by Matt Slick
The Bible does not address the issue of smoking cigarettes. Therefore, we need to look at other scriptures and see if we can derive an answer. The first place to examine would be where the Bible tells us that our body is a temple of God.
1 Cor. 6:19-20, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”
This Scripture clearly tells us that we are not our own and that the Holy Spirit is living in us. Since we have been bought with a price, we are to live godly and holy lives. This means that we are to do everything we can to bring glory to God and to take care of our own bodies. This includes what we eat and drink as well.
Obviously, smoking is harmful to the body since it involves inhaling smoke into the lungs. Smoking is also highly addictive so it can quickly control you. This is bad because the Bible tells us not to be mastered by anything.
1 Cor. 6:12, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything."
Smoking also diverts money that could more properly be used for paying bills, tithing, helping others, providing for your family, etc. By purchasing cigarettes, people help to support an industry that brings other people into addiction.
What do you do if you are addicted to cigarettes?
If you are addicted to cigarettes, then you should pray and ask the Lord to deliver you from the addiction. God has said in 2 Cor. 12:9 that His grace is sufficient for you, and that His strength is made perfect in weakness. It is certainly weakness to be addicted to cigarettes, and the strength of the Lord can help you break that habit. If need be, see a doctor and get on a regimen to break the habit.
If you are addicted to cigarettes, are you going to hell?
No, you're not going to hell if you're addicted to cigarettes. The Christian’s salvation is not dependent upon how good or bad he is. Salvation is dependent upon the faithfulness of Christ, not if you smoke cigarettes. Though some sins are worse than others, we need to repent of all sins. Remember, Jesus bore all our sins in His body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24) and we are saved by grace through faith, not grace and being good.
Though we cannot definitively say that smoking is a sin, it appears that it would be given the above examination of Scripture.