Summary: In this message I define what absolute truth means and encourage believers to live it out and bear witness to it.
Intro: We are starting a new sermon series this month called “Truths that Make a Difference.” This morning I want to talk about the truth about truth.
Please turn in your Bibles to John 18:28-38. (READ) I want to focus on a few of these verses. Read verse 38. Pilate asked, “What is truth?” Pilate asked the question that so many are wondering about and confused about. We are actually living in a world that is waging war on truth!
A few years ago, a major Multinational company was looking for a new Marketing Director. After much advertising and many application, three candidates entered the final selection process. A mathematician, a statistician and a solicitor. The first to be invited in for the final interview was the mathematician and the Managing Director asked him a simple question: What is 2+2. The mathematician was surprised, thought about it for a bit, wondered if it might be a trick question and then simply answered 4. The Managing Director looked at the Board, shook his head and thanked him for coming, but he wasn’t the candidate they were looking for.
The statistician was the next in and and the Managing Director asked him too the simple question: What is 2+2. He paused, thought about it for a bit and then replied that statistically it was a number between 3 and 5. The Managing Director smiled and Board were quite impressed. The candidate was thanked and ushered out. The last candidate, the solicitor was then invited in to the interview and the Managing Director asked him too the simple question: What is 2+2. Without batting an eyelid he replied: “What do you want it to be”. And was promptly hired on the spot. (Sermon Central.com)
What do you want truth to be? This is a prevailing question today.
STATISTIC: 72% of American people believe that there is no absolute truth. If that is not shocking enough listen to this: 67% of conservative, Bible believing believers do not believe that there is absolute truth. (Chuck Colson—“Being the Body”)
When we talk about truth we are saying this: That which is right for everyone, at all times and at all places. (Josh Mcdowell)
TRANS: There are basically two models for understanding truth.
#1). Truth is defined by God for everyone, it is objective and absolute. (Josh McDowell—“Right from Wrong)
Objective means something defined outside ourselves (meaning Creator God). Absolute means that which is true for all people, for all times for all places.
#2). Truth is defined by the individual, it is subjective and situational.
Your view of truth is either shaped by objectivity or by self.
Let me try and illustrate this. If your parents tell you that your curfew is 10 p.m. on the week days and 11 p.m. on the weekends is that absolute? No, someone else’s curfew might be at midnight. But if you say Sex is reserved only for marriage—that is absolute. Why? Because God (who is objective and makes the rules) says so.
How about this….You have a final exam today. But you were up until 4 a.m. with a migraine headache so you weren’t able to study. You have great grades and you want to keep up your GPA. So, you create a cheat sheet thinking (just this one time…I would make a good grade anyway). You use the cheat sheet and come out with an A. What helped shaped your decision? Your understanding of truth. Line that up against our definition of truth now.
How many of you have ever swam against a strong current? It’s tough. It’s hard. You can’t give up. It’s a struggle. If you are not careful the current can easily sweep you away. There are all kinds of currents that influence our view of God. Here are just two of them.
A). The influence of culture and the media.
Most of us know the names Phil Donahue and Oprah Winfrey. These names are synonymous with pop culture. Their voices and so many others have introduced ideas and perspectives in to our homes that present a stark contrast to biblical worldviews. (Chuck Colson) Believe it or not, some people view Oprah as their “spiritual advisor.” One woman replied, “I always say I am a member of the church of Oprah, and Dr. Phil is my Higher Power.”
Listen to Oprah long enough and you will begin to understand her philosophy on truth. I quote, “One of the biggest mistakes we make is to believe that there is only one way. There are many diverse paths leading to God.” She also consistently preaches that the truth, key to happiness is not found anywhere else but INSIDE.
We need to be very aware of these things. IF we are not careful the more we get immersed in this culture we don’t see what it is actually doing to us. Now, I’m not saying we go buy a compound and all move into it….but be aware that the Lord wants believers to influence the culture not the culture influence believers.