Drink, Smoke, or Evangelize?
by Dr. Ken Matto
World Missionary Press in New Paris, Indiana produces 48 page Bible booklets at the cost of 5¢ each which would make it 20 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. Now the calculations below would be for an individual. Multiply those numbers by many thousands of Christians who exchange obedience for disobedience and you will likely have numbers in the millions.
At $9.00 a pack, which is the approximate machine cost and single pack cost in most stores, the exchange would be for 180 tracts per pack. If someone smokes 1 pack per day, over the year they would have exchanged 65,700 tracts. Keep in mind that in many foreign countries a single tract is read by many people so 65,700 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 657,000 tracts with a possible reading audience of 1,000,000 or more.
If you live in New York City, then you pay $13 per pack which is the machine cost in 2018 and that comes out to 260 tracts. If you smoke a pack a day for a year that exchanges 94,900 tracts with a reading audience in excess of 150,000.
Now you say, but I buy my cigarettes by the carton. I looked at a website called Discount Cigarettes and 1 carton of Marlboro Red Box is $36 which translates into 720 tracts per carton. So how have you gained? At 1 pack per day at $3.60 it translates into 26,280 tracts per year with a possible read of 100,000 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 price of beer at Shop Rite in Little Falls, NJ a 12 pack of 12 oz. cans of Bud Light is $28.99. If a person buys a case of beer and drinks 2 cans per day, that comes out to $4.83 per day. It translates to 96 tracts per day. In the year that comes out to 35,259 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 352,590 tracts which could have easily reached well over 500,000.
Vodka seems to be the favorite of those who want to hide their “little secret.” According to “Liquorama” on line a fifth of Absolut Vodka is $19.99 per bottle. One bottle equals 400 tracts. If a person drinks one bottle of vodka per week, that exchanges it for 20,790 tracts which could have a witness in excess of 50,000.
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?