Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Vanishing Conscience

(The following is an excerpt from John MacArthur's: Vanishing Conscience)

   "People who follow the culture rather than obey God's Word are utterly without excuse. "They know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death," Paul writes (v. 32). Their own consciences witness against them. They may suppress their sense of guilt now, but when they must give account to God, their own consciences will stand against them.
    Those who deal falsely with their own consciences place themselves under God's holy wrath even in this life. "God gives them over to a depraved mind' (v.28). In other words, it turns out that the damage they do to their own consciences is God's immediate judgement against them.  "This is their judgement," Jesus said, "that the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil" (Jn. 3:19). Those who reject the light are condemned to live in darkness. God gives them over to their own depravity, and their consciences ceases to function correctly.
     It is a wretched and horrifying state of affairs. Our society openly condones and defends the worst kinds of evil. Civilization as we know it has reached the deepest level of corruption and abides under a sentence of divine condemnation.  People's consciences have been seared, debased, obstructed, repressed, and overturned. Without a functioning conscience, people are destined only to sink deeper and deeper into wickedness. Humanity is merely storing up wrath against the day of wrath (Rom. 2:5).
    Is there hope? For those willing to repent and follow Christ, there is. They can "be saved from this perverse generation" (Acts 2:40). Their consciences can be renewed and cleansed (Heb. 9:14). They can become new creatures ( 2 Cor. 5:17).
     Can society itself be saved? Certainly not without full scale revival. Unless multitudes turn to Christ, the downward spiral is certain to continue.  With so many dampened consciences and hardened hearts, it would take a revival of unprecedented proportions to reverse the downward direction of our culture.  The problems are spiritual and cannot be solved through politics or education. Christians who believe political activism can reverse the trends in our society do not understand the nature of the problem. True believers must realize that the state of our society is the result of the righteous judgement of God.  God has not commissioned His people to reconstruct society.  We are not called to expend our energies for moral reform. We are salt- a preservative for a decaying generation (Matt. 5:13).  And we are lights designed to shine in a way that enables people who see our good works to glorify our heavenly Father (vv. 14-16). In other words, our primary task is to preach the truth of God's Word, live in obedience to that truth, and keep ourselves unstained by the world (James 1:27).  Our influence on society must be the fruit of that kind of living, not the product of fleshly energy or political clout.
    What we can do, and must do, is keep our own consciences pure. We must saturate our minds and hearts with the truth of Scriptures and refuse to yield to the spirit of our age.  To do that, we must understand our own sinfulness and know how to deal with our sins. "


  1. Hello, I linked here from Sola Sisters blog where you left a comment. This is a very edifying blog. Thank you for sharing your testimony at the bottom, it was wonderful to read. I have learned a lot from Johnny Mac but have never read any of his books. I'm looking forward to reading this one and many others.

  2. Your welcome Charlene! Thank you for commenting on that! God is so good! Can't wait til He comes for us!