this unfortunate incident. In fact, the apostle Peter called Noah “a preacher of righteousness.” (2 Pet. 2:5) In writing to Hebrew Christians, the apostle Paul said that by his faith Noah “condemned the world, and he became an heir of the righteousness that is according to faith.” (Heb. 11:7) Paul viewed Noah as one of those making up the great cloud of faithful pre-Christian witnesses of Jehovah. (Heb. 12:1) Furthermore, when Jesus Christ compared Noah’s day with “the days of the Son of man,” or his second presence, he made no condemnatory statement regarding Noah.—Luke 17:26, 27.
Therefore, Noah is not to be likened to those who engage in works of the fallen flesh and who may get involved in “drunken bouts, revelries, and things like these.” (Gal. 5:19-21) Nor should faithful Noah be compared with persons who were once baptized as Christians but who may later make it a practice to become intoxicated. Such confirmed drunkards who are unrepentant have not just been unwittingly overtaken by drinking too much of an intoxicating beverage on one occasion. They are really drunkards and must be disfellowshiped from the clean and upright Christian congregation. The apostle Paul had such individuals in mind when he told the Christians in Corinth: “But now I am writing you to quit mixing in company with anyone called a brother that is a fornicator or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man.” (1 Cor. 5:11) If they do not repent, such drunkards will never realize the blessings of God’s kingdom.
Suppose that, like Noah, a dedicated Christian today is inadvertently overcome when drinking an alcoholic beverage in the privacy of his own home on one occasion. This never happened to him before and he is determined to exercise care so that it never occurs again. What should he do? Well, he is not a confirmed drunkard. And it is not reasonable to think that because of this one incident he is condemned by God for all time to come, so that he could not possibly gain everlasting life as a gift from Jehovah. (Rom. 6:23) However, such a Christian should express true sorrow concerning this in prayer to Almighty God. He should plead with Jehovah through Christ, seeking God’s merciful forgiveness. (Deut. 4:31; Psalm 51) Then he should be determined to avoid any repetition of this wrong. Yet, if he is still deeply troubled over the matter, such a Christian should avail himself of the spiritual assistance available to him by heeding the words of James 5:13-16.
In order for people to put faith in Jehovah God and his provision for salvation through Christ they need to hear the Bible’s message and have opportunity to get their questions answered. During March, if one of Jehovah’s witnesses calls at your home, it will be with the desire to help you personally to get satisfying Bible answers to your questions. He will gladly take time to show you the answers in your own Bible. As a further aid, he will encourage you to subscribe for this fine Bible journal, The Watchtower, for a year, for $1.
TO OPEN NEW FIELDS OF UNDERSTANDING
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“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
April 16: Learn by Contrast to Appreciate True Riches. Page 169. Songs to Be Used: 40, 31.
April 23: The Haughty versus The Humble. Page 175. Songs to Be Used: 97, 82.