The Power of Truth Absolute Truth vs. Relativism
What Would You Do if Someone Told You… • 2 + 2 = 5 • There is no such thing as gravity • The earth is flat • Abe Lincoln was the 1st president of the US • George Washington never existed • Your mom is a prostitute There are many paths leading to heaven The Bible is not true The earth came about from nothing Mohammed was a prophet Jesus never existed Jesus wasn’t God There is no such thing as absolute truth!!!
What Does the World Say? “One of the biggest mistakes humans make is to believe there is only one way. Actually, there are many diverse paths leading to what you call God.” ~ Oprah Winfrey
What Does the World Say? “There is one thing a professor can be absolutely sure of: that almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative.” ~ Allan Bloom
Who Believes in Truth? “I do not believe in absolute moral truth.” • …overall 78% of Americans • …those 36 years old and under 87% of Americans • …those who say they know they will go to heaven when they die solely because they have confessed their sins and accepted Christ as their Savior 68% of Americans
What is Truth? • JN 18:37 "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." 38 "What is truth?" Pilate asked. • JN 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Standing Up for Truth • Ridiculous Statement #1: “The really important thing isn’t finding the truth; it’s searching for it.” • If you are drowning, is it more important to search for a lifesaver or to find one? • What is the point of searching for something with no hope of ever finding it?
Standing Up for Truth • Ridiculous Statement #2: “There’s no such thing as truth.” • In order for that statement to have any value it would have to be true, but if it were true, it would contradict itself. Therefore, it cannot be true! • If someone asks you that question, answer by saying, “Is that a true statement?”
Standing Up for Truth • Ridiculous Statement #3: “Truth is whatever you sincerely believe.” • What do you think would happen if you jump off a building sincerely believing that you won’t fall? Will gravity be concerned with your sincerity? • If I said that I sincerely believe I could beat Tiger Woods in a game of golf, would you bet on me winning?
Standing Up for Truth • Ridiculous Statement #4: “What’s true for you is true for you and what’s true for me is true for me.” • If I believe in gravity and you don’t and we both jump off of a building will I fall while you float in the air? • If I believe 2+2=4 and you believe 2+2=5, can we both be right?
What Does the Bible Say? • We cannot change the truth, but the truth can change us • JN17:17 Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth • God has written the truth on human hearts • RO 2:15 they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness…
What Does the Bible Say? • Hearts long for truth, even hearts that reject it • ECC3:11 …He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. • Our culture views truth as something inside us, but Scripture views truth as something outside us • JOHN 16:13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth…
Standing Up for Truth • Ridiculous Story #1: The student with the blue folder • Ridiculous Story #2: The pastor who said that all religious beliefs are true • Ridiculous Story #3: The man who worships trees • Moral: People think relativism is OK only when it benefits them
What Does the World Say? Some people say, “Just follow your heart!” Girly Others argue, “Use your head!” Manly
What Does the Bible Say? • “Following you heart” can be quite dangerous • JER 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? • Relying on your intellect can also be quite dangerous • PR 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
Consequences of Rejecting Truth • “I will lie when it suits me if it doesn’t cause any real damage” 64% of Americans • “I will cheat on my spouse” 53% of Americans • “For 10 million dollars, I would… • …abandon my family” 25% of Americans • …become a prostitute for a week or more” 23% of Americans • …murder a stranger” 7% of Americans
Consequences of Rejecting Truth 2 THES 2:10 …They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
Freedom From Slavery RO 6:19 …Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness…21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Freedom From Slavery JN 8:31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Where Does Truth Begin? RO 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."
Where Does Truth Begin? EPH 1:13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory.
Making it Real 2TI 3:15 …the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Making it Real • What does it mean to “worship in Spirit and truth” as Jesus commanded? • Glorify God • Focus on God • Pour out your heart to God • Give God thanks and praise • What must be in place in order to worship God “in Spirit and truth”?
Making it Real • Have you gone to the same church your whole life? Are your beliefs based on what someone else told you or do you own them? • AC 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
Making it Real • When someone presents something different than you have previously learned, do you look into it or assume that what your learned first is correct? • “If I have the truth there is nothing to fear, because the truth stands up to scrutiny and sets people free, so I will gladly give it away. If I don’t have the truth there is still nothing to fear, because I have to opportunity to learn it, so I will gladly receive it.” ~ Chris Villi