Thursday, September 25, 2008

Does It Really Matter?

My little brother was about 11 years younger then me, so I was able to watch him get into all kinds of trouble growing up. Much of the trouble he got himself into was due to his exploring spirit and his wild imagination. When he was just a toddler, he came running into the house crying “I spilled the beans”. His excitement mixed with terror told us that he had done more than let out a secret. We followed him outside as he led us to a silo filled with corn. The silo had a sliding gate on one of the doors that we would open to let the corn out when grinding feed. Dusty had watched me do it, and wanted to try it himself. Since he was still too young to know the difference between corn and beans, he was also too young to figure out how to shut it once it was opened and he had run a huge pile of corn onto the ground. Fortunately he ran away instead of being buried.
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Not long after that, he decided to put a cape over his back and jump off of a chair as if he could fly. After he broke his arm, he discovered that he could not defy gravity. Dustin learned a very important lesson that day. You cannot change reality by wishing it so, or by denying the facts. It comes down to an issue of truth. Truth does exist. Often a denial of truth is a denial of the consequences of that truth. But denying that gravity exists does not allow one to fly.
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This issue is no less critical in the spiritual realm than it is in the physical. If we deny that God exists, it does not change the truth. Though most people do not deny God’s existence, they often ignore important truths from the Scripture. One of the key truths is that Christ Himself represents the truth and the way. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
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That truth may sound quite narrow, but so is the truth of gravity here on earth. Absolute truth does not leave wiggle room, 2+2=4. That is truth, and that is reality, no matter if folks are offended by it or not. There was a time when Christians were much more dogmatic about what they believed. There was a time when truth was much more valued as well. You see, truth is not about our feelings or what we wish something to be, it is about what it actually is. According to John 14:6, that means that Jesus Christ is the only way to a relationship with God. 1 Timothy 2:5 tells us, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”.
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Some may wonder why I am so concerned about truth. The answer is because truth matters. That is why we must constantly go back to the Scripture in order to find out what the truth is. This is not just the issue of a broken arm. These are matters of eternal consequence, life and death, and heaven and hell. The truth clearly relates to issues of sanctification . Notice what Christ prayed about God’s Word, truth, and sanctification. “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:17).
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What it comes down to is the fact that doctrine matters. Doctrine is just a big word that means teaching. It matters what is taught because the truth matters. The Apostle Paul complemented those at Berea for not just believing what he was teaching, but actually looking it up for themselves. “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11) Paul told Timothy, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Tim 2:15).
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Timothy was a young preacher, and Paul warned him not to back down from the truth. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” (2 Timothy 4:3). Paul’s warning to Timothy applies to our age as well. Sadly, instead of wanting to hear the teaching of truth, many want to have their ears tickled. Some pastors have given into that pressure. By God’s grace, I want to preach the truth and not compromise it, because the truth is not mine to give up. Yes, truth does matter.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

I really liked the illustrations at the beginning to show the importance of truth! When we add poison to water, it doesn't save the poison.

Dan Mielke