[Steve Myers] Legalizing recreational use of marijuana is in the news again. Now recently, Colorado and Washington approved that – they legalized the recreational use of pot. And of course, many people are coming out in support of that, and it's become a controversial issue in quite a few states. In fact, on one of the internet websites, people are putting up posters in support of smoking pot. In fact, here is one that I copied off the internet. And it says, "I'm a youth pastor at a large church, and I smoke marijuana every day that I'm not at service (Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday)." And it says, "My Lord still loves me."
Well, that brought a question to my mind. What does God really think about smoking pot? What does He really think about the recreational use of marijuana? Is that something that God approves of? Or do we not even bother to think about what God's perspective on it is?
Well, there's an interesting passage over in the book of Galatians, in Galatians chapter 5, beginning in verse 19. God talks about the deeds of the flesh – the normal, everyday, human way of thinking and actions that are a result of that. And here's what He says. He says, "Those deeds of the flesh are evident. They are immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery" – and the list goes on. And then he says, "Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians:5:19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,).
Now, the interesting thing – the word for "sorcery" here is the word – let's get that C out of there – for sorcery, is the word " pharmakeia ". Pharmakeia . It's the same Greek word that we get the word "pharmacy" from. It literally means "drugs" – the use of drugs, the administering of drugs. And you might think, well, why does sorcery have anything to do with drugs? Well, the context was taking into account the fact that witches, or those that would practice sorcery or witchcraft would either smoke the drug, they would rub the drug all over them, they would eat it, and then they would become in a state of mind, where that – evil spirits then could affect them. And so, that became associated with the drug use. And so, when you read this in the New Testament, he's not just talking about being a witch, he's not just talking about sorcery, he's talking about the effects of that drug.
Well, drugs can have good effects. You can go to a pharmacy and you can get a painkiller that is a necessary thing for a medical situation. And that's not what he's talking about here. But here, we're talking about recreationally using drugs. Do you want to be in stupored state of mind? Is this relaxed, open mind the kind of thing that God wants you to have? Well here, he points to the fact that this is something that could keep you out of the kingdom.
In fact, it's not the only section of scripture where this is mentioned. There's even another section over in the book of Revelation where it talks about the same type of thing. Revelation chapter 9. It says, "Mankind didn't repent of their sorceries" (Revelation:9:20-21 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:  Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts. ). And once again, that's that word for pharmakeia . They didn't repent of, what we could say, their use of drugs – the kind of use of drugs that's going to put them in a state of mind that they don't have full control of themselves. Because that's exactly opposite of what God wants for us. God says He's given us a spirit of love and of a sound mind – a mind that is in control of our senses, a mind that is going to be a thinking mind that can control circumstances, and what's going to come in and what's going to go out of our minds. And so God says, "Think about that". Don't lose control of your mind, take control of your thoughts and your heart. God says that's a very important thing.
In fact, in the proverbs, I think this whole concept is also talked about. When you look at what it says in Proverbs:23:21For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags. – in God's Word Translation it says, "Drowsiness will clothe a man with rags." Do you put yourself in that kind of state of mind? It's not a good thing. The results will not be good. He says, "Later it bites like a snake, and strikes like a poisonous snake." You read that down to verse 32 and verse 33, "Your eyes will see strange sights, your mouth will say embarrassing things" (Proverbs:23:32-33 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.  Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. ).
Does that sound like anything associated with recreational drug use? You see, God says that's a problem. That is a problem, because that's not the spirit that God has given us. So I think you should keep that in mind – the recreational use of pot or other drugs is something that God despises, because we lose full control of our thinking, and God says that's not the way he wants us to be. He wants us to have a spirit of love and of a sound mind.
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