Bible Ballistics: Truth or Consequences??? Vol. 4 #26
If you’ve noticed this week, truth is up for debate! From celebrities questioning the motives and beliefs of ‘Bible believing Christians’, and telling us we are ‘sinners’ if we don’t accept immorality and perversion. After all people can love whomever they please (see the BBs for Wed. & Fri.); a religious leader declares that the ‘big bang theory’ and the ‘theory of evolution’ are fact, and we don’t need to trust that God created everything from nothing—after all that would mean God could do anything—and that’s just too much to expect from God (even though He declared Himself to be creator as Father, Son and Holy Spirit). Lastly, this week our political head declares that we “can’t have” moms or dads staying home and out of the work force to care for their own families, instead of being ‘productive’ citizens in the outside workforce! Oh really?
Well I don’t know about you, but I’ve already voted. I may not be in charge or have great power or influence, but I can be a good steward of the freedoms that we still have. Please go vote your beliefs and conscience as elections are upon us here in the U.S. Those of you outside of the U.S., be a good, productive, honorable and responsible Christian citizen in whatever ways are available to you. So what does this have to do with our title, “Truth or Consequences”? Well, a lot I think.
John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Governments may guard and protect freedom, but only God gives real freedom—IN JESUS!!! (Remember John 14:6—Only One Way)
John 14:17, “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.“
God’s truth is ‘revealed’ not acquired from the world, and when we receive Jesus, we receive the Holy Spirit who imparts new birth and truth to us, as well as God’s love!!! And we are to study to ‘show yourselves approved unto God’. (See Rom. 5:1-5 & 2 Timothy 2:15)
1 Timothy 2 :1-6, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
We are to pray for our government leaders, that we might live peaceable lives and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. And as Paul mentions above, God wants, “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth….”. And Peter refers to this same principle in 2 Peter 3:9,
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
We are to live godly lives and be submissive to the government authorities over us, so that we may proclaim the good news of Jesus freely. (See Romans 13:1-7). But by the same token we are never, I repeat NEVER, to compromise the truth to ‘get along’. We are to pray for rulers to make godly decisions, but we are never called to approve of evil, or support it in any way. When we have the freedom to be a part of the solution we are to be diligent to ‘withstand in the evil day”. (See Ephesians 6:10-18)
The disciples/apostles of our Lord faced this dilemma in the days shortly after the coming of the Holy Spirit. They were preaching truth about Jesus, doing miracles and sharing the gospel publicly; because of that they were called into account before the ‘powers that be’. They were commanded to NOT preach in Jesus’ name, so let’s look at the recorded account and take note of their response—not with disrespect, rude or crude behavior, but simply and respectfully proclaiming their commitment to God.
Acts 4:16-21, “Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. 17 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. 18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. 21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.”
They took a stand for conscience sake! They spoke truth in power & love! And God was glorified! What about me? You?
Lastly, I’d like to share some examples of steadfastness with which many of us are familiar, that they may help us understand what true ‘godliness’ looks like in the public arena. Here we have three men who had high government positions, yet when called to violate their conscience and true devotion to their God, they stood firm and spoke truth. They spoke it with courage and power, not in an air of disrespect or arrogance. They responded with humble confidence in their God. Who are you serving? How are you serving when conflict arises? Are others seeing Jesus in us? Are we courageous enough to speak truth when no one wants to hear it? Truth? And consequence?
Daniel 3:16-19, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. 19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.” Truth brought a furnace to them!!!
Yet God honored their faithful, humble obedience. But remember they had declared to Nebuchadnezzar, that even if God didn’t deliver them in a visible manner, they would still trust and serve Him. Much like Job’s declaration.
Job 13:15, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.”
So my friends, are we willing to live with integrity before God? Before others? Are we willing to live the “truth” regardless of the consequences? Or are we letting the “consequences” determine our view of “truth”?
“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:14-16
You decide!!! It’s your call. Truth? And Consequences?
Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”