Monday, May 5, 2014

The Truth is for real - and the Truth Matters!

The Truth is for Real
Barbara Henderson

The diagnosis was in.  Mortimer had stomach cancer.  He was rushed to surgery, underwent chemotherapy, radiation, a bone marrow transplant, and was sick enough to at least think he was dying. But Mortimer wanted to live, so he fought on.  He trusted his doctors to discover the truth; tell him the truth; and provide the best treatment possible.  Mortimer wanted to live.

Unfortunately, Mortimer died.  His family later found out that Mortimer’s medical records had been mixed up with someone else’s records.  Mortimer did not have cancer at all.  He had indigestion which, although very uncomfortable, could have been treated.  The man who actually had stomach cancer was treated for indigestion.  Lacking proper treatment, he died as well.  How dreadful is that? Does anyone believe the truth didn’t matter to Mortimer and the other man?

Yet, here we are today living in a world where the truth is not valued.  In fact the truth is often hated.  Even more important than getting the truth from your doctor is getting the truth from your preacher. Without the truth from you doctor you may die sooner than necessary while being tortured unmercifully by doctors who have sworn to do their best to heal you.  But, their torture will end in death.  That will be the end of the matter.  When spiritual advisors don’t tell the truth, souls are in danger of eternal torment.  The truth matters.  The truth is for real.  You can know the truth.

Generally speaking, people go to church trusting to hear the truth presented in an understandable way.  What they often hear is a few jokes, a nice poem, a seven-eleven songs (seven words sun eleven times), and an allusion to something in the Bible.  What is often not heard is the truth.  The truth that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven is not often heard.  The truth that while God is love, God is also holy and righteous may not be heard.  It is generally not preached that we shouldn’t deceive ourselves.  God is not mocked.  Whatsoever a man sows – that shall he also reap.  Living to please one’s self instead of living to please God has dire consequences. 

There are still many preachers who place a value on the truth that is above any earthly treasure.  Sometimes their congregation is appreciative, and other times their congregation isn’t interested in the truth.  One day they will claim ignorance when they stand before God, but that seems to be a long way off.  Besides, the truth is not pleasant to those who don’t like the truth.  The truth is that to enter the kingdom of heaven one is required to turn from sin and turn to God’s way.  Sin captivates its audience like a sugar captivates over-eaters.

A congregation that dislikes the truth will soon dislike the teller of the truth.  In other words, a preacher of the gospel will soon find himself unemployed!  People who don’t like the truth certainly don’t want to be reminded of the truth on Sunday or any other day of the week.  (Here’s a hint.  If you have a church where a preacher who is scripturally and morally sound is determined to preach the truth of the Bible and you keep hearing someone complain about the preacher – that person probably has an aversion to the truth.  They hate having their nose rubbed in the truth on a consistent basis.  Soon they will hate the one who tells the truth!)

When a church throws out a perfectly good preacher you can bet there is a much more evil reason than was given for the preacher’s dismissal.  In all honesty, preachers are like everyone else.  Some have strong points in managing people, choosing compatible staff, and getting their job done efficiently and in a timely manner.  On the other hand, there are at least an equal number of dedicated preachers who are scatter brained, disorganize, clueless when it comes to compatible staff, and altogether out of step with the needs of church management.  If you have a preacher who preaches and manages things well, you happen to have a wonderful blessing. If you have a preacher who falls into the sort of ‘goofy’ category, thank God anyway.  You may be able to help out in some way.  One definite way you can help is to not listen to grumblers.  Another way is to defend the truth.  Honestly, when there are real issues related to management, they need to be addressed as such.  Constructive suggestions should be offered.  But so often in church problems there is an underlying issue with the truth!  Grumblers don’t like it!  Soon grumblers go from disliking the truth itself to disliking the messenger.  That is why the preacher winds up getting the axe.

Once a congregation is rid of the disgusting truth telling preacher, they find a ‘preacher’ who is happy with lies himself.  He may not lie outright.  He may just avoid the truth.  He may preach whatever the people want to hear.  If they want to hear ‘how to win on Wallstreet’ then he will preach on that. If they want to hear ‘God wants you to be happy’ the preacher will preach on that. (And by the way – God does NOT want you to be happy.  God wants you to be OBEDIENT.  A by-product of obedience is joy and contentment.  Happiness is often achieved, but it is not the goal.)  He may lace his sermon with uses of Biblical phrases to make people feel ok about the sermon, but he won’t cross the line by actually preaching a real sermon.  The truth for them is they come to hate the actual truth.  They progress to the point that if anyone suggest that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven they would like to stone him. 

It goes like this:
Don’t like the truth
Don’t like those who tell the truth
Hate the truth
Hate those who tell the truth
Like those who don’t tell the truth
Hate those who love the truth.

Jesus Christ is the Truth that leads to life everlasting.  We shouldn’t be surprised that people hate those who love the truth, because they hate the truth. 

These haters of the truth are everywhere.  They are like unrestrained cockroaches!  They want to silence or even kill those who tell the truth that Jesus is the way into heaven.  Every ideology or lack of is to be tolerated and given respect because ‘it might be true’, or because ‘everyone has a right to choose what they believe’.  But they don’t tolerate the real truth.  Actually, though it may sound like they are tolerating everything except one belief, they are really only tolerating lies.  That’s it.  Lies.  They hate the truth, so they are left with lies.  There are many lies, so they have what seems like a wide range of choices.  But they really only have one choice.  They believe the truth according to Jesus Christ, or they believe a lie.  It doesn’t really matter which lie they choose.  It is still a lie.  Buddha?  It’s a lie.  Allah?  It’s a lie.  Reincarnation?  It’s a lie.  New Age Mysticism?  It’s a lie.  Animism? It’s a lie.  Paganism?  It’s a lie.  Mother Earth?  That is a real whopper!  Earth worship?  Another lie.  Communism?  Lies. Collectivism?  All lies. So, you see, no matter what they call it, if it rejects the Almighty Most High God of the Bible, it is a lie.  They all lead to the same place. That place is hell. False religions are like splitting a ball of yarn into many threads.  When you follow any thread it leads back to the same ball of yarn.  Lies lead to hell.  The truth leads to heaven.

In the truth of Jesus Christ there is eternal security and constant companionship.  In lies there is nothing but disappointment and torment.

Do you want to know the truth?  Are you looking for the truth?  If you really want to find the truth, you want to find Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the real truth.  In Him is the peace that passes understanding. Seek Him with all your heart, and He will be found by you.

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