Lucia's Blog: GOD HAS THE FINAL WORD!
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

GOD HAS THE FINAL WORD!

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!”  
Isaiah 5:20-21



It was wrong for Pilate to declare, “I find no fault in him” and then deliver Jesus to his soldiers to be crucified. However, Jesus Himself declared them guilty of greater sin who delivered Him over to Pilate. Sin is sin, right is right, wrong is wrong, and some sins are more sinful than others.  Our generation has a difficult time finding a reason to condemn even the grossest of immorality. They walk in darkness because they invent their own "ethics." Let us consider what God has to say about the "ethics of right and wrong."


I.   WHAT IS RIGHT AND WRONG?

There was a time when our people understood clearly the concept of right and wrong in our nation.  Even those who committed crimes understood such criminal acts despite knowing better.  Up until the last half-century, all recorded history was characterized by a clear understanding of moral absolutes.  From the Babylon Code of Hammurabi to Bible faith ethics, every culture acknowledged certain behaviors as wrong and evil.  Our nation's standards for moral principles of conduct and ethics emerged mostly from the Ten Commandments, the New Testament teachings of Christ and the apostolic teachings, especially the written letters of the apostle Paul.  Our society generally accepted certain foundational laws and moral absolutes.  The following things were considered good and right:
  1. Human life.
  2. Loyalty.
  3. Respect.
  4. Trustworthiness.
  5. Fidelity.
  6. Commitment to family and marriage.
  7. Responsibility.
  8. Kindness.
  9. Generosity.
  10. Forgiveness and
  11. Love.

Sadly, things have changed for the worse, and the effects of these changes are noticeable all around us. We see these changes on the internet, in social media, in the news media, in our homes, and in our churches.  Moral chaos permeates our schools, our streets, even our homes, and churches.  In fact, there are as many as 1,000 unwed teens who will become pregnant, 500 adolescents who will begin using drugs, and 6 young teenagers who will commit suicide as I am writing this study.  That is not in a year, or a month but every twenty-four hours in our nation and society!  Even those who are Christians and should be walking in the Light, setting a positive example for our younger generations, are walking in darkness and setting the pace for immorality and lawlessness.  They invent new ways to "push the envelope" of degraded behavior.

In our society, it is common to hear about prominent politicians, professional athletes, business leaders, and even preachers and leaders in the churches committing adultery, abusing drugs, indulging in all manner of illicit sex, and on the home-front domestic violence.  How on earth did we get to such a place?  What on earth had happened?  How on earth did we get to a place where our young teens boast about killing one another, where schools are required to have extreme security checkpoints and our young interns fall prey to corrupt politicians?  Some suggest that we should spend more tax money on education reform, urban development, family planning clinics, win the war on drugs, and build bigger prisons.  But the truth is that we have lost our foundational understanding of moral ethics of what is right and wrong.

It is sad, but in our nation, from our leaders to our youngest school-age children, our people don't want to adopt values, ethics, and morals as their own. Values are core beliefs that guide and motivate our attitudes and actions.  Ethics is the standard of conduct that stresses how one must behave on moral issues that arise from principles of right and wrong. Unfortunately, our professors, politicians, preachers, and those in authority teach their own set of ethics Who is right about right and wrong?  It boils down to just one foundational question:  What is Truth?  It is impossible to know what right and wrong are without finding out what is trueIt will be hard to know what is right in any given situation or make decisions about morality or social behavior without the Truth. From 1950 to today, our nation's understanding of Truth has significantly shifted.  What was once clear is now clouded with uncertainty and confusion.  There has been a vast number of issues, cultural events, and philosophical changes that have brought us to this point.

The Bible provides us with a pattern for human conduct.  God's Word furnishes us with principles of righteousness to help us make the right choices or decisions in all areas of human conduct:  gambling, abortion, the sanctity of life, chaste behavior, etc.  The Bible contains "present Truth" for "such a time as this" that we may walk the straight path (2 Peter 1:12; Esther 4:14).  The Grace of God has appeared to bring salvation unto all men, "teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world" (2 Titus 2:11-12).

The apostle Peter inspired by the Holy Spirit says that "His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence" (2 Peter 1:3).  The world around us makes minimal effort to live by God's moral standards or principles of righteousness.  As a matter of fact, they even scoff at the authority of the Bible.  But for us Christians, we have no other alternative but to submit to the Lordship of Christ and His rule.


    II.   RIGHT AND WRONG ORIGINATE WITH GOD:  

    When studying the subject of ethics, one must carefully discern two different things, right and wrong.  We all know and believe there is a right and a wrong.  This is interwoven with our actions.  Some actions are right, and others are wrong.  That which is right is what is morally required.  That which is wrong is what is morally or ethically prohibited.  According to God's Word, right and wrong are closely linked to God's will.  God declares what is wrong and contrary to His will, what is holy, righteous, loving, and just.  An action is right when it conforms to the will of a holy and just God.  He declares the standard for human conduct, which is objective, universal, eternal, and exalted, worthy of respect.  Christians view their moral life as obedience to the will of God.  Their view transforms moral truth into the will of God to obey and honor Him.  Objective right (morality) is composed of those actions that are right according to moral or ethical standards.  Subjective right is those actions that are believed to be right whether or not they are actually right.

    Often what a person thinks is right according to his own conscience, might actually be right (subjectively and objectively).  But this is not always the case.  So, is there really a right and wrong in life?  Many people in our culture believe that society dictates what is right and wrong: the majority rule.  They allow their society to set the norms and make the choices for them. The problem is that a society can change their belief causing all sorts of outcomes, whether good or bad. But one who has a Christian worldview knows that right and wrong originate from God, as written in the Bible.  The Bible has laws that must govern our conduct of behavior according to God's will.

    According to our culture, right and wrong are based on personal preferences as their ethical standards.  "I say what is right for me."  They believe that right and wrong change from person to person, for they are relative to each person (individual moral relativism).  So moral decisions are based on personal feelings or emotions.  According to this way of thinking (moral relativism), there are no absolutes and true beliefs because they are always changing.  The word "tolerance" has been badly corrupted and abused in our politically correct culture.  The word "tolerance" used to mean an act of sympathy for beliefs or practices that differ from our own beliefs.  The act of tolerance means that those holding different views can disagree without accepting the other person's opinion or belief.

    Today, in our politically correct culture, the definition of the word "tolerance" has changed for the worse since our culture claims that one's beliefs, lifestyle, and truth are all of equal value.  That is, everyone must accept their truths, claims, and lifestyles as our own.  They dare say to us, “You shouldn’t force your morality on someone else.” Yet they are forcing their beliefs on us! It is nothing more than cultural moral relativism, which is the belief that right and wrong are always changing from culture to culture (relative to each individual culture).  This way of thinking and belief lacks concrete and true standards.  Instead of each Individual determining what must be right and wrong, it is the culture that determines or dictates what is right and wrong.  It implies that each culture dictates what is right for each individual in that society.  Many ask the question, “Who is to say what is right?"  The answer is, “No one else but God!”

    A Christian worldview looks for moral absolutes to define the standard of right and wrong that must be applied to each and every person, regardless of time, location, personal preference, and culture. Of course, it points toward God, His character, His Truth, and the way He designed this world.  Most importantly, it describes God's unchanging and eternal nature, which must be applied to our ethical standards.  How often do we hear people make the statement, "If the Bible doesn't say it, I can do it."  They ignore that God has given us a Sacred Book that addresses every situation, every moral principle, and guideline. The Bible commands and lays down laws to abide by what, which are the right and wrong in society.

    God has created and established laws that teach and discipline men and women concerning Him and His love for us.  God's laws are for our good!  God has set eternal standards that apply to every situation, for they are moral absolutes related to God and His character. Many believe that our government has the right to dictate how we ought to live our lives safely when in fact, that's not their job and purpose in life, for they cannot lead us to a positive and confident path even when they set rules to follow.  God is the only One who can set the rules or standards for our own good.  He created ethical principles so that we may live according to His image and teach others His ways and thoughts, His principles of righteousness.

    Today, we live in a postmodern society of moral corruption that rejects the concept of absolute and validated Truth.  Many will try to convince you that there is no such thing as absolute right and wrong.  But, when they see someone behaving in a non-ethical way that would cause harm, pain, or suffering, they get very upset.  They would not hesitate to tell you that it is wrong.  All human beings are conscious of what is right and wrong.  The Word of God calls this a “conscience.”  Our conscience makes us feel sorrow when we do wrong, for it bothers us and makes us feel guilty until we ask for forgivenessRomans 2:15.  Sadly, many people’s consciences are seared.  They deliberately refuse to accept that right and wrong originate with God.  They get so accustomed to sin that they ignore the cries of their conscience.  They have hardened their hearts against righteousness, loving all lawlessness.

    The Bible tells us about the first sin in the Garden of Eden.  We know that sin originated with Eve when the Serpent's words tempted her.  She listened to the Serpent instead of obeying what God had said not to do.  
    "When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate." (Genesis 3:6)

    The Bible account portrays man as created in all righteousness without sin.  Most theologians theorize that the first sin corrupted Adam and Eve and gave them a depraved nature, “total hereditary depravity,” which they have passed on to us.  Romans 5:12-20 is one of their favorite Scriptures to support their error. This is the first of the five points of Calvinism and is commonly called “original sin.”   Although they will not deny that man was created without sin, they still affirm that because of Adam and Eve’s sin (also known as “the fall”), man is now a sinner.
    "For as through the one man’s disobedience, the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous"  (Romans 5:19). 

    The book of Romans says nothing about a corrupt nature, yet they say that man by nature is always finding himself entirely "depraved" of the holiness or sanctity that is required in the Law of God.  They also claim that man is inevitably inclined to do evil and therefore under just condemnation, without defense or excuse.  This is what their church creeds and manuals state.  It is disturbing to say, but many of my brethren buy into this false teaching to one degree or another.  What these don’t want to accept is that Eve’s biggest problem was listening to Satan.
    "But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ"  (2 Corinthians 11:3). 

    Eve lusted, and sin was conceived.
    "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God'; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren"  (James 1:13-16).  

    It is lust that gets man in trouble to sin.  Eve blamed the Serpent, and Adam blamed Eve (Genesis 3:12-13).  The truth is that Adam and Eve sinned despite all their excuses.  The Serpent was cursed as well as the ground because of man, Genesis 3:17-18.  Adam and Eve were not cursed but sentenced with mercy and hope, Genesis 3:14-15.  We know that the woman was sentenced in Genesis 3:16. Adam was also sentenced or condemned in Genesis 3:17-19.  They were cast out of the garden, Genesis 3:22-24.  Many of our friends believe that there is a big problem with right and wrong because of the "fall."

    They say that the mind and conscience of men were impaired by that first sin.  And for this reason, the conscience does not work as well as it used to before Adam and Eve fell into sin.  This is absurd!  They seem to ignore what Romans 5:12 says. "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned" (Genesis 8:21; James 1:13-15; Isaiah 59:1-2;  2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 2:6; 14:12,23; Ezekiel 18:4,20; 28:15; Matthew 18:3; Acts 17:28-29;  Romans 7:9; Galatians 4:4;  James 4:17; I John 3:4; 5:17; Ecclesiastes 7:29 and 12:14).

     Right and wrong are determined by God, for He has called us to be holy in our behavior toward Him and others.  It is God who determines what is morally right or wrong.  Christians must follow the teachings or doctrines of Christ and not the feelings of society, or the changing fashions of the moment.  We must obey God rather than men!  The Word of God is our standard for considering what is morally pure or impure, for it instructs us in righteousness, equipping us for every good work (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:5-7; Hebrews 5:14).  Many use clever reasoning to justify their conduct contrary to what God demands.  We must not serve God according to human doctrine or philosophy!  

    Human doctrine differs from God's will.  People use human reasoning to justify behavior that God has condemned.  For example, though society agrees that murder is wrong, they are still in turmoil over other situations.  Some reason that murder is good if it is the murder of the unborn baby who might be handicapped or born into poverty, conceived out of wedlock, or as the result of rape.  Others justify killing the elderly or the ill, so they help them kill themselves.  They reason that they are helping them escape suffering and becoming a burden to others.  Germany, for instance, justified the Holocaust, claiming that certain groups of people did not deserve to live.  But God's Word clearly declares that those who commit murder will end up in the lake of fire, not in heaven (Rev. 21:8; 22:15).  

    Nowhere in God's Word do we see God making an exception, and justifying the murder of the elderly, the sick, and the unborn!  Rather, He has commanded us to have mercy and compassion toward them to help them through their hardships.  To justify murdering such people is to disobey God's Word, arguing that the end justifies the means.

    Some will agree that it is better to remain virgin, that is, remain pure and chaste before marriage, but our society seems to be confused and in turmoil about this.  Many of our young people justify premarital sexual relations and living together without a marriage license as long as they love each other. It is good and just in their eyes because they get to know each other better to find out whether or not they are “compatible.”  This ungodly mindset is outrageous!!

    They have really cheapened and degraded the concept of love to justify their immoral and sinful behavior.  Why not obey God and His commands and get married?  The saddest part of this is that I have seen some of my brethren support this worldly view among family members!  Many in our culture justify marriage even between two people of the same gender, for they say, "What can be wrong if they love each other?"  But guess what?  God's Word says that intimacy (sexual union) must be between a man and a woman who are married, not outside of marriage, for God said so in Genesis 2:24; Hebrews 13:4; 1 Cor. 6:9-11.

    Thus, any other relationship outside of marriage is fornication or adultery.  Anyone who is a fornicator or a homosexual can never enter the gates of heaven or the kingdom of God!  Others have the nerve to claim that a married couple can get a divorce if they're unhappy in their marriage.  Some churches have even justified some members arguing that God has called us to peace, so they encourage divorce or separation.  Others justify remaining in marriages that are not authorized by God, claiming that it would cause severe hardship.  But Matthew 19:9 declares that the only authorized Scriptural ground for divorce is if one of the spouses commits fornication.  So anyone who divorces for any other reason but the one that God has authorized cannot remarry unless one of the spouses has died or fornicated.  If they remarry, they will be committing adultery, and God will judge them!

    There are many other Bible principles and guidelines for examining moral issues that determine what conduct or behavior is moral or immoral, right or wrong.  The Word of God is the only absolute standard of authority that reveals God's will about right from wrong.

    The ethics of right and wrong are fundamental to the Truth.  But we have a choice to obey the ethics or not.  Some Christians struggle with the question of right and wrong.  As a consequence of this, we have a people who call evil good and good evil, Isaiah 5:20.  Man, from the very beginning, has struggled with the question of what is right and what is wrong.  We have many examples in the Bible, as in the case of Judges 17:6.


    "In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes."


    CONCLUSION:

    The Word of God offers mankind a pattern for human conduct, for it gives us clear principles of righteousness to help us in all areas of conduct or behavior.  The Bible provides us a bright light to walk the straight path, for it is filled with God's Truth for "such a time as this" (2 Peter 1:12; Esther 4:14).  The Grace of God has appeared to us to bring salvation to us, teaching us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts so that we may live soberly, righteously, and holy in this godless world (Titus 2:11-14).  And though man's standards might change, presumptuously calling all evil good and good evil, placing darkness for light and light for darkness, the Word of God is settled in heaven forever (Isa. 5:20).  His Word has called all men to life and godliness.

    Sadly, our culture does not fear God and makes little effort to follow God's principles of righteousness.  They even mock God's authority!  But Christ's disciples have no other choice but to submit to His Lordship and rule.  For if we willingly reject His standards of righteousness, we are in the same position as our godless and pagan culture.  If we really care about God's standards and morals, we must start doing God's will, for we must obey God rather than men!

    We must not be conformed to our godless culture but rather choose to be transformed by the renewing of our minds into our Lord's likeness (Romans 12:2).  Since we have risen with Christ in the waters of baptism, we must seek God's heavenly things, not earthly things, for we have been buried with Christ (the old man of sin), and our life is hidden with Him.  So we must continue to walk His straight path of righteousness, keeping our eyes on Him alone and not on this world of sin and lawlessness.  Although our godless culture might condone lawlessness and sinful practices (sexual immorality, dancing, immodesty, profanity, gambling, drinking alcohol, smoking, and many sins such as these), we Christians must come out and be separate from them (2 Cor. 6:17).  We must start teaching and training our children in the way of the Lord, and we must pray to God for guidance and wisdom.  Of course, godly parents must model this in their daily life.

    Our godless generation has sinned against God by legalizing sins such as abortion, drug abuse, pornography, fornication, adultery, and homosexuality.  As our pagan culture legalizes and accepts these sins, bigger and catastrophic things will confront our nation or society.  And though we Christians may become strangers in a lawless and hostile world, we must remain faithful to God in Word and deed.  But we also must continue teaching the Gospel Message, showing patience and compassion toward sinners that they might repent and be reconciled to God.  We cannot afford to be silent on moral issues or compromise our faith!

    In every generation, God's Word can determine what is right, wrong, good, evil, and excellent (Phil. 1:10).  We must continue teaching God's holiness and righteousness to our profane and godless culture without compromising God's Truth.  It is time for God's children to unsheathe the Sword of the Spirit, moving forward to fight against our society's moral decay.  We must cry aloud, lifting our voices like a trumpet, showing all people their transgressions and sins.  Remember that the battle is the Lord's, and God is among us to help us fight against all evil! (Romans 8:31)

    God has given us His absolute, perfect laws that are intended to be used by all men at all times.  It is wrong, it is a sin, to disobey them.  His laws are the foundation of the Law of Christ.  We must use them to govern our societies and ourselves lest we perish!  Let us listen to them!
    “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work”  (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

    May the Lord help us to discern right from wrong and good from evil according to His Sacred Word.

    Luci

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