Marvin L. Weir
Just as Pilate asked, “What is truth” (John 18:38), many today are asking “what is right” and “what is wrong?” Right and wrong is not some gray, nebulous, difficult to grasp matter that so many people today want you to believe. God has not left man to wonder what He has declared to be right and wrong. Under the Old Covenant, the priests were to teach Israel God’s law, and all matters were to be settled by the law. Moses recorded,
…and thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days: and thou shalt inquire; and they shall show thee the sentence of judgment. And thou shalt do according to the tenor of the sentence which they shall show thee from that place which Jehovah shall choose; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they shall teach thee: according to the tenor of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do; thou shalt not turn aside from the sentence which they shall show thee, to the right hand, nor to the left. And the man that doeth presumptuously, in not hearkening unto the priest that standeth to minister there before Jehovah thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel” (Deut. 17:9-12).
In Deuteronomy 28:14 the Bible states, “and shalt not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.” God makes it abundantly clear that one must choose between right and wrong, and that there will be a penalty for deviating from following His commands.
The phrase that indicates people did “that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah” is found 48 times in the Bible. It is found 19 times in the book of 2 Kings. The phrase that indicates people did “that which was right in the sight of Jehovah” is found 18 times in the Bible. It is found 7 times in the book of 2 Kings. The point is that God has stipulated that there is such a thing as “right” and “wrong.” God never takes pleasure in wrong-doing, and it is utter folly for one to think that unrepentant behavior will go unpunished!
The folly and penalty of choosing wrong over right is made known throughout the Bible. Long ago Job records, “According as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, And sow trouble, reap the same” (4:8). The wise man, Solomon, declares, “He that soweth iniquity shall reap calamity; And the rod of his wrath shall fail” (Prov. 22:8). In the New Testament, the apostle Paul states an eternal principle, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth unto his own flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth unto the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap eternal life” (Gal. 6:7-8). Adam Clarke comments on Galatians 6:8 as follows:
…he that sows to the flesh-who indulges his sensual and animal appetites, shall have corruption as the crop: you cannot expect to lead a bad life and go to heaven at last. According as your present life is, so will be your eternal life; whether your sowing be to the flesh or to the Spirit, so will your eternal reaping be.
People decide and freely choose to do either right or wrong. A child can have godly parents and choose to live an ungodly life. Hezekiah, one of the best kings of Judah, had a son, Manasseh, who was one of Judah’s worst kings (2 Kings 20:21-21:18). A child can have ungodly parents and choose to live a godly life. Amon was a wicked king who “served the idols” (2 Kings 21:21) and “forsook Jehovah” and walked not in His ways (2 Kings 21:22). Yet Amon’s son, Josiah, chose to do “that which was right in the eyes of Jehovah, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left” (2 Kings 22:2). People, regardless of their environment, training, or circumstances in life, are indeed able to determine their own eternal destinies. Let us learn the following:
A love for worldliness is never right and will cost one his soul. The Bible says, “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 vain glory 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 for ever” (1 John 2:15-17). Adam Clarke said:
The love of God and the love of earthly things are incompatible. If you give place to the love of the world, the love of God cannot dwell in you; and if you have not his love, you can have no peace, no holiness, no heaven.
Sexual immorality is never right and will cost one his soul. Today’s society is at ease with the sexual arrangement of one’s choice. The unmarried commit fornication because they so desire. The married commit adultery for the same reason—they want to! Those who are homosexuals commit an abomination because they choose to do that which is unnatural and unholy. In other words, it is what they desire to do (Lev. 18:22; 20:13). None of the above people desire to serve God —they would much rather serve self! The Bible reminds all who will hear, “know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with men, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
“Will-worship” (Col. 2:23) is never right and will cost one his soul. To please God one must worship “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). One must have authority from God for his worship and service to be acceptable (Col. 3:17). The truth of the matter is that both right and wrong choices are available. Which will you choose? Your soul is at stake, and there will be an eternity to reflect upon your decision!