Bible Lesson 161

Opening Our Eyes To The Truth

“If you abide in My word, then are you my disciples indeed and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:30-32

“Give to us clear vision that we may know where to stand and what to stand for – because unless we stand for something, we shall fall for anything.” Peter Marshall

In this lesson we will attempt to clarify what truth is, and why, many people today do not believe the truth. That’s right folks, we, here in this mixed-up society have developed an attitude that what is true for one person, may not be true for someone else, and that has led us to the great errors of tolerance, and our desire to manipulate God instead of submitting to God. We for the most part are confused about what truth really is. When we attempt to define truth, we find that it is not easy, but it certainly is possible.

Truth is best recognized as what is real, actual, factual, ideal, genuine, veracious, judged and found actual. Biblical truth is absolute, and never changes, never fails the test, and is inestimable, dependable and revealed. We can trust our eternal souls to what we know to be the truth, and that truth is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). God has made Jesus Christ to be truth for eternity, He embodies God’s grace and truth, (John 1:14). Biblical truth is what we want to explore today, because the truths that we find in the Bible are absolute truths that have stood and have been the hope of people for ages.

Not that there have not been challengers who would have us believe that some of the Bible is not true, but the challengers have been broken, judged by the Almighty God who revealed these absolute truths to faithful men who wrote them down for us. In all probability you have heard some little shirt-tail preacher who has been educated beyond his intelligence, by some college or seminary say, Oh, the Bible certainly contains truth ‘but’; and when you hear that you know it is time to run from that place without hesitation.

What they want you to believe is that the Bible contains truth’.that it is inspired in spots and only they with their intelligence can spot the spots. Any person who says anything like that is to be moved away from because He is placing himself in the place of God and although God has good aim, you wouldn’t want to get smoke on your clothes.

It is sad but true, that the devil is still at work and we have leveled the mountains and made his way easy by all of the silliness that we have allowed to be preached from pulpits across America. It is my hope that other countries who have not had the blessings of having the Word of God, the Bible, have not sunk as low as we have here.

This challenging of the Word of God, and the God of the Word, began decades ago, when some men wanted to make the preachers job easy, and so they began something a little different, and called it neo-orthodoxy which was simply a way to change the Word of God, into the Word of man. We have played with the plain and simple truths of the gospel to the point that there is no longer any gospel (good news); instead it is more like an unfinished story that we, as lost and blind and deaf and dumb sinners, can finish any way we want to.

We need to remind ourselves that God is the Creator, and we are simply creatures; and that includes preachers, teachers, Evangelists, priests and bishops and the pope. We can and have made ourselves believe that salvation is something that we can reach and grab at the last minute before we die, but don’t believe that because God gives salvation to those who will obey so that they will glorify Him as they live and serve Him until they die.

I am not a great believer in death bed conversion. Yes, God can and will save anyone that He wants to but the Bible only documents one case of it and that man died hanging beside Christ. Shame on us for sneaking around and attempting to change God’s mind about His Sovereignty in Salvation. You can always tell these fellows that preach less than God’s complete control of Salvation’they preach something but it never comes up to God’s Grace and Mercy in true salvation. Listen to me, people, we can make church members and baptize them and join fellowship with them from now on, but all we do is to guarantee their eternity in hell forever. We act like the pagans did on Mount Carmel, when Elijah, renewed the altar of the Lord, and challenged the pagans to prove that their God was really able to do anything.

The pagans had an altar and Elijah restored the Lord’s altar and they began their contest of the gods. The pagans took a bull and offered it to their puny god, and they cried out to their god, to hear them and when he did not, they cut themselves and shed their blood but their god was not a god at all and so he could not answer them. Then Elijah made a trench around the Lord’s altar, put wood on it and placed his offering on the wood. Then Elijah had the people pour twelve pots of water on the altar, and the water wet it all and ran down into the trench. Then Elijah prayed “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your Word.” Then the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel proved who was God by sending down fire from heaven and consumed the burnt offering, the wood and the stones and the dust and it licked up the water that was in the trench. Then these pitiful people who had for so long worshiped a god that could not speak or see or hear or walk, fell on their faces and said'”The Lord, He is God! The Lord, He is God!” (Read chapter 18 of First Kings).

Now I want you to look at what Elijah did before he closed that worship service. He executed the 450 prophets of Baal. It is interesting to note right here that those who had worshiped this false god of Baal, really were deserving of death also (Deuteronomy 13:13-18). We do not have any Elijah’s in our world today, so we don’t kill false professors; however God expects us to keep our light out from under the bushel and we need to point out these false preachers and teachers and make sure that we don’t end up following them to hell. It is interesting to see how Elijah proved what was true to those people that gathered on mount Carmel. He simply repaired the Lord’s altar, and God did the rest. God would do that in the churches of our day if we could ever move past the status quo, that gives us such comfort. How do we repair the Lord’s altar’ We do it simply by clearing off a space around us and falling on our face before the true God, and asking for His forgiveness as we begin to set aside every single thing that is not one of the Bible truths. Then we begin to follow the Will and the Way of Almighty God and we teach others to do the same (Matthew 28:19-20).

The reason that so many of the people in Elijah’s day were following Baal, was that they had forgotten what God had said in favor of what lost idol worshipers had to tell them, and were enticed by the quirky, and fleshly antics of the other idol worshipers. If that is what intrigues you or calls you to join those who are going to hell, all I can do is to cry out repent or perish! Repent is one of the foundation stones of Christianity, but the visible church rarely mentions repentance and even when it is mentioned it is clouded by gibberish like, just profess Christ and do the best that you can, or God would never send anyone to hell or change will come if you just wait. That is an example of preachers and teachers who have no idea about Biblical Truth. I know, it is hard for us to admit that we have been fooled; because if we admit that we were fooled about the Truth, we have to admit that we had been too lazy to really study the Word of God so that we could recognize the truth when we heard it. That brings us t0 the crux of our lesson today, and that is that we as a people who would honor God and inherit heaven, must repent and turn away from our little idols that we have built in our minds and learn the absolute truths of the Bible which is the inerrant, infallible and inspired Word of the Living God.

We must leave those who do not care for what God says, but live their lives by the lies of some one else who, like them are too lazy or too arrogant to learn God’s truths and then teach it just like it comes off the page. For too long we have followed our herd instinct but we are nearing the place where God will no longer strive with us, and once that happens we open ourselves to His judgment. If we are honest with ourselves we will realize that we do not come up to the place where we are glorifying to God and we certainly do not love Him and enjoy Him and His eternal plan for our lives. We have joined with the group that parrots the little phrase that is surely written above the wide gate that leads to hell, which says, “Let’s forget doctrines and just love Jesus Christ and float into heaven.”. That is what so many believe today, and the proof of it is that they follow and hear those who preach that damnable idea. God tells us in His Word that we are to be careful who we hear, so we should be careful not to listen to men who practice ‘back-rubbing’ sermons. Oh, they may take their Bibles and read a verse of scripture then take off on a feel good sermon that makes you feel good about yourself just like you are; because he never accuses you of sin. If you listen to those kinds of sermons just remember to ask him to rub your back when you both end up in hell.

Oh, you say, you don’t like those kinds of sermons’ That is unusual because that is the reason that the gospel of God, the Good News of Jesus Christ, is to be preached! God in time gave us the law and the law teaches us three lessons: “We should live according to the will and way of God as revealed in the Bible. We haven’t done so, and further we cannot keep the law.” That leaves us in a very desperate condition, we are lost and under God’s condemnation and wrath, We are up the proverb able creek without a paddle; but “God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive with Christ (by Grace you have been saved).” What a beautiful and comforting verse of Scripture that is! However, it does not apply universally to everyone, it only applies to those who have known the truth of God and have been offered that new birth which is from above. We have to make that distinction in our lesson because too many people who hear that believe that because they heard it and believed it, they are saved. Salvation is of God and it is much deeper and is much richer than simply hearing something and giving our mental nod of the head to it.

True salvation begins and ends with God and If I could explain all of the acts of God and tell you when and why He does them to save us, then I would be too smart. Nobody knows the mind of God to that extent; but we can know a lot about God, and it is all in His love letter to us, that we call the Bible. What we can know is that God has made provision for that desperate creature that we wrote about a few lines ago, and it was in His plan for mankind before He created Adam. God provided all that we needed in order to be the creature that He created Adam to be. Christ was the answer and in eternity past it was in God’s plan that His One and Only Son Jesus Christ would leave heaven and come to dwell, in the form and flesh of man, with us on the earth to demonstrate God and His will and ways to us, and finally to pay the ultimate price for our sins by dying on the cross in our place. Our salvation, in time here on the earth, involves a death and a rebirth, a going to the cross in Christ ,and being raised up a new creature that can, and will follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

The kind of preaching that we need to be hearing is, that everyone of us is a depraved creature that is at war with the Creator, and the depraved creature is under the wrath of our Holy God the moment it is conceived. The problem is that that sinful creature remains a candidate for hell, unless and until God reaches down and begins our ‘quickening’ and brings us back to spiritual life and regenerates us in our salvation(Ephesians 2:1-10). So many people have never heard a true gospel sermon, even though they attend some church all the time. They have heard sermons that were bounced off of some promise scripture and then perverted to make it acceptable to sinners, and they really enjoyed that; but they are lost and blind and naked and going to hell unless they plow their heart and mind and make it ready for the good seed of the gospel.

Being awake and alert and mindful of what God has said to all of us in His Word, is not works religion, all it does is to indicate a soul that is hungry for that bread that was spilled from the Lord’s table. God tells us that “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Let me say right here that you could learn the entire Bible, if that were possible, and still go to hell when you die. It has to be learned in such a way that the truth that God intended for us to know becomes evident and then it must be received with Christ as the Chief cornerstone, to the degree that it converts us and changes us into God’s child. There is no greater miracle than the new birth that comes in true salvation. As I said before it includes the touch of God from heaven, the death of the old fleshly creature, and the birth of a New Creature, with all the old stains and habits of Adam passed away, and the nature of God placed in us by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

True salvation does not come by your walking a church aisle, shaking a preachers hand and being dunked in their baptistery. All that makes you is a church member, and in God’s eyes that is nothing. God is not looking to build little synagogues of Satan on the earth, He is building the Church which is the Bride of Christ, and a light in the World of Darkness. Let me ask you, ‘do you think by any stretch of the imagination that the churches of our day are reflecting the light of Christ to a lost world” Now, certainly there are some, but not on the scale that it could be or should be. The problem is that we have so many people worshiping their particular groups and individual churches. It seems that many refuse to ever examine themselves or their particular church. They have become comfortable with whatever the status quo is at a particular time, and further than that they are not comfortable with anyone questioning their salvation.

Just what is this status quo that I keep mentioning’ It is the fun and games, the meeting of felt needs of the congregation, the sports, and entertainment, and the various other programs that every church now days are involved with. We don’t go to church to love God and hear the truth expounded, instead we worship our sweet little preacher that has such a good sense of humor, and never steps on any of our nerves with his form of preaching. Recently, I had a crew cutting some trees in my yard, and while talking to one of the crew I asked him something about his beliefs. He talked for a while about different churches he had attended over his life and then he made a statement about a pastor that he liked; and what he said was he liked him because he had a good sense of humor. Let me tell you for sure a pastors good sense of humor may make you happy, but when the absolute truths are preached and applied to congregations it will make them holy. I can almost hear it from some who read this’. ‘come on brobob’.nobody is holy!’.

If that is true, then nobody will enter heaven. Where did this idea come from that none are righteous and holy’ It didn’t come from God because He says to us again and again “Be you holy because I am holy.” (Ephesians 1:4,13; Ephesians 5:27; Colossians 1:22; 1st Timothy 2:8; Titus 1:8;1`st Peter 1:15; Matthew 5:48). Salvation which includes repentance and conversion does not change a person on the outside, so we look just like we did before God saved us, with perhaps a little brighter countenance. The radical change comes from within us, as God nails that old creature with everything that pertains to Adam. We are buried and raised up as new creatures, as evidenced to all around us by our water baptism, and God takes that old heart of stone, that heart that resisted and rejected God and His will and way, and gives us a heart of flesh. We are indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God who never leaves us, but instead, leads us and teaches us about Christ. That does not simply make it possible for us to lead lives that glorify God, it makes it 100% probable. When God works in us it means that we are changed in our nature and our attitude and all other things pertaining to us.

We may still dress funny, and some may be more direct in speaking than others but our lives are lived for Jesus, and nobody can change that (Philippians 2:13; Romans 8:28-30;Titus 2:11-12). The person who is truly saved does not dabble in half-truths or current events in his preaching, because God instills in us an insatiable desire to know as much of His truth as He will allow us to gain. I will close this lesson by telling you that any man worth his salt, will never be concerned for anything except the souls of men and glorifying God and they will always seek the truth of God’s Word and make sure that you understand that when he preaches it: it is because he and you both need it.

Until next time,

may God bless and keep you

This is Bro. Bob