— The REV. LOU TISCIONE
If there is anything you need to know it is this: you absolutely need to know the truth!
“Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’”
Jesus also said that He is the truth, John 14:6. As He prayed on the night of His passion, Jesus said that God’s word is truth, John 17:17.
So then, if you want to be free and have an intimate relationship with God, it is imperative that you know the truth.
It is comforting to know that there really is objective truth. Every time that I open my Bible, I know that I am reading the truth. The Psalmist wrote, “The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.” Psalm 119:160
The Bible is inerrant and infallible. God never lies and He is always reliable.
Knowing that there is objective truth, it is often frustrating to turn on the TV and watch the latest news. Instead of news, we often get the latest spin on the news. Newspapers are no different, this one being the exception that proves the rule. Our culture appears to value commentary on events rather than the facts surrounding events. Even politicians speak around the truth. The truth is used rather than told.
Yet, ultimate truth can be known. God has revealed Himself by what He has made, His creation and He has condescended to reveal Himself in His word written and supremely in the person and work of Jesus Christ. The terms general and special revelation refer to this knowledge respectively. General revelation is God’s revelation of Himself in Creation, Psalm 19:1 and Romans 1:20. Special revelation is the Bible, 2Timothy 3:16; 2Peter 3:16. Finally, the full revelation of God is His only begotten Son, Jesus, Hebrews 1:1-2. Apart from God’s special revelation leading to Jesus as He is offered in the gospel no one can know God in an intimate and saving relationship, John 17:3.
God radically changes a sinner’s life and gives him or her eyes to see the truth. There is no other way to live that is free. God speaks truth. God is truth. No matter what men try to tell you, know that God is always telling you the truth.
All who know Jesus as He is offered in the gospel readily affirm what I’ve just written. When Jesus asked His disciples if they were considering deserting Him, Peter responded by saying, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” John 6:68.
There is no reason to sugar coat the truth. The fact is, unless a man or woman comes to acknowledge the truth, there is only eternal judgment in store for him or her.
I’ve read that old time gospel preachers used to say, “God said it; I believe it; that settles it.” Here’s a more accurate statement, “God said it that settles it.” There is something very imposing about the truth. It is what it is. No one can change it. In fact, it doesn’t matter if the truth is not received on the one hand. But, on the other hand, it matters for eternity. Man’s only reasonable response to the truth is to submit to it. Seeking to mitigate or spin the truth does dishonor to God and damage to the hearers.
Luke recorded Peter and John’s appearance before the ruling council in Jerusalem because of what they were teaching concerning Jesus Christ. Peter stood before that council of very powerful men and spoke without any mitigation or spin. Peter said, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
With the courage of his convictions and the power of the Holy Spirit, Peter spoke the truth that must be known for all time. Here’s the unveiled truth in the words of Jesus, “Repent and believe in the gospel, “Mark 1:15. Knowing this truth is a gift from God. Knowing this truth leads to acting upon it. Knowing this truth is eternal life.
The Rev. Lou Tiscione is pastor of Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA).