Drugs and the End of the Age
By Hal Lindsey
Increasing drug use is one of the signs of the end times. Right now, in most of the world, drug use is at an all-time high. And it’s having a profound effect on all our lives.
The news media is willing to tell us about drug companies pushing their products on doctors and the public. That fits one of their preferred narratives—that big business is bad. They rarely mention the correlation between legalized marijuana and a general increase in drug use and traffic deaths. Try as they might, they simply can’t ignore the enormous number of overdose deaths. So they cover those numbers, but not with the kind of emphasis that such an epidemic deserves. And, according the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it is an epidemic.
A 2017 Pew Survey found that almost half of US adults have a close friend or family member who has been addicted to drugs. But that number is likely low because addiction is not something people tell about themselves. Even close friends don’t always know, and family members are often intentionally left in the dark.
Whether you realize it or not, you almost certainly know an addict—probably several. And you encounter addicts almost every day. You drive with them on the streets, they are in line with you at the grocery store, they deliver your packages, work on your car, or sit near you in a pew at church.
I’m not saying that your church friend drives to the seamy side of town and buys packets of heroin from a nefarious pusher, though that is possible. More likely, the pusher was a well-meaning doctor. Your addict friend probably didn’t go to a dark, crime-riddled street to buy the drug, but to his local pharmacy. And he might not even know that he is an addict.
Drug abuse affects all our lives in many ways. For one, it kills. According to the CDC, more than 60,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2016 alone. That’s just overdoses. It doesn’t count the people who died because of damage to their bodies from long-term drug use. It doesn’t count the industrial accidents where the addict died or caused the deaths of others.
For comparison, 37,461 people died in car accidents in 2016. But there’s a problem with the comparison. Many of those auto accidents were also fueled by drug and alcohol use. According to the CDC, “In 2016, 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.”
Alcohol has traditionally been the major culprit in car accident deaths. But with increased legalization of marijuana, that changed in 2015. According Reuters, “US data has shown for the first time that drivers killed in crashes were more likely to be on drugs than drunk, with marijuana involved in more than a third of fatal accidents in 2015.”
These days, the news is full of people doing completely insane things. A parent murders his or her children. A person walks into a restaurant and randomly stabs one of the diners. And then there are the mass shootings. Drugs are not the whole problem in any of these situations, but they are often a big part of it. In many cases, drugs make the difference. They push people over the edge.
Godly values provide a restraint on this problem. But as those values decline, the problem grows. Many who think they’re looking for a buzz or an escape, are really just looking for comfort in their souls. They know drugs and alcohol provide only a temporary fix while magnifying the problem, but they do it anyway. In their desperation, they just want to survive the moment.
There is a better way. The Maker of our souls can redeem them. He can heal the addicted and the wounds that lead to addiction. A lifestyle directed by His word provides a powerful hedge against the evils of drug abuse.
Society, meanwhile, continues to move away from God and His ways. And that’s the problem. Spiritual voids will be filled. That’s why the demonic is so often associated with drug addiction. Revelation 9:21 gives a prophecy for the time just before the Second Coming of Jesus. It tells us where the problem is headed. “And they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries nor of their immorality nor of their thefts.”
The word “sorceries” comes from the Greek word “pharmakeia.” That’s where we get the English word, “pharmacy.” This shows that rampant mind-altering drug use will be a fixture near the end of this age.
That’s why it’s so amazing to see it happening now at levels never seen before. It’s happening all over the world. And, most important, it’s happening in conjunction with all the other signs for Christ’s coming at the end of the age.
The late Adrian Rogers said, “The times are growing dark, but they are gloriously dark because the light of Christ shines brighter in the bleakest of times.”
In dark times, remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:14-16. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
In these “gloriously dark” times, let the light of Jesus shine through you!