And, sir, when we think of eternity, and of the future consequences of all human conduct, what is there in this life that should make any man contradict the dictates of his conscience, the principles of justice, the laws of religion, and of God?
Without God, there is no virtue because there's no prompting of the conscience. And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure. If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.
There are two 'courts' we must deal with: the court of God in Heaven and the court of conscience in our souls. When we first trust in Christ for salvation, God's court is forever satisfied. Never again will a charge of guilt be brought against us in Heaven. Our consciences, however, are continually pronouncing us guilty. That is the function of conscience. Therefore, we must by faith bring the verdict of conscience into line with the verdict of Heaven. We do this by agreeing with our conscience about our guilt, but then reminding it that our guilt has already been borne by Christ.
if you have felt the power and authority of the word upon your conscience; if you can say as David, "Thy word hath quickened me." Christian, bless God that he has not only given thee his word to be a rule of holiness, but his grace to be a principle of holiness.
I find that when the saints are under trial and well humbled, little sins raise great cries in the conscience; but in prosperity, conscience is a pope that gives dispensations and great latitude to our hearts. The cross is therefore as needful as the crown is glorious.
It was your great American wit, Mark Twain, who once said, "Man is the only animal that blushes, and the only animal that needs to." We are ashamed, are we not, of things we've done in the past? Nobody is free who is unforgiven. Instead of being able to look God in the face or to look one another in the face, we want to run away and hide when our conscience troubles us.
Author: John Stott Source: The Up-to-the-Minute Relevance of the Resurrection, Preaching Today, Tape 79.
It is a good thing to have a heart within us smiting us for sins that seem little; it is a sign that conscience is awake and tender, and will be the means of preventing greater sins.