Truth, Lies and Something in Between
The word "truth" is the state of fact that is real or actual. In mathematics we use symbols to represent the real world. Often a statement is true simply because we define it as true. For example, when people are using the decimal system, the statement "1 + 1 = 2" is true because we define 1 to represent a single item, and 2 to represent a couple of items. Two singles make a double. The statement is true, within the decimal system, because we define it to be true.
What is the source of truth? The Bible reveals that truth comes from God alone. It is an attribute of God. He is called the “LORD God of truth.” (Psm. 31:5) and the “True God.” (Jer. 10:10) Our Lord Jesus Christ prayed to His Father: “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (Jn. 17:3) “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (Jn. 14:6) “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Jn. 1:14) “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (Jn. 1:17)
On the opposite side of truth Jesus said to those who wanted to kill Him: “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in Him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” (Jn. 8:44)
Truth and lies are at the opposite and extreme ends. Truth is of God and comes through the Lord Jesus Christ, but lies are of the devil. The devil is very cunning and deceptive and he can change the truth into a lie.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
Therefore God also gave them up to
uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among
themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served
the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” (
Is truth important? Does it make any difference what one believes? Is there any direct connection between one's religious belief and his eternal destiny? Is accurate knowledge essential to salvation? Many persons assert that religious belief is unimportant, that theology is nonessential. They declare that it makes no difference what one believes as long as he is sincere and has good intentions. They insist that all religious roads lead to God, that the roads men travel may be varied, but the ultimate destiny for all is the same. They teach that all religious men are going to the same place, that is heaven. Is this the truth?
One often hears and reads about the similarities amongst the three great religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Here is the truth. New Testament Christianity is vastly superior to Judaism, Islam, or any other religion, in the following ways:
1. It worships the One True God of the Holy Bible—not Allah.
2. It accepts the completed revelation of God—the Holy Bible – not the Quran.
3. It proclaims the Lord Jesus Christ as the One True God – not Mohammed.
4. It preaches salvation through the remission of sins by the blood of Jesus Christ.
preaches justification by grace through faith—not by works of righteousness.
6. It worships God “in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24).
7. It acknowledges the true Messiah has already come in the flesh – not future
The idea that all religions are equal with Christianity is foreign to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no such thing as “another gospel” (Gal. 1:6-7) or another way to God and salvation. Christianity is a “narrow way” and a “strait” or confining gate that leads to everlasting life. (Mt. 7:13-14). The common delusion that God is an affectionate, free and easy-going grandfather figure who accepts anyone and everyone—even those who are in rebellion to Him—is heresy.
The concept of Christian ecumenism stems from the idealism of uniting all Christian denominations and congregations into one visible body. In His prayer for the unity and oneness of His disciples our Lord first prayed to the Father: “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.” (Jn. 17:17-19) The World Council of Churches consisting of congregations and ministers that have differing, conflicting and heretical doctrines that lead people to damnation is not what our Lord was praying about.
How often we hear well-meaning Christian ministers with good intention preach that we should lay aside our differences and love one another. If the differences in doctrines that are essential for salvation still exist then there is no real unity. We cannot ignore unity of faith and belief.
“Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briars, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.” (Heb. 6:1-8)
In His prayer to the Father our Lord said, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” And He promised, “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (Jn. 8:31-32) The Word of God that is the Holy Bible is the truth. “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.” (Heb. 1:1-2) The devil knows fully well that if he can distort the truth in the Bible believers in the Lord Jesus Christ will be misled and fall into condemnation. There are several versions of the Bible that are not translated word for word from the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts but are paraphrased according to the views of the translators. The New International Version (NIV) is one of them. The King James Version (KJV) may not be the perfect version but it is translated faithfully word for word from the most reliable manuscripts.
There are many peripheral doctrines, teachings and practices in so-called Christian congregations that are outright lies. The slogan that “You can go to any church and still be saved and go to heaven.” First of all, nobody can be saved by joining a church. “And he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:30-31) This teaching that every person that is called a Christian can be saved contradicts with what our Lord Jesus Christ said: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'” (Mt. 7:21-23)
Many false ministers teach you do not have to keep all the Ten Commandments. They say all you have to do is keep nine commandments and you’ll be fine. This is their escape clause for not keeping the Fourth Commandment that is to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” (Ex. 20:8-11) What does the Word of God say to this? “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.” (Jas. 2:8-11) “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.” (1 Jn. 3:4) “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.” (Rev. 22:14-15)
Our Lord Jesus Christ questioned the scribes and Pharisees: "Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, 'Whoever says to his father or mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God"-- then he need not honor his father or mother.' Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' " (Mt. 15:3-9)
We need to be very careful to distinguish the truth from the lies and human traditions in Christmas and other so-called Christian holidays.
Truth, in the absolute sense of that which is real and complete, is the opposite of a lie that is false and incomplete. Truth and lies are expressed in the speeches of people of different faiths and character. After a person has believed in Christ he or she has become a new creation “according to God, in righteousness and true holiness. Therefore, putting away lying, each one speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.” (Eph. 4:24-25)
May God bless you
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Paul Wong is a Christian minister and the
President of ARK International.