Summary: To call people to discover or re-discover absolute truth. I talk about why truth matters and what happens when people don’t live their lives under the banner of truth.
The Truth Matters
New Community Church
By Lynn Floyd
“Jesus said, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place. You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” “What then is truth?” Pilate asked.
What is truth? This is a question so many in our culture today are wondering. Unfortunately many are concluding that there is no truth. It is also just as heartbreaking to know that even those who profess to be Christ followers are having a hard time coming to terms with what really is truth.
A recent survey by George Gallup Jr. revealed a startling trend in our culture. According to Gallup the evidence seems to indicate that there are no clear behavioral patterns that distinguish Christians from non-Christians in our society. We all seem to be marching to the same drummer, looking to the shifting standards of contemporary culture for the basis of what is acceptable behavior.
In the latter part of John 18 Jesus is standing before Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea. Pilate had the authority to execute or not execute Jesus. Pilate is trying to see if the testimony of the Jewish authorities had enough weight in order for him to carry out their desire to have Jesus killed. Jesus declares his kingship (which is a heavenly one). Pilate can hardly believe that and laughingly exclaims You, a King!? Jesus goes on to say that it was for that purpose (his kingship, his rule, authority, influence,) that he came into the world and to also bear witness to the truth. As a matter of fact, Jesus implies, if you were really interested in truth Pilate then you would listen to me!
Pilate was looking truth eye to eye. Truth is of God. Truth is from God. And unfortunately, many like Pilate look face to face with truth and just walk away.
You see Jesus came testifying that God, his plan and purposes were truth. Jesus didn’t come to this earth with a different agenda than his Father’s. It was the Father’s will to send his Son to testify of his authority (kingship) and to the fact that God is true.
There are two models of truth in our world today. Since Adam and Eve these two models have been going on. One is true and the other is false.
The first model is that truth is defined by God for everyone, it is objective and absolute. In other words, what God said and commands is true for all people, for all times and for all places. So, when God says thou shall not commit adultery thousands of years ago, he means it today. Jesus goes on to say that we are not even to entertain the though in our minds.
The second model (and the one we are seeing more and more today) is truth defined by the individual, it is subjective and situational. In other words, what is true for you may not be true for me. When one follows this model they look at the command, thou shall not commit adultery and say well, that might have been true 4000 years ago but this is the 21st century. Everyone is doing it so I will too. In other words choices are made at that moment and depend not upon how it pleases a holy God but how it pleases me.
So, truth defined by God is objective (it is defined outside ourselves). It doesn’t depend on ourselves. Subjective truth depends upon what we think is right or wrong not on what God thinks.
TRUTH COMES FROM GOD
Transition: I want to give some reasons today why truth matters and what happens when truth doesn’t matter to an individual and the effects on our lives.
Let’s talk about when truth doesn’t matter.
I. When truth doesn’t matter to an individual it’s easy to be deceived.
Psychic hotlines; if the world was convinced psychics held all the answers in the palms of their hands why would they put “for entertainment purposes only” at the bottom of the screen during their commercials.
Dabbling in the occult
These are powerfully deceiving us every day.
We all want to know our purpose. We all want to know how our lives can be better. We want to live forever.
So, it’s easy to be intrigued when someone comes on the scene claiming promises to better your life or better yet tell you what’s going to happen to you.