Should everyone follow Christian teaching?

  • Should we expect non-Christians to abide by Christian teaching and morality?
  • Should everyone follow Bible teaching?
  • Should everyone believe in Jesus?
  • Should the laws of the land enforce Bible teaching?

Yes AND No.

  • Yes – Because it is God’s will and purpose. It’s the best way to go, following the maker’s instructions. People would be better off doing so. Society would be working properly. The environment would be cared for better.
  • NO – because they don’t have God’s wisdom. They follow their own wisdom, not God’s

'For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. ' Romans 1:20-22,24 

Right from the start the failure of humans to honour, trust and submit to their creator God has caused broken relationships between humans and God, between humans other humans and between humans and the creation itself.  Read Genesis chapter 3.

17To Adam he said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, “You must not eat from it,” ‘Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18It will produce thorns and thistles for you,and you will eat the plants of the field. 19By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.’
Then see Romans 8:20-23 to see the results:
20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21thatthe creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.

'Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. ' John 8:34 

This is not a popular or comfortable teaching but it's true that people are slaves to sin. Being slaves to sin means that they cannot stop sinning. This means everyone: 'For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, ' Romans 3:23. God's standard is perfection and not a single person except Jesus Christ has lived who has reached that standard. Try as we might, we just can't be as good as God.

Falling short in this way puts us completely out of touch with God; so much so that our relationship with God is non-existant and we can do nothing about it.

The only hope is if God does us a favour and reaches out to us:

'All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. ' Ephesians 2:3-5  

Sin makes us dead to God.  A dead person can do nothing to change their state. In fact, unless God acts, they are so helpless, so hopeless they don't even want to change their state. 

Jesus sent his spirit, the Holy Spirit, to personally communicate with people and open their eyes to reality, to the fact that the essence of sin is to not believe in Jesus.

There is one simple test: do you believe in Jesus?

'But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because people do not believe in me; ' John 16:7-9 

That's why we so often hear the basic message: 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

This becomes clear to people when the Holy Spirit convicts them of sin, let's them see what Jesus has done for them and who he is.  That is, they can see that Jesus is their Saviour and Lord.

The Holy Spirit gives new birth, they are born again and made new creatures.

'Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! ' 2 Corinthians 5:17

But until that happens the good news, the gospel of the Bible remains a mystery for non-Christians.

'...the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. ' John 14:17 

We can try to share God’s wisdom but expect to be treated as fools.

but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 1 Corinthians 1:23 

This is serious:

It's not what God wants but to those who do not believe in Jesus and therefore ignore his teaching God effectively says, "do it your way."  There will be consequences you will live and die with.

We might be accused of trying to force our beliefs on others but, being realistic, we cannot. God doesn't force people to obey him either.

Just because an opinion is popular, if it is not in accordance with the wisdom of God then we are not required to agree or approve of it.

In fact we must take care that the so-called wisdom of the world is not forced on us and avoid its indoctrination.

We can tell people that we understand which is the wise way to go, that we intend to behave that way, to share our opinions and even vote accordingly.  We won't be surprised if that offends some people and we know that others will disagree with us and want us to change to their way of thinking. But Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).

See also Christian Standards

See also Christian teaching and morality

1432 Modified: 08-09-2023
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