Hope for Living: God sets the standard of what truth is


If you were asked to describe today’s culture, what would you say?

Many today in this mixed-up world would say that society is characterized by moral relativism, with no moral authority, no law, no standard against which we are measured. John MacArthur, a pastor known for his radio and teaching program, describes this: Every person is his or her own personal authority, and they determine what is right or wrong for them. A defining characteristic is what they call “personal freedom.”

He writes, “Any decision a person makes is valid solely because it is what he or she wants. ‘My body, my choice’ is far more than a pro-abortion slogan — it’s the indisputable justification for every life decision. There are no guidelines you need to follow except those you choose to adopt. Personal freedom has become the ultimate virtue. The only thing our society won’t tolerate is being intolerant of someone else’s decisions. …

“In a postmodern world … (you) define your own truth. It’s no wonder then that lying and lies are so brazen and pervasive today. If there is … no such thing as absolute truth, the concepts of lying and telling the truth lose all meaning … (and) telling the truth is no longer valued or a virtue. … That’s how you end up with a culture that asserts that love is hate, hate is love, good is evil, evil is good, normal is perverse, and perverse is normal.”

Here’s what the Bible says about truth: Psalm 119:160 tells us, “Thy word is true from the beginning, and every one of thy righteous judgements endureth forever.”

Friends, I put my trust in the God of Israel; His only begotten Son, My Savior and Lord Jesus Christ; and the Truth of the Word of God.

You may ask, what is the truth of God? It is written, “In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth” (Genesis 1:1 KJV). “And God said, let us make man in our likeness” (Genisis 1:26).

Thousands of years later, when Moses was on Mt. Sinai, “… the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. … ‘The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth’” (Exodus 34: 5-6).

In Numbers 23:19, it is written, “God is not a man, that He should lie … .” God’s “counsels of old are Faithfulness and Truth” (Isaiah 25:1).

As I write this column, my one purpose in life is to point you to Jesus Christ. I cannot convince someone to trust their lives to Jesus; the Holy Spirit does this work. What I can do is to point you to the Truth of God’s Word and allow the Spirit to check your heart and draw you to Himself.

Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth” (John 17:17, emphasis mine). God has given us His truth. The entirety of the Bible points to the Cross of Christ; the Old Testament points forward to it, and the New Testament points back to it. It all centers on the truth of the Gospel!

Remember, John the Baptist said, “… the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye and believe the Gospel” (Mark 1:15).

Maybe someone is asking, what is the Gospel? Let’s let the Word of God tell us: “… I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you … For I delivered unto you first of all, that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures: and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

This is the truth of the Gospel: Jesus Christ came to this earth and was crucified on the cross, and all of our sins were placed on Him because there was no other way for us to be reconciled to God.

Some ask if eternal life is automatically given to everyone. The answer to no. It must be received on an individual basis. “Ye must be born again” (John 3:3).

Ask forgiveness and receive Jesus Christ as your Savior; then make Him your Lord. Friends, don’t be deceived by what we hear and see in the world. Don’t fall for Satan’s schemes. Stand firm on what the Bible says, not what you have heard from others. Grasp hold of what God’s Word says as though your eternal life depends on it — because it does!

Lance Stevens pastors at Huntsville Evangelical Community Church in Pendleton. He and his wife, Judy, are formerly of Greenfield. This weekly column is written by local clergy members. Send comments to dr-editorial@greenfield reporter.com.