Is it a sin to smoke cigarettes in the Bible?
Short summary – While the Bible does not explicitly label smoking as a sin, it does emphasize the importance of maintaining good health and treating the body as a temple of the Holy Spirit. Given the harmful effects of smoking on health, addiction, financial burden, and potential bondage, some believers interpret these principles as suggesting that smoking may be incompatible with Christian teachings. However, others argue that smoking is acceptable since it is not directly prohibited.
The Old Testament records 613 laws the children of Israel must follow to maintain holiness and righteousness.
God gave Moses these laws to help the children of Israel who had spent years in Egypt and lost touch with their creator walk in His will and purpose for their lives.
But even though these laws were ideally suited for the people in the time of Moses, they are lacking in present times as the way people live has changed.
We have developed new habits like smoking.
The Bible did not specifically mention if smoking is a sin or not, probably because cigarettes or weed were not a thing in Bible days.
So, there have been debates about smoking.
A group believes it is okay to smoke since there is no direct warning or sin tag on it in the Bible.
On the other hand, another group believes smoking is immoral and pollutes us physically and spiritually; hence, it must be unpleasing to God.
Can you be a Christian and smoke? Can cigarette, marijuana, tobacco, and other smoke consumption stop you from making heaven?
This article attempts to shed light on this controversial topic.
Is it a sin to smoke in the Bible?
It is essential to know what the Bible says about smoking before we can determine if it is a sin or not. No Bible scripture labeled smoking as a sin or warned anyone to desist from it. In fact, smoking was never mentioned in the Bible like other sins.
However, the scripture most believers use to justify their stand against smokers is the body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, we must not pollute it with sin (1 Corinthians 6:12-20).
Although that scripture is on point, its original intention is for believers to flee fornication or sexual sins, not smoke.
In a nutshell, it is not recorded in the Bible that smoking is a sin. Also, the Bible did not mention if anyone smoked in the Old or New Testament.
But one interesting thing to note in the Bible related to smoking and other habits not highlighted in the Bible is what the Apostle Paul said in 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.”
Smoking might not be explicitly called sin, but following Paul’s train of thought, one needs to ask if smoking is beneficial to one’s body.
Why are you smoking?
Some say they smoke to relieve stress. Others say they light a stick of cigarette when anxious, depressed, or feeling irritable. Another group just does it for pleasure.
The next question you must ask is, are there better and healthier substitutes?
Smoking can help relieve stress, but at what cost?
They also put the lives of people around them in danger because smoke has the same health implications for those innocently inhaling it. God’s intention is for us to live long in sound health (3 John 1:2).
However, the plan of the enemy is to cut our lives short.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10).
One tool he uses is smoke.
Smoking can lead to addiction, thereby making smoking a master over you.
Anyone who cannot control their urge for anything is already in bondage.
Fortunately, God has given us the best and most healthy alternative for the reasons people smoke.
The Holy Spirit delivers us from fears, anxieties, and depression. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
God’s Spirit heals us once and for all, unlike smoke, which will require constant consumption every time we feel bad.
You do not need to smoke when you are down.
You need the Holy Spirit that gives peace that surpasses human understanding and unexplainable joy even in the midst of storms.
The financial implication of smoking is also another problem you must consider as a believer.
The Bible encourages us to count the costs before embarking on anything (Luke 14:28-30).
The cost implication of addiction is very high. It digs a hole in your pocket and keeps taking from you until you go bankrupt.
Do Christians smoke?
Yes. Some good born again Christians smoke.
These Christians love the Lord, preach the Gospel of Christ, love people, and obey God’s Word.
Still, they smoke.
Are they genuinely God’s children?
Only God can answer that because only God knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts.
He knows that we are indeed His.
The fact that you do not smoke does not guarantee that you are God’s child. There are thousands of sins people engage in daily, worse than smoking.
Therefore, do not be surprised when you see a believer or even a pastor you adore burning and puffing a smoke.
Do not let that discourage your walk with God. Instead, focus on Jesus as the perfect example.
Jesus is the author and the finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
No man is a template for serving God or building a relationship with Him. We are all imperfect and full of weaknesses.
However, do not judge anyone (Matthew 7:1-5). Allow God to be the judge.
You might be shocked and surprised when they give you the reasons for their smoking habits.
Not everyone smokes for pleasure’s sake. Some are struggling. So, instead of judging and pointing fingers, pray for them.
Ask God to heal their hurts and take away the burden in their hearts.
Can I smoke moderately?
We have learned a lot about moderation.
The Bible preached against overeating or gluttony, bad dressing, reckless spending, etc.
In other words, we must create a balance.
We must know when to stop and when something good is becoming bad for our physical and spiritual health.
All these are true.
We must practice moderation as believers to not frustrate God’s grace upon our lives. However, moderation is one of the enemy’s most potent weapons against the church.
The idea that we can do things moderately without crossing the line into sin and destruction has actually plunged many believers into spiritual bondage and destruction.
No middle ground when it comes to serving God. God says, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16).
You must be extreme.
You must be hot for God.
What this entails is that whatever will dilute your energy for God must be removed from your life.
You must maintain your energy by consistently engaging in spiritual activities that will empower your spirit man.
Therefore, you might claim to be a moderate smoker by taking a maximum of three sticks of cigarettes daily. However, you might have a challenge that will push you into taking a whole pack just to drown your sorrow.
The bottom line is that you must not start what you cannot finish.
Avoid smoking if you know you will not be able to deal with the social stigma or people avoiding you because of how you smell.
Also, avoid smoking if you want to live a long and healthy life.
What should a believer do?
A believer should know that what they cannot do without for some days has become a master over them (1 Corinthians 6:12).
Your work has become a master over you if it has replaced your daily devotion and communion with Christ.
Food has become your master if you cannot leave it too fast for a few hours or days. Your phone has become a master over you if you cannot live without it.
Take a closer look at your life to see if you can survive without smoke.
If not, it’s time to seek the face of the Lord for deliverance and help. Addiction is injurious to your physical, financial, and spiritual life.
Come to Jesus to heal you. Isaiah 49:25 says, “But thus says the Lord: “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible be delivered.”
It does not matter if you fall into addiction deliberately or not.
God will deliver you and make you brand new.
He will heal you from every smoke-related sickness and give you health and vitality.