What are you using to determine truth? I am talking about aletheia truth. In the next few months I will be introducing a whole new, let’s call it an entity for now, that will concentrate on equipping Christians with truth. Let’s us revisit a conversion with our Lord and Pontius Pilate:

    “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 is truth?’ Pilate asked.” (John 18:36-38a)

Allow me if I may to expand this conversation:

    “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 absolute truth. Everyone on the side of absolute truth listens to me.’ ‘What is absolute truth?’ Pilate asked.” (John 18:37b-38a)

It is necessary to add the word absolute to clearly understand the conversation because the Greek word for truth being used by both Jesus and Pilate is aletheia. And I want to give Pilate credit for at least asking what is absolute truth. Most lost people today deny that absolute truth even exists.

In today’s portion of the Sermon on the Mount our Lord is teaching us to be sure we use the right measurement when it comes to truth, theology, and thought. Read His words slowly and surely:

    “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” (Matthew 7:13-20)

Oh well Bro Dave, I’m no fruit inspector so I do not judge other Christians. May I be harsh with you for a moment? If that garbage ever enters your mind much less leaves your mouth, I want you to go out and buy some rotten fruit, okay? Or maybe some unripened fruit. But whatever you do, do not, I repeat, do not pick up the fruit and inspect it because you are not a fruit inspector.

And because you are not, you are easily swayed by all the stinking thinking and putrid preaching that is being spewed out from the pulpits across America.

Our Lord is telling us that if you have a cheap Christianity then you have a false one. You cannot bring all your worldly and materialistic garbage towed behind you like a double-wide trailer and enter into His presence. Why not? Because the gate is narrow and the junk in your trunk can’t pass through. What did it cost you my friend when you got saved? Did you lose friends? Did you lose family members?

Or is your Christianity easy; man life is never hard and I have great latitude with my lord because my lord is a lord of blessing.

So is my Lord a Lord of blessing, mercy, and grace, but the way my Lord has laid out is a difficult way, but the way that leads to life. Oh and by the way, it’s the way less traveled because most don’t even know the way.

They don’t know the way because they are listening to the type of preaching they want to hear; you know, the uplifting messages, not those downer messages about sin and hell. Let me ask you something; if a sinner never hears that he or she is a sinner and is entering hell, why would he or she need the Jesus of the Bible? They wouldn’t!

There is much deception in society and so it is true in the church. And you know the worse type of deception there is? Huh? Deceptive preaching? Well, that’s bad, but not the worse. The worse is self-deception. Read what our old friend Matthew Henry wrote about Jesus’ words:

    Nothing so much prevents men from entering the strait gate, and becoming true followers of Christ, as the carnal, soothing, flattering doctrines of those who oppose the truth. They may be known by the drift and effects of their doctrines. Some part of their temper and conduct is contrary to the mind of Christ. Those opinions come not from God that lead to sin.

The good news about that statement is that it was written 400 years ago, meaning this has been going on for a long time. The bad news about that statement is that it was written 400 years ago, meaning this has been going on for a long time.

Wiersbe asks two important questions in his commentary on this passage that each of us need to ask of ourselves:

    Did your profession of faith in Christ cost you anything?
    Did your decision for Christ change your life?

Consider well your answers to those questions because God will judge us for them.

More on that tomorrow…

In Christ
Ps. 37:4

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    Copyright © 2011 David Jeffers


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