Lesson 11 - What’s Behind Rising Crime, Violence, and Immorality?

What’s behind the dramatic upsurge in violent crime in our society? A major U.S. magazine described our nation as “America the Violent.” Another article tragically stated that 23,700 people were murdered in our country in a recent year. The average 18-year-old has witnessed 200,000 violent acts on television, including 40,000 murders.

Murder, robbery, rape, school violence, drugs, terrorism—what’s gone wrong? Why is the moral fabric of society disintegrating? Is there an answer? Our society appears to be drifting on an uncharted sea without a moral compass. We seem to be wandering in confusion, desperately looking for some “North Star” to guide us. In our lesson today we will discover the truth about what’s gone wrong with our society and God’s solution to crime and violence in the twenty-first century.

  1. What urgent call does God give to a society living on the verge of social collapse and moral decay? Revelation 14:7
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  2. Is our own heart or mind an adequate judge of what is right or wrong? Jeremiah 17:9
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  3. How does the Bible describe those who trust in their own minds to guide them in making moral decisions? Proverbs 28:26
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  4. In Revelation, the Bible’s last book, what did John see up in heaven? Revelation 11:19
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    When God commanded the Israelites in the Old Testament to build a sanctuary, He commanded them to make the ark of the covenant to contain the tables of stone or the ten-commandment law. The temple in heaven containing the ark of the covenant contains God’s law, the foundation of His character. Revelation’s answer to lawlessness is found in heaven at God’s throne in His eternal standard of righteousness—His law. The law of God is a transcript of His character, a description of His will. Without the law there is no sin. The apostle Paul states, “For where there is no law there is no transgression” (Romans 4:15, NKJV).*

  5. What is the function of God’s law? Romans 3:20
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  6. What is the eternal, unchangeable standard of God’s government? Psalm 111:7, 8; 89:34
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  7. To what does the Bible compare God’s law? James 1:23-25
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  8. What is the role of grace? Ephesians 2:8
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  9. How are we justified or made right with God? Does keeping the law form the basis of our salvation? Romans 3:28
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  10. Does faith give us freedom to break God’s law? Romans 3:31; Romans 6:15
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  11. What is the converted person’s relationship to God’s law? Romans 7:22
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    Billy Graham:

    “Question: Some religious people I know tell me that the Ten Commandments are part of the ‘law’ and do not apply to us today. They say that as Christians we are ‘free from the law.’ Is that right?

    “Answer: No, it is not right, and I hope you will not be misled by these false opinions. It is very important to understand what the New Testament means when it says that Christians are ‘free from the law.’ It certainly does not mean that they are free from the obligations of the moral law of God and are at liberty to sin.” Conversion always leads us to “delight” to do God’s will. When Christ changes our hearts or converts us, we have one supreme desire—to obey Him. He has done so much for us that we gladly serve Him. Obedience is not a legalistic requirement. It is part of a loving heart’s response to God.

  12. What did Jesus teach His disciples about keeping His law? John 14:15
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  13. Did Jesus teach that His law was done away with at the cross? Matthew 5:17, 18.
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  14. What is the genuine test of knowing God? 1 John 2:3-5.
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  15. In Revelation’s final call to a planet rapidly disintegrating into lawlessness, how does God describe His people? Revelation 14:12.
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*Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.