What Will You Do When You Find the Truth?
The wave of recent “deconstructions” among prominent leaders within the denominational world has been the source of much alarm within those communities. “Deconstruction” in this context would refer to the abandonment of previously held and defended beliefs, a process which Jesus described as “falling away” in John 16.1 and Matt. 24.10 in regard to abandoning faith in Him. These men and women are very vocal and bold about their departure from the strands of progressive Christianity they represent, and this has left many within these communities searching for a reliable source of truth in places other than charismatic pastors or song lyrics of popular contemporary worship. For example, John L. Cooper (lead singer for a popular Christian rock group) put it this way: “we are in a dangerous place when the church is looking to 20-year-old worship singers as our source of truth.”. Their frustration on account of unreliable leaders and flimsy sources of truth has led them to abandon the “sinking sand” and search for the Rock on which to build their faith, worship, and religion. To those who are out there sincerely searching for the truth, I am first of all thrilled and excited about what you will find in the pages of God’s word. My next question is the one I’d like you to consider: What will you do when you find it?
The reality of the “falling away” of progressive Christian leaders is they have finally given up calling what they do “Christianity” because it is glaringly incongruent with the words of scripture. The Bible is God-breathed and is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3.16-17). The Word is inspired, infallible, and inerrant (2 Pet. 1.19-21; Ps. 19.7-11; John 10.35). The WORD is the singular source of God’s revealed will to us today and when we go to it the Truth is plainly communicated to us.
When we come face to face with the truth, what will we do when the Word requires drastic and uncomfortable changes to the way we think, believe, and practice our faith? Will we indeed heed ALL of what is written? The issue isn’t whether or not we have the truth, but instead what will we do with the truth that God has revealed to us. The scripture’s teachings concerning such issues as homosexuality, the women’s role in the church, worship, salvation, the use of church funds and the like are what many rejected in favor of progressivism (error), and those who truly desire truth must be willing to accept what they had previously rejected.
We have in scripture many examples of hearing God’s truth and rejecting the message. In 1 Kings 22 Ahab and Jehoshaphat (the kings of Israel and Judah, respectively) are preparing to battle Syria at Ramoth-Gilead. Ahab’s 400 false prophets advised them to go up and fight, but the lone prophet of God, Micaiah, spoke quite a different message: “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. And the LORD said, ‘These have no master; let each return to his home in peace.’” (v.17) Ahab was presented with the truth from God, and that truth ran counter to his own will and intentions. Ahab decided against heeding the word of God and paid for it with his life. Ahab was willing to listen to Micaiah but unwilling to heed His words.
In similar fashion, the ruler of Luke 18 came to Jesus because he desired the truth. He knew Jesus was the one who could teach him that truth, addressing him as “Good Teacher”. Jesus told Him the truth he so desperately needed to hear: “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (v.22). The ruler was presented with the truth from God, and that truth called for a very drastic change in his life. The ruler “became very sad, for he was extremely rich.”, and Matthew 19.22 tells us he went away from Jesus. The ruler was willing to listen to Jesus but unwilling to heed His words. When you find the truth, what will you do with it?
I freely admit that the difficulty of changing one’s course when presented with the truth is not to be taken lightly, especially when that course has been many years in the making and with many supporters along the way. However difficult the change might be, the truth is worth the struggle! The nation of Judah during the reign of Amon in 2 Chronicles 33 had descended into deeper depths of depravity and idolatry, following the examples of Amon and the previous wickedness of his father Manasseh. Following Amon’s murder Josiah takes the throne, and in the 18th year of his reign the Book of the Law is found (!) in the Temple. When this book was read in his presence “he tore his clothes” (2 Ch. 34.19) and immediately resolved to return to the truth that had been presented to him. What followed was a zealous purge of the idolatry that had plagued the land and restoration of the Passover and temple worship. Josiah was presented with the truth, and because of his tender and humble heart (2 Ch. 34.27), he repented and sought to change all that God’s word required. When you find the truth, will you respond as Josiah did?
When we seek the truth, we ultimately seek Jesus who is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14.6). When we diligently seek the truth, we desire to be saved: “This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2.3-4). Our desire for the truth leads to sanctification in the truth of God’s word (John 17.17). However, if one discovers the truth and continues to live in defiance of it, “there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins” (Heb. 10.26). This is true no matter what God’s word requires of us, or what we have to sacrifice to live in accordance with it.
The desire for the solid rock of truth is wonderful, but this is only the beginning. The search ends within the pages of the Bible, and the real question is this: When you find the truth, what will you do with it?