Q. My question is about Christians who still smoke cigarettes, cigars, etc. In 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 it says, ” Know ye not that ye are the temple of God,and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is Holy, which temple ye are.” I am curious to know if I and my other Christian brothers and sisters are still smoking when the Rapture happens, will God destroy us, or leave us behind? What is your take on this scripture?
A. The English version of 1 Cor. 3:16-17 doesn’t convey this very well, but in the Greek language the word for “ye” is plural while the word for temple is singular. Paul used a different Greek word, which is translated “you” above, when he said the Holy Spirit dwells in you.
That means Paul was saying that all believers collectively make up the temple of God because the Holy Spirit dwells in each of us. He wasn’t saying that if anyone defiles one of us God would destroy him, but if anyone defiles the Church as a whole, God would destroy him. Therefore the passage is not about individual believers who mistreat their bodies.
Also, if He destroyed the smokers, He would have to destroy the drinkers, the over eaters, those who can’t control their anger, and those who neglect their health in other ways. Almost all of us are guilty of some kind of self destructive behavior.
Finally, the Bible is clear that we’re saved because of what we believe, not because of how we behave, so every born again believer will go in the rapture.
As a former smoker I can testify that the quality of your life will vastly improve when you stop smoking. But as a Bible teacher I can testify that if you’re a born again believer you won’t be destroyed even if you don’t quit.