Our postmodern culture posits there is no right, no wrong, and no ultimate justice. It’s the kind of thing serial killers live for. That is, if there is no God, then there is no Law Giver, and therefore laws are man-contrived for beings who are not beings but rather molecules in motion derived from the chemical goo, who serve no purpose.
Joe the Serial Killer has no obligation to live in conformity to his culture’s value system if the value system is based on sociological law (a relative few deciding what is best for society at a particular time). In other words, if there is no Higher Law, then everything is relative, there is no right, there is no wrong, and there is no ultimate justice. If that is the worldview of Joe, then he has no moral obligation to obey law, nor should those who share his worldview expect him to behave any differently than what Joe believes suits his fancy best (even if it is predatory behavior).
However, most people who suppress the truth of God’s existence do not behave like Joe, nor do they expect most people to behave like Joe. But they must ask the question, “why don’t most people, or all people, behave like Joe?” It is unreasonable to think that conscience alone or the penal pressures of a civilized society would restrain man from the greatest evils.
Thankfully, God has not left it up to man to restrain evil. It is only by His mercy that it is restrained at all, and it is the fear of punishment that man seeks not to harm his neighbor. Those who do evil to their neighbor merely exhibit the depths to which they have suppressed the truth of God’s authority over them, and they manifest the degree to which God has given them over to the lusts of their hearts (Romans 1:18-32).
In chapter 1 of Unless You Repent titled, “‘Tis Unreasonable to Think that God Will Take No Care to Punish the Wickedness that There is in the World“, the great American theologian Jonathan Edwards warned,
It is unreasonable to suppose that God will not punish wickedness if we consider it as it respects the creature. The dreadful injuries men do to one another, though never so great, would never be avenged. Murderers, pirates, persecutors, and the like would go unpunished, however cruel the matter is attended with aggravating circumstances.
How unreasonable it is to think that He who made the world will not take care of it, but would leave it to this dreadful confusion. No other is able to avenge such things but He who is the Judge. Persons thus injured have nowhere else to go to be righted since vengeance belongs to Him. Romans 12:19: “Vengeance is Mine. I will repay.”
If God takes no care to punish wickedness, there is nothing to restrain men from ruining and devouring one another. Men’s malice, cruelty, and injustice would be without any restraint. Conscience would not restrain men; there would be nothing to restrain men from theft, robbery, murder, adultery, or perjury, anything whereby men’s interests are improved. Human laws would not restrain men. ‘Tis unreasonable to suppose that God, who made the world, has left it without any manner of means to prevent its own ruin and confusion….
…Hence we learn that it is very unreasonable for sinners to flatter themselves that there is no hell.
Oh Sinner, do not flatter yourself that there is no hell. Hell does exist. It must exist as God exists, and the day is coming that you will know that it exists, either by experience or because you have been saved from it. So, will you go there?