Can smokers enter into the kingdom?
Thank you for asking a question on This is your Bible.
There is nothing in the Bible prohibiting smoking, so the answer to your question is yes.If however we ask ourselves can we serve God better if we are not addicted to tobacco then the answer must be yes.
From personal experience from one who smoked from age 14; was baptised into Christ at 21 gave up smoking at 24 due to troubled conscience; started again at 50 during a nervous breakdown and stopped again at 60; I can say the following:
When I smoked my attendance at church meetings other than Sunday morning was governed by thoughts of how long I could go without a cigarette. As a consequence I tended to avoid anything lasting longer than 1.1/2 hrs.
My days were governed by the intervals between cigarettes.
I also carried the burden of a troubled conscience that addictions of any kind are not really compatible with a life in Christ. They should have no part in a life lived after the spirit.
The key to giving up smoking at 60 came with the knowledge that craving for a cigarette only actually lasts for about 3 minutes at a time. This I proved by spending a day and night in hospital and timing the duration.
Previously lack of cigarettes had driven me into panic and the craving seemed never ending. Once I realised that I could tackle it in 3 minute bites it became manageable. I stopped without patches.
The additional joy of not smoking is that suddenly we have more money available for those in need that we encounter.
There is an argument about our body being the temple of God which is sometimes used, but for those addicted it adds to the burden of guilt and is not constructive.
In conclusion: smoking, if we cannot stop, will not be the thing which prevents entry to the kingdom of God.We are judged on obedience to the gospel and our works of faith.If we can stop smoking our capacity to serve God is much improved.
My hard-earned advice is if you do stop, don’t ever be tempted to think ‘just one drag’ won’t get me back into smoking (as I foolishly did).
I hope this helps.