Can you take part in the Lord’s Supper if you smoke?

I have received this question from a reader of the article “The Lord’s Supper is a judgement”, where I explained the biblical passage 1 Corinthians 11:27–32 and I showed that the Lord’s Supper is a sign or commemoration for those who entered the covenant with the Lord Jesus Christ and that anyone who disregards it will be judged by God, so that he might not be judged with the world on the great day of the divine judgement. The judgement of God takes place at three levels. Firstly, weakness will come in a Christian’s life and he will not manage to do any thing. Then, if he doesn’t come to his senses and doesn’t repent, sickness will be the next level of God’s judgement. If he doesn’t repent this time and doesn’t change his life, then soon physical death will come. God advises every Christian to analyse himself, to repent and so to take part in the Lord’s Supper. So the question I was asked is if one who smokes can take part in the Lord’s Supper.

Those who entered the covenant with the Lord Jesus will be judged if they continue to live in sin

The question is not if one who entered the covenant with God and continues to live in sin can take part in the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is a sign of commemoration of the covenant. It doesn’t matter if a Christian tastes the wine and bread or not, he has to remember the covenant made with God excepting that the priest who officates the Lord’s Supper doesn’t explain the meaning of this holy act and people don’t have any knowledge of it. Those who take part in the Lord’s Supper and don’t judge themselves, repent and break off with that certain sin or sins definitively, so that they may never repeat them again, these people will be judged. Those who entered the covenant with God will be judged by God, because they disregard the covenant made with Him by Jesus Christ, it doesn’t matter if they come or don’t to the Church when it is the Lord’s Supper, or if they taste or don’t from wine and bread.

Smoking is a sin condemned by the conscience of the smoker

Smoking is a sin. Some try to say and convince us that it is not a sin, because The Bible doesn’t write anything about this practice. It is true that it is not written in the Bible, but the whole teaching of God’s Word condemns this practice and I will present you in this article what the Bible says concerning it. The first proof is that the conscience of the smoker condemns and tells him that this is a sin. Or why would that person ask me if she were not condemned by her own conscience? In the epistle addressed to the Christians from Rome, when he explains and proves that all people know the Law of God, even if they have not heard the message of the Gospel, Apostle Paul writes:

For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus. (Epistle of Romans 2:14–16)(NASB)

Human conscience condemns smoking as a sin. Whoever wants to be sincere with his own conscience and with God will admit this thing. But those who don’t want to admit or like quarreling, will admit it in the day when God will judge the hidden things of people through Jesus Christ.

Smokers are self-murderers

The law says that the following warning should be written on every packet of cigarettes: “Smoking is injurious to health”. I was surprised to see that in Thailanda there were sticked images with different diseases that are the consequences of smoking on the packets of cigarettes. What detroys a man’s health is a sin against his own body. Further on I would like specialists to pronounce themselves how smoking destroys health. I have taken the passage from the official page of Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Moldova.

Nowadays it is absolutely sure that very grave affections that constitute the most important causes of morbidity are related to the abuse of tobacco. Different statitics as those from our country prove the close relation between tobacco, the growing of morbidity and the decreasing of hope for life. There is a direct relation between the grade of tobacco and the morbidity of smokers, that rise above with 30–80% than the morbidity of non-smokers. A recent investigation shows 60–65% from all people of the Republic of Moldova, of which 40–45% men and 18–20% women are addicted to smoking. The chemical analysis of the smoke of the cigarette showed up 4000 chemical elements, most of which influence severely upon the human body.

The same article relates that 90% of men and 79% of women who die from lung cancer were smokers. 92% of men who died from lips, mouth and pharynx cancer were smokers. Does anyone doubt that smoking is a sin that destroys a man’s life?

There is a separated place in every cemetery were are burried those who commited suicide, because all know about the great sin they had commited. According to the statistics written above, the greatest number of smokers are people who commit suicide and they should also be burried in that part of the cemetery.

Smokers are murderers

There is a term in medicine “involuntary smokers”. But why should I explain it? I let the specialists say their opinion concerning this. I cite from the same source:

Smoking harms to the gravidity and to the new-born children, it produces abortions, malformations, births of dead children, dystrophics with physical and psychical handicap. Complications of birth, the premature tear of the membranes, placenta praevia, pyelonephrit are very frequent among smoking pregnant women. Toxic produces are found in the mammary gland of the pregnant women or those who suckle in only 5 minutes after they finish to smoke, and in this way the baby is suffering the consequences of smoking. When parents smoke and their children are present there, nicotine appears in their urine in only some minutes. If one lights a cigar in the presence of a new-born child, this one refuses to eat, because his incomplete liver can not annihilate the effect of nicotine. There are also other diseases connected with smoking, such as those of nervous system (stroke are twice more frequent for smokers), endocrine and decreasing of the visual and auditory activities. The smoke of the cigar presents a veritable aggression against the whole society. Besides the voluntary smokers exist “involuntary smokers”, innocent victims of smoking. It is the smoking emitted in a room that affects the nonsmokers as well. Aproximatively 2/3 of a cigar burns in an ash tray, the smoke emitted in that room represents the biggest part of the total smoke of the cigar. More than this, this secondary current contains 8.1 times more carbon monoxide, 2.7 times more nicotine, 2.6 times more phenol. There are also present 10–39 times more cancerogen substances in the secondary current that in the primary one. The presence of nicotine in the urine of non-smokers that are near the smokers is another proof of the aggression of smoking. We realize how harmful is the air polution through the smoke of the cigars, especially when we talk about children, old people, or those who suffer already. The things mentioned above prove clearly that the vice of smoking can not be considered just a personal problem of the smoker, because it implies seriously the whole society.

After we read all these statistics, can we have any doubts that each smoker is a murderer? None of them lives in a total isolation. On the contrary, wherever you go, it is very, very difficult to find a place where one doesn’t smoke. Recently I and my wife were coming back from a trip and we stopped to have a meal. No one was smoking near us and we thought it could be a very clean place. There were some men smoking a little farther. After we left and came to our car, it was filled up with a strong smell of smoke. My cloth was smelling so badly that I could find no place to hide it. It is smoked everywhere and if the smokers are asked sometimes not to smoke, they are very often offended. Being aware of the results that statistics bring, others should be indignant that it is smoking in public places.

When Apostle Paul wrote to the Christians from Colosae, he said so:

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Then Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. (Colossians 3:1–5)(NASB)

The word “passion” is the Greek one “pathos” and it means something that happens to a person, an uncontrolled passion, that makes him suffer. When people are aware that this is an evil and they want to leave it off, they can’t do it because they are enslaved by this passion. The Scripture says that everyone who repents truly and enters the covenant with God by faith in Jesus Christ, he receives the Holy Spirit and by Him he can destroy every passion, smoking as well. If a Christian doesn’t leave off his earthly passions, he provokes God’s anger, as it is written below:

For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. (Colossians 3:6–8)(NASB)

I haven’t smoked, but I had many passion which I have left when I became a child of God. I know many real Christians that were smokers before, but from the day they entered the covenant with God, they have never smoked again, because they destroyed the passion of smoking. If you are a child of God and if you entered the covenant with Him by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, you received power from Him to destroy every passion, including that of smoking. It is your choise now, not as when you were without God in the world and a slave of sin.

At the end, I want to repeat once again the question I was asked: “Can you take part in the Lord’s Supper if you smoke?” Let me also ask you some questions:

  • Can you take part in the Lord’s Supper if you continue to live in sin?
  • Can one take part in the Lord’s Supper if he is a murderer?
  • Can one take part in the Lord’s Supper if he is a self-murderer?
  • Can one take part in the Lord’s Supper if he is enslaved by bad passions?

May God help us live beautifully before Him, being winners over every sin, over every passion and looking for others’ good.

Translated by Djugostran Felicia