Lesson 15 - Our Greatest Need—New Lifestyle!
Some time ago the president of the American Medical Association was addressing a large group of heart specialists in New York City. He began his speech with these words: “America’s greatest need is for a new lifestyle.” Even a casual look at the health habits of a majority of Americans indicates these words are indeed true. Degenerative diseases directly related to faulty habit patterns are on the rise. Heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes have soared to epidemic proportions in the United States.
There is a close relationship between our physical well-being and our spiritual well-being. God is deeply interested in our physical health. The apostle John states it succinctly, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2, NKJV).*
The book of Revelation clearly teaches that God’s message of physical health is a significant part of His last-day message for the world.
1. What specific instruction does God give in Revelation 14:7 that includes our total lifestyle?Answer: Give glory to Him
Giving glory to God includes a complete commitment of our physical, mental and spiritual natures to God. It involves a commitment of our entire being.
2. How do we give glory to God? Does giving glory to God have anything to do with our physical health habits? 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20; 10:31
Answer: Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit; whatsoever you eat or drink...
The Christian life involves the whole person. It includes the entire surrender of our bodies to God. Holiness is wholeness for God.
3. What earnest appeal does the apostle Paul make regarding our bodies? Romans 12:1
Answer: Present your bodies as living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God
4. Will the group awaiting Jesus surrender all their physical habits to Him? 1 Thessalonians 5:23
Answer: Your whole spirit and soul and body be reserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
5. What does the Bible teach about the use of intoxicating drinks and alcoholic beverages? Proverbs 20:1; 23:29-33
Answer: Wine is a mocker; look not upon wine when it is red.
Some Christians drink moderately and see little harm in it. But the Bible clearly teaches that "wine is a mocker." It deceives you. Two out of every five people who begin drinking (40 percent) end up having serious problems with alcohol. Are people who drink moderately capable of discerning when they have drunk too much? Dr. Melvin Knisley of the University of South Carolina clearly demonstrated that even moderate drinking destroys thousands of brain cells. It affects conscience, reason and judgment. In this crisis hour of history, God's people need the clearest minds to make the wisest decisions. Think of the social benefits of abstinence from alcohol. Quitting alcohol would dramatically reduce absenteeism in the workplace, fatal car accidents and multiple marriage problems. Alcohol is often the "port of entry" for the use of mind-altering drugs and other illegal substances. Dr. Knisley's advice is sound. He unashamedly says, "The only way to deal with alcohol is to quit it cold."
6. What clear warning does God give that applies to those who defile their bodies by alcohol, drugs, or tobacco? 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17
Answer: If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy.
7. What was the original diet given to human beings by God? Genesis 1:29; 2:16
Answer: Every herb bearing seed, every tree that has fruit with seed in it-shall be for meat [food].
The original diet that God gave to Adam and Eve was fruits, nuts, grains and vegetables. Our first parents and their children ate the healthful, life-giving natural products of the earth.
8. How many classes of animals did Noah bring into the ark? Genesis 7:2, 3
Answer: Seven clean and two not clean.
9. How can you tell if an animal is clean or unclean? Leviticus 11:1-4
Answer: Cloven-footed and chews the cud.
10. What does God say regarding the swine or pigs? Leviticus 11:7, 8
Answer: He is unclean to you...on their flesh shall you not eat
God's counsel applies to all pork products, including bacon, ham and pork-based sandwich meats. Pork is extremely high in fat, contributing to coronary artery disease. Trichinosis is a well-established fact from the eating of contaminated pork products. Bacon and ham cured with nitrates are seriously suspect as a contributing factor to cancer. The scientific evidence in favor of God's diet is continually growing in the twenty-first century.
11. What general principles does God give regarding seafood? Leviticus 11:9-11
Answer: Has fins and scales in the waters, in the seas...you shall eat.
God's Word declares that any living creature in the sea without fins and scales is unclean. All shellfish, such as crabs, clams, oysters, shrimp and lobsters, are scavengers. They are unclean. Since the God who made our bodies desires us to be in health, He has given us these instructions to preserve our health.
12. What amazing promise did God make to Israel if they followed His principles of health? Exodus 15:26
Answer: I will put none of these diseases upon you.
There is credible evidence that the Egyptians were dying of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, overweight and sexually transmitted diseases. Following God's principle of health would make a dramatic difference for Israel, and following them will make a difference for us as well.
13. What does the Bible say will happen to those who continue to rebel against God by defiling their bodies in certain respects, although they know better? Isaiah 66:17
Answer: Shall be consumed together, says the Lord
14. What Bible promise does God give to those who desire victory over physical habits that have defeated them for years? Philippians 4:13
Answer: I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
15. Where does all power for victory come from? How do I receive it? John 1:12
Answer: As many as received him to them gave He power to become the sons of God.
Although we may feel weak, in Christ we are strong. God's promise is sure. The power of Christ is stronger than our physical desires or cravings. In Jesus we can be overcomers. Whatever your physical craving or habit, however great your desire or inclination, there is victory for you in Christ. Heaven's power is available for you today. Our Lord may not take your craving or "taste" away immediately, but if you trust Him, relying on His promises, He will give you the victory.
* Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.