Summary: In a culture where truth is relative, it’s essential for the church of Christ to remain dedicated to proclaiming the truth of Scripture.
SERIES: “GOD-GIVEN GUIDELINES FOR GROWING A GREAT CHURCH”
(Material taken from Bob Russel’s When God Grows A Church)
TEXT: 2 TIMOTHY 4:1-5 (Don’t read yet)
TITLE: “PROCLAIM THE TRUTH” (Don’t announce yet)
INTRODUCTION: A. In a monologue on 1-7-00, Jay Leno took his own network to task. He poked fun
at the advertising for the new David Cassidy made-for-TV movie. (Cassidy played
Keith Partridge on the 70’s sitcom The Partridge Family). NBC made the claim that
this movie was “true to life”; that only the facts would be given and nothing would be
Leno said, “Good for NBC. They can change the Bible; they can rewrite [the story
of ] Noah’s life but they will tell the truth about David Cassidy.
B. We find humor in that statement but the sad part is, it’s fact and not fiction.
1. The world we live in is not concerned with the truth, especially if it doesn’t agree
with or support their agenda.
2. Robert Withrow, After Heaven – Spirituality in America Since the 1950’s
--gives some startling statistics
a. 69% of the people in this country do not believe the Bible is God’s exact word
b. Only 50% of Americans know that Genesis is the first book of the Bible
c. Only 33% know that Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount
C. We’re used to the fact that the world around us does not know the difference between
right and wrong; between fact and fiction; or between what is true and false.
1. It’s nothing new for people to blur the truth
a. They have distorted it, bent it, and even re-written it.
b. Since time began, Satan and his demons have tried to corrupt the truth.
(1). From Adam and Eve in the Garden to the people of today, truth has been
presented as “relative” or “situational”
(2). The concepts have been tried and re-tried but they are always false.
(3). Jesus called Satan “a liar and the father of all lies.”
2. It is sometimes astonishing to find that there are many churches that do not believe
the truth and do not preach the truth
a. Some of them are afraid if appearing “intolerant”
b. Others feel that they’re being discriminatory or they have a fear of offending
c. The rest are just false religions – they are built on false premises and false
D. Jesus made some startling but very clear statements concerning truth:
1. Jn. 8:32 – “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
--In that statement, Jesus teaches us three things about truth:
a. There is a body of truth that exists.
b. We can know this body of truth that exists
c. This body of truth can have an impact on our lives
2. Jn. 17:17 – “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth”
a. The Bible is God’s word
b. It reveals to us the Eternal Word in Jesus Christ
c. It is therefore essential for us to understand the truth of the word of God and
how it applies to our church and our individual lives.
E. TITLE: “Proclaim The Truth”
--TEXT: 2 Tim. 4:1-5
I. BELIEVE THE TRUTH (The World Doesn’t)
--4:3a and 4a – “For a time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine…;” “They will turn
their ears away from the truth…”
A. The world does not want to believe the truth
1. They don’t want to believe primarily because they would have to make a change
a. They’d have to change how they think
b. They’d have to change how they live
2. In our post-modern world, experience is more important than truth.
a. This philosophy has contributed to a tremendous diversity of beliefs
b. This diversity of beliefs has produced a lot of beliefs that stand at odds with the word of God
3. These unhealthy attitudes have crept into the church, as evidenced by the following results of a survey
of church lay leaders by researcher George Barna:
a. Only 53 percent believe that there are moral truths that are absolute
b. 43 percent say there is no such thing as the Holy Spirit
c. 33 percent believe that Jesus never had a physical resurrection
d. 19 percent believe Jesus sinned while on earth.
4. There is a wide acceptance of other anti-biblical practices happening in the live of those who claim to
--Earlier, I quoted from Robert Withrow’s book, After Heaven – Spirituality in America Since The
1950’s. Listen to some more disturbing statistics:
a. 24% of churchgoers read their daily horoscopes
b. 22% believe in astrology
c. 20% believe in reincarnation
d. 11% believe in channeling
e. 8% believe they have lived a previous life
f. 55% of American churchgoers believe in or have participated in of the things just mentioned.