Truth or Consequences
By Mike Gendron
Have you ever considered the consequences that await those who do not pursue the truth? The Lord Jesus “came into the world, to testify to the truth.” This prompted Pilate to ask a compelling question that has eternal consequences: “What is truth?” (John 18:37-38). That question is on the mind of most unbelievers, who have never come to know and believe the truth of God’s Word. Everyone who is of the truth hears the voice of the Good Shepherd and follows Him because they know His voice (John 10:4; 18:37).
The church of the living God is called to be the pillar and support of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15). It is the God-given responsibility and privilege of every born-again Christian to defend the truth of God’s Word. Yet, we are living in an age where truth is being maligned and compromised like never before, both inside and outside the church. Many are disillusioned and confused because they cannot discern truth from error. Paul describes them as “children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming” (Eph. 4:14). Some professing Christians, who have never been born-again, may suffer the consequences of falling away from the faith (1 Tim.4:1). That is why Paul exhorts us to speak the truth in love. To do so effectively, we must know and understand the characteristics of truth.
Truth is Exclusive. It excludes anything that is contrary to it because no lie is of the truth (1 John 2:21). The Lord Jesus is an example of the exclusivity of truth. He declared He is the only way to the Father. In a pluralistic society, this is an offensive truth. Christians are often called narrow-minded when we proclaim the exclusivity of the Gospel. However, we must never be concerned if people are offended when we speak the truth; we should be concerned for those who will be deceived if we don’t.
Truth is Objective. It is not subjective or dependent upon anyone’s beliefs. Truth is black and white; there is no gray. It is always definite, definitive, and conclusive. Man cannot create it or change it. Yet some people foolishly create a god of their own imagination, saying: “My God would not send anyone to hell.” They need to know the true God, who is objectively revealed in Scripture.
Truth is Immutable. Like God and His Word, truth is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Right is always right, and wrong is always wrong. Truth never changes. “Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89). Truth is permanent, fixed, enduring, and timeless. It is never outdated, never obsolete and never ceases to be true.
Truth is Absolute. It is not relative, nor is it subjected to or dependent upon anything else. People who say truth is whatever they want it to be are absolutely wrong. Something cannot be both true and not true. An example of an absolute truth is that God exists. His existence is not dependent upon whether He is known or believed.
Truth is Universal. There is no place where truth is not true. It applies to everyone and no one can escape it. Death and gravity are examples of universal truths that cannot be dismissed or rejected. Knowing this, it should motivate all of us to continue seeking universal truth and embrace it when we discover it. Every eternal destiny is confirmed by truth.
Truth is Authoritative. It conveys the supreme authority of the Lord Jesus, who is the personification of truth (John 14:6). His Word is truth and therefore is the final word in everything (John 17:17). Truth cannot be ignored; it demands our response. The supreme authority of truth reigns over the powers of darkness. It sets believers free from the bondage of sin and deception (John 8:32). It also renews our minds and directs our steps.
People must be warned that there are severe and agonizing consequences for anyone who chooses to reject, suppress, mishandle or disobey the truth. “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18). Suppressing the truth dishonors God, who is the author, personification and source of all truth. Those “who exchange the truth of God for a lie” are given over to degrading passions (Rom. 1:25-26). Wrath and indignation await those who disobey the truth (Rom. 2:8). Many will perish because they did not receive the love of the truth (2 Thes. 2:10).
Since every Christian has been entrusted with the truth, it is our responsibility to guard, proclaim and pass on the truth despite any and all opposition (1 Tim. 6:20-21). Paul and the apostles did not yield in subjection to the opposition for even an hour, so that the truth of the Gospel would remain (Gal. 2:5). We must resist every attack on the truth of God’s Word. There is no room for complacency or apathy.
We need to honor our King and fight the good fight of faith. As soldiers in our Lord’s army, “we are to destroy speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). “With gentleness, we are to correct those who are in opposition in hopes that God will grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim 2:25). Only by believing the truth can man be saved rom the consequences of his rebellion against God. To God be all glory and honor and praise!