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Can Alchoholics Go To Heaven?


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#1 skwayred

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 01:51 AM

My father passed away last December 24. He was an alchoholic and a smoker which actually caused all the complications he suffered from. Now, he drank alchohol not because he always had unbearable problems (though sometimes he really did have big problems) but because he was already addicted to it (just as he was addicted to smoking). As a father, he was really great. He had always asked us to pray and to trust in God. When he is in his normal, undrunken state, he is very kind, patient and generous. When he's drunk, of course, he would sometimes get angry but most of the time with reason (we went home late, we lied to him, etc.) But in general, he's really very kind, faithful to his family, very hard-working (if he wasn't only crippled by his high-blood pressure) and a very loving father.

The only mistake I can clearly remember that he had ever done was to smoke and to drink beer. Those were his only two weaknesses (and perhaps being depressed when he realized he can no longer provide for the family (again, because of his high-blood pressure)).

Now this is my question, does he have a chance to go to heaven? My parents and aunties are all saying that he's already in heaven. I want to believe that too because I love my father sooooo verrryyy much. I know that he was a great father and he fought and prayed hard when he felt great pain. I know he trusted God and I really hope that he's already at peace with Him.

What can you say about this?

#2 Fred Williams

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 01:10 PM

From everything you said, I believe you can be certain he is in heaven. He trusted God, yet he struggled with the flesh. Sounds like a very common problem among Christians! Perhaps you’ll take comfort with Paul’s words at the end of Romans 7:

For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God — through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:15-25).

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#3 skwayred

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 05:34 PM

Thank you, that really gave me a great relief. But I am just bothered by what Jesus said that "no drunken man shall enter the kingdom of God." I do not know if Christ was the one who said that or was it one of his apostles?

How about that? What did Christ mean when he said emphatically that no drunkard shall enter heaven? Why did he say that? My father was a drunkard though of course, not the regular drunkard who caused mess or trouble. He even asked us to forgive his weakness as a father innumerable times (when he's not drunk). And he never shunned God even when he's drunk.

#4 D R

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 05:52 PM

Thank you, that really gave me a great relief. But I am just bothered by what Jesus said that "no drunken man shall enter the kingdom of God." I do not know if Christ was the one who said that or was it one of his apostles?

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I'm not familiar with any such verse in the Bible. Did you read it yourself or did someone tell you it was there?

For about the past six months I've been rigidly sticking to a “read the Bible in a year program”. I can say with a high degree of certainty, that verse does not exist in the half I’ve completed so far.

I do know there are numerous verses which warn against drunkeness.

Question to all: Does such a verse exist in the Bible? If so, where?

#5 skwayred

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 07:03 PM

I'm not familiar with any such verse in the Bible.  Did you read it yourself or did someone tell you it was there? 

For about the past six months I've been rigidly sticking to a “read the Bible in a year program”.  I can say with a high degree of certainty, that verse does not exist in the half I’ve completed so far.

I do know there are numerous verses which warn against drunkeness.

Question to all:  Does such a verse exist in the Bible?  If so, where?

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I don't know where it is located but it does exist. I've read it before and I heard it from an evangelist. BTW, what part of the Bible have you finished? I'm certain that it's within the NT.

#6 chance

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 07:37 PM

I don't know where it is located but it does exist. I've read it before and I heard it from an evangelist. BTW, what part of the Bible have you finished? I'm certain that it's within the NT.

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Using the Bible gateway LINK
I found this reference from Galatians 5:21

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: S@xual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God


other more numerous chapters warn (but not condem) about “not giving in to drunkenness”.

To my way of thinking, the context of drunkenness used in Galatians 5:21 is far greater than that explained in your opening post, as the Bible is equating drunkenness to various immoralities. I think Fred’s explanation is more than reasonable i.e. that your father is victim of the weakness of flesh. My father's story is similar in some ways :(

#7 ikester7579

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 09:54 PM

Somethings are not really answerable. Somethings are a God only type thing. Where only God can know. Every Christian is judged by the faith they have in their heart. And only God will be able to see this.

This is the way I believe it will happen for any sin:

If your sin is a struggle that you can't keep from doing. But you never took your eyes off the Lord. Then it would be considered a thorn. One you have not been able to pluck (overcome).

But if your sin was a choice that you used to turn away from God. Then that is a different matter all together.

And God can tell which because he can look into our hearts and tell what kind of hold a certain sin had upon our lives. whether it was a thorn, or an excuse not to follow God.

But like I said before. God is the only one that will truly know.

My father pretty much was against God most of his life. He then one day decided to read the bible from beginning to end. It did not convince him because it raised more questions than it answered. A few years before he died, he accepted Christ. But I'm not sure it was done in his heart. I saw no change. But I cannot truly see into his heart like God can. So I won't really know until judgement day.

I don't dwell upon it because I know that God gave him many chances in his life. He was friends with a few preachers. And a couple of them had approach him on this issue. So he had a choice, and lived a long life to make it.

Some might think that might be mean to think that way. But the truth be known what I think will not change reality. We all like to think that our loved ones will make it. And we can try to say they are all waiting for us. But deep inside we know that cannot be true. Because many things can happen that we had no knowledge of.

When a person faces death, several things can happen even though we do not know it.
1) Death bed confessions. Where a person all by himself becomes aware of his own mortality, and decides to make a decision for Christ.
2) They never took their eyes off Christ. Even though they struggled with sin.
3) Someone, such as a nurse or doctor, may have lead them to Christ right before they died.

God only knows what really happened.

#8 Fred Williams

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 10:35 PM

What did Christ mean when he said emphatically that no drunkard shall enter heaven? Why did he say that? My father was a drunkard though of course, not the regular drunkard who caused mess or trouble. He even asked us to forgive his weakness as a father innumerable times (when he's not drunk). And he never shunned God even when he's drunk.

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Regarding the passage in Gal 5, like other “sin” passages you have to consider the context starting from the very beginning of the letter through chapter 6. Paul wrote the letter to the Galatians warning them of falling for a false gospel of works-based salvation. This false gospel was perpetrated by Judaizers who taught the Galatians that a person had to be circumcised and observe the Jewish laws to be saved. I recommend reading all of Galatians (chapters 1-6) in its entirety, but here are a few snippets that give a flavor of what is going on:

Gal 1:9 If anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

Gal 2:16 - by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

Gal 3:2-4 - Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?

Gal 4:21-22 - Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law?

Gal 5:4 - You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.


Now comes the passage in question. Similar to Romans 7, we see the struggle between flesh and the spirit. Note how Paul contrasts works of the flesh (verses 19-21) with works of the spirit (verses 22-23):

Gal 5:16-26 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

If you are under the law, not only will you have “works” of the flesh such as those listed in Gal 5:19-21, you may wontedly practice them. All of us fall into the above sins because of our flesh. But if we have faith in God and what Christ has done for us, we are free from the condemnation we deserve since we are no longer under the law, but instead are under God’s grace and free from the bondage of sin.

A spirit-led life will cause the confilct within us. Your father, like every Christian I know including myself, was in this classic struggle of flesh vs spirit. If it were not a struggle for him, and he was unrepentant, unforgiving, and approved of others like him (please see Romans 1:28-32), this would be a good indication he was not saved (Matt 7:20 - by their fruits you will know them). But from what you’ve indicated, it clearly was a struggle for him and he regularly asked for forgiveness, so I’m thoroughly convinced he is in heaven with the LORD! Don't let the "accuser", who accuses us day and night (one of the names given for Satan, see Rev 12:10), deceive you into thinking otherwise.

Rom 7:24-25 4 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God — through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Fred

#9 HSetterfield

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 08:53 AM

skwayred, I'm sorry you lost your father. That is a really hard thing. We cannot judge your father -- that is entirely God's perogative. But please know that as much as you loved your Dad, God loved him more. That much you can rest in. And, as the Bible also says, "Shall not the Judge of the whole earth do right?"

We do not always know what 'right' is until and unless God tells us, but we will find out in heaven. So trust Him and keep seeking Him. He will never let you down.

God bless you.

#10 skwayred

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 06:36 PM

Thanks for all your replies, they lifted my spirit up. Anyway, I was actually touched by one of the messages my father asked me to type before (for he wanted to create a book but he never got to finish it). Yes, it was a struggle of the flesh and spirit indeed. These is one of the exerpts (he told me this while he was a little drunk):

"Everytime you sin, immediately ask forgivness from the Lord so that when you die, you will go to heaven with Him."

I can attest to his struggle. Right, if he didn't struggle with his sin and he didn't acknowledge that he was a sinner who needs constant forgiveness, then God may have punished him. But it was totally the opposite. All his life, he has constantly prayed and asked us to pray. He constantly admitted to us that he is a sinner and drinking beer and smoking were his weaknesses. And even if he was sick, he have always seen to it that he hears the TV mass. :(

My cousin who saw him before he passed away told us that he was happy before he died. I saw that he was smiling at his coffin. Anyway, he has always been prepared to die. He told us that he wasn't afraid. He reassured us that and even asked us not to cry and be strong (for we know that he was ill). I now know he is at peace with God because he has long prepared for their meeting. :)

#11 ikester7579

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Posted 04 January 2007 - 02:51 AM

Thanks for all your replies, they lifted my spirit up. Anyway, I was actually touched by one of the messages my father asked me to type before (for he wanted to create a book but he never got to finish it). Yes, it was a struggle of the flesh and spirit indeed. These is one of the exerpts (he told me this while he was a little drunk):

"Everytime you sin, immediately ask forgivness from the Lord so that when you die, you will go to heaven with Him."


Just so you know, even though you can lose salvation (some will disagree, not for debate here though), it is not done once you sin. Why? Because God is long suffering.

But your father's quote is exactly right. When we wake up in the morning, our spiritual armor is at full strength. Through out the day, Satan will take pot shots at it making it weaker and weaker. When we pray and ask for forgivness of a sin right when it happens. Like a bad thought, our armor is renewed, and Satan has to start over.

This is called spiritual warfare. And prayer is using a weapon that is not carnal to fight what is a spiritual attack of satan. Here is something I wrote once to someone who was having a problem with spiritual warfare where Satan kept reminding them of their past. And was using this to try and destroy their faith. The reason I post this is because it goes along with what your dad said. And it reveals how Satan works against us to destroy us. So here is what I said to this person about struggling with their past:
-------------
What is being done to you is satan's oldest trick in the book. Reminding you of your past to mess up your future. Can dwelling on the past change it? But dwelling on the past can affect your future. Satan loves to do this.

So why would satan do this? There are points in our walk with Christ, that we truly become a threat to satan. But, if he can pull you into one of his traps, and stop this (you gettng closer to Christ), he will. Because as long as your there (trapped in one of his tricks), your not a threat to him, anymore. This is because when you dwell on the past, you invite the demon of depression to rule your life. And don't feel like your the only one. This happens alot. And I'm sure about 99% of all here will say they have been reminded of a dark past at one time or another.

How satan works: There are three steps to him ruining your life through depression, or other mental devices. The three steps are:
1) Toehold.
2) Stronghold.
3) Destruction.

The toehold is where you are tested to see if you will be affected by what is presented.

Side note: Your father's comment stops Satan from gaining control at the first step (the toe hold step). When you don't pray about it, it can go to the next level.

Stronghold is when you do not face this test with what God's word say's you should do. When a spiritual warfare is not ensued (prayer), through using the word of God, satan does not feel threaten so he takes a stronghold.

Destruction is where the stronghold goes to the next level where now it affects your whole life. Ruining your walk with Christ through whatever device satan has obtained a stronghold through. In this case, depression through remembering the past.

This is how satan steals your joy. The joy that comes walking with Christ. But he can only do this if you allow him. How do you stop him? Resist the devil and he shall flee from you. Go to scripture where Christ was tempted for forty days, use the exact wording that Christ used to undo what satan was tempting Christ with. Remind him of these truths as he tries to pull you back in. Also have your favorite most comforting scripture ready for after you beat satan, using God's word. This will speed up the spiritual healing that satan tried to take from you.

Satan works in seasons: Satan will try again with what worked before. But first he will try and make you feel confident in what you have done to rid yourself of him the first time. Then when you least expect pow, he's doing it again. Why is this happening, you ask yourself? This is what's called satan's 1-2 punch. For now he will make you question: why did not, what you did to rid yourself of him in the first place, still not work? In this attempt, satan is trying to convince you that he is now stronger than God. This is the exact same temptation Christ was tempted with. For satan said: Bow to me and I will give you the kingdoms of the world (making himself look stronger than God). But Christ knew satan did not have this power, but when you are depressed, suggestions can sound like truth, and they can make you question truth as well. So who is stronger? You know the answer to that one.

Putting on the full armor of God: As children of God, grace is renewed every morning. We wake up with our spiritual sheilds (the armor of God) at full strength. But through out the day, satan will take pot shots at our armor. And if you allow it, they will knock holes in your armor. This is when you will become weak to suggestions from the satan. And what ever device works, satan will use to try and bring you down again.

How to keep your armor strong: Because we are not perfect, we will sin. And each sin weakens our spiritual armor. How we are supposed to keep it from getting to weak, is that we ask forgivness and repent of a sin right after it happens. It does not matter how small it is. This is how satan can get a toehold that I spoke of earlier. This will also make you more aware of sins that are committed everyday that put you in the situation that you hate most. Once you get control over what is weakening your armor, satan has no way in. And the temptations will become less and less because satan can no longer get the toehold, and you no longer fall prey to his devices and traps.

Satan's Traps and devices become triumph! Once you realize exactly what was going on, how satan did this, how to resist it, how to over come it, how satan works etc... Your failures now become your spiritual triumph. This is when satan becomes as low as a snake that you can now stomp on just like God's word says. And as long as you keep him there, you will see him for what he really is, a liar, a thief, a destroyer who looks for 'who" he can kill, steal, or destroy.

Always remember, satan is a liar, and the father of lies. Anything that God has forgiven you of, does not matter anymore. And this includes, the "past" or "present". By making you think they do, satan has made what Christ has done on the cross seem worthless in your life (one of his devices). Christ has forgiven you, now you need to forgive yourself.... Of course we are not worthy, but God loved us anyway. He showed it by stretching out his arms, and dying on the cross. Now we need to return this love, by showing our faith, in the power of what was acheived, on the cross.

Put on the full armor of God and never look back.

-----------------

I can attest to his struggle. Right, if he didn't struggle with his sin and he didn't acknowledge that he was a sinner who needs constant forgiveness, then God may have punished him. But it was totally the opposite. All his life, he has constantly prayed and asked us to pray. He constantly admitted to us that he is a sinner and drinking beer and smoking were his weaknesses. And even if he was sick, he have always seen to it that he hears the TV mass. :(


Since he was always in a struggle with sin, then the sin was a thorn. One he could not pluck. God's grace covers thorns of the flesh.

2cor 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

Thorns are also used to keep one humble.

My cousin who saw him before he passed away told us that he was happy before he died. I saw that he was smiling at his coffin. Anyway, he has always been prepared to die. He told us that he wasn't afraid. He reassured us that and even asked us not to cry and be strong (for we know that he was ill). I now know he is at peace with God because he has long prepared for their meeting. :)

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:)

#12 Tubal

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:02 PM

Thanks for all your replies, they lifted my spirit up. Anyway, I was actually touched by one of the messages my father asked me to type before (for he wanted to create a book but he never got to finish it). Yes, it was a struggle of the flesh and spirit indeed. These is one of the exerpts (he told me this while he was a little drunk):

"Everytime you sin, immediately ask forgivness from the Lord so that when you die, you will go to heaven with Him."

I can attest to his struggle. Right, if he didn't struggle with his sin and he didn't acknowledge that he was a sinner who needs constant forgiveness, then God may have punished him. But it was totally the opposite. All his life, he has constantly prayed and asked us to pray. He constantly admitted to us that he is a sinner and drinking beer and smoking were his weaknesses. And even if he was sick, he have always seen to it that he hears the TV mass. Posted Image

My cousin who saw him before he passed away told us that he was happy before he died. I saw that he was smiling at his coffin. Anyway, he has always been prepared to die. He told us that he wasn't afraid. He reassured us that and even asked us not to cry and be strong (for we know that he was ill). I now know he is at peace with God because he has long prepared for their meeting. Posted Image


Brother, be fully comforted in knowing that all of God's judgments are good and fair. He judges the man by the heart and not but what others around him can observe. The difference here I would think is that of his part in his actions. Was he doing it full on or was he struggling with it would show what he felt in his heart about what he was doing. I do not want to say drinking alcohol is ok or should be practiced but don't stress too much because Noah drank. Martin Luther also struggled with alcohol and I am sure that he will be in heaven. If your father will be there or not, don't fear the judgement of God because he will wipe every tear from off your face. No man will be lost only he that chooses.

#13 Teejay

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Posted 17 May 2012 - 08:51 AM

[quote] name='skwayred' timestamp='1167727896' post='10859']
My father passed away last December 24. He was an alchoholic and a smoker which actually caused all the complications he suffered from. Now, he drank alchohol not because he always had unbearable problems (though sometimes he really did have big problems) but because he was already addicted to it (just as he was addicted to smoking). As a father, he was really great. He had always asked us to pray and to trust in God. When he is in his normal, undrunken state, he is very kind, patient and generous. When he's drunk, of course, he would sometimes get angry but most of the time with reason (we went home late, we lied to him, etc.) But in general, he's really very kind, faithful to his family, very hard-working (if he wasn't only crippled by his high-blood pressure) and a very loving father.

The only mistake I can clearly remember that he had ever done was to smoke and to drink beer. Those were his only two weaknesses (and perhaps being depressed when he realized he can no longer provide for the family (again, because of his high-blood pressure)).

Now this is my question, does he have a chance to go to heaven? My parents and aunties are all saying that he's already in heaven. I want to believe that too because I love my father sooooo verrryyy much. I know that he was a great father and he fought and prayed hard when he felt great pain. I know he trusted God and I really hope that he's already at peace with Him.

What can you say about this?
[/quote]

Skwayred,

Let's see what Paul has to say about it: Paul wrote, "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead [AND in general if you are patient and kind and faithful to your family; AND you are very hard working; AND fight and pray hard when you have pain; AND if you ask your children to pray and trust in God; AND you are kind patient and generou;, AND you do not smoke or drink alcohol] you will be saved" (Rom. 10:9).

Now I must ask you a favor. I'm old with bad eyes and not a very good typist. So could you get your Bible and make sure I did not quote Paul wrong. Thanks.


TeeJay




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