Are You An Enemy? (If You Tell the Truth)

Are You An Enemy? (If You Tell the Truth)

The cartoon depicts a preacher shaking hands with a member of the congregation, and the caption reads, “Preacher, you made me see myself today as never before, and I’ll never forgive you for it!” TRUTH is not regarded – in our age – as the treasure it once was. Many now see it as nothing more than an illusion. Do you believe objective truth actually exists, and can be known? You must be a fanatic, not an honest, rational person! Proverbs 23:23 counsels “Buy the truth, and sell it not,…” but many people nowadays won’t even accept it for free!

Christians should prize truthfulness, especially among ourselves (see Zechariah 8:16). Something is very wrong when God’s children willingly trade His truth for a lie (Romans 1:25) and hate anyone who points out error (note Isaiah 30:10-11). Paul’s question (in Galatians 4:16) was rhetorical; the “wounds” of which he spoke were “faithful” ones (Proverbs 27:6), meant for the saints’ eternal well-being.

Christians will always have enemies and opposition if we are faithful to our Lord (1 Peter 5:8; 2 Corinthians 11:15). This is not unreasonable, and we should not be surprised or distressed by this fact (Jesus said it would be so, John 16:33). Humanity’s history is a record of unwillingness to surrender our desires for the blessings of God’s truth. We should not be surprised when religious denominations compromise their pursuit of truth, because it (God’s truth) does not support their stated values.

The remedy for religious conflict is to apply God’s word (both among brethren and in the religious community generally)! This is not always enjoyable (note Hebrews 12:11, that “…no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” )

Even Christians sometimes need correction, and can “turn aside” from God’s high calling in Christ when we ought to stand firm. God still calls all people to Him and offers sanctification in His truth even though not all repent (see Revelation 2:21). Truth is not always pleasant, yet it possesses the singular virtue of being true! God chastens and corrects because He loves us (Hebrews 12:6-8); to refuse His correction is to reject His love and rebel against Him!

“What IS truth?” Pilate’s sarcastic question (John 18:38) echoes the modern era’s only “absolute;” our world is now “absolutely certain” that there’s no such thing as absolute truth! Yet the question from long ago remains a valid one: If we cannot define, identify, and plainly distinguish what is true from what is not, we have no basis for any concept of right or wrong. “What is truth?” Truth is the “great divide” between life and death.

The problem we face is NOT that “truth” is indeterminate or unknowable: OUR problem is that many people simply do not like what God’s truth shows them! The bible shows us the nature of truth by describing its effects; God’s word enlightens (Psalm 119:130) and illuminates (vs. 105), it purifies (Psalm 119:9; John 17:17 & 15:3; Ephesians 5:26), it exposes and measures human motives (Hebrews 4”12), and it saves us (James 1:21). Truth is recognizable by its “fruit.” Telling the truth in spiritual things means acknowledging and accurately applying God’s word to the motives and actions of man.

We must tell the truth. The blurred values of our society demand that faithful Christians present God’s truth plainly. There is no way for us to “…shine as lights in the world;” (Philippians 2:15-16) without showing the stark contrast between God’s truth and the world’s errors. We cannot honestly claim to “walk with Jesus” (Colossians 2:6 & 1 John 1:7) if we ignore error! Like Paul, if we truly believe we must speak out (2 Corinthians 4:13)! In a world of skepticism and doubt, we must speak of the reality of God, the nature of truth, the authority of the scriptures, and the ethics and moral values He enjoins upon us. We must speak of the stark choice between heaven and hell, and of the price of purity before God.


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