At one time Bob would have said there is no cure. But that was before He met Jesus. After years of repeated drunkenness and remorse, he came to Jesus for deliverance. Jesus truly set him free, and gave him a purpose for living.
While God’s Word states clearly that drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God, it also records that many were delivered from drunkenness and debauchery. “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” They had experienced God’s cure for alcoholism. Many desperately addicted alcoholics have experienced complete deliverance through the work of God’s Holy Spirit in their hearts.
Before one can experience God’s cure, one must admit total helplessness. In spite of repeated failure, alcoholics commonly think somehow, somewhere, sometime they will be able to drink in a controlled way or quit when they want to. The cure God offers goes far beyond merely controlling the craving for alcohol. God’s cure arrests the root problem of a sinful heart. By faith in Jesus Christ, a person can die to sin and become a new person with a new outlook, new appetites, and a new reason for living. Jesus came to save His people from their sins. He Himself lived above every sin and overcame every temptation. Although He was innocent, He died that we might be delivered from the power of sin. After He rose from the grave, He went up to God in Heaven. Now He has sent His own Spirit to work in the hearts of defeated souls, offering them deliverance. Jesus conquered Satan, and He is ready to rescue you from the enemy of your soul. Are you willing to let Jesus free you from Satan’s slavery?
- Are you willing to face your condition honestly? Is alcoholism really your biggest problem? Or is it your SELF? When God sees that you desperately want to be saved, not just from alcoholism, but from all your sinful desires, He will rescue you. He always answers those who admit their wretchedness and honestly cry, “God, be merciful to me a sinner.”
- God offers to deliver those who repent of their rebellion against Him. But repentance is costly. It means surrendering your stubborn will to God and giving up every right to control your own life. When God’s Spirit makes you sorry for your sins with a godly sorrow, and you sincerely desire to live an entirely different life, God can begin to work. He says, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” What a promise! What a gift!
- “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Do not depend on yourself. Put all your trust in Jesus Christ. Drink freely of the Living Water He offers you (John 4:14), and He will quench the thirst of your soul.
- Open your heart to Jesus Christ and receive Him into your life. With Christ living in you by His Spirit, you will be able to say with Apostle Paul, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
- Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Tell others the Saviour has delivered you. Let them know He is now directing your steps in a new life of freedom. Your testimony will soon separate you from the “Christ-mockers” who keep dragging you down.
- Separate yourself from all degrading influences. Tell your old friends you are going to serve the Lord. Invite them to join you, and then give up their companionship forever if they are not interested. Stay away from all places where strong drink is served. Don’t even look at the old stuff. The wisest man who ever lived said, “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red… At the last it biteth like a serpent” (Proverbs 23:31, 32). “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:17, 18).
- Unite in an intimate, active fellowship with the most spiritual, faithful congregation of Christians you can find. “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized… And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:41, 42). Here is God’s cure for the loneliness and uselessness which often drive a person to drink. Join the holy, happy company of genuine Christians, and associate with them as much as possible. Help them and be humble enough to let them help you.
- Delight yourself in the Lord and in His Word. Ask God to replace your desire for alcohol with a hunger and thirst for His truth. Trust the Holy Spirit to help you understand the Bible and promptly obey whatever He asks you to do.
- Make special efforts to help other drunkards. You know how you were delivered. As they observe you resisting temptation, they will know there is hope for them also.
- Do everything you can to warn young people of the dangers of strong drink. Give your testimony. Call attention to the teachings of God’s Word: “Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine” (Joel 1:5). “For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty” (Proverbs 23:21). “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine” (Proverbs 23:29, 30). “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1).
God’s cure, available to all, is fully guaranteed! Jesus Himself promised, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).
—Clarence Fretz, adapted
Christian Light Publications, Harrisonburg, VA 22802 Phone (540) 434-0768