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If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10)
We should be aware that our present standards, both culturally and personally, has in these last decades changed for the worse. What was considered a low in the past generation is now considered a norm (normal).
Before one was told not to talk in school or chew bubble gun, but now students are told not to take knives and guns to school and don't take guns.
This does not mean that our former high standard was good or perfect, but it does clearly indicate how far we have slid down the dangerous moral sin slide into its pit of slime. The deeper the slime, the more difficult to escape it. (By the way I am speaking from an American’s perspective and realize other cultures might be growing or have other signs pointing to their departure from upright standards.)
Is it not true that what can be seen around us in the media are unimaginable to those living fifty years ago? Today, sexual sins, include adultery, fornication, and sodomy, are considered and even defended as normal or rights. Divorce has simply become a choice. Gambling, abortion, immodesty, and violence have so far degraded that one wonders whether it can get any worse!
Our situation has worsened due to our sinful pride. We end up being prideful as long as we:
(1) act better than the norm (i.e. culture) around us
(2) feel as if we are doing quite well.
But this leads to a devastating no-change policy. The videos we watch and music we hear are filled with sensual allusions and actually have degraded into open vulgarity. We assume that just so we are condemning those worse than ourselves, that we are doing fine. In fact we are only a little higher than they on that slippery slope. We are descending the same moral slide and going in the same direction!
“They bend their tongue like a bow; falsehood and not truth has grown strong in the land; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know me, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:3 ESV).
Society's lows always chase falsehood. Notice in Jeremiah 9:3 how the growth of falsehood grows in parallel to evil. When evil proceeds from bad to worse, one can be sure that (1) that lying has become more prominent and (2) those speaking do not know the Lord.
Reform comes as people pursue the truth, that is, they believe seeking the general good of people will be acceptable and therefore they can be transparent with their goals and policies. Only those who know that their choices are sacked with self-interests have to hide their real purposes.
Our only hope is for conviction to arise which will reverse the trend and restore us to God’s standards. There are two situations in which conviction arise.
(1) The first occurs when we see that our low has gone below those around us. Our low has sunk below the culture around us. We are humbled. We see our sin and seek God for cleansing.
The problem is that if we only go back to our former standards, then no real good has occurred. At that point we need to rethink our standards and adopt God's standards. They can become firmly adopted as principles by which we form policies, private or societal.
(2) The second possibility occurs when by some spiritual experience, we get a glimpse of God's standards and see our desperate plight which then leads to repentance and adoption of God's standards. This is known as revival, when the society is in a great way affected by the holy standard of God.