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Drugs – Brian Schwertley

August 15, 2010 Comments off

Since the 1960s, there has been a dramatic increase in illicit drug use in our society. The drug revolution of the 1960s had its spiritual and philosophical beginnings in the “beat” culture of the 1950s. Beatniks and hippies took drugs not simply to get “high,” but also as a cultural and religious statement. They rejected the “Go-to-college, get a 9 to 5 job” suburban culture in favor of a casual nomadic existence. The hedonistic mysticism of the drug culture supplanted decaying liberal Protestantism and the rotting ritualism of Roman Catholicism. LSD drug guru, Dr. Timothy Leary perfectly summed up the whole movement, when he said, “Turn on, tune in, drop out.” When many people think of the hippie drug culture, they call to mind the “festival” at Woodstock. The image of sweaty, filthy, long-haired hippies gyrating, getting “stoned,” and getting naked, is an accurate picture of the 1960s drug culture. Today, most drug abusers have short hair and many even listen to “country” music. Drug abuse extends from the ghetto to the boardroom; from the “rock-n-roller” to the middle-aged housewife; and even to the elementary school. All drug users have one thing in common–they all are altering their consciousness and perceptual reality. Altering reality, for any reason other than medicinal purposes, is, according to the Bible, a form of sorcery.

This assertion may sound extreme to you, but consider God’s original intent for mankind. God, when He created Adam and Eve, created man in His own image (see Gen. 1:26-7). He created man as a self-conscious, self-reflective rational being. God gave man very sensitive sense perception. God gave man physical, emotional, rational, empirical and spiritual capabilities, so that man could have dominion over the earth (see Gen. 1:28). Adam and Eve were to reproduce, populate the earth and produce a godly culture. God created Adam just as He wanted him to be. Although Adam was a finite creature, he was still physically, ethically and spiritually good before God. “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). God created Adam and Eve to love and serve Him, with a certain consciousness and reality. Altering that reality is a rejection of the very nature in which God created man. It amounts to saying that God’s created consciousness is defective and needs finite human alterations.

Adam and Eve did not remain in their original sinless state. They ate of the forbidden fruit and died spiritually. Adam, as the covenantal head, the federal representative of the human race, brought sin and its curse (including bondage to sin and Satan, and the penalties of disease, suffering, calamity, death, etc.) to all men (see Rom. 5:18). God, being merciful and compassionate, promised a coming Redeemer who would defeat sin and Satan (see Gen. 3:15). God also providentially provided substances from plants that could be used as medicines. The sufferings and diseases, which resulted from man’s sin, to a certain extent, can be counteracted through the use of organic drugs.

After the fall of mankind into sin, it did not take long for unlawful drug use to begin. Drugs were used not for the healing of the body, as intended by the Creator, but for pagan religious rituals. Drugs became powerful tools in the hands of witch doctors and sorcerers. In the New Testament, the Greek word translated sorcery (cf. Gal. 5:20) is pharmakeia. The Greek word pharmakeia is related to our word pharmacy. The Greek word for drug is pharmakon. The sorcerer used various organic drugs found in plants, animals, molds, etc., to make potions and poisons. A sorcerer would often be hired to kill or incapacitate an enemy. In such a case, the sorcerer would mix the appropriate poisons. The sorcerer gained power over others by using drugs to alter their consciousness. Drugs were used for purposes of seduction. They were also used to bring people into slavery and bondage. Sorcerers, both ancient and modern, have not sought dominion through obedience to Christ and His law, but through mysticism, chaos and alchemy.

The modern drug user, whether he is aware of it or not, will be condemned by God as a sorcerer. “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissension, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand…that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God ”(Gal. 5:19-21). These are very strong words. God says that drug abusers are wicked. Drug abusers will be “cast into the lake of fire and brimstone…. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20:10). The person who gets high is rejecting God’s created reality. He is rejecting the meaning that God has given to all factuality. Creating one’s own autonomous reality through drugs is a form of idolatry. God’s creation, even after the fall, clearly presses upon the sinner the truth of God’s existence, power and attributes (cf. Rom. 1:18-21). The sinner takes refuge in a drug-induced illusion, a false reality.

It is no accident that beatniks were attracted to Zen Buddhism and hippies were drawn to Yoga. These youth movements were not just rebelling against the established social order, but against God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. People involved in eastern mysticism and drug mysticism are attempting to flee from the true God by “going within.” One seeks bliss or cosmic consciousness through meditation and asceticism; the other through a “joint,” a pill or a needle. As Dr. Timothy Leary once said, “It is of interest that the heroin addict and the illuminated Buddha end up in the same place, the void.” Drug users and Eastern mystics, in their flight from God and reality, seek integration into the void. In order to suppress, or hold down, the reality of God, the drug “head” must suppress meaning itself. Meaning and absolute truth are rejected in favor of a drug “experience.” The reality of a transcendent, a11 powerful, personal God, who will judge all men according to their works, is something that all unsaved sinners truly hate.

That drugs are a spiritual dead end is clearly evident in two ways. First, all drug highs have one thing in common–the trip is temporary. You eventually come down. Second, drugs are harmful to both the body and mind. While the drug user seeks pleasure, joy and freedom through the drug experience, his artificial pleasure is temporary and his freedom becomes slavery. The “pot head” not only destroys his lungs and memory, but his life is lived for and centered around the next bong hit. What foolishness! What vanity! Man was created to serve and glorify God and create a godly culture. Sitting around getting stoned neither honors God nor contributes to culture.

You must stop your rebellion against God and your flight from reality. Rather than living for God who created you, who gave you life, you ignore God and serve your flesh with your wicked lifestyle. Getting high (Gal. 5:20), getting drunk (Eph. 5:18), premarital sex (1 Cor. 6:18), debauched partying (Gal. 5:21), filthy speech (Eph. 5:4), unjust anger (Matt. 5:22), lust (Matt. 5:28), hatred (Matt. 5:44), lying (Deut. 5:20), stealing (Deut. 5:19), disobedience and disrespect for parents (Deut. 5:16), and the like, are a11 transgressions against God’s absolute, perfect, unchanging moral law. Every sin that you commit is recorded by God. On the Day of Judgment, all those who reject Jesus Christ “will be cast into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 8:12b). “The dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books, then death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:12b, 14,15).

There is only one way for you to escape the coming wrath of God, “let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by him this man stands [healed] here before you whole. This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone. Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10-12). Only those who have had their sins washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ and are clothed with His righteousness will be able to stand before God on that final day. The God who is, is absolutely perfect. God is infinitely holy and righteous. The moral law, summarized in the Ten Commandments, is based on God’s nature and character. God is so righteous that no one with a wicked heart and sinful record can stand in his presence. Because of sin, everyone deserves the eternal death penalty in the lake of fire. “The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is none who does good no not one ” (Ps. 14:2-3). Many people think they are following God, but they pick and choose which teaching in the Bible they like. What they don’t like, they reject. People who reject God’s Word reject God and are wicked idolaters. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 14:12). “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9).

God justly could have cast the whole human race into hell. But God, being loving, compassionate, and merciful, chooses to save a people for himself out of the fallen and wicked human race. Jesus Christ came into the world as the second Adam. God the Son became incarnate in order to obey God’s law perfectly, and to offer himself as a blood sacrifice for his elect. Because God is righteous and holy, he can not simply overlook or disregard transgressions against His law. All sin deserves eternal separation from God. All sin brings the curse of the law, spiritual death, and the torment of hell. The only way that sinners can receive forgiveness of sins is if a substitute stands in the sinners’ place and takes the wrath that sinners deserve. Jesus, the divine-human Messiah, is the only person who ever lived who could provide substitutionary atonement for sinners. Why? Because Jesus is the only person who ever lived whom never committed sin. For a substitutionary sacrifice to be acceptable to God, the sacrificed one must be without sin–without spot or blemish. “For such a high priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Heb. 7:26). Jesus Christ is the perfect and only mediator between a righteous God and sinful men. Jesus Christ by his sacrificial death turned aside the wrath of God from sinners. The curse of spiritual death and eternal torment that sinners deserved was placed upon Jesus Christ on the cross. The believers’ sins are imputed or placed upon Christ in his agony and Christ’s perfect sinless life is imputed or credited to believers. “He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Heb. 9:26b). “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us” (Gal. 3:13). On the Day of Judgment, those who believe in Christ will stand before God totally cleansed of all transgressions by Christ’s precious blood. And they will be fully clothed with Christ’s perfect righteousness.

After Jesus Christ died, he was placed in a tomb. But on the third day after his death, he rose from the dead and appeared to His disciples. The resurrection of Christ proves that he has defeated sin, death and Satan. “He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has exalted him and given him the name which is above every name” (Phil. 2:8,9). Your only hope of obtaining forgiveness of sins and eternal life is to believe in Jesus Christ. `“The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (Jn. 3:35,36).

Its time for you to stop wasting your life living for self and Satan, and become a disciple of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30). You can reject the gospel, pretend that God does not exist and continue to try to create your own autonomous reality through drugs. But, “be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Gal. 6:7,8).

Some day you are going to die. When you stand before God on the Day of Judgment, will you be clothed with Christ’s perfect righteousness or will you stand before God and make excuses? “Well God, I had every opportunity to believe in Jesus Christ and to repent of my sins, but rather than serve you, I got stoned, went to debauched parties and fornicated like a wild beast.” You know that if you reject Christ your judgment will be just. “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:19-23).

Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and repent of your sins. If you are a new believer, then you must fellowship with other Christians and study God’s word. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Pet. 2:2).

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