In reading the book of Jude in the New Testament this week, I was reminded of his warning to the church that there would be false teachers that pervert the truth of God’s Word.
Thinking of “truth” reminded me of Pilate’s question to Jesus: “What is truth?” Pilate asked this question in response to Jesus’ claim to be the very essence of truth. No doubt Pilate was, like many today, very cynical about what is truth. Or, perhaps he really was longing to know what the truth was.
Many today say there is no such thing as absolute truth. What is true for you may not be true for me.
In some ways, they are right. If we are standing face to face and someone asks us where the door is, to me the door would be on my right, but to you it would be on your left. In that situation, truth is relative – different for you than for me. However, what would be absolute truth in that circumstance is if someone asked us if there was a door. We both would have to say yes.
I am not a Greek or Hebrew scholar but my simple research tells me that the Greek word for “truth” is aletheia, which literally means to “un-hide” or “hiding nothing.” In other words, the truth is there to be seen, nothing hidden. The Hebrew word for “truth” is emeth, which means “firmness,” “constancy” and “duration.” Psalm 119 states that God’s Word is firm and constant.
Your eternal word, O Lord, stands firm in heaven.
Jesus declared He was the truth.
I am the truth, the way and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Making that statement today will immediately lead many to object. It can be offensive to those not of the Christian faith.
Here is the dilemma I think the church faces now. On the one hand, Jesus has clearly called us to love and appreciate everyone – regardless of their sex, ethnicity, religion etc.
On the other hand, if He is the truth, we cannot compromise our belief.
But what is keeping me awake some nights is how many are taking this Christian statement and using it in a most un-Christ-like manner.
The calls for us to make this a “Christian” nation frightens me. Jesus plainly told us His kingdom was NOT of this world.
The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; no one will say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is inside you.”
My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight… but my kingship is not from here.
Jesus taught that His kingdom would not be like any other. However, like any kingdom there would be rules. Rules like:
- Love your neighbor
- Treat others the way you like to be treated
- Be merciful
- Forgive others
- Be humble
- Serve others
- Bless those that curse you
- Pray for those who persecute you
The list could go on, but it can be basically summed up in one word: love. Love in the Kingdom of God is not an option; it is a command. If we want a Christian nation, then the only way to achieve that is not by electing the “right person.” It is not by enforcing our Christian beliefs on others. It is not putting down those whose lifestyles are in opposition to God’s Word. It is by loving those who are outside the Kingdom.
This is how the Early Church became so strong that eventually even the powerful Roman Empire recognized it. But loving and caring for others.
So please beware of the false propaganda we are hearing today from those who claim to be speaking for God. Often, we allow false information to be spread among us because it is interesting, and we are slow to put an end to it. We must stand for the truth – not compromise our own beliefs to be politically correct. But at the same time, we must remember only the love of Jesus can change a person’s heart.