Posts tagged ‘truth’

Wishing For Living Idols

First of all, the seed of an idea that the Lord planted in my mind for this post came from hearing a short portion of a Sunday sermon from last week by Pastor Scott Hagan from Real Life Church in Sacramento. Not only is he spot on, but we graduated from high school together, so he must be cool, too! 

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. (‭Exodus‬ ‭20‬:‭4-6‬ NKJV)

Idolatry. Perhaps no other sin is as universally condemned in Scripture as idol worship. A curse came with making something with men’s hands and worshipping it. No matter the quality of the workmanship, and how fervently you hope and dance and cut yourself and worship, that idol will never be the Living God. It just won’t happen.

But that is precisely what is going on right now with the gay “marriage” debate. People are using logic, law, and doing everything in their power to make same-sex marriages a reality. But the truth is, that no matter how many marches, and court decisions and laws that human beings pass, it will never be a REAL marriage. Here’s why. 

and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? (‭Matthew‬ ‭19‬:‭5‬ NKJV)

God made this principle clear in Genesis, and jesus quoted it here in Matthew. He made the principle clear. Man joined to wife equals one flesh. But just to make sure we don’t miss it, Jesus says this in the very next verse. 

So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (‭Matthew‬ ‭19‬:‭6‬ NKJV)

Did you catch that? The husband and wife don’t join themselves together, nor does a minister join them. God is the one who makes the two of them one flesh as husband and wife! No matter how people hope and pray and litigate and legislate, anything other than this has not been joined together by God and is therefore not a marriage. And my opinion and your opinion have no bearing on the matter! To teach otherwise is to make a God in our own image, and have Him do what we wish Him to do. But that amounts to idolatry, and brings a curse instead of the desired blessing!

So what are we to do? We are to “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15). And know this; you cannot speak a lie in the love. God is love, and He cannot lie. Satan is the father of lies, and has no love in him. In fact, the most spiritually dangerous thing we could ever do is to speak a lie and attribute it to God! No, the most loving thing we can do is to tell the truth about same-sex marriage with as much love and compassion as we can. But it must be grounded in truth! 

We must show our love by proclamation of the truth laid down by the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (‭I Corinthians‬ ‭6‬:‭9-10‬ NKJV)

But we are to do so humbly and in love, knowing that we all have besetting sins which we all fight on a daily basis. We must tell of the power of God to deliver anyone from the grip of the strongest sin! Our faith and our message must rest, not on human wisdom, but on the delivering power of God. That’s why Paul goes on to say this:

And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (‭I Corinthians‬ ‭6‬:‭11‬ NKJV) 

We must hold out this message of hope and deliverance to anyone and everyone who will listen, homosexual, heterosexual, or anyone else! Without altering the Word of God or lowering His standards, we must tell the world that Christ came to save sinners, so that qualifies each of us for His salvation. We are not judging anyone. We are letting them know that God has already judged everyone, including them, and that we are all sinners in need of a Savior.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. (‭Romans‬ ‭5‬:‭8-9‬ NKJV) 

When this is our message, we will be the God honoring, Christ exalting, Gospel spreading, disciple making, and people loving Church that we are commissioned to be in this World! 

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What Is Truth?

What is truth? That is a big question, and one of primary importance for mankind. There is much debate among thinkers and non-thinkers about the very existence of absolute truth. The non-thinkers are those who would say, “there is no absolute truth” since they would see the logical corner they have placed themselves in. For that statement to be true, it would need to be absolutely true and would thus be claiming its own nonexistence.

Even the Roman governor of the province of Judea, in his unregenerate mind, asked the question of Jesus.

Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all. (John 18:38 NKJV)

Earlier in Jesus’ ministry, He made a statement that answers that question.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)

So the first, and primary, thing we must understand is that the truth is a person — Jesus Christ. The ramifications of that are tremendous! In making that statement affirming His identity as “the Truth” Jesus was also saying a lot about what the truth is NOT.

1. The truth is not a set of teachings. Before you react, let me explain. Jesus and the Apostles taught many things, all of which are true. They are factually without error. But they are true because they come from He who is “the truth”. The correct teachings of the Bible are there to tell us ABOUT the truth, and as far as each of them goes, the provide illumination on a part of the picture of Christ. Don’t mistake what I am saying. False teaching is a big deal, because it draws us away from Jesus, who is the source of truth and paints a false picture for us. One good way of discerning truth, especially if someone is using Bible verses on us, is to ask whether or not the teaching in question magnifies Christ Jesus or magnifies us.

2. We can know the truth. Yes, we can have an intimate, personal relationship with the Truth. But that does not mean we will have the full, clear, perfected set of doctrines in our little brains. Full illumination is reserved for the eternal state. For now, we must follow after Jesus and take in pieces of truth for spiritual nourishment along the way. That means putting up with people whose plates look different than our own. They may see some things more clearly than we do. Paul, when talking about the eternal state, put it this way:

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. (1 Corinthians 13:12, 13 KJV)

On our best day, when we are most attuned to the Spirit and are the most receptive, we still see through a glass darkly.

3. We must follow after things in their proper order. Jesus is the way to truth and life. We find the truth by following Jesus Christ. We don’t sit down and try to once and for all figure out a perfect doctrinal set of teachings and use them to find Christ. No, we follow after Christ and He gives is spiritual food and teaches us line upon line, precept upon precept.

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” (Isaiah 28:10 NKJV)

4. Jesus is the full revelation of God, and we need seek nowhere else for truth. God has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ (Hebrews 1:1-2). The Holy Spirit uses the power of the Word to draw us to Christ (John 12:32; Romans 10:17). As long as we are putting first things first, and following after Jesus, the Truth will reveal truth to us through the living and active Word of God (Hebrews 4:12-13).

Be patient with yourself. There have been many times I have been frustrated by my lack of discernment or by not being rock solid on exact definitions of everything I believe. But that is okay. As long as I am following after Jesus, and nurturing my relationship with Him through prayer and feasting in the Word, my dark glass will slowly become easier to see through. Remember that we are not following after a philosophy, but after a person — the person of Jesus Christ.

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Walking In The Light

In reality, their is not something called “darkness” that can be measured. All that exists is light. What we perceive as light and darkness is actually the presence or absence of light. That is why darkness cannot push out light, and light is always superior.

Jesus had much to say about light. In the Gospel of Luke, he said it this way:

“Now no one after lighting a lamp covers it over with a container, or puts it under a bed; but he puts it on a lampstand, so that those who come in may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light. So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him.” (Luke 8:16-18 NASB)

The purpose of light is to give illumination to everything around. In Psalm 119, the word says “The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple. (Psalm 119:130 NKJV). And the apostle John wrote about light in the New Testament.

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:5-7 NKJV).

So walking in the light is critical for our spiritual survival. But we have to be purposeful about it. Seeing the light is not enough. We must walk in it, for only then will we be able to see the way to go, and be able to recognize sin in our lives so that we can repent and be healed. That’s why Jesus said to be careful how you listen. We must listen in faith, and take action on what we hear. If we don’t, we we have what little spiritual knowledge we think we have taken from us.
We have free will, and can reject light because we find it uncomfortable. Jesus said that light rejection is the reason sinners reject His Gospel.

And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. (John 3:19-21 NKJV).

This particularly ironic since in our text in Luke Jesus said that everything will be revealed and be exposed. So what are we trying to accomplish by hiding our sin and hoping to get away with something. At some point in time, our sin will be exposed. It is better to let the Word of God reveal it to us so we can confess it and repent, rather than to be publicly shamed when it is revealed.

So walk in the light of the Word and let it do its work in you.

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12, 13 NKJV)

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Isaiah and the Naked Truth

Isaiah And The Naked Truth
There is a term used in Australia that was made popular years ago in the movie “Crocodile Dundee”. When Mick Dundee would wander around the Australian Outback, he said he was on a walkabout. Years ago, Jehovah God told the prophet Isaiah to go on a walk about, as recorded in chapter 20 of Isaiah.

“at that time the LORD spoke through Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, “Go and loosen the sackcloth from your hips and take your shoes off your feet.” And he did so, going naked and barefoot. And the LORD said, “Even as My servant Isaiah has gone naked and barefoot three years as a sign and token against Egypt and Cush, so the king of Assyria will lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Cush, young and old, naked and barefoot with buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. Then they will be dismayed and ashamed because of Cush their hope and Egypt their boast.” (Isaiah 20:2-5 NASB)

And before you conclude that the text could not mean actually nakedness, the word in Hebrew is the same one used to describe Adam and Eve in Eden!
So why would God tell his prophet to do something like this? To communicate the shameful way that Egypt and Cush would be led into captivity. But what lesson is here for us today? Why did God make sure this chapter was preserved for us today?

In our western culture, we are constantly bombarded by sensual imagery. Pornographic material is now piped into homes via the Internet with such privacy and ease that even those who once would never have frequented an adult store or movie house are trapped in its addictive snare. (Duh. Why do you think they call it the web?) We are witnessing a nation that was once characterized as a Christian nation being led into moral slavery. I believe that this flood of nakedness and fornication has gone largely unchecked and will be symbolic of the way this nation will fall.

“if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV)

Just because a nation declares itself to be secular does not in any way exempt it from the judgment of God! Unless we as the church in America repents and turn from our wicked ways, God will not hear from heaven and heal our land. The call is not for the post to turn and change their behavior. The promise of God is contingent on those who are called by His name forsaking their wicked ways! Don’t believe for a second that there are not church members all over the country trapped in these sins. The time is now, and it needs to begin with each of us as individuals or it will never happen to us as a group!
Let’s start today to be the light in this dark time and lead the way by humbling ourselves (before the Lord does it for us) praying and seeking God, and turning from our sins so that our land will not go down in shames!

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