With the fires, the virus, and the civil unrest, someone might say that things are bad right now. I would agree that things are bad, but it isn’t the fires, the virus, and the civil unrest. It is the sin that abounds that is bad. However, it is actually good here on earth. It should be far, far worse. You know that God already destroyed the earth once with a flood, everybody but eight people, whom He saved on an ark. Things on earth right now would even be worse, but God works in ways that make it far better than what it should be. This has been given a title: common grace. It refers to “the grace of God that is either common to all humankind, or common to everyone within a particular sphere of influence.” It is grace because it is undeserved and sovereignly bestowed by God. An important aspect of God’s grace is restraint. God restrains sin in numbers of different ways that are His design that result in life being far better than what it could or even should be. The first is the personal restraint of the conscience. God created each man with a conscience, which is a tool of restraint. God also created each man with His law written in their hearts. The conscience will smite a person in accordance with the law of God in a default position and then with the erosion of the law in a person, according to the highest perceived standard. The conscience itself can be degraded by either salving, searing, or hardening. Because of the conscience men and women at least do not behave themselves as badly as they could. This is the grace of God.
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