Summary: What people need today more than anything else is the truth concerning their eternal destiny.
THE PLAIN TRUTH
INTRO. The world today is hurting for the truth. We hear a lot about the "credibility gap". That is the difference between what the people are told and the real truth. There is a credibility gap in the presentation of the gospel also. Many people are lost and on the road to hell because they do not know that there is a difference between what they have been told and the real truth.
Our text says (vs. 23). If the plight of mankind is as bad as the bible says it is then it is the wise man who will do everything in his power to obtain the truth. The Bible tells us that man’s condition is a dark picture; the Devil’s crowd tells us that man’s condition is a rosy picture. Fornication has become premarital sex, adultery is now called love affairs, drunks have a disease, crime is a mistake brought about by social inequality, sodomy is considered an alternate lifestyle. What is the plain truth and how important is it to us that we know that truth?
I. LEARN THE PLAIN TRUTH ABOUT SIN.
A. Sin is universal.
1. There is nobody who is not a sinner. There is no one who has not sinned everyday of their life. Most everyone here has already sinned this morning.
2. Sin is not a way of life, it is a part of life. Sin is as much a part of us as the blood that flows in our veins. (The hypocrite is as much a sinner as the drunkard.)
3. It is popular today to preach that sin is a force of evil and that it can be avoided. That it is possible to live above sin, that it is possible to live without sin. It would be nice to live without sin and I look forward to a day when the Son of God comes back to this earth and men can indeed taste life without the acrid pains of sin.
4. But until Jesus does come back and binds Satan, sin will remain on the rampage, wrecking lives and destroying homes. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of times the bible lays down the indisputable fact that, "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" and that "there is none righteous, no not one."
5. Sin has touched the lives of every man and woman since Adam and Eve. What makes people lie and steal? SIN. What makes people lash out and try to hurt others...burn and destroy...murder and rape and rob...alcoholics and dope addicts...SIN.
B. Sin is the great destroyer.
1. The popular idea is that, "Well, a little sin can’t hurt anything." The little sin of abortion has left literally millions dead in it’s wake.
2. It was sin that started W.W. I and II. Sin is behind every lie and rumor. Sin assassinates characters, lives, and nations. In all the tens of millions of words I might be able to say about sin I could not find one good thing to say that would commend it.
II. YOU SHOULD KNOW THE PLAIN TRUTH ABOUT HELL.
A. You should know that hell is real.
1. There are a lot of men in the ministry today who don’t believe that there is a real hell.
B. You should also know that hell is for eternity.
1. The man we just read about in Lk. 16 wanted out of hell, but he couldn’t get out. He wanted to warn his friends and relatives not to come to hell.
2. Now there are men who will tell you that there is no reason for you to fear hell. Even if you do go there you can get out someday...God is too loving to make you stay there forever.
3. "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." (II Pet. 3:9) It is not God’s will that you die and go to hell.
III. YOU SHOULD KNOW THE PLAIN TRUTH ABOUT GOD.
A. God is loving and compassionate. He has no desire to see you go to hell.
1. (ill) -- I don’t want to see anyone go to jail but lawbreakers must be punished. If a man breaks the law it is his fault, not mine.
2. If people go to hell it will not be because God has forsaken them but rather because they have forsaken God.
3. The Bible tells us that God loves the world to the point of redeeming it at the excessively high cost of the life of His only Son. (Jn. 3:16)