We ended yesterday’s study with the question “do you really want to know the truth?” We’re going to pick right back up where we left off. The question is important because it forces you to be honest about how serious this pursuit is for you. And if you’ve answered that question by simply shrugging it off and saying truth doesn’t matter, think again.
The Weight of Truth
In 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul warns us that in the end times those who do not believe the truth, but rather find pleasure in unrighteousness, will be damned. Verse 11 even makes the shocking statement that God would send them strong delusions because they did not love the truth. The truth is often difficult to face. Many people in our world hate God because facing God means facing truth. They must procure a reason for their fear, for their weakness. He does not settle for lies or convenient phrases, but for TRUTH – truth so pure and so stark that self is never comfortable. And the real truth is that we are utterly without hope. So our hatred is abated because while His demand for truth burns like fire, His offer of grace gives us our only hope.
Being without truth is very much like being without hope–the two are related. Imagine the following scene:
You walk into a clothing store and ask the clerk the price of a new outfit.
“Five dollars.” He says without hesitation.
You consider that a bargain, so you bring it to the counter and hand him a five dollar bill. He stands there, as if waiting.
“What is it?” You asked, puzzled.
“You still need fifty more dollars to pay for the outfit.” He replies without blinking.
“You just told me it was five dollars!” He doesn’t flinch. “I’m not getting it then, I’m putting it back.”
“Why?” He says, “It’s only a dollar fifty.”
It would be a hopeless situation for you to be able to purchase anything from that store, because you could never really be sure how much something costs. And it is so very like that in our world today. People in desperate need for purpose and meaning can’t find any because the foundation of truth has been torn down. It’s Satan’s most brilliant attack: instead of attacking the truth with lies, he’s attacking truth by taking away the meaning of truth. He must have learned his lesson when he tried to destroy Christians by killing them; the only real progress he made was when tried to destroy the meaning of the word Christian.
Nothing But The Truth
People today don’t like the idea of absolute truth. Absolute truth is a curse word in most universities and has long been banished from art galleries. Taboos are taboo. Even the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary stopped calling ain’t “incorrect” in their 10th Edition–it’s now just “less common”. I’m afraid that we’re going to have to embrace a new (2000 years new) alternative movement–and our motto will be Jesus’ words in John 14:6:
“I am the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
Our movement will be based on the fact that if Jesus is right in this claim all other’s are invalid. Now again, we are driven by love, as we said in lesson 3 that a relationship is at the core of our Christian experience; but as was once said: “Truth becomes hard if it is not softened by love; love becomes soft if it is not strengthened by truth.”
We’ll say it another way which may be familiar to some. If Jesus made this statement and had no power, He would be a liar of the worst sort, because His words have influenced many to believe Him. Jesus could have also been a madman, making a claim to sole passage to the Heavenly Father but not really understanding all he spoke. But if you look at who He is as revealed in Scripture, you’ll find that He is truly God. And that means that what He says is true.
A God who dictates truth and whose Word is the final authority for life and godliness (2Pet.1:3) may sound frightening. But consider this. God is also good, and He has demonstrated this time and time again across the pages of the Bible. It reminds me of a conversation taken from Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia about Aslan, the great lion who represents God:
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
The Old Testament is filled with “fear not’s” of God was reminding His people that though He was holy and mighty, He was also concerned with their welfare.
“And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” Duet.31:8
And what’s probably the most amazing thing about God being our absolute truth is that He is also unchanging. Though our world changes at a phenomenal rate–inflation at 4% a year, rent at $25 a year, hard drives in bits of 8–there is one who holds truth in His immutable Hand. And it is that truth that gives us comfort in time of trouble, help in time of need, vision in time of darkness and hope in time of despair. Semper Fidelis–always faithful.