Summary: In this day & age it is sometimes difficult to know what is true. But surely, there are some things we can count on, some things we can know for sure.
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
CENTRAL CHRISTIAN, BROWNSVILLE, TX
A. What do we know for sure? In this age of contemporary uncertainty it is difficult to know what is true, because what was considered true yesterday may not be considered true today.
ILL. For example, for a generation we have been worried about cholesterol, & we’ve tried very hard to cut out cholesterol in our diet. But now we’re being told that there is "good" cholesterol & "bad" cholesterol, & we’re confused.
And to our dismay, several years ago some scientists announced that they have discovered that butter is better for us than margarine. Here many of us have been using margarine for years because we thought that using butter was about the worst thing we could do!
What about milk? For some time now Ethel & I have been buying 2% lowfat instead of whole milk. But some scientists are saying now that it really doesn’t make much difference. So what are we to believe?
ILL. In the light of all this uncertainty, a friend of mine has said he is convinced that in the near future they’ll discover that Blue Bell ice cream with chocolate syrup is a cure for both heart disease & cancer. So anticipating that discovery, he is going to continue eating all the ice cream he wants.
B. In a time when we are surrounded by uncertainty, is it possible that we feel threatened by someone who speaks with certainty? If someone were to come up to you & say, "I have the truth & I want to share it with you," you might tend to think of that person as being arrogant because we usually feel more comfortable with people who say, "Well, it could be this, or it could be that. I believe this, but I realize you might believe something else & you’re entitled to your belief just as I’m entitled to mine."
ILL. But there is a problem with that attitude. The Dallas Morning News printed an article trying to explain why many churches lost almost a whole generation of people back in the 60’s & 70’s. Young people were leaving some of the so-called "main line" denominations en masse, "primarily," the article said, "because they weren’t receiving a sure message in the churches."
"Baby boomers" who dropped out said that the one thing lacking in their homes was a legacy of faith passed down from one generation to another. They said they knew what their dads liked to do - jog & go fishing, but they didn’t know what their dads thought about God. They knew that their mothers liked to be active in community causes, but they didn’t know what their mothers thought about God. So there was this vacuum in their life.
They also said, "On the rare occasions when we did go to church we heard such an uncertain message from the pulpit that we walked away unsatisfied. There was no certainty, no definiteness, no ring of truth in their messages."
PROP. In this day & age, it is sometimes difficult to know what is true, isn’t it? But surely, there are some things we can count on, some things we can know for sure. Just what do we know for sure?
I. THE BIBLE SPEAKS WITH ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY