Fear of punishment is normally what deters a man from committing a crime. Hence the legislation which is enacted all over the world, and the systems of law enforcement which are set up at national and international levels.
“The business of legislature,” writes Bertrand Russell, “is to produce harmony between public and private interests. It is to the interest of the public that I should abstain from theft, but it is not to my interest except where there is an effective criminal law. Thus the criminal law is a method of making the interests of the individual coincide with those of the community.” (Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy, pp. 741-42).
Yet, in spite of legislation and law enforcement, crime rates are rising all over the world, detection of crimes is never more than partial and evasion of punishment has become a commonplace. How is this to be explained? It would seem that the constraints which are purely human in origin are woefully inadequate for the purpose.
What is more obviously required is an unshakeable, inner conviction that the law of God is the underlying principle of all social living and that infringement of that law will be thrashed out in a divine court of law.
It is only a sense of total accountability to God that will cause one to eschew crime altogether. It has to be understood that any attempt to hide one’s iniquities from the eyes of God in order to evade His wrath and His punishment is futile in the extreme. The eye of God is all-seeing and there is no brooking His divine vengeance.
It is not the law-givers or the policemen of this world who can bring this truth home to the potential criminal, but the devout men of religion, the humble servants of God.