How can I Know Right from Wrong?

It is no longer true that everyone knows the difference between right and wrong. All mankind has been equipped by the Creator with a moral conscience, but this inner sense of “right” has been sorely obscured by sin and human philosophy. The heart of man is unchanged. A heart that is full of sin cannot be made more full. However, restraints are gone, and the line of separation between good and evil has almost disappeared. Sin and evil are not new, but at least in the past, the wrong was correctly labeled. Today men “call evil good, and good evil.” They “put darkness for light, and light for darkness” (Isa 5:20). This mixture of light and darkness is the masterpiece of Satan (2 Thess 2:7).

Even genuine Christians are affected by this sad mixture of right and wrong. Almost anyone can identify as being evil such sins as “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like” (Gal 5:19-21). Are we only commanded to be separate from the world of drugs, murder and immorality, or are we called to follow the footsteps of our Lord (2 Cor 6:14-18)?

When it is difficult to distinguish right from wrong, a few good questions can help.

  1. Is this deed obedience to God’s Word or disobedience? “To obey is better than sacrifice” Duty is good, devotion is better.
  2. Can I do it in His Name (Col 3:17)? Is it acting for Him? Is it for His Glory?
  3. Can I give God thanks for it?
  4. Will it conform me to the world?
  5. Will it lessen my appetite for the things of God?
  6. Will it decrease or increase my love to Christ?
  7. Will it help or hinder my worship?
  8. Is it a redeeming of the brief time I have left in this world?
  9. Is it seeking satisfaction elsewhere than in Christ? Remember a little of this world or all of it cannot satisfy the heart.
  10. Is it destroying my desire for the pure Word of God?
  11. Will it stumble others? This is a serious possibility – stumbling a weak brother (1 Cor 8 & Rom 14).
  12. Would I want to be doing it at the moment of the Rapture?