(Article for publication week of 2-22-21012 AD)
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
It is the duty of all men to keep the commandments of God. Dear reader, this is YOUR clear duty as a rational creature of God to keep His commandments.
First of all, let us emphasize that God has a right to demand your obedience. God has a right to demand your obedience because He made you for His Own glory. God is the Absolute Despot of the universe and He will run things the way He wants to. You need to wake up and realise that this is not “Burger King.” You CANT have it your way! God will have it His way, or no way. Now that is the truth and you had better believe it.
Secondly, it is your duty to keep God’s commandments because they are holy and just. God’s law is a reflection of His Own Holy and Righteous Character. God cannot command anything that is not right and good (that is, and keep being God). “His commandments are not grievous” (I John 5:3). If everybody obeyed the Ten Commandments, it would indeed be a perfect world. It is your duty to keep God’s commandments because He said to, because it would be for His glory, for your good, and for your neighbor’s good.
Now, we need to see that God demands a perfect conformity to His commandments. God is not grading us on a “curve”. He is judging us by His perfect standard. God is not impressed that you have a little more outward morality than your neighbour. God is not impressed that you have been moral enough to stay out of the jailhouse. God requires that you keep His commandments perfectly and continually, outwardly and inwardly. Your duty is to do everything that God has commanded. Now how answerest thou? Have you done everything God requires? If you lack one thing, you are condemned by the holy law of God, and God will render unto you according to your deeds.
Not only are you condemned for not positively doing everything God requires, but you are condemned if you have done anything that God prohibits. If you lived a life of perfect obedience for 100 years, and then on the last day of your life committed a sin, you would deserve the fires of hell for eternity. What about it dear Reader, have you committed any sins in your life?
We need to also see that the scriptures tell us that God will judge us for the very secret things in our minds and hearts. Our Lord taught that we break the sixth commandment by unjust anger, low esteem for our fellow man, and by an unforgiving spirit (Matthew 5:21-26). He also taught that we break the seventh commandment by lust and unscriptural divorce (Matthew 5:27-32).
I hope you are beginning to see the solemn truth of Romans 3:23, “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Dear reader, if you have to stand before God on your own, and give an account of yourself, you are in a precarious position. May God have mercy upon you.