Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Running From the Truth Will Lead You To Hell

Today we will we talking about another issue that has crept its way into the church.  It is not something often preached from pulpits, but something believed by a very large part of those who consider themselves to be Christian.  Today I want to talk about the issue of relative truth.  In a recent poll, a mere 40% of those who profess to be Christian actually believe the Bible to be the infallible Word of God.  Every Statement of Faith I have ever read from any church always lists the Bible as being the infallible Word of God as part of that church's core beliefs.  Despite that being true, the people in the pews seem to disagree in large part.  That number should be shocking.  It is more than shocking, though, it is disgusting.  When we start playing with the fallibility of the Word of God, we are flirting with disaster.  If the Bible be not the Word of God, then anything goes.  Here is what the Word says.
And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.  2 Peter 1:19-21 NKJV
The Bible declares itself to be Truth spoken of God through man.  To call the word fallible is to call it deceitful.  If you call any part of the Word in question, you call it all in question.  I say that because if one part is not true then what trust can you have in the rest?  It become merely a book of nice ideas for one idea of right living.  It is much more than that.  The Bible is the foundation for all that we believe.  The Bible is the ultimate source of authority for our lives. 
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV
Again, if you call any part of the Bible untrue, you are calling it all a liar.  "All Scripture is given by inspiration."  "All Scripture" is profitable for doctrine. "All Scripture" is profitable for reproof.  "All Scripture" is profitable for correction.  "All Scripture" is profitable for instruction in righteousness.  And "All Scripture" is necessary for the man of God to be complete and equipped for every good work.  This does not say "some" Scripture or even "most of" Scripture.  This verse says "all." 

So with all this evidence that the Word is complete, infallible, and necessary, why do 60% of people who call themselves Christian not belief it to be so?  The answer is also given in the Word.
To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.  Titus 1:15-16 NKJV
Note how this is the complete opposite of 2 Timothy. In 2 Timothy we are taught that the whole counsel of God is necessary for the man of God to be equipped for every good work.  We are taught in Titus that the those who feign belief are not qualified for any good work.  I think that Titus gives a very good description of the majority of those who call themselves Christian.  They profess to know God, but they deny Him with their works.  They are defiled and unbelieving despite their false profession and they are not qualified for any good work.  If you are obedient to the Word of God, you are qualified.  If you are disobedient, you are not qualified.  In order to be obedient to the Word, you have to believe that Word has authority.  If you believe that Word has authority, you will take the time to study it. 

Am I saying that the majority of people who grace our presence in church from time to time are not saved?  Yes, I am saying that.  The proof is in their lives.  The proof is in that 60% of those who claim to be Christian deny one of the foundational principles of Christianity.  Many of these come to church because they are lonely or they are looking for a nice Christian man or woman.  Many like the "idea" of Christianity except where it pertains to changing their lives.  Many of these grew up in church and never made that faith their own, it is a family tradition for them and not a life-changing faith.  Many of these associate as Christian because it is just what their family is and when they were young mom and dad told them they were Christian.  For many, they think that showing up to church somehow pleases God as though they can earn favor with God through attendance never realizing that gathering as believers is for us to hear from God not for God to mark attendance in a book.  For them, they are trying to earn their place in Heaven never realizing that it is by grace alone. 

For some, denying Scripture is not enough, they need to twist those parts that declare evil what they find to be pleasing. 
Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.  2 Peter 3:14-16 NKJV
These wolves in sheep's clothing who inhabit are pews are repeating the same old lie: "Has God really said.."  They twist meanings of words to justify drunkenness, salvation without repentance or sanctification or cheap grace, homosexuality, adultery, envy, greed, and any and all matter of just about any sin you can imagine.  They do so to justify the sins they cherish in their own lives to make them feel better about themselves.  Sadly, for them, it is like treating deadly cancer with Tylenol.  It makes them feel better for a time, all the while the sin disease is killing their spirit.  If they are not saved, that death will be eternal as they find themselves waking up in an eternity of pain and misery. 

The worst of these come to church each and every week and put on a false sense of spirituality while going home to drink, to beat their husbands or wives, to abuse their children, to partake in drugs, to commit sexual sin, to commit adultery, or just about anything else.  Yes, these are extreme examples but all ones I have heard of.  While your example may not be so dramatic, it is just as filthy in the eyes of God.  They same "Amen" to the sermon then quietly speak heresy spreading their disease throughout the flock.  It is not so much that they care to make everyone else sin, but it is to harden their own hearts against the conviction the Holy Spirit is speaking to them.  They do so because in their minds if enough people deny the Truth, it will somehow make it untrue. But wait, if they do not believe, why would they even care about others believing it or not?  The problem is that as much as they want to deny the Truth, as hard as they wish they could not believe the Truth, the fact that as they sit under its teaching week after week is having a convicting work in their hearts.  You can not run from the power of the Truth of God's word.
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.  Isaiah 55:11 NKJV
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
We can harden ourselves against it, we can deny it, but we can not ignore it.  God's Word does not return void.  God's Word convicts us unto righteousness and gives us the message of grace through Jesus Christ.  That 60% of Christians who say they do not believe in the Word are really just people who do not want to believe the Word.  If they truly stopped believing, if God hardened their hearts, they would no longer associate themselves as Christians.  The fact that they show up to church shows that God is having some effect in their hearts.  It does not mean they will accept Jesus, but it does mean that God is still speaking to them and that His word is still piercing their hearts. 

If you are one of those who denies any part of Scripture to justify your sin, let this message be a warning to you.  If the desire to justify your own sin is greater than the authority of the Word of God, you have serious problems.  The first problem is that there is a good chance you are not saved. If you deny the infallibility of the Word of God, then what is the basis for any claim to faith you may have?  You may deceive others, you may even to some extent deceive yourself, but you will never ever deceive God.  As we just read "All things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."  If you are living to justify your own sin, that statement should scare you.  Do not run from that conviction.  Do not harden your heart.  Turn to God and accept His gift of salvation.  There is no sin so good that it is worth your eternal soul.  Give up the fallen life you are trying to justify and answer that conviction in your heart to turn your life over to God.  Please do so while there is still time.  First of all, no man knows the day or the hour of his death.  Secondly, God will eventually remove that conviction and turn you over to the life you so desire.  And, finally, the only reason you are even allowed in church professing the lie of believing while living to justify your sin dragging others into your filthy pit is because the leaders of that church have not the backbone to do their duty and remove the cancer, you, from their midst.  Accept the truth you know to be true.  Accept Jesus as Lord and He will be your savior.  I will end today with a warning from Scripture. 
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.  Romans 1:24-32 NKJV

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