The morals of our day have dropped close to those of Sodom and Gomorrah, which God destroyed with fire from heaven (Genesis 19:24). As we look around us in the world we see prophecy coming to pass. Conditions are getting worse--but then let us look at the religious world and see how the standard has continued to drop to the place where today there is very little difference between the standards of the secular and the religious worlds.
Moral standards began to drop as the religious world took on the status of the secular world. God's people cannot fellowship with the world and remain the same. When moral decay begins, it is like opening the door, and the floods come in to destroy completely. When people know God, yet do not worship Him as God, they open themselves up to deception, and God will let them dishonor themselves amongst themselves.
The church is the pillar and ground of the truth (I Timothy 3:15). When a group of believers moves off the ground of truth and drops its standard of holiness, allowing sin to move into its midst, that gathering ceases to be the pillar and ground of the truth. The Scripture tells us that "a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough" (I Corinthians 5:6). Jesus has said, "You shall know the truth and it shall make you free." Sin hardens hearts and blinds eyes, but much more than this, it separates man from God. Man may overlook, but God is concerned with "every jot and tittle." The world will pass away, but God's Word will stand. "Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). "As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior. Because it is written, you shall be holy, for I am holy" (I Peter 1:14-15). God's standard of holiness is Himself, not just a set of rules. God's people are to be holy because God is holy. If we are in Christ we will keep His commandments.
When coldness creeps into a gathering, morals are not the first thing to be affected. Standards are affected, and then gradually sin is allowed into the lives of members. Once sin in any of its expressions is overlooked, we know it won't be long before the moral standards are dropped. Then there are no absolutes; everything is gray, with no black or white. Sin blinds, and we cannot know, nor do we want to know God's way of holiness. When a gathering allows sin, it brings with it a rebellion against the strict demand of God's love, which is holiness. We can never approach the subject of holiness from the viewpoint of our opinion, intellect, reasoning, or the "letter of the law." Holiness can only be understood and walked in by the Spirit of God. The beginning place is, do we have a heart for God? If we have a heart for God, we can go to God's Word and He can speak to us.
People of the world do not have a heart for God. They are dead in their sins, living unto themselves and after the lusts of the flesh and mind. They are sowing to the flesh, and will reap what they have sown. Try as they might, they cannot stop the reaping. But we can stop sowing to the flesh by coming to Christ and making Him Lord, and by beginning to sow to the Spirit. For as long as we continue to sow we will continue to reap. If we sow to the flesh it results in death; if we set our minds on the flesh, death results. That death is eternal death--there is only one hope for life and that hope is Christ. He is the only One who can give us life when we are dead in sin.
The Spirit of God is given to guide us into all truth, and to give us the power or ability to be a witness to His life and nature. Christians cannot walk in the Spirit and continue to sin, for this is a contradiction of His Life and Word. Romans 8:4 tells us that "the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." The walk in the Spirit is a walk in obedience to the Word of God.
As Christians, what do we look to for our standard of morality? The answer is, God's Word. What is the standard for morals of those who are not Christian? The answer is still the same; God has set forth the standards. In most of our world today, men are under the rule of ungodly men and forms of government. But even those who deny God recognize that the moral laws God has set forth are a must, if a country or a people are to be brought to a unity in purpose. In the natural realm, when the morals of a country or people decline, the fall of that people is close at hand. We can see that God has set forth the standard for morals, whether it be in the community of His people, or in the world; and when man sows to the flesh he must reap corruption. God is not a respecter of persons.
When people are not under God's law they are lawless, and come to that place where they begin to destroy themselves. Our society has come close to the point where it doesn't want to punish when moral laws are broken. The human rights movement of our day has brought us almost to the place where every man is a law unto himself. This is all part of the moral decay in our time. Scripture tells us that "as the days of Noah, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be...marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be" (Matthew 24:37-39).
The devil always hits at God's order. In the Garden of Eden, Satan tempted Eve by getting her to act on her own. He pulled her out from under her spiritual covering, which was Adam. Satan has always tried to divide what God has said is one. If he can get man to move separately from God's law, then man plays right into Satan's hand and destroys himself. When men or courts divide what God has said is one, our moral decay has already begun; judgment is sure to follow. As in the days of Noah, we may think everything is going along fine and judgment will not come--but judgment is sure.
When marriage is broken, the decay of the family is well on its way. The decline in morals follows, with accelerated effects on children. This spreads to every area of our society. The alarming thing is, nobody seems to care about anything except satisfying his own lusts. With this as a goal there can be no true lasting happiness, because it is built upon the wrong foundation.