When I evangelize on the streets, anyone who gives me the time of day readily admits he or she breaks one of the ten commandments. Who hasn’t lied, stolen, or coveted? A lot of people, surprisingly enough, will not admit to coveting (“I have never been jealous of anyone in my whole life.”) Yeah right, but let’s move on.
Some people respond, “How do I know that moral standard in the ten commandments is even true?”
A lot of people trained in the Way of the Master method of street evangelism would not know what to say. Perhaps, the following may help.
In such a conversation, I usually respond with that:
- We all know there is a right and wrong. If you get punched in the face right now, obviously you will feel wronged. So, we know there are moral standards of some sort.
- While I cannot prove to you that my set of moral standards are true, I don’t have to. You do not even follow your own moral standards! Who always follows his own conscience.?
We can see the same thing at work in Rom 2:14-16–
For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.
Our consciences defend us when we know that we do right. They also accuse us when we know that we do wrong. Unregenerate children of wrath feel guilty all the time about the messed up things they do. They have a conscience.
So, the concept above is simple enough and in my mind very important to understand when evangelizing to a lost world. On a final note, when reading Ezekiel I came across a passage that teaches the same thing that God has never opened my eyes to recognize before:
Therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Because you have more turmoil than the nations which surround you and have not walked in My statutes, nor observed My ordinances, nor observed the ordinances of the nations which surround you,’ therefore, thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I, even I, am against you, and I will execute judgments among you in the sight of the nations’ (Ezek 5:7-8).
As we can see, Judah is under judgment not only for breaking the Law of God, but they could not even hold the standards of pagans. So, in my final estimation, our problem is not that we have not followed the Jewish Law specifically. The problem is that we cannot fulfill the ordinances of any Law whatsoever. The Jewish Law, the government’s, a foreign nation’s, and our own conscience.
“According to their conduct I will deal with them, and by their judgments I will judge them. And they will know that I am the Lord” (Ezek 7:27).
Seeing that you are such an immoral piece of trash by anyone’s (including your own) standards, don’t you know that you are under a just God’s judgment? And, if so, don’t you want a Savior?
Ed: This article was made when I was a Protestant and upon greater learning and reflection my thoughts may have evolved.
Perhaps a good follow-up question would be: “Do you ever violate your conscience?”
Well, I do. And i am not ashamed to say i needed a Savior and need the Savior.