Seeing The Truth For What It Really Is
The truth can be hard to swallow, so many will find ways to excuse it away or try to pervert it enough so they can accept a watered down version of it. We are going to confront this issue today in our sermon lessons. This morning we will discuss the excuses Noah must have heard from those who would not accept the truth regarding the coming flood, and the safety that only the ark could provide. I think we will find that the excuses that Noah probably heard are very similar to the ones we hear today about the church. In tonight’s lesson, we will see how many will distort an accurate view of God, and the truth, by attempting to bend them both into something they are not. We will see how some like to emphasize the love of God to the extent that it overshadows other important matters such as repentance, doctrine, and obedience. No matter what excuses are made, or how hard some attempt to only look at one side of the nature of God, it does not change what the Bible says. The Bible is the truth, and no amount of sincere wishful thinking or human excuses will change what God’s revealed message actually says to us!
The truth is too valuable to be trifled with. Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Jesus makes it very clear that we can know the truth, but that does not mean that everyone will. People must want to know the truth, and part of knowing it means accepting all of it and not just the parts we like. Jesus also said the truth will make us free. Will some of the truth free us, or all of it? Jesus prayed to God, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17). According to Jesus, all of God’s Word is what can make us free.
These are not new problems for the church. We can read many examples of people in the New Testament who tried to excuse away the truth or distort it. The books of Hebrews and Galatians are perfect examples. Those books were written to Christians who were trying to alter God’s simple plan for the truth so it could be more like something they wanted; a mix of Christianity and Judaism. Paul, and the writer of Hebrews, would not stray from preaching the truth, regardless of the consequences of their words. Paul asked the Galatians, “Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth” (Gal. 4:16)? Would it have helped the Galatians if Paul had coddled them, or watered down his message as to not offend them? No, Paul would rather take the chance of becoming their enemy by convicting them with the truth, rather than risk their souls for all eternity. Many today emphasize the need to “speak in love”, but Paul told the Ephesians that we must speak “the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15).
Many people are sincere in their feelings for God, but their sincerity is not based on knowledge of the truth. Instead, it is based on the erroneous teachings of denominationalism or Catholicism. Paul spoke about this type of sincerity when he spoke of those Jews who would not believe in Jesus. He said, “they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge” (Rom. 10:2). Paul was speaking about the knowledge of the truth. Many will never believe the whole truth no matter what we do, but does that mean that we should give up? The devil has worked hard for hundreds of years to divide the body of Christ with false doctrines that pervert and compromise the truth to make it appear like something it isn’t. We must show the world that excuses and biblical distortions cannot substitute for the soul saving truth of God’s Word. -Ed