On a recent vacation we travelled in Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas and a corner of New Mexico. Soon after arriving home necessity demanded a trip to Pueblo which instantly reminded us of something conspicuously absent in the neighboring states…panhandlers, beggars, and deadbeats. In all fairness, these other areas probably host their share of bums, but Colorado has become a canvas of moochers which was not observed in our travels. Merchants are complaining from Durango to Denver about the indigents that are discouraging tourists from shopping. What’s remarkable is that most are young and appear to be healthy enough to hold down a job.
Recent survey work indicates that almost without fail this new influx of homeless is the result of our liberal marijuana laws. Colorado is a paradise for some…you can buy and smoke all the joints you want, providing you can leech enough change to support the habit. My wife and I have been approached several times at gas stations, restaurants, and retail parking lots by parasites begging a buck which is generally accompanied by a tale of a broken down vehicle, lack of fuel or a medical emergency.
If my attitude appears to lack compassion, I refer the reader to an end time prophecy that sheds significant light on the subject: “Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts“ (Revelation 9:21). The Greek word for “sorceries” is the word for pharmacies or drugs. God does not obligate Himself to be benevolent to anyone who refuses to repent of their sins. The Scriptures indicate that drugs will be a large part of the social fabric in the last days, and the addiction to them is on par with murder and fornication. So much for the disease explanation!
Drug dependency has a side which is not usually examined to its full extent. An addict treats the substance as a god, for it is the one thing they cannot do without. They will go to any extreme, including forsaking all self-respect, begging if necessary, to pacify the demands of this form of idolatry. In essence, it is a religious experience, albeit a very destructive one. Why should this surprise us when people have been known to sacrifice their own young to pagan gods?
Any type of sorcery serves the purpose of controlling the masses and robbing people of the ability of individual thought. Acts chapter 8 records an interesting adaptation of its use: “But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one; To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries” (Acts 8:9-11). Sorcery comes in a variety of forms including hypnotism, black magic, levitation, extrasensory perception, and transcendentalism or drugs. It is all intended to alter reasonable logic. Simon enjoyed the public perception of being god-like through one or more of these mediums.
The best instrument in the tool box was applied to break the spell: “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” Philip preached the same Jesus Christ that had previously introduced the subject of the “kingdom of God” when He told Nicodemus, a religious heavyweight: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). For two thousand years the new birth has been repairing broken lives and conditions of desperation. For the sake of doctrinal accuracy, it should be noted that the baptism was a result of believing, not a vehicle to accommodate the faith in the Saviour.
In a fascinating turn of events, “Simon himself believed also; and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.” Whether the sorcerer’s profession was genuine or a cheap imitation is something only God knows, but his lust for power was unabated. After observing the might displayed through the Apostles, Simon requested to buy in. Peter’s response was: “thy money perish with thee, because thou has thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.” Simon would have fit well into 21st century conventional thinking, trusting money to buy all influence and solve all problems.
There is a very real possibility that an eighteen year old woman who was killed in Times Square would still be alive if America hadn’t thrown God out of our public schools in the early sixties. The man who barreled his car through a dense crowd on the sidewalks told police he had been smoking marijuana laced with the hallucinogenic drug PCP. The departure of God creates a vacuum that will be filled by some other “mind fulfilling experience.” On the heels of the Lord’s expulsion a hippie generation arose pursuing free love, free expression with no boundaries, and free goodies from a burgeoning government all of which leads to increasing chaos.
The master sorcerer has been extremely effective. If you find yourself in the shackles of his bondage, turn to Jesus Christ; His hammer of salvation can break your chains.