|Volume 22 Number 5 May 2020||
Good Morals or God's Morals?
David R. Kenney
Whose morals are we following: God’s morals or ones we deem are “good?” Remember this exchange between the “Good Teacher” and an inquiring student: “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God” (Matthew 19:17 NKJV)? It appears Jesus was refocusing this student’s attention on the fact that God is the one who sets the standard for what is truly “good.” Jesus was pointing the student to His Father as the source of good. Of course, Jesus being the Son of God is good as well. Perhaps the student had lost sight of the Creator of goodness and where the standards of goodness were found. Perhaps Jesus was reminding the student without denying His relationship to the Father. Perhaps the question was one to wake the student up to the connection between the Father, the Torah and the Messiah. Perhaps we need to be reminded in our day that certain areas of society may claim to be good, but without God, their standard of goodness becomes their preferences and is subjective, whereas God’s standard of goodness is righteousness and immutable.
I was watching video advertising “MasterClass” sessions. One of these “masters” stated, “You are driven by your heart. You are driven by your talent. You are driven by your instinct.” This master is a part of the same publishing house that produces Teen Vogue which features articles that continue to promote sexual deviancy in our youth in such ways I hesitate to even mention. One has to wonder who is driving the standards of good in that organization! Our society has lost its connection of God and good.
When science forgets God, the standards of good are up for grabs. You see this in such things as abortion called choice, embryo stem cell research as imperative and other questionably ethical practices. The scientific imperative without God is on the wrong course!
When society forgets God, the standards of good are up for grabs. You begin to see such things as euthanasia which is euphemistically called “mercy killing.” First it is a voluntary decision; in time, as God is further pushed away, it will be involuntary.
When religion forgets God, the standards of good are up for grabs. You begin to see such things as the acceptance of abortion, support for LGBTQ and “same-sex marriage” advocacy.
When politics forgets God, the standards of good are up for grabs. Since I try to refrain from discussing political parties from the pulpit, I’ll just leave this one as self-evident.
When schools forget God, the standards of good are up for grabs. We see God’s name, prayer and pledges of dependence upon Him being pushed out. We see Christianity suppressed and pluralism embraced to the point that we have paganism in nearly every city without even a thought about it. In fact, some towns have given paganism a forum on their public square!
When libraries forget God, the standards of good are up for grabs. There have been stories of public libraries parading sexual perversity before children by have reading hours hosted by drag queens. Who could have even imagined such being considered “good” for our children or anyone else for that matter?
Paul wrote, “because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21). Without God, that which is “good” is up for grabs and darkness follows. We know where this path leads. We must warn others to change course. God is good!
Man is neither pleased nor happy when he finds certain things empty. He is not happy when he finds the gas tank on his vehicle empty. He is not happy when he finds his bank account empty. He is not happy to find the cabinet or refrigerator without food. While man is not pleased or happy with these events, man can be pleased and happy that the tomb in which Jesus was buried was found empty. Jesus came, died, was buried and rose again. What can we learn from this empty tomb?
The empty tomb teaches us that man is going to live again. Job asked the questions recorded in Job 14:14, “If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time, will I wait until my change comes?” Man has always asked the question about life after death. Some believe that man does not live after death (Sadducees). There is a saying that expresses this idea: “Dead like Rover, dead all over.” However, regarding humans, this is a false idea.
There is life after death for man. The Bible teaches this in John 5:28-29, where it reads, “Marvel not at this, for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
The empty tomb teaches us that man has a Living Savior—not a dead one! Some people are serving dead saviors (Buddha, Mohammed). These men are dead. However, Christ Jesus, who arose from the tomb, is alive forevermore. Jesus recorded in Revelation 1:18, “I am he that liveth and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and death.” Man should be happy and pleased to know that a living Savior can be beneficial to him. A living Savior can help man (Hebrews 2:18). A living Savior is able to save man (Hebrews 7:25). Not only is He alive, but He is actively working for us.
The empty tomb teaches us that man will face judgment. The Bible teaches us that there will be a judgment. Moreover, God has given man assurance that the judgment will come because He raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 17:30-31).
So, then, there are at least three lessons that we can learn from a tomb that once held Jesus. The empty tomb lets man know that just as Jesus rose from the grave, man also shall be resurrected. Since He is no longer in the grave, He is a Living Savior who will return and judge mankind in the last great day.