This is an article I read, written by a good friend and wonderful man of God, James Groce.
I believe everyone will benefit by looking inside and evaluating our conscience
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith,
giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;”
Far too many people have an unconscious conscience. Most people seem to think that their conscience is a stable product of the spirit of man. They feel that it needs no education or instruction. We are seeing a generation today that has lost the ability to blush. The reality is, our conscience might have become useless because we have abused it or ignored it. Titus 1:15, “Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure. But nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are defiled.”
Whether some like it or not — the basic form of man’s conscience is in dire need of spiritual education — while most have the basic feelings of right and wrong to a degree — their conscience needs to go to school to learn how to perform even better — hence the work of the Word must take place.
There appears to be many so-called church people that have an unconscious conscience — it is far inferior to what God designed for the Christian. The world and the mature Christian serve two very different consciences. We need more conscience education in church than ever before……..
A good conscience is enlightening because it is taught and by the Word of God. It is like a window that lets light into a room. The more light that enters, the better we can see areas that need to be cleaned up or changed. The more knowledge we have about God, the better our conscience will work. Knowledge and Conscience work together. The reason that some people consciences do not bother them is because they haven’t the knowledge to enlighten their consciences.
In this present age of “self-guidance” we see a deterioration of God’s way of salvation. And nowhere does it show itself more sadly than in the removal of God’s choice of “the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” I heard one very dim bulb say that “How shall they hear without a preacher,” meant NOT some MAN-MINISTRY but it could be “any thing” that would “preach” to man — and along with conscience “that is all that is needed — there is no need of Bible preaching or of a collective church gathering.” Amazingly this mentality seems to be the norm among many people today….. take a look about…..
Today’s over-fleshly crowd has made naming sin politically incorrect. They use “sexual preference” or “alternative lifestyle” to refer to what God calls vile affections, “sexually active” for fornication, “chemical dependency” for drunkenness. We no longer lie; we “embellish or stretch the truth.” Children are no longer unruly or disobedient; they have either “Oppositional Defiant Disorder Syndrome” or “Antisocial Personality Disorder Syndrome.” Today they wish to spell sin “syn”. And live with a conscience that is unconscious and out for the count!
With all the flim-flam prevalent among Pentecostal ranks these days it would do us well to remember one of the major functions of the Spirit is: John 16:8 “When He has come, He will convince the world of sin, and of righteousness and of judgment.”
What seems to make a lot of people angry today is what Paul rejoiced over:
2 Corinthians 7:9-10 “Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death.”
Without conscience there is no conviction (one of the reasons we are seeing so many “conviction-less” revivals (so-called). Conviction is an awareness of our sinfulness, of God’s righteousness and the great gulf that spans between the two.
Conviction cries out as those who listening to Peter on the day of Pentecost were pierced through to the heart with conviction, “What shall we do?” implying an apprehension of one’s peril and a sense of guilt but also a readiness to yield completely to the claims of God. To which Peter’s reply is found in Acts 2:38. Today instead of “What shall we do” we are hearing “Where’s the entertainment?”
The world says, “let your conscience be your guide.” But that’s not always a good idea. You can’t always do that because conscience doesn’t set the standard of right and wrong, it only applies the standards that you’ve been taught. Conscience is like a thermostat — it can be set to operate at many different levels.
Conscience is like a sundial–you can shine a flashlight on a sundial and make it say anything you want, if you hold it from the right angle. I’ve actually heard people with sin issues when confronted–only to hear back from them that they don’t feel it’s wrong. “I’m ok with it–I don’t believe it’s sin,” they are saying. Well, truth isn’t based on feeling it’s based on fact. Their conscience is still there, it’s just been defiled!
Conscience is like a window, and the light coming thru the window is the Word of God. The dirtier the window, the less light gets thru–it isn’t as pure–it blocks the light.
Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Rom 2:15 Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;
This is the “given” in every man at the beginning. Its objective is to eventually allow man to pay recognition to a higher authority than themselves and to allow the gospel of repentance to work in their lives when the gospel is preached. It is the basis of morality among men — but has its limits in its basic condition — it must be lead to higher heights and deeper depths by regeneration and instruction in righteousness via the Word of God as schooled by the Spirit of God.
Acts 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.