Audio by : John MacArthur "Morality Damns"
There is a high regard for people who claim they are “moral right”, as history has shown. We can go back as far as the first century AD, Jesus spoke damning words against the moral right. A perfect example is a parable by Jesus.
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, his man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 18:9-14
The parable is about this upstanding and moral right Pharisee and a Tax collector. Jesus addresses this behavior again in Matthew 23:10-12
A tax collector was considered to be a no good individual who also cheated people when collecting taxes for personal gain before handing over a portion to the Roman Government. Whatever inflated taxes the tax collector said he collected from people were then given to the Romans. Matthew a tax collector in the town of Capernaum in Israel, Capernaum is also the same town Jesus was a teacher in the synagogue and he met Matthew who became one of Jesus Apostle.
The parable doesn’t say the name of the tax collector. But Jesus saw a tax collector as a man with a humble heart; despite being known as a corrupt individual. The Roman tax system also made a tax collector charge more just to gain a profit, collecting taxes meant you also had to be able to write and keep good records of all transaction from merchants. The Pharisee’s despised people like tax collectors; they were viewed as low life and the unjust and in the same category of the poor. The Pharisee thought of himself as the moral right person because he followed the laws of God and boast about it. He thinks of himself as better than other men like the unjust the poor and law breakers, wealth was considered a blessing from God. The Pharisee really didn’t have a good heart; he looked down on others and became moral right as a man who is obedient to the law, and his justification for being a man of God.
Should a Christian put the moral right person in their place?
Christians are justified by faith; faith is also a relationship with Christ. There are people who apply self-justification based on some kind of moral behavior. Over the years I have met so many people who think that their good deeds along with morality are somehow going to make you a Godly person. Good deeds and morality alone is not what the scripture teaches. There are so many people who believe that being moral right is the way a person can get into the Kingdom of Heaven.
What I hear at times when someone makes a statement that a person should wait until judgment day and let God be the Judge, it is one of the most dangerous and a common notion many people make. The notion that good deeds and moral behavior in some way will grant you access into the Kingdom. This idea is unbiblical and doesn’t even come close to the word of God. People will also quote one of the most misunderstood verses. “Do not judge let God be the judge” These verses are used for their self-justification, Matthew 7:1-5. It is based on what you should do before you judge someone. Sometimes I have to refer to John 7:24 because most of the time we judge on appearance. God will hand down judgment on all men who never receive Christ. A person needs to save his or her soul through Christ before waiting for Judgement. All who faces judgment will be found guilty of sin.
It is written when Christ returns those who are alive in Christ along with those that died with Christ; their names are written in the book of life and will be resurrected first to be with him. Revelation 21:22-27. Those who did not come to know Christ those living and those dead will all be resurrected at the second resurrection. The second resurrection of the damned will face a White Throne Judgement.
The names that were not found in the Book of life will be found guilty along with the Devil and his angel, even those with good deeds waiting to be judged? Revelation 20:11-15. All who died and those who are alive without Christ has built up a lifetime of sins that cannot be paid back, neither will any amount of good deeds will pay for your sins. A sovereign God has no choice but to hand down a lifetime of punishment. In our society when someone is caught after a lifetime of crime and goes before a Judge he or she leaves the Judge no choice but to hand down punishment, even though he or she may have done some good deeds along the way.
For those who are waiting to be judged will soon find out that your moral character and good deeds will not pay for your lifetime of sin. Sin is a daily occurrence and becomes a mountain of debt; sin cannot be paid back with works. Jesus Christ is the only one that can forgive sins. The forgiven are already innocent and God has those names are written down in the Book of Life, any person who is waiting for judgment will be found guilty of sin
Matthew 23:13-37 Jesus comes down on the morale right Pharisees like a ton of bricks exposing their hypocrisy. As you read we see Jesus calling them fools and blind men and hypocrites over and over again, dead men’s bones and all uncleanness on the inside, but appear righteous on the outside but is evil on the inside. Jesus doesn’t stop there; he calls them Serpents, brood of vipers and then finally asks how can you escape the condemnation of hell. Jesus then tells the disciples of the destruction of the Temple, built by the moral right Pharisees. Matthew 24:1-2.
A section of the ruins about 4th century reconstructed Capernaum synagogue
Jesus said only God is good (Luke 18:19) all men have sinned fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and no amount of works can make a man good. (Ephesians 2:8-9) If man was good he would be without sin. God’s Holy standard is too high for any man to achieve goodness.
I have found myself over the years in a few similar situations dealing with moral right people. As a Christian, you may need to put the moral right in their place, by explaining what is said in the scriptures. Many people have a false sense of what a Christian can say and not say and do. The complaint usually is “those kinds of words are un-Christian like or one’s behavior is un-Christian like”.
The descriptive words, Jesus uses are justified, but from those who consider themselves to be morally right, they will say those are the wrong choice of words and even fellow Christian who are still growing in his or her own faith. Christians are not of the world and should not use morality and political correctness to defend the faith. When Jesus uses damming words to put people in their place, Jesus has no choice, but to be honest and call people who they are like hypocrite’s fools and vipers, God is holy and cannot lie or use political correctness or moral correctness, Jesus uses righteous judgment.
After writing Christianity vs. Morality, I found supporting commentary by John MacArthur.
This is an 8-minute audio excerpt called “Morality Damns”. The recording was edited to sound with still video clips from “The Deadly Dangers of Moralism.” A full version By John MacArthur.
John MacArthur “Morality Damns”
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