The Heinous Sin of Drunkenness

As I prepare for a biographical talk on the life of George Whitefield, I find myself moved at the passion with which he preached. He confronted a culture that was lost in the darkness of sin. And the Lord God moved mightily to bring nations to Himself.

This morning, I came across a portion of a sermon that Whitefield preached while he was at sea. He boldly preached among the sailors on the ship, and daily ministered the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Believe me, ye unhappy men of belial (for such, alas! This sin has made you), it is not without the strongest reasons, as well as utmost concern for your precious and immortal souls, that I now conjure you, in the apostles words, not to be drunk with wine, or any other liquor, wherein is excess…
But think you, O ye drunkards, that you shall ever be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light? Do you flatter yourselves, that you, who have made them often the subject of your drunken songs, Shall be exalted to sing within the heavenly songs of Zion? No, as by drunkenness you have made your hearts cages of unclean birds, with impure and unclean spirits must you dwell…
Let not a servile fear of being despised by a man that shall die, hinder thy turning unto the living God. For what is a little contempt? It is but a vapor which vanishes away. Better be derided by a few companions here than be made ashamed before men and angels hereafter. Better be the song of a few drunkards on earth, than dwell with them, where they shall be eternally reproaching and cursing each other in hell!… but turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways. Come to Jesus Christ, with the repenting prodigal saying, ‘Father, we have sinned! We beseech Thee, let not this sin of drunkenness have any longer dominion over us!’ Lay hold on Christ by faith, and lo! It shall happen to you even as you will!…
Behold I have told you before! Remember, you were this day informed what the end of drunkenness would be! And I summon you, in the name of that God whom I serve, to meet me at the judgment seat of Christ, that you may acquit both my Master and me, and confess with your own mouths that your damnation was of your own selves.

(found in George Whitefield: the Life and Times of the Great Evangelist of the 18th century Revival, by Arnold Dallimore)

Oh for such passionate, pointed, and powerful preaching today!