When I read this verse today in Revelation, “Let the one who does wrong continue to do wrong; let the vile person continue to be vile; let the one who does right continue to do right; and let the holy person continue to be holy” (Revelation 22:11 NIV), I thought of people thinking they’re doing the right thing when they’re not. I know this verse refers to the righteous person doing righteous things and not the ethos that makes up what people think is right and wrong. However, it bothers me that people think they’re living the right way when they’re not.

I think most people want to do the right thing. The problem though, with us trying to do the right thing, is revealed here in Proverbs, “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death” (Proverbs 14:12 NLT). Another problem with trying to do the right thing in the world is comparing it to the wrong thing. Often, when we’re looking at what is considered right and what is considered wrong we’re doing so through the ethos of society, and therein lies the problem.

However, before I go further I think we need to define ethos. Merriam-Webster defines ethos as “the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a person, group, or institution.” In most places in the world today I think certain ethical points are the same. For example, murder is usually wrong. However, it doesn’t take much thought to point out where some people murder other people and think that what they’ve done is right. Such is the case in terrorism and capital punishment.

Capital punishment is usually something that occurs when someone has violated the tenets of a country in some extreme way. Merriam-Webster defines tenet as “a principle, belief, or doctrine generally held to be true.” The main difference between ethos and tenet, as I understand it, is the principles and beliefs that might form an ethos are believed to be absolutely true in a tenet. When someone is executed for murder, under capital punishment, we are saying that we know murder is wrong and we want to make certain the person who has murdered doesn’t do it again so we execute them.

One purpose of capital punishment might be to demonstrate the conviction held in the tenets of one’s belief system to anyone who might have a contradictory viewpoint. In other words, “We’re so serious about this that we’ll kill anyone who goes against it.” When I think about terrorism I think it amounts to about the same thing. We call people “terrorists” because their actions are so contradictory to our own tenets of belief that it’s horrifying to us. One group believes in a diplomatic solution while another group doesn’t see peaceful diplomacy as a solution to things that have violated the tenets of their beliefs. Hence, the problem of people relying upon their own understanding of what is right and what is wrong.

When we examine the Christian faith we find a group of people who share the same ethos because it’s based, not on the ideas of people, but on the principles of God. The ethos of people changes like the wind but the principles of God do not. I’m certain that many of you can look back in your life and see how our society has changed. The more years under your belt the greater the changes.

The greatest danger to not following the principles of God and following the principles of people is you can do everything right in your life and still miss out on heaven if you don’t know Jesus. I can’t think of many things worse than leading a decent and respectable life here on earth and then dying and going to hell. That’s the rub though, many people will think that they are leading decent and respectable lives because they’re looking at their lives through the lens of the world when those lenses are cracked, smudged, out of focus, and sometimes rose-tinted.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.