON PULLING THE BOARD OUT OF OUR OWN EYE AND LET GOD HANDLE THEM. Speak to someone about it.? Yes. But before I would even go there….it would take a lot of careful prayer possible fasting, and a loving caring attitiude not condemnation. And that’s all I’m gonna say about thaaaat. LOL Have a wonderful happy God filled day. Love to learn new thoughts and ideas here.

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JACKI May 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm

excuse me I meant stink up your home not stick up your home…ahhh getting old is great LOL

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Jack May 9, 2012 at 3:57 pm

Thanks Jacki for your grace filled words. Love your sense of humor too for I am a father and grandfather and still can’t find my car keys! LOL I love what you said, “BUT WORK ON PULLING THE BOARD OUT OF OUR OWN EYE AND LET GOD HANDLE THEM. Speak to someone about it.? Yes. But before I would even go there….it would take a lot of careful prayer possible fasting, and a loving caring attitiude not condemnation” and I amen that my friend and God bless you for I wish other Christians had such a loving grace and kindhearted words of love such as you for the church would be all the stronger for it. Let me say that I covet such wonderful women of faith such as you that would be in the church I am under-shepherd of. Please do come back my friend and I thank God for you.

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Kidcruze June 18, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Hi Jack, I just wanted to ask a question regarding one of your above posts, is it really a sin to dance or go to the movie theaters?

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Jack Wellman June 18, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Thank you for your question Kid Cruze. Let me say that I would not go to a movie with an R-rating for the simple fact that I do not like to see movies where vulgar language is spoken and God’s or Jesus’ name is used as a swearword or where there is needless violence and sexually explicit scenes are shown. If you are not sure if the movie would be one in which Jesus would sit next to you, I wouldn’t go.

As for dancing, I don’t see any problem with dancing unless the dancing gestures are sexually suggestive or the words to the music glorify drugs, sex, or vulgar language. I would use the content of both movies or music to determine if God would be pleased if I participated in them. Hope that helps you some my friend. Thank you so much for visiting us.

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Kidcruze June 18, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Hi Jack, I just wanted to ask a quick question regarding one of your above posts, is it really a sin to dance or go to the movie theaters?

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Kidcruze June 18, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Oh sorry for the same comment I had came back and saw that my post was not there so I decided to ask the question again, sorry about that.

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Jack Wellman June 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Not a problem my friend. I hope my answer was sufficient for you.

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Wesley Dougan July 1, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Thank you for this article, you just saved me alot of inner turmoil.

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Jack Wellman July 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Thank you Mr. Dougan for your comment. I am glad we could give you some peace of mind. I thank God that we are not saved by works or condemned by what others think but by God Who alone knows the heart. Please visit us again soon sir.

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Robert July 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Thank you for this article.
I’ve been a Christian for 2 years and have been a smoker for 15 years. When I came to Christ I was also addicted to drugs and alcohol and was able to give these up pretty much immediately (within a few days).
When I joined my church I started doing voluntary youth work and this led to me starting a degree in youth ministry and also serving God through the ministry of Youth for Christ.
Despite the amazing changes that have happened in my life I am still sometimes vilified by Christians for being a smoker. I never smoke at work because as you say, we need to be good examples and it wouldn’t be good for me to smoke in front of impressionable young people, yet some people (only 1 or 2) have questioned my ministry and asked if it is right that I should be employed by YFC while still smoking.
I came here tonight because I have felt God laying it on my heart to consider the benefits of giving up – God wants us to be healthy and to live long and fruitful lives and so I don’t want to do anything to hamper that, and so I am in this coming week going to attempt to give up yet again, please pray that God would help me in the difficult times of this as of all the addictions I have ever had, smoking is the hardest and most tempting. God bless you 🙂

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Jack Wellman July 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Robert, I will gladly pray for you my friend. I want you to know that I was a 2-3 pack a day person and still love the smell of cigars and pipe tobacco but don’t be too hard on yourself if you fall back to it occasionally. I have heard that quiting smoking is close to quiting heroine and that it is going to be a mighty struggle but you can do all things thru Christ. I will pray for you and I feel bad for those who judge other Christians who do. I remember Jesus said that is what come out of a man’s mouth that defiles him and not what goes in. I am so glad you found this. Know that we care and will support you and just remember, don’t be too hard on yourself if or when you smoke again. Believe me…it is tough.

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Adroit July 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Thanks alot for this wonderful and illuminating article. I am a born again christian who is strugglin with cigarrette. I have been prayin to God to help me over come this bad habit and to lead me on the path of righteousness….Wit diz article i must tel u am uplifted nd thrilled, and even motivated to keep fightin the urge to smoke…Tanx alot and i need ur prayers…LOL

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Jack Wellman July 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I am glad this helped you Adroit. Struggling against the flesh is a lifetime struggle. Don’t give up and don’t lose heart. Read this article to see if it will help you. God bless Adroit.

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/spiritual-attacks-putting-on-the-armor-of-god/

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Halo July 19, 2012 at 5:47 am

Jack, such a powerful message! I too am struggling with smoking and I kick myself for keep giving in every time. Your article gave me just the lift I needed. I’ve been seeking help from a friend of mine but for some reason by the end of our talks, I’d feel lower then the gum on my shoe. I know he mean well. Please stand in agreement with me as I try to quit AGAIN while I can still hold my head up high and not allowing this hinder my work in spreading the good news. May God bless and keep you!

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Jack Wellman July 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I will be in agreement Halo. I am overjoyed you came her to the website. Tell your friend to read this. Can your friend cast the first stone? Is he or she without sin. Instead of judging you, he or she should be looking in the mirror. Smoking is not a cardinal sin and we must allow people to grow in grace and knowledge. We are all at different stages in our life and I fear your friend is one of those who would judge others on music, tattoos, drinking, etc. I think that friend has the bigger issue of judging in my opinion. God bless Halo.

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Halo July 20, 2012 at 12:17 am

I so agree with you. I grew up in church all my life(Assembly of God). Parents are pastors and Grandparents as well. So I try to be open-minded in every situation and allow people to speak in to my life but at the same time I keep in mind it’s my walk with God and every opinions are not meant to be kept. I love when the bible spoke of David and his infidelity yet He is recorded to be a man after God’s own heart. I pray that we all carry a contrite heart as David did. Thanks again so much! Shalom!!!

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J rock July 31, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I been sharing the same thing with people. It just amazes me that people really think they are going to hell for simply drinking and smoking. The bible dont teach that. The bible does teach accept those who are weak in faith because we are all on different levels with GOD. I do know it would be wrong to do it in front of people who believe that because their faith weak. But as they continue to grow in knowledge they come to know the truth.

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Jack Wellman July 31, 2012 at 5:37 pm

J Rock….you nailed this spot on the mark brother. Wow. Thank you. As a pastor, I tell Christians that we need to not judge others for we don’t know where they are at in their walk with Christ. If we are to be judged for smoking or drinking a beer, let’s all agree then we would all be in trouble basing our salvation on works.

As I have said before, if I knew someone who was a member at my church and who smoked, and I do know some, I might talk to them about it but I am not the Holy Spirit and I can not convict of sin. Many have told me that “I’m working on it. I’m struggling with it,” then I would go a long way with a struggler because I am struggling too in different areas.

Not all sinning results in church discipline. It is usually those sins which are public, flagrant, and continual and the most serious ones as Paul dealt with were sexual immorality and causing division in the church or gossip because Jesus said it is what comes out of the mouth that pollutes a man (or woman of course) and not what goes in. These God takes very seriously but since about every Christian who smokes that I have spoken with is struggling with this I can not cast the first stone for I am still a sinner and working on my own sanctification and as long as it does not affect the church, then yes I can try to persuade a believer to stop for their own health sake, but it can not result in church discipline. Where do we draw the line…no drinking, no smoking, no dancing, no R-rated movies, no gluttony….but when its sexual immorality and church division or gossip (which is really slandering another person or character assassination), you can bet I’m going to confront them with that. Thank you for your comment J Rock. Love it. Please come back. We also have an article on “Can a Christian Drink Alcohol?” and you wouldn’t believe (well, maybe you would) some of the comments we got on that one too. They were not as grace-filled as yours sir.

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Anna August 2, 2012 at 9:21 am

My problem with smoking stems from my husband’s smoking habit which is costing hundreds of dollars a month. He wasn’t a smoker when we married but he took it up about 6 years ago as a means to deal with stress at work. He hides it from our children as they would be very disappointed if they knew he smoked. He may have less stress at work but it causes a lot of stress in our marriage because I have to manage money very carefully in order to see through to the end of the month. I understand that smoking is very addictive and hard to give up but I honestly cannot understand how a Christian husband and father would selfishly continue to smoke when his wife is so opposed to the habit itself and to the dreadful waste of money which puts me under a lot of stress every month. I have brought it up in conversation mant times and asked him to try quitting but he just gets very defensive and angry. Apart from praying and seeking the Lords help, I don’t know what to do anymore.

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neohistoey August 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm

You don’t understand why a Christian would selfishly choose something? When we look into the mirror, we all see the same thing; sinful flesh. He does it because we all struggle, everyone of us. We all have our own burdens, challenges and situations which require patience. Seek the Lord our God, ask God to confront your huband through the holy spirit. Saying things like “why would a Christian do this” or that, only brings you back to the original location of it all; sinful flesh. Yes I understand the burden of Costa, I quit 2 years ago. Ask the Lord to strengthen you, and above all else, BELIEVE He can. Because, He can. And if He can, you have the one true living God that’s gave us a way out of this cyclical fallen world because wiping the slate clean is NOT His nature. It is lobe an patience. You are suffering because of his plight… but we all share in it. Our plight is the suffering Olin this world, and Jesus has a contract that rightfully belongs to him. Amen and God bless you Anna.

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Anna August 3, 2012 at 8:28 am

Thanks for your encouragement Neohistoey.

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Jack Wellman August 2, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Hi Anna. I know this seems hard but many husbands are alcoholics, drug addicts, have an aversion to working and can’t support their family. You are the last person in the world that can change him. Change can only come from the Holy Spirit. No human can change another’s behavior but God can change a human heart alone (Prov 21:1). The more you talk to him about quitting, the worse it may become and the more he will dig in his heals. How about getting him a vapor or electronic cigarette? Then, don’t say another thing to him about it. The more you talk to him, the more he will resist. Pray for him and ask God to convict him of this by the Holy Spirit. When we try to change a person, then we are taking the place of and doing the work of the Person of the Holy Spirit, and I’ve done that. I make a very poor Holy Spirit and only managed to make it worse.

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Anna August 3, 2012 at 8:24 am

Hi Jack, I agree with you that you can’t change a person, that only God can change a persons heart but I do think there is a fine line between saying nothing for the sake of peace and “enabling” someone to continue on in a destructive habit. I don’t nag my husband about his smoking, however, I do bring it up as a topic of conversation and pray often for him about it because it worries me on both a health and financial level. I think that the loving thing to do in any situation where there is an addiction is to point out that addiction is something that the believer can take to God, expect God to help him/her overcome the addiction and also stress that the person addicted to drink/drugs/tobacco or whatever has a responsibility to try with God’s help to get over their addiction. Unfortunately, my husband doesn’t really want to give up smoking yet as he doesn’t see a problem with it. I guess I’ll just keep on praying.
Thanks for your comments and encouragement.
P.S Thanks for the idea about the electronic cigarette.

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Michael Odle August 2, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Above all we must listen to God in any matter and consult Him His Spirit and His Word. Each of us as believers were given The Holy Spirit as our Helper,Comforter,Teacher, and seal of assurance till our Lord Jesus Christ comes back. We must above all consult Him and listen to whats going on within us. If God’s Spirit. The Holy Spirit is telling us not to do something then we must submit to Him and seek a repentant heart on any matter, habit or sin He is revealing to us lest we lose His anointing. Never will we lose Gods Spirit but disobedience will result in an a lack of filling anointing and power. Remember “…do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God…” (Ephesians 4:30) May God Bless you all with a fresh anointing and discovery of all truth and a intimate relationship with Him drawing you closer to Him more and more Amen. And may our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus be with you all!!!

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Michael Odle August 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm

To Anna:
Sometimes there’s more then meets the eye. Ask The Holy Spirit to reveal to you what is going on in this matter. Ask Him to anoint you to see the unseen and if you see anything demonic rebuke and command it to leave in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ. God Bless.

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Anna August 3, 2012 at 8:26 am

Thanks for your encouraging words Michael.

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Marcus Matthew September 19, 2012 at 6:06 pm

I agree with you my friend JACK,
I am also by the Grace of God a christian facing lots of challenges like others in this area of smoking,first i smoked alot like a pack a day.
I was trying to stop but the urge was much so i took only 2 sticks after reading from this site.I pray i stop one day.The only consolation i have is that Jesus has already saved me on the cross as am not perfect.
Also Jack, i want us to address the issue of depression or fear in your issue.This will help me as i plan to also use it to help others.am dealing with it by the Grace of God but please throw more light using bible references. stay blessed.

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Jack Wellman September 19, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Greetings Marcus. I am so glad that you are not too down on yourself. Regarding depression. Marcus, I suffer from depression, so did perhaps one of the greatest preachers ever, Charles Spurgeon, so did Jeremiah, David, Job, Isaiah, Elijah, Moses….and many, many others. We have an article that deals with depression, called “Christian Depression Help – Biblical Encouragement and Advice” Is this what you were asking for Marcus? This article at the link below in this comment box is full of great Bible references but it is also full of practical steps that a person can follow to get real help. Please let me know if it helped you sir. May God richly bless you too Marcus.

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/christian-depression-help-biblical-encouragement-and-advice/

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Layefa October 15, 2012 at 11:38 am

I’m so glad I stumbled on this article, I’ve never smoked in my life but I’ve been so hard on a christian friend who does. Now I realize that the best I can do is to truly love and pray for him. I live with my own struggles and as humans (not just christians) there’s always a challenge to overcome, we (christians) have an edge because of the Holy Spirit in us so we must not brag about what we can or can’t do because it’s the Holy Spirit that’s at work in us. It’s true that some do have higher moral abilities than others but higher moral values is not The Way, Jesus is The Way and who am I to judge a fellow follower of Jesus because of their weakness. Thank you. This article is such a blessing to me.

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Jack Wellman October 15, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Hello Layefa. Praise God…I love your comment & so wished that more believers had your attitude. I know that we are all at different stages in life and that overcoming or sanctification takes a lifetime but we will only be sinless when we are taken to heaven & given new bodies. None are sinless (1 John 1:8, 10) but we do sin less! I can not cast the first stone unless it be at me.

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Dawn October 17, 2012 at 10:03 pm

This article is confirming what God has been really showing me for the past 10 years. 10 years ago I believed a smoker wasn’t a real Christian a most likely really never was saved. Guess what…after quitting for 8 years, after a season of depression and severe health issues I smoked a cigarette. Then guess what I thought about myself…I maybe wasn’t really saved. I may be going to he’ll, God must surely be done with me. Prior to this time of health issues then season of depression I had a fruitful ministry as a young women that God blessed in amazing ways. When he transformed my life that summer evening in 2002 everything about me changed…I quit drinking, smoking, ect. I was filled with his Spirit and His word became so alive and exhilarating. I spoke to large groups and traveled the us. Years later….there I was smoking, depressed…thinking my life of ministry was surely over. Wondering, is this what “tasting the heavenly gift” and “falling away” is? Am I lost forever? Doomed for an eternity apart from God. I really thought this. All because I started smoking. God has started showing me…it is not about my works…it never was. It’s about His work on the cross. I didn’t choose Him…he choose me before the foundations of the world. I didn’t earn his love by not smoking and I won’t loose his love by smoking. (I hope) Oh see how I struggle. This article is just life to me. I will read again when I am finished writing here. Maybe God isn’t done with me. Maybe God’s children need a more imperfect, compassionate,loving, version of myself vs. the “I have it all-together and you should to” version. Maybe my failures can make me better equip and more loving to help others going through it to. Maybe…I am really starting to wonder if God could use a smoker like me?

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Jack Wellman October 18, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Dawn, God still knows that we are far from perfect and God will not ever give up on you nor cast you away for those who come to Him (John 637). We are all still sinners (1 John 1:8, 10) but this same all (including me) confess daily our sins and He will forgive us all of our sins and cleanse us too (1 John 1:9),

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Thankful October 21, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Dearest Jack:

Thank you so very much for your thoughts, scriptures, and compassion! I too struggle with smoking. I am so thankful that the Lord looks upon the heart. I am even more thankful that my salvation does not depend on what I do but what Jesus did for me. I am thankful also that Jesus didn’t say “get it together first and then follow me” Jesus said “come as you are”. I appreciate your humility and compassion for people who are struggling. I can see Jesus in your gentleness. May God bless and keep you, Pastor! Amen

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Jack Wellman October 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Hello “Thankful.” I am so glad we could give you some peace of mind. I like what you said that we are not told to get it all together first else none of us would make it would we my friend? Well said and thank you.

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lawrence October 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Sir thanks for sharing your ideas with people like me. But my spiritual leaders tell me it is sinful. i had vision and i received an instruction to stop smoking. I’m a social smoker and smoke wen and stressed up. I”d like to stop it completely

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Jack Wellman October 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Thank you Lawrence. Who are these “spiritual leaders” you are talking about? Your pastor and elders or teachers? There is not one person alive without sin (1 John 1:8,10). Let em say you can not depend upon “visions” to receive instructions to do or to stop doing something. When you depend on “visions” you are depending upon something outside of the Bible or what is called extrabiblical sources and that is very dangerous for even the Devil is outside of the Bible. My concerns are because I care for you. Tell your “spiritual leaders” that they are not without sin and how can they judge others from the outside when God looks at the heart and even Jesus said “it is what comes out of the mouth that pollutes the man, not what goes in” (Matt 15:11).

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Thulani November 13, 2012 at 2:05 am

Good morning
i have just joined your site and find so many interesting things on it and very blessed.
my question is that Woman becaming a Pastor, is it a sin if we would have a woman to stand in the churnch and preach in the Sunday sermon cause the church i’m from is that i have been in the church for over five years now and we had senior pastor who was a woman but single now she left us. i need to have a clear understanding about woman pastoring the church.

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Jack Wellman November 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Hello Thulani. What a blessing to have you join the site. We have an article just published called Should Women Be Pastors or Elders of a Church at:

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/should-women-be-pastors-or-elders-of-a-church-a-bible-study/

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Clement January 2, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Thank you for your very sound insight. I have been a smoker since 1999. I have never thought, after Bible study for 15 years, that smoking was a sin. I also don’t believe that being obese is a sin either, even though my 99-year-old grandmother is alive, saved by Jesus, and in excellent health for her age.

Before smoking, I did get into the legalism trap of maintaining salvation by works of perfection that had destroyed my faith in Christ. I used to have that childlike joy
and I was constantly praising Him, but the church legalism killed it, and I’ve never been the same. “The letter [legalism]kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

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Jack Wellman January 15, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Thank you Clement. One of my favorite verses that help us avoid legalism is Mark 7:15 ” Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” In fact ALL of Mark 7:15-24 I believe it is, “Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.”

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Raymond Mongrain January 14, 2013 at 1:08 pm

For approximately 30 years it has been my privilege to share with anyone, christian or otherwise how to obtain victory over tobacco. It is my belief that anyone who is genuinely born again will eventually cease to smoke when he or she realizes the cost of salvation to the Godhead and the fact his body is the temple of the Holy Spirit etc.

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Jack Wellman January 15, 2013 at 8:41 pm

I pray that they will be able to overcome this Mr. Mongrain. In the meantime I cling to Jesus’ words and will never speak to another that they are sinning (not saying you would do that or have done that. I love Mark 7:15 ” Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.”

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Ricky H January 29, 2013 at 3:56 am

thank you soo much im not well versed in scriptute and have some comprehinson problems in reading but you broke this subject down simply yet delicately and very clearly i thank you…i was sure thatGod would send me to hell for this bad habit this is a true blessing and great news thank you once again and God bless you sir

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Jack Wellman January 29, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Hello Ricky H. I am overjoyed you have some peace over this but please know that there are many Christians who will likely cast stones but I tell my church that I can not cast the first stone unless it would be at me. Think about this. David committed adultery and conspiracy to commit murder and murder in the first degree yet God called him a “man after my own heart.” May God richly bless you Ricky.

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Barbara SAnders February 18, 2013 at 4:32 pm

I’m struggling very bad with these nicodemons. I want out but keep open the same doors back up thinking that I can smoke one cig. Please pray for me my name is Barbara Sanders

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Jack Wellman February 18, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Hello Barbara. Thank you so much for your comments. Let me tell you that for many, many years I struggled with addictions to marijuana and alcohol. It was going to destroy me and my marriage. I am not saying that smoking is equal to this. What I am saying that it takes time. It is a struggle. It is not the unforgiveable sin though. It takes prayer, fasting, and yes, the nocodemons will haunt you but you can do all things thru Christ Who will strengthen you. Don’t give up on yourself. Pray and fasting is a great way to break the bonds of a strong hold. Perhaps try an electronic cigarette. Praying for you my friend. Don’t get discouraged.

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Daniel March 15, 2013 at 2:59 pm

It is absolutely essential for a Christian to be holy and strive for perfection. Christ Himself calls us to it. “Christian” means “little Christ” and if we don’t try to be like Him, we bear that name for nothing. Many times throughout Leviticus God reminds His people: “Be Holy because I, the LORD your God, am Holy.” (Lev. 19:2) Paul writes: “To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be His holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ – their Lord and ours” (1 Cor. 1:2)
“But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.” (1 Peter 1:15) “Be holy because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16)
This is what we are called to. To be like Christ. If God repeats it so many times in His Word, it must be REALLY important. Jesus warns his disciples though, about the false prophets who will come and teach of another Jesus, and woe to them on judgement day. I do not imagine Jesus smoking, drinking, or listening to rock. Modern Christianity has gone a far way from the REAL Jesus and formed a God in its own image.

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Jack Wellman March 16, 2013 at 9:47 am

Thank you Daniel. None of us are without sin. Neither I am nor are you. As Romans 14:12-13 says,

“So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.”

There is a certain section of town where no one at all drinks, 100% of those in this part of town don’t smoke. There are no dance clubs, no bars, and no card playing either. It’s the local cemetery.

We need to not judge others for we don’t know where they are at in their walk with Christ. If we are to be judged for smoking or drinking a beer, let’s all agree then we would all be in trouble basing our salvation on works.

As I have said before, if I knew someone who was a member at my church and who smoked, and I do know some, I might talk to them about it but I am not the Holy Spirit and I can not convict of sin. Many have told me that “I’m working on it. I’m struggling with it,” then I would go a long way with a struggler because I am struggling too in different areas.

Not all sinning results in church discipline. It is usually those sins which are public, flagrant, and continual and the most serious ones as Paul dealt with were sexual immorality and causing division in the church or gossip because Jesus said it is what comes out of the mouth that pollutes a man (or woman of course) and not what goes in. These God takes very seriously but since about every Christian who smokes that I have spoken with is struggling with this I can not cast the first stone for I am still a sinner and working on my own sanctification and as long as it does not affect the church, then yes I can try to persuade a believer to stop for their own health sake, but it can not result in church discipline. Where do we draw the line…no drinking, no smoking, no dancing, no R-rated movies, no gluttony….but when its sexual immorality and church division or gossip (which is really slandering another person or character assassination), you can bet I’m going to confront them with that. Thank you for your comment.

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Barbara Sanders March 16, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Hi Jack, I really like how you allow grace to help you with your teaching. I’m so glad that we live under grace and not the law. I’m a struggling nicotine addict I have been delivered from heroin and crack over 12 years. I really do desire to follow Jesus but my God says if my heart condemns me he is greater than my heart. I ‘m not saying that it is ikay to smoke but that is what Jesus came for people like me not the righteous that have no sin. As long as I have life I will keep trying to get free form this bondage, do I love God? yes I do and he will deliver me one day.

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Jack Wellman March 16, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Amen Barbara. I loved your comment. We are all at different stages of our life in our walk with God and in our sanctification. I was like you, a former drug addict and it was such a struggle. But look how far we have came…and are still coming! I am encouraged by your comment.

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Barbara Sanders March 17, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Jack, you just don’t know how much you have encouraged me to know that I can do all things through Christ Jesus that strenghthens me. Just for today God has me on a new path of freedom. I know that all things work otigether for the good of them that love God and is called according to his purpose. I know that God didn’t call me out of heroin and crack to allow nicotine to kill me. So all thanks be to God for his amazing grace. Once we habe been strengthen we should strenghthen our brotheren. All I know Pastor Jack it was with lovein kindeness that Jesus has drawned me. I was not rich enough or pretty enough well wait a minute I am pretty pretty just not pretty enough to deliver my self. I was not smart enough and sure was not good or righteouss, or moral enough. People we need to wake up it is only by his grace and mercy throw faith are we saved. Also if we are teaching any other message we are in error and that is not to say that we should not hold sin accountable just know where sin is garce is more abounding. All I know is that I was in need of a saviour and he heard my CRY… love you all brothers and sisters and omce again thank you Pastor Jack Wellman, keep up the good work in love. Sis Barbara

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Jack Wellman March 17, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Barbara….wow, what a grace-filled comment. I can not look back at my life and take an inventory of where I was and where I am now. Even though I am still far, far short and still have much to work on thru the sanctification process, I am encouraged that even though I am still not sinless (nor will I ever be in this body) I do sin less. I see you too have come far and I love what you said…you can now strengthen the brethren by what you have came thru. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Perhaps God is going to use you or may have used you already to show others that there is hope of overcoming these terribly powerful strongholds but God is all about tearing down the sin strongholds to make us more like Christ day by day.

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