1. It sounds enlightened and open minded to say that everyone gets the prize. We feel very benevolent when we say this.
2. We don’t have to deal with the truth in our own lives. If all religions are the same, then we don’t have to take the message of Christianity seriously.
3. We deplore hypocrisy. We overreact to those who are insincere.While Jesus Himself also despised hypocrisy, He also taught that truth did matter.
Think about this, do you want your doctor to tell you the truth or just seek to make you feel secure about yourself? What if your doctor stated that you had a malignancy and tells you to go home and don’t worry about it. If you are sincere then all will work out! Just feel good about yourself! Instead, you want the doctor to tell you what it takes to remove that malignancy and do it quickly! A good physician would look you in the eye and tell you the truth. “If you don’t have this cancer removed it will kill you! I can remove it but you must let me perform the necessary surgery. You want that doctor to shoot straight with you. You want the truth!
Jesus dealt with life in the same way. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners” (Mark 2:17). Jesus’ words remind us that we are sick with sin in our lives. The symptom of this disease is rebelliousness toward God. The end result is death and Hell. Jesus wants to bring healing to the person afflicted with this malady. Only Jesus offers real forgiveness and healing to humanity. That is why God sent His Son on earth.
Let’s say you are in school and don’t study for a test. You go in feeling good about who you are and honestly feel you will do well. Instead, you bomb! You fail that test big time! You go to your professor and plead with him, “How could you flunk me? I really expressed how I feel on this test. I was sincere and honest!” He would look at you and say, “You were sincerely wrong and you failed.” When you take a test, the truth matters. Likewise, when you stand before God in judgment, the truth also matters.
What then is the Truth? The Truth is that:
1. God loves us and has a wonderful plan for our lives. But. . .
2. Sin blocks our way to God and because God is just and holy, He cannot fellowship with sin.
3. God, because of His great love for us has provided a way for us to gain forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ. You see, Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, came to this earth as complete man and complete God to teach us and die for us on the cross. In three days He rose from the dead and is in Heaven now interceding for us before His Heavenly Father. Jesus Himself proclaims the exclusivity of the Gospel when He states “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
4. We must make Jesus the Lord or boss of our lives. We must hate sin so much that we turn from it and turn to the Lord. We must be willing to let the Lord in the “driver’s seat” of our lives.
Don’t be sincerely wrong when it comes to the truth of Christ. It can be eternally deadly! Let’s say you were standing by a high bluff with a blind person. That person asks for advice on which way to turn. If they turn right they will fall off the cliff to their death. If they turn left, they will be safe. It would be cruel if you told them that it really doesn’t matter as long as you are very sincere. Tell them the truth. Likewise, to fail to believe the truth about the person and work of Jesus Christ has eternal implications to you.
Don’t let it happen.
Dr. Dennis R. Culbreth is the Senior Pastor at Jasper’s First Baptist Church, www.jaspersfbc.org.