After hearing the word “morals,” a little boy asked his father for the definition. “Well son, pretend that a person comes into the family’s store and accidentally pays too much for an item,” said the father. “If I were ‘moral,’ I would split the extra money with your uncle.” Like the father portrayed above, it seems that many have warped ideas about morals. As in the days of Isaiah, there are multitudes today who “call evil good, and good evil” (Isa. 5:20).
The world defies the idea that a divine, universal ethical standard exists. Whether Hollywood or Washington be considered, we are being told more and more that morals are determined by the individual alone. “If it feels right to you, then do it,” they tell us.
Numerous examples demonstrate the absurd and unreasonable extremes to which many such individuals, groups, and governments will go. In South Carolina, for instance, a woman was convicted of child abuse because she used cocaine while pregnant. Yet in Florida, it was ruled that a pregnant woman could not be prosecuted for purposely shooting herself in the stomach. So who is right? Is it the individual, society, or government that dictates what is moral?
It is God who decides what is right and wrong. Psalm 145:17 declares “The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.” No wonder Paul wrote, “Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4). All would do well to remember Psalm 18:30: “As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried.”
The Bible pictures immorality as a personal disgrace. Jeremiah 6:15; 8:12; and Zephaniah 3:5 imply that righteous and reasonable people understand that sin, immoral actions and activities, cause shame and embarassment. Also, immorality is viewed by God as a social downfall. Proverbs 14:34 says that “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Biblical and secular history both show that God’s hand is with those nations who abide by his will, but against those societies which refuse his way.
Along with these depictions, the word of God reveals immorality to be an eternal disaster. When listing various groups of immoral people, including adulterers, drunkards, and homosexuals, Paul said the souls of such “shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
The solution to the problem of immorality is the gospel — and it must be declared. Jesus commanded that it be declared (Mk. 16:15). The early Christians boldly declared it (Rom. 6:13). Likewise, we must faithfully declare it (2 Tim. 4:2).
The power of the gospel has been displayed in the lives of many. For example, immorality had been defeated by the gospel at Corinth. After listing some of those immoral groups who would miss heaven, Paul said “and such were some of you” (1 Cor. 6:11 [emp. mine, P.S.]). The gospel had changed their lives and their destinies.
The results delivered by the heeded gospel, therefore, are three — Godly individuals, exalted societies, and heaven-bound souls.
It is true that we live in a world where immorality abides and abounds. It is also true that the consequences of immorality are quite serious and everywhere in evidence. But we are not helpless. God’s standard — His word — gives hope to all who will hear and heed it (Matt. 7:24-27). Will you?
From Gospel Preceptor