Drink, Smoke, or Evangelize?
by Dr. Ken Matto
World Missionary Press in New Paris, Indiana produces Bible tracts at the cost of 4˘ each which would make it 25 for a dollar. When Christians divert money into things like smoking or drinking, they not only wreck their body but they miss out on a vast opportunity to evangelize the world. Let us look at how many people are not being evangelized because of sinful habits. It is called the exchange principle. We exchange obedience to the Lord for our own habits. It is a dangerous principle when applied to the flesh.
At $7.00 a pack, which is the approximate machine cost and single pack cost in most stores, the exchange would be for 175 tracts per pack. If someone smokes 1 pack per day, over the year they would have exchanged 63,875 tracts. Keep in mind that in many foreign countries a single tract is read by many people so 63,875 tracts could constitute a possible reading audience of 100,000 or more. If a person smokes at this rate for 10 years then the exchange rate would be 638,750 tracts with a possible reading audience of 1,000,000 or more. Now you say, but I buy my cigarettes by the carton. I looked at a website called Discount Cigarettes and 6 cartons of Marlboro Lights costs $324.00. That comes out to $54 per carton which translates into 1350 Tracts per carton. So how have you gained? At 1 pack per day at $5.40 it translates into 49,275 tracts per year with a possible read of 150,000 or more. If you smoke at this rate for 10 years, you will have missed out on evangelizing at least 500,000 people. Just think of the ripple effect if many of those people become saved. They in turn witness to others which means the witnessing radius increasing tremendously. That 500,000 could turn into a witness of 5 million or more.
According to the Beer Price Tracker a case of 18 cans of Budweiser is $11.00. If a person buys a case of beer and drinks 2 cans per day, that comes out to $1.22 per day. It translates to 31 tracts per day. In the year that comes out to 11,315 tracts. This sum is predicated upon beer only and does not take into account mixed drinks and other alcoholic beverages. In ten years they could have purchased 113,150 tracts which could have easily reached 500,000.
Many Christians believe it is permissible to drink and smoke because they believe it is part of Christian Liberty. This is a fallacious belief. Christian Liberty has nothing to do with smoking and drinking. Not only do these two habits ruin a Christian’s testimony, they rob that Christian of health and evangelizing which is in obedience to the command of the Lord Jesus Christ. There will be a time when each Christian will leave this world. What will we give to the Lord on that day? Will it be the souls of people or hundreds of cartons of cigarettes or cases of beer? Did the Lord tell us to go forth into the world to smoke and drink or to evangelize? What is more important to you, booze, cigarettes, or obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ?