Summary: Why Are Christians Afraid to Listen to Conscience?
Conscience Isolates Every Man
Why Are Christians Afraid to Listen to Conscience?
Introduction: Some in the Christian church are not sure of what they believe about the human conscience. The Word of God reminds us that conscience is always on God’s side, judging conduct in the light of the moral law, either excusing or accusing. Conscience is only a joke to many in our day. It seems almost unbelievable that it has gotten to the point where we must defend the whole concept of human conscience if we are to speak of it seriously.
I. The definitions of conscience.
1.Always refers to right and wrong.
2. In the Scriptures means an inward awareness
3. The secret presence of Christ, the ground of conscience.
II. The Bible example of the operation of Conscience.
1. The hypocritical condition of the Jewish religious leaders.
2. Their plot to use the woman to discredit Jesus’ teaching.
3. Their hatred was for Jesus-not for her sin or the broken law.
4. "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone!"
5. The men leave, ashamed and silent, one by one.
6. Operation of the conscience-it smites the inner life and isolates, setting us off all by ourselves.
Ill. Examples of what men do with their Conscience
1. They turn aside from a good conscience.
2. Some allow their conscience to become seared.
3. Some are living with a defiled conscience.
4. The blessings of the conscience "sprinkled from evil works."
IV. Conclusion; it may be fatal to silence the inner voice.
9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
IT IS a foregone conclusion in our generation that a minister of the gospel will have a hard time padding out his popularity in the pulpit by bearing down hard on the subject of the human conscience.
What is happening to us in the Christian church-that we no longer believe in the human conscience? I believe that God has given us a faithful witness in-side of our own being, and that it is able to single a man out, and reveal his loneliness, the loneliness of a single soul in the universe going on to meet an angry God. That’s the terror of the conscience.
Why should the church be afraid to admit to conscience, when the Word of God has much to say about it, and reminding us that conscience is always on God’s side? It judges conduct in the light of the moral law, and as the Bible says, excuses or accuses.
Not long ago I preached on the conscience in another state, and an elderly brother took me aside after the message and told me that he had developed a great burden for me as a minister because of my sermon. Obviously, he didn’t believe in the human conscience. Another man, who is in some ways an evangelical ’bigwig,’ also came to me, and with the same burden-the idea that conscience is to be pushed aside.
Now, I say that hell has done that by propaganda. bringing into disrepute many of life’s verities, including the conscience. When conscience is mentioned now in learned circles, it is mentioned only with a smirk. And that’s one way the devil has of getting rid of things-get humans to make jokes about them. It is part of the process of the corruption of our minds, for whenever any humor takes holy things for its object, that humor is devilish.
The light that lights every man that comes into the world is not a joking matter. That power that God has set in the human breast and which can isolate a soul and hang it between heaven and hell, as lonely as if God had created only that single soul-that is not a joking matter. Joke about politics, if you must joke-they are usually funny, anyway-but don’t joke about God, and don’t joke about conscience, nor death nor life, nor the cross nor prayer. We are fast becoming in our day the greatest bunch of sacrilegious jokesters in the world.
It has gotten to the point where we must defend the whole concept of human conscience if we are to speak of it seriously. That seems almost unbelievable, but it is true.
I cannot ignore that which the universal wisdom of the race has approved-the idea of there being a conscience within the heart of man. I will not ignore that which the universal testimony of all peoples and all ages have confirmed. Neither will I defend that which the Christian Scriptures take for granted, in most places, and in some instances clearly teach.