News Story: What Does the Bible Say About Drugs?
The use of drugs, not only in the United States, but around the world is skyrocketing! Some states in the United States have already legalized ‘pot,’ (marijuana) use and many more states will follow. As a result many people, including Christians, will say, “Since the government allows it, then it must be ok for people to use it.
I am looking at an article right now that has as its title: “Most Californians Want Pot Legalized.” It doesn’t seem to matter any longer what God thinks about something, but what the majority of people think or want. If the majority want something then it seems like it is ok with God. At least, that seems to be the thinking today.
“The survey by the Field Research Corporation shows that 55 percent favor legalization of marijuana use compared to 31 percent who either want existing laws to be strictly enforced or to have even tougher sanctions passed.
“The survey also found that 56 percent of recipients favor the adoption of a proposed statewide initiative to decriminalize the use and cultivation of marijuana in California.” (Newsmax Tuesday, December 10, 2013)
At the time of this writing, several states have already changed the laws to decriminalize the use and cultivation of marijuana. If past history is any indication as to how changes to the law spread from one state to another, soon, all, or almost all of the states will change their laws. Then the Supreme Court will follow suit.
Two states, Colorado and Washington have already decriminalized the use and cultivation of marijuana. About 20 states already have laws on the books for ‘medical’ use of marijuana.
But—what does the God of the Universe have to say about the use of drugs? Is there anything in the Bible about this subject? Well, God does have, not just an opinion, but judgments about the use of drugs, and He makes it very clear in His book, the Bible.
So now let’s find out what God has to say about this subject. The first verse we want to look at is found in Revelation 21:8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” You say, “I don’t see the word drugs or drug user in this verse.” That is where you are wrong because the word ‘sorcerers’ in the Greek, which the New Testament was translated from, means: “PHARMAKOS, especially one who uses drugs…” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary)
Even some translations have used the word ‘drugs’ in translating this word into English. For example, in the Common English Bible, it says, “but for the cowardly, the faithless, vile, murders, those who commit sexual immorality, those who use drugs and cast spells, the idolaters, and all liars, –their share will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, this is the second death.” (CEB)
The thing that we need to understand is that throughout history people who used sorcery were also involved in drugs. That’s why, in the Bible where the words sorcerer or sorcery are used, we are looking at drug use as well.
Here is what Vine’s Expository Dictionary gives on the word ‘Sorcery’ (PHARMAKIA) English, (pharmacy etc.) primarily signified the use of medicine, drugs, spells; then, poisoning; then, sorcery Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
“So, where are the drugs mentioned in this verse?
Actually, the word translated “sorcery” is the Greek word pharmakeia, from which we get the English word “pharmacy.” The primary meaning is “the use or the administering of drugs” (usually associated with sorcery or idolatry). Since this verse comes from a list of things that, if practiced, would preclude one from heaven… In addition, the book of Revelation lists drug use as one of the things for which the unrepentant will suffer the wrath of God [Rev. 21:8].” (God and Science.org)
There are many other verses in the Bible that speak of Sorcery and the sorcerer, and I will give these at the end of this article. But let me continue with what Vine’s Expository Dictionary says further about “sorcery” [which is using drugs and casting spells]. (A.V., “witchcraft”), mentioned as one of the ‘works of the flesh.” See also Revelation 9:21; 18:23. In the Septuagint Exodus 7:11, 22; 8:7, 18; Isaiah 47:9, 12.
“In sorcery, the use of drugs, whether simple or potent, was generally accompanied by incantations and appeals to occult powers, with the provision of various charms, amulets, etc, professedly designed to keep the applicant or patient from the attention and power of demons, but actually to impress the applicant with the mysterious resources and powers of the sorcerer.” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary)
“Surely no one can deny that drug abuse is a serious moral problem in society today.
2/3 of American kids try an illegal drug before they finish high school. If alcohol is included, the number is closer to 90% (alcohol is illegal for high-school kids).
1/3 of American kids try an illegal drug other than marijuana before they finish high school.
The leading cause of death at ages 15-24 is drunk driving. (This and all previous statistics from “Kids on Drugs,” pp. 1,2.)
During the early 1990’s, marijuana use among teens increased by nearly 50% or more at every age level – “The New Pot Culture,” USA Weekend, 2/16-18/1996.
“forces influence people, especially young people, to begin drug use.
Much modern music, movies, and TV programs glorify illegal drugs, such as marijuana. “Today, marijuana is openly promoted at concerts, on CDs, even on clothes – sending teens a message of social acceptance…” Many specific examples are shown and cited – USA Weekend, 2/16-18/1996.
Young people at school are continually surrounded by drug users. I once asked a Bible class of public school junior high and high school students, how many personally knew people who used drugs. 7 out of 8 said they did.
School drug programs propose to help solve the problem. But nearly all of them teach situation ethics: it’s up to each person whether or not to use drugs, moderate use may be all right if you don’t get addicted, etc. They do not teach kids to avoid drugs, not even illegal drugs!” GospelWay.Com
The mixed messages being giving to our kids are going to be disastrous! First, it is against the law to use marijuana and is punishable by prison time in certain cases, and then all of a sudden, it is no longer a crime. Government organizations are even encouraging the growing of marijuana and commercial use of it to get more taxes for the state, i.e. Washington State. This leads young people to conclude, well, what about the other drugs like cocaine, etc.? Is the government going to be allowing them soon?
Then too, marijuana is a gateway drug that leads to other even far worse drugs. By gateway drug, I mean like how children and young people start smoking cigarettes and then they want to go to something ‘higher or more addictive’ like marijuana. Then, of course, marijuana leads people to try cocaine, LSD, etc. and so on.
“We live in a drug using society. Many people have turned to chemicals as a way of life. They may have started out of curiosity or experimentation or escapement but after a period of time they find themselves enjoying the experience. The drug is making them feel the way they want to feel! Now, they’re trapped!
There’s no use trying to “con” anyone. Drugs do make people feel good and provide a means of escape. However, that good feeling and escapement is only temporary. It doesn’t last. No matter how high we get, when it is over we still must come down to the real life with its real problems. Running from a problem never solved it. We may prolong it or make it worse, it won’t go away.
I’m not just talking off the top of my head. I’ve been associated with too many people who have been in the drug scene. I’ve dealt with these problems first hand. You may have reached that lonely time in your life when you feel empty, useless, unloved, unwanted and unnecessary. So, what are you going to do about it? Bury your head in the sand and hope the feeling will disappear, try an artificial filler such as drugs, or stand on your own two feet and deal with things realistically.
Everyone gets that vacant feeling at some time in his or her life. You are not the only one to go through this. The only difference is that some people know where to turn for help. They manage without that artificial filler provided by drugs, You must learn that solutions to any of life’s problems do not come from the “far-out” world of chemicals. The answer can come through a four letter word that isn’t spelled D-R-U-G , but is spelled L-O-V-E. It is through God’s love that people like yourself have come to grips with their problems. They’ve learned that it’s the “greatest thing in the world to be a Christian”, because in Jesus you and I can find the love, care, concern and understanding necessary to fulfill our human needs.” (bible.ca)
So God’s Word is very clear on this subject: All drug use is wrong, and will lead a person into addiction that will head a person to hell if he or she is not repentant. Now, this is the key, first, if you are not born again, you need to receive Christ as your personal Lord and Savior if you want to go to heaven. But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” Romans 10: 9, 11
If you are truly saved, but have been experimenting with drugs, you need to repent of this and return from you backslidden condition to Christ. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
“Prescription drug abuse IS STILL DRUG ABUSE. Get the facts:
- More than 2,000 teens begin abusing prescription drugs each day.1
- Many kids believe prescription drugs are safer to abuse than illegal drugs.2
- After marijuana, the most common drugs teens are using to get high are prescription medications.1
- 12-17 year olds abuse prescription drugs more than ecstasy, heroin, crack/cocaine and methamphetamines combined.1
- More than 70% of people 12 and older who abuse prescription drugs say they get them from a friend or relative.1
- The most commonly abused prescription drugs are pain medications, sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medications and stimulants (used to treat attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders).1
- As many as 1 in every 5 teens in America say they have taken a prescription drug that was not prescribed for them.3
- Two-thirds of teens who abuse prescription drugs did so before the age of 16.2
- 14% of teens (about 1 in 7) in a recent study reported using prescription pain relievers not prescribed for them in the past year, and 9% (about 1 in 11) reported doing so in the past month.2
- Thousands of rogue websites selling prescription drug products do not require a valid prescription.” http://www.rxsafetymatters.org/families-and-communities/facts-and-figures/?gclid=CIeI4YnlsLsCFRGBfgodlAoAhQ
Adults can abuse prescription drugs as well and often do. We Christians need to all remember that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we are not to defile our temples! “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” 1 Corinthians 3:16
It is very clear from Scripture that people in the ‘End Times’ or ‘last days’ (since the time of Christ’s death and resurrection 1 Jn. 2:18, 19), will not repent of their ‘sorceries’ (drug use with demon control), Revelation 9:21, “And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.” The word that is used here ‘sorceries’ is translated as ‘drugs’ in some of the translations (NU-Text and M-Text). Strong’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament words, says of this word far-mak-i’-ah; medication (‘pharmacy’), i.e.( magic) (lit. or fig.): –sorcery (2x), witchcraft (1x).
5331 “Primarily pharmakeia signified the use of medicine, drugs, spells; then, poisoning; then, witchcraft (Gal. 5:20; Rev. 9:21; 18:23). In sorcery the use of drugs, whether simple or potent, was generally accompanied by incantations and appeals to occult powers, with the provision of various charms, amulets, etc., professedly designed to keep the applicant or patient from the attention and power of devils [demons], but actually to impress the applicant with the mysterious resources and powers of the sorcerer. See: BAGD—854a; THAYER—649d.”
5332 “from ‘far-mak-y-oos’ (a drug. i.e. spell-giving potion); a druggist (“pharmacist”) or poisoner…” (The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible)
Notice that in these verses in Rev. 9:20 and 21 that there are other sins that go along with ‘drug’ use. “But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.”
There is the sin of worshiping of demons, idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood. They did not repent of their sins either ‘sexual immorality,’ ‘thefts,’ ‘murders,’ Do we see how Satan uses drugs to get people involved in other sins?
Think of how many people you know who are into drug use that go on to steal to get more drugs. How many people who are involved in drugs get involved also in sexual immorality, worship of riches? How many people actually worship even idols made of these materials? Then have you heard of murders that are committed in the process of using and selling drugs? Do you see why God hates drug use?
Other Scriptures on the subject of sorcery, sorcerers (witchcraft and drug use, and drug users) are:
Exodus 7:11; Numbers 23:23 24:1; Deuteronomy 18:10; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 19:3; Jeremiah 27:9; Daniel 2,2,10; Malachi 3:5; Acts 8:8,9 8:13, 13:6,8; Galatians 5:20; Revelation 18:23; Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:15
Gary Thomas Panell