The Root Of Moral Chaos

The world seems to be out of control. Common sense has been cast aside as we see society plunging deeper and deeper into gross immorality. The line separating things that were once clearly defined as right or wrong has been blurred. What has always been good is now declared evil, and what has always been evil, is now accepted as good.

Many of us mare shocked at what we are seeing in our lifetime; things we thought we would never see. However, there is a reason for this plunge into moral insanity, a root behind this problem. the answer lies within the heart of man, and what he does with the revelation of God to himself. We read in the ancient Jewish writings, 

Surely vain are all men by nature, who are ignorant of God, and could not out of the good things that are seen know him that is: neither by considering the works did they acknowledge the workmaster; but deemed either fire, or wind, or the swift air, or the circle of the stars, or the violent water, or the lights of heaven, to be the gods which govern the world.  (Wisdom of Solomon 13:1-2 KJV)

Indeed, The heavens declare the glory of God (Psalm 18:1).  The above quote attributed to Solomon is not considered divinely inspired, yet it rings out the same truth that we read in Paul’s epistle to the Romans, namely that God has revealed Himself to mankind through that which He created, and man in his foolishness has rejected that revelation.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20 KJV)

Without ever reading a Bible, going to a Church, or listening to a sermon, we have still received sufficient knowledge of God through His creation, to be without excuse before Him. God’s invisible attributes, His power, His divinity, are all clearly seen through creation. Mankind knows deep down in the very depths of his inner being, that God exists. 

Sadly, the response to this revelation of God is one of rejection. We read further on that,

Because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (Romans 1:21-25 KJV)

  • When they knew God they did not glorify Him as God.
  • They were ungrateful.
  • They became vain in their imaginations.
  • Professing to be wise, they became fools.
  • They exchanged the glory of God into that of an idol.
  • They changed the truth of God into a lie.
  • They gave worship to the creation instead of the Creator.
  • They did not like to retain God in their knowledge (vs. 28).

All of this had its consequences however, as God allowed them to progress deeper and deeper into depravity. we read that He gave them up to the lusts of their own hearts. Jesus tells us that it is out of the heart that evil flows (Mark 7:15-23). Man rejects the knowledge of God because of his sinful heart. He does not want to acknowledge the God that he will one day face, rather choosing instead to cling to his sin, and serve a god of his own invention. This is what the atheist does, what the evolutionist does, and what those do who serve any of the countless false gods and religious systems that have existed down through history. 

For this cause God gave them up to vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as theyn did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:26-32 KJV)

It is safe to say we can look around us and see these very things permeating society as a whole. Sexual immorality is rampant, homosexual marriage was once unheard of, now it is widely accepted, even applauded by the majority of society. The debate over transgender issues is also something that seems to have suddenly gained momentum, to the surprise of many. But it goes beyond sexual sin to other issues as well. Issues such as honesty, hatred, murder, covetousness, malice, divisions,  a lack of understanding, a lack of natural affection. There are multitudes of God haters in our world today, and just as many inventors of evil. And to top it all of, their are those who look upon all of this, and give their hearty approval to it. This is the result of a people rejecting God, and in turn, being given up to depravity. It is a total breakdown of society. 

This is what lies behind the moral insanity that we are witnessing today. It is not something new, it has been like this throughout history. People have always turned their back on God, choosing to serve a god of their own making. Nations have been given over to evil, waxing worse and worse. Kingdoms have risen, and kingdoms have fallen, because they have refused God. 

Yet God in His mercy reaches out to fallen humanity. We read that He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) The answer to this moral crisis is found in Jesus Christ, as we one by one repent of our sin, and surrender our lives to follow Him. Then we find victory from this bondage, as the one whom the Son sets free, is free indeed. (John 8:36)

 

 

 

Separation From the World

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 2 Cor 6:14-18 KJV

 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a better country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. Heb 11:13-17 KJV

We see according to these verses that there are two kingdoms that cannot be mixed. There is this present world filled with sin, based upon selfish principles, and under the dominion of the devil, and there is the kingdom of heaven where righteousness reigns, love is the motive behind action, and Jesus Christ is king.

Jesus calls us out of this world, and into His kingdom. To follow Jesus is to go in the opposite direction of the way the world runs; to do the very things that the world scorns and rejects. As stated above, the world is based upon selfish principles. This is why we see so much sin and heartache in this world. Read what James says about this,

From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think the scripture saith in vain, The Spirit that dwelleth within us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (James 4:1-6 KJV)

God calls his people out of selfishness and sin. Anyone who would call themselves a Christian, yet be driven by the world’s system and ways; who would be a friend of the world, is in reality God’s enemy. God is a jealous God, and will not have His children following after the evils of this world, and placing the things of this world above Him. God will give us grace, but only to those who are humble.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. (1 John 2:15-17 KJV)

It is impossible for a follower of Christ to love God and yet love this world, just as Jesus states that it is impossible to serve two masters (Matt 6:24). The world values the temporal things, the things that excite our passions and bring us pleasure. The truth is that these things draw our hearts away from the living God, and separate us from Him. This world is passing away. The bible warns us of the coming day when the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up (2 Peter 3:10-11). If we remain in it, we will be destroyed with it. Those who come out of it, who separate themselves form its evil ways, doing the will of God, will abide forever.

It is true that we are in this world. We live in it, work in it, and raise our families in it. However, we can live in this world, and yet be not of it. Just as we read of the Patriarchs, who lived as strangers and aliens in a foreign country, so we also must live in this world as strangers to it, looking to our heavenly home, for our citizenship is in heaven (Phil 3:20). To be here as a stranger is to refuse to partake in the sinful ways around us. It is to reject the passions and pleasures that would war against our souls. It is to refuse to be conformed to the pattern of this world’s fashions and entertainment. It is to refuse to become entangled in its affairs; its politics and  its patriotic fervor, as our allegiance is to Christ alone. To be separate from this world is to use it only as is necessary, as we serve Christ in this world (1 Cor 7:29-31). Those who have turned from this world do not make the temporal cares and concerns of this life their utmost concern, but instead, they seek first the kingdom of God, while trusting Him to care for their needs (Matt 6:25-33). These also have their eyes upon their heavenly home. They are looking for and hastening the coming day of Christ, they are longing for His appearing (2 Peter 3:12; 2 Tim 4:8).

The Christian is Christ’s ambassador in this world. We must be careful to live as such, not getting entangled in, and distracted by the affairs of this earth, all the while remaining steadfast, and diligent to complete the work God has called us to.

See The Two Kingdoms.

The Christian and Government

I would like to look at what the word of God teaches about the Christian’s role in human government. This is probably not considered a controversial subject as most evangelical Christians believe that it is their moral responsibility to vote, and that the governments of nations can be useful in advancing the cause of Christ. Where it can get controversial however, is when an individual believes that Christians are not called upon to vote for human leaders, and that we are not called on to advance God’s kingdom through “carnal” means, such as human government. It is important to look at the Bible to gain a proper understanding of what God desires for us a followers of Christ, and not at what someone else teaches or believes.

To begin, we should look at Israel in the Old Testament. What was their government like? We find Israel, God’s chosen people, in bondage to the Egyptians, when their cry reached God’s ear (Exodus 3:7). At this point, God raised up Moses, to go before Pharaoh, and lead the Israelites out of Egypt, and into the land God promised them. Israel was considered a “theocracy” where God was their ruler. It was God’s law they were to follow, and it was God alone they were to worship and serve. God spoke to Moses, who led the nation.

Moses was succeeded by Joshua (Deut 31:7-8). It was Joshua who led the nation over the Jordan river, and into the land of Canaan. Following the death of Joshua, the nation spiraled into sin, and as a consequence, they came under attack from the surrounding nations. Once again, as they cried unto the Lord, He heard them, and raised up judges to deliver them from their enemies, and to lead them (Judges 2:12-16).

We next read of the prophet Samuel, who judged Israel all the days of his life (1 Sam 7:15-17). When he grew old, he appointed his sons as judges. However, they were dishonest, and the elders of the people approached Samuel, and asked for a king to rule over them. This was the day that Moses foresaw,

When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me…(Deut 17:14 KJV)

Moses warns them to be sure to set the king over them that God would chose, not a stranger, but of their own brethren. This was not God’s will for His people, but a concession similar to that of divorce. Jesus stated that a provision for divorce was contained in the law because of the hardness of your hearts (Matt 19:8). 

This was God’s response to the request of the people to have a king,

And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. (1 Samuel 8:7 KJV)

God viewed this as a rejection of Him, of His leadership over His own people. Nevertheless, He allowed Israel to set a king over themselves. It is kind of like when you say no to someone, but at their stubborn persistence, you let them have their own way, even though they will have hard consequences to face because of the choice they have made.

From that time on Israel was governed by kings. There were godly kings who led the nation wisely, desiring for the nation to worship and serve God, and there were evil kings who turned the people away from God, and instead embraced idolatry. After the death of Solomon, the kingdom was divided with ten tribes in one kingdom, and the other two in another kingdom. Look at what happens when men try to do things their way.

We do not see examples in the Old Testament of men getting involved in the affairs and governments of the surrounding nations except for a few instances which we will now look at.

In Genesis 19:1, we read that Lot sat in the gate at Sodom. While this does not present concrete evidence that Lot was involved in the governing affairs of Sodom, it yet leaves the possibility open. The city gate was a place where judgments were given, agreements made (Ruth 4:1-9). Obviously, his presence in the gate of Sodom had little effect on the evil in that place. In fact, the wicked men of that city turned on him when he defended his visitors from their advances (Gen 19:9). This is what the Bible tells us of Lot,

And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: for that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds. (1 Peter 2:7-8 KJV)

It is one thing for a Godly man to stand up and publicly rebuke the sins of the nation, and quite another to align himself with a governing body just as wicked as the nation it serves, and try to legislate morality through them.

Joseph was one of the twelve sons of Jacob. His brothers grew jealous of him, and sold him into slavery. God prospered him in all of his adversity, and he eventually found himself elevated to rule over Egypt with only Pharaoh over him (Gen 37, 39-47).

In a similar fashion, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, were also favored by God. Having been taken away by the Babylonians, they also found themselves in places of leadership during the Babylonian exile (Daniel 1-3),

We also read the story of Esther, how she became queen of Persia, and was able to save her people from annihilation at the hand of Haman (Esther 1-9).

We must keep in mind however that these individuals did not seek these positions of leadership. They were all captives in foreign lands, not there by any choice of their own. Through miraculous events, they found themselves in authority, where they were all used by God to preserve His chosen people, the nation of Israel, thus ensuring the promise of redemption through Jesus Christ.

We find the New Testament lacking any concrete evidence of, or encouragement for, involvement of Christians in the governmental affairs of their respective nations. You just do not see passages of scripture laying down principles for godly leadership within civil government. We read of qualifications for elders and deacons within the Church, but that is the Church, not the state. 

There are plenty of examples of government in the New Testament, but we see no mention of Christians taking an active role in it. Many people may say that they were not allowed to participate, which may very well be true. I believe there is more to it than that however.

It goes back to the principle of two kingdoms.  The early Christians recognized that they belonged to another kingdom, the heavenly kingdom. although they lived in this world, they were not of it (John 17:16). Jesus calls us to seek first His kingdom and righteousness (Matt 6:33). Paul exhorts us to set our affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life, shall appear….(Col 3:2-4 KJV) Did you catch that? Christ is to be our life! It is really all about Him, not in some figurative sense, but in reality. Paul is not being poetic here. What he is trying to impress upon our minds and hearts is that we are not living in this world to please ourselves, or to advance our own purposes, or to do things in our own way (even things we attempt for God), no, we are to be absolutely about His business, making His will, His kingdom, our utmost priority!

No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. (2 Tim 2:4 KJV)

As Christians, we have been born again into the kingdom of God. We are indeed soldiers in the army of Christ. We are at war, a spiritual war, against the powers of darkness, with the souls of men at stake. How can we think that we have the time and privilege to get ourselves embroiled in the temporal affairs of this world, while eternity stares us in the face? We are here to please Christ, and Him alone. 

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (2 Cor 6:14-16 KJV)

How can we expect to advance godly principles through ungodly means? The governments of this world are filled with ungodly individuals. How can we expect them to champion the cause of Christ for us? A Christian who enters politics, enters into a life of compromise, and divided allegiance.

The governments of this world are ordained by God to take care of the things of this world. Their purpose is to promote restraint, and execute justice in a sinful world (Rom 13:1-4). To execute wrath, involves the punishment of those who do evil. This is the role of human government as ordained by God. Jesus however tells His followers to resist not evil (Matt 5:39). In this portion of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches us to turn the other cheek. If we are wronged we are not to retaliate, in fact we are to love our enemies, and do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who despitefully use us (Matt 5:38-45). 

Paul writes,

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. (Romans 12:19 KJV)

As Christians we are not called to avenge ourselves. We are called to forgive. It is the job of human government to execute justice. Once again, we are not of this world even though we live in it. We belong to the kingdom of heaven, and our job is to abide by the teachings of Christ, and expend ourselves in the promotion of His kingdom, not the kingdom of this world.

This does not mean that we live without government however. This same passage of scripture exhorts Christ’s followers to submit themselves to the government because it is ordained by God (Romans 13:1-7). We as Christians are not above law. We are called to submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the King, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men (1 Peter 2:13-15 KJV).

As Christians we are to be respectful of those in authority. We are to pay our tributes and taxes (Romans 13:6-7), rendering unto Cesar the things that are Cesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s (Matt 22:21). Finally, we are to pray for those in authority, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life (1 Tim 2:1-2). think how much could be accomplished for good if men would only seek God in prayer.

As citizens of another kingdom, we are to be living as foreigners in this world (Heb 11:13; 1 Peter 1:1). It is not for us to fix this world’s problems. We are not called to run it through government. Our task is to perpetuate God’s kingdom through the great commission, the making of disciples (Matt 28:19-20). Let us leave the world and its problems to the world, and instead, be concerned with the mandate of our Lord.

Two Kingdoms

There are two kingdoms; the kingdom of this world, and the kingdom of God. A proper understanding of this concept is vital to our Christian walk, as it effects how we live and act in every area of our lives.

First, there is the world. This is where mankind lives. From the beginning of creation, man has inhabited the globe. It is divided into continents and nations, kingdoms and dominions, where men of every tribe and tongue dwell. We all spend our lives in this world, from the day we are born, until the day we die.

This is the world that God created (Gen 1:1). We read that God has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation (Acts 17:26 KJV).

However, sin has marred this world. We see corruption and evil everywhere. What God created as good (Gen 1:31), was corrupted by the fall, and given over to the dominion of the devil.

And the devil, taking him up into a high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power I will give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. And if thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. Luke 4:5-7 KJV

The bible declares that this world is under the dominion of Satan, the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4). In John 12:31, he is called the prince of this world. (see also John 14:30, 16:11). 

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience. Eph 2:2 KJV.

This world is evil (Gal 1:4). Under the rule of Satan, the whole world lieth in wickedness (1 John 5:19). All of the wickedness that prevails in the world today, can be traced to the activity of Satan in this world, as he entices men to yield to his control.

Then we have the kingdom of heaven, also referred to as the kingdom of God. This kingdom is under the rule of Jesus Christ, and is filled with those who have committed their lives to follow Him. Unlike the kingdom of this world, where men are born physically into it, the kingdom of heaven can only be entered by the new birth (John 3:3,5). It is a spiritual kingdom that exists within this physical world we live in, yet separate from it. Those who have entered this kingdom as disciples of Jesus, live by the law of love. They love God with all of their heart, soul, and mind, and their neighbor as themselves ( Matt 22:37-40). They treat others in the same way that they would be treated (Matt 7:12).

The kingdom of heaven is made up of individuals who have renounced all for Christ (Luke 14:33). As Lord and King, Jesus is to be obeyed. Those who love Him, will keep His commandments (John 14:21). This kingdom is the opposite of the world. The world’s system is that of selfishness, while Christ’s kingdom is based upon sacrificial love,

 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:12-13 KJV.

Those who have entered the kingdom of God still live in this physical world, they are inhabitants of cities and countries, but their allegiance is now to Christ. They live as strangers and aliens (Heb 11:13). Jesus teaches us that as Christians, we are in, but not of, the world (John 17:9-16). This has great ramifications for us; it affects every area of our lives.

It is like an individual going to another country on business. He is in this country for an extended period of time. He is living in a foreign country, but not as a citizen. He does not participate in its politics, or get entangled in its affairs, because he is only there on business, and cannot let anything get in the way of that business. In the same way, the citizens of God’s kingdom are here in this world as ambassadors of Christ (2 Cor 5:20). They do not get entangled in  the affairs of this world (2 Tim 2:4), because they are called upon to make the business of the heavenly kingdom their priority (Matt 6:33).