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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
April 19, 2020
Truth in a Post-Modern World
The fact that I am preaching this morning without a congregation being physically present is in large part due to living in a secular and post-modern society. The secular part is evident in the Governor of New York declaring on April 9 all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reasons (e.g. worship services, parties, celebrations, or other social events) are canceled or postponed.” The edict goes on, “Congregate services within houses of worship are prohibited.” The decree continues, “Further, individuals should not gather in houses of worship, homes, or other locations for religious services . . .” Abortion is essential in New York, but not the worship of God at church or in your home. You can crowd into markets and all sorts of other places, but if two or three gathering to pray is considered a “religious service,” then that is banned everywhere in NY. The Governor made it clear a few years ago that conservative, Bible believing Christians were not welcome in his state. He is simply putting is own personal and very secular beliefs into practice.
The post-modern aspect is demonstrated in the disconnect from reality. Remember, the modern era was one based on the idea that empirical science would save humanity. Anyone wearing a white lab-coat was viewed as a scientist of some sort and therefore given automatic credibility that they must know what they were talking about. There was an underlying belief that there are absolute truths and scientists would discover them and help us apply them to live successful lives.
The post-modern mentality is very different from that because it rejects the idea that there are absolutes and therefore truth is flexible and individualistic. It is the idea that you have your truth and I have mine and both are valid even if they contradict each other. Truth for the post-modern mind is determined by feelings and not by actual reality. Scientists are still given a degree of credibility as long as they are saying things that those in positions of power and the public wants to hear. Those who are actual scientists that contradict the prevailing politically correct ideas will not just be ignored, they will be shouted down and disparaged. Facts do not matter to the politically correct unless they can be manipulated to support what they desire. Science is not driving current political reactions to the current pandemic.
I do not believe in conspiracy theories other than that our adversary, the devil, is doing all he can to usurp God and His plans, and will use people to advance his efforts. Satan cannot succeed because God is sovereign and will accomplish His will regardless of whatever evil the devil or man does. I do believe that people are selfish, proud, and arrogant so that they will say and do things both willfully and in ignorance to gain for themselves at the detriment of others. The post-modern mind makes this much worse as has been demonstrated in the efforts and actions of political progressives who claim to have good intentions, but do not examine the terrible consequences of their actions. Virtue signaling, not actual results are what is important to them. Government over reaction to COVID-19 is an example. They claim they want to save lives, but the result has been the destruction of the lives of the non-favored ones.
Churches, including this one, are currently targeted by those who are evil and those who ignorantly follow them. I have been accused of “putting people’s lives at risk” because until the Governor’s very unconstitutional decree of April 9, we were still meeting with less people than the governor’s restrictions at that time. We were also using hospital medical protocols to restrict those that were allowed in so that you were much safer here than in any market you might enter. It is not churches that are “putting people’s lives at risk,” it is government incompetence which issues draconian mandates but then exempts the favored “essential” business and entities from those mandates. That is where human interaction is taking place and spreading the virus. Those same mandates put people at greater risk of decreases in overall mental and physical health leading to dying of other causes such as suicide, drug overdose and delayed medical intervention. Then there is the requirement that nursing homes accept patients who have COVID-19 which certainly puts the most vulnerable in our population at greater risk. In Africa, the government mandated shutdowns are resulting in starvation, but hey, at least their deaths were not caused by COVID-19. In a post-modern world, truth does not matter when people have been fooled into fear and prodded into paranoia. What the experts in epidemiology and immunology have to say is unimportant unless it matches what the government and media want you to hear.
The Nature of Truth
In the Roman phase of Jesus’ trial, Pilate asked Him,“So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” 38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” (John 18:37–38). Pilate’s said this in complete skepticism that truth could be known even though truth was standing right in front of Him. It is a fitting example of the reason we are now in a post-modern society. People have been lied to so much that they do not believe actual truth can be found if it even exists. They have either been taught or have come to their own conclusion that there no basis upon which to determine what is true, therefore they are left with just self and their subjective feelings and opinions. Some become adamant that because they cannot determine what is true, then no one can leading to such absurd statements as, “There are no absolute truths,” which is itself an absolute statement.
Truth does exist, and it is actually not that difficult to find if you are humble enough to look for it. Truth was standing right in front of Pilate since Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6), but he was no longer searching for it, so he could not recognize it though truth was literally staring him in the face. Jesus said of God’s word, Thy word is truth (John 17:17), because God Himself is true (Psalm 31:5; John 3:3; Rev. 6:10) and so is His Spirit (John 15:26; 16:13).
What is meant by the words true and truth? The Hebrew word translated as true or truth (tm6a60 / ʿĕmĕt)) has a root idea of being firm, trustworthy, constant, durable. What is true is something that remains the same over time and therefore can be trusted. God is true because He is immutable, unchanging, and does what He says. He is truth because He is trustworthy. Another Hebrew word translated as true (byX3y1/ yãs·sîb) has a root meaning of being established, reliable, certain. God is true because He is reliable. He is certain to do what He says. In Greek, the ajlhqeia / alātheia word group is used to translate tm6a60 / ʿĕmĕt) in the Septuagint. The word group carries the same meanings of firm, solid, consistent, durable, reliable, trustworthy. It is something genuine and real. When used in relationship to divine things, it is has the sense of that which truly is and has eternal qualities. Our English word, true, has those same meanings of being genuine, actual, real as well as accurate and faithful, consistent, trustworthy. That which is true is in accordance with fact or reality. It is the antithesis of what is fake or false. Truth is that which is the case rather than what is manifest or assumed, so even if something is generally believed to be true, it is not true unless it is actual reality. That also makes truth the antithesis of post-modern thinking in which truth is determined based on what is felt or believed regardless of actual reality.
Truth is essential to godliness because it is a reflection of God’s own character. God included the attribute of truth in proclamation of His glory to Moses in Exodus 34:6-7 and summarized by David in Psalm 86:15 saying, “But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth.” God is the ultimate reality and so all that God does is in truth. Psalm 111:7–8 describes this saying, 7 “The works of His hands are truth and justice; All His precepts are sure. 8 They are upheld forever and ever; They are performed in truth and uprightness.” Psalm 19:9 states that “The judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether,” with Psalm 119:151 & 160 adding, “You are near, O LORD, And all Your commandments are truth,” and “The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.”
Truth proceeds from God to His creation. Psalm 89:14 describes this, “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You.” Psalm 43:3 recognizes this imploring the Lord, “O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your dwelling places.” Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6) is the greatest manifestation of this with John 1:14 & 17 declaring, 14 “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. . . .” 17 “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” Jesus brought truth to man revealing God’s plan of salvation described in Psalm 85:10 as “Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” Proverbs 16:6 comments, “By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.” God’s justice was satisfied by Jesus’ own sacrificial love. This is the truth that is understood and believed by Jesus’ followers which makes them free (John 8:31-32). 2 Peter 1:3 describes the importance of truth in salvation as well, “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
Those who desire to know God and be saved must be people who seek the truth. Psalm 145:18 explains, “The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.“ As Jesus said in John 4:23-24, God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” That is God’s moral will for everyone as stated in 1 Timothy 2:4 that God our Savior “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” David expressed this is his confession of sin in Psalm 51:6 saying, “Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.” Truth becomes a characteristic of those that seek God, for as Psalm 15:1-2 explains, it is those who walk in integrity, work righteousness and speak truth in their hearts that can abide with the Lord on His holy hill.
For all these reasons, the Christian is to be characterized by seeking the truth, living according to the truth and speaking the truth to others. Jesus, the light of the world, used truth in John 3:20-21 as a distinguishing characteristic between believers and unbelievers, “20 “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” The apostle Paul explains this change in Ephesians 5:8–9, 8 “for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),” and Ephesians 4:24, “and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” He then continues the practical result in verse 25 quoting from Zechariah 8:16, “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.” That command does not allow you to make ungodly declarations of whatever is on your mind, for it is tempered by the earlier command in Ephesians 4:15, “but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.” Such love is be our motivation and manner even when dealing with the ungodly, with Paul instructing in 1 Timothy 2:24-26, 24 “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” Truth is also a protection for Christians as it has been for the godly throughout the ages. David wrote in Psalm 40:11, You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me. It is also listed as the first piece of the armor of God in Ephesians 6:14, “Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth.” No wonder John said in 3 John 4, “I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.”
Truth is also a characteristic of the wisdom from above which is in complete contrast with the earthy, natural, demonic wisdom from below which lies against the truth. Consider these Proverbs. Proverbs 23:23, “Buy truth, and do not sell it, Get wisdom and instruction and understanding.” Proverbs 12:17, “He who speaks truth tells what is right, But a false witness, deceit.” Proverbs 12:19, “Truthful lips will be established forever, But a lying tongue is only for a moment.” Then there is this admonition in Proverbs 22:17-21 about the reason to learn wisdom, 17 “Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, And apply your mind to my knowledge; 18 For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, That they may be ready on your lips. 19 So that your trust may be in the LORD, I have taught you today, even you. 20 Have I not written to you excellent things Of counsels and knowledge, 21 To make you know the certainty of the words of truth That you may correctly answer him who sent you?” That was why in Exodus 18:21 truth was a qualification for those that would be chosen as elders of Israel, and included in the warning in 1 Kings 2:4 that David gave to Solomon for his descendants to be careful to walk before God in truth with all their heart and with all their soul
The Origin of Lying
Truth is an attribute of God and truth proceeds from Him in all that He does and He cannot lie (1 Samuel 15:29; Titus 1:2). What then is the origin of falsehoods and lies which are the antithesis of truth? Jesus gave an answer to that question in John 8:44 as He confronted the Jews that were in opposition to Him. “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Satan’s first lie was to himself in thinking he is something he is not and never can or will be. The devil was created as a powerful angelic being, but a mere created entity none the less. His first recorded lies to people in Genesis 3 were to convince Eve of the same falsehood. Turn there and follow along as I briefly point out the lies and slander leading to deception.
Genesis 3:1, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” This question is stated from a negative and specifically designed to introduce an new idea to Eve upon which he would build an accusation that God was holding something back from her.
Eve responds “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’ “ The text does not indicate why Eve states something that is beyond what is recorded that God told Adam, but the devil immediately takes advantage of it with a direct contradiction of God saying in verse 4, “You surely will not die!” The devil, the father of lies, is calling God a liar.
Satan then expands on his slander of God saying in verse 5, “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” This is an enticement based on slander against God’s character that He was holding back something good from Eve.
Eve took the bait, and seeing “the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.” Mankind plummeted into sin and has fallen for his love the world – his own lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life (1 John 2:16) ever since.
People lie because it is in their very nature. Paul explains in Ephesians 2:1-3, 1 “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”
One aspect of man’s inherent sin nature is a rejection of the truth. Paul points this out in Romans 1:18 warning, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” Paul warned Timothy of those in his own time that “just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith” (2 Timothy 3:8). Some are active in their rejection of the truth as those in Romans 1:25 that “exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.” 2 Peter 3:3-7 warns about the mockers that come in the last days that “deliberately overlook”(ESV), “willfully forget” (NKJV), “willfully ignore” (HCSB) how God created the earth and then destroyed the world of that time with a worldwide flood and that the present heavens and earth are being reserved for judgment and destruction by fire.
Others will be deceived by the false teachers who reject the truth. Some will follow their sensuality resulting in the way of truth being maligned (2 Peter 2:2). These are those Paul describes in 2 Timothy 3:2-7 who are lovers of self and pleasure instead of God so that they are “led on by various impulses, always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Paul gives further warning in the next chapter, 2 Timothy 4:3-4, 3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” We live in that time. But what is the root reason such people are deceived currently and will be deceived by the future anti-Christ? 2 Thessalonians 2:10 . . . “because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.”
Satan is the father of lies, but humans are willing followers of them and creators of their own lies and deception in rejection of the truth so that they might pursue their own desires. Christians have to be diligent to be on guard for without a solid understanding and commitment to the word of God, it is easy to be led astray by false teachers. Paul lamented over the Galatians saying, “You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth.” That is why there are so many warnings against false teachers (Matthew 7; 24; Acts 20:17-31; Romans 16; 2 Cor. 11; Phil. 3; 1 Tim. 4; 2 Tim. 4; 2 Peter 2; 1 John 4) and admonishments to grow in the knowledge of God, His word and be actively involved in the fellowship of saints (Eph. 1:17; 4:12-16; 1 Cor. 12; Col. 1:10; 2 Peter 3:18).
One of the wonderful things about being a Christian is the internal change that Jesus makes in your life so that your desires and purposes in life come to match God’s desires and His will becomes more important than your own. Man is by nature a liar and subject to deception and lies enticed by his own desires. Becoming a new creature in Christ changes that nature so that there is a pursuit of truth in the inner being and a defense against enticements of your own flesh and the world because your love for God becomes greater.
All lying is sin and has dire consequences, but not all lying is intentional. What do I mean by unintentional lying? Falsehoods that are said or repeated without knowing they were lies. That may be unintentional sin or purposeful evil.
A falsehood is a falsehood is a falsehood, but making a false statement in ignorance though you checked it out to the best of your knowledge is not the same as rashly repeating something because it fits what you would like to be true or repeating something you suspect may be false but neither check out or qualify. Currently there is a lot of information flowing about COVID-19. Some is true. Some is false. Some is true on its face, but is skewed to give a particular desired impression by withholding the rest of the information. In newspeak, that is called putting a “spin” on the story.
COVID-19 is a nasty disease that is killing a lot of people. News media and governments have hyped the negative stories into presenting the idea that this is a dangerous pandemic unlike anything in our life times. That is blatantly false, but so is the idea that this is just another common cold. Reporters and people repeat what they have heard either innocently not knowing what is true or not, or with a purpose to advance their own agenda regardless of what is true. False ideas and blatant lies have resulted in very bad actions that are destroying the lives of many – that is both in government over reaction, and in people that cast caution to the wind and infect others for whom this virus can be deadly. Truth is crucial in figuring out a proper response that can protect the vulnerable while allowing the less vulnerable to continue to work and produce the economic means by which we can care for the sick and vulnerable.
Repeating information without finding out what is actually true is dangerous. Repeating it without godly motives and being careful what you say, how you say it and to whom you it can destroy people’s lives and reputation. Gossip and slander are serious sins even if the passing along of the falsehood was not intentional. There are many scriptures warning about it and I have preached on the subject in the past (Proverbs on the Tongue – 11/1/18, Fellowship – 1/24/16).
However, COVID-19 is not nearly as serious as false information passed along by the innocent, but naive, about religious matters. Both this church and I personally have been the subject of slander many times that gets spread around by the ignorant, including other pastors, that never bother to check both sides of the story (The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him – Proverbs 18:17). That hurts personally and has hindered the ministry we should have in this region, but much worse are Bible studies in which people sit around and share their ignorance telling one another what they fell or have heard about the passage instead of actually studying the passage itself. Truth matters. Non-intentional lying by ignorantly passing along falsehoods is also sin. The motive may have been innocent or even good, but being an accomplice in getting others to believe what is false, a lie, still does its damage and is evil. The more respected and wide spread your influence may be, the more dangerous it is for others if you are not accurate in saying what is true.
Matthew 16:13-16 lists the most wide spread rumors among the people about Jesus’ identity. Some thought Jesus was “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” But only His true identity as “Christ, the Son of the living God,” could bring them to salvation.
Intentional lying is knowing what is true and deliberately saying what is false. It could be a direct contradiction to the truth such as a false witness might do such as those that lied about Naboth (1 Kings 21:13) or Stephen (Acts 6:13). It could be misquotes purposely done to bring a false conclusion such as the false witnesses against Jesus in Matthew 26:61. It could be partial truths designed to lead the victim astray whether it is negative such as the slander against Paul on multiple occasions (Philippians 1:15-17; 1 Corinthians 4:13; 2 Corinthians 12:10), or positive in the form of flattery. Proverbs 29:5 gives a direct warning, “A man who flatters his neighbor Is spreading a net for his steps.” Romans 16:18 warns about those who “by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.” Jude 16 warns about those who are “grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.”
Lying, spreading falsehoods and deceit are characteristics of the ungodly regardless of the supposed motive. The motive of most lies is to either gain a personal advantage or to prevent personal pain. People can fool themselves into self justification to lie to protect the feelings of someone else, but the truth is that the lie was to avoid personal discomfort by dealing with the truth. Guys, what should you say when your wife asks if the dress she is wearing makes her look fat? The question reveals what she is already thinking. Your options? Ignore the question, deflect the question, assure her of your love of her and be graciously honest. If you lie, you are protecting yourself, not her.
Proverbs 6:17, 19 and 12:22 point out that a lying tongue, lying lips and a false witness who utters lies are all abominations that God hates. Malicious gossips are included in the list of wicked characteristics in 2 Timothy 3:2-5. The consequences of lying are severe as we shall see in a moment. The Scriptures are filled with prohibitions and warnings about lying in all its forms. Proverbs 10:18, “He who conceals hatred has lying lips, And he who spreads slander is a fool.” Proverbs 26:8, “A lying tongue hates those it crushes, And a flattering mouth works ruin.” Proverbs 25:18, “Like a club and a sword and a sharp arrow Is a man who bears false witness against his neighbor.” Proverbs 4:24, “Put away from you a deceitful mouth And put devious speech far from you.” Proverbs 16:28, A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends.
Leviticus 19:11 directly commands the godly to not “lie to one another” which is repeated to believers in Colossians 3:9 “since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices.” And Ephesians 4:25 bears repeating here that Christians are to lay aside falsehood and speak truth to one another for we are members of one another. The scriptures also have many commands and admonitions for the godly to be truthful as was pointed out earlier.
The Consequences of Lying
The consequences of lying are serious in both this life and for eternity. Here are some Scriptures about the temporal consequences. Proverbs 19:5, “A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will not escape.” Proverbs 21:6, “The acquisition of treasures by a lying tongue Is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of death.” Psalm 101:7, “He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me.”
These Scriptures speak of death. Proverbs 21:28, “A false witness will perish, But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.” Psalm 101:5, “Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy; No one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure.” Deuteronomy 18:22, “When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. Verse 20 said that such a prophet shall die.
These scriptures warn of eternal consequences. Hebrews 10:26, “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” Revelation 21:8, “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Every human is natural born liar which makes post-modernism an attractive excuse to reject truth. It is hard work to teach children not to lie and the importance of telling the truth so that they can be trusted. Lawyers draw up contracts because people do not trust one another to do what is right or keep their word. Diligent training can teach a person to be generally honest for either the sake of honor or fear of punishment, but only the Lord can change the heart of man so that the desire for truth is born to replace the heart of selfish interest. Your commitment and desire to be honest and truthful is a reflection of your walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. If dishonesty and lying characterize your life, it is time to repent and seek salvation. If you find you are not yet as honest as you want to be, the good news is that Jesus will change you if you will humbly walk with Him.
Sermon Notes – April 19, 2020
Truth in a Post-Modern Society – Selected Scriptures
Secular bias is seen in Gov. Cuomo declaring _____________to be essential, but religious services are not
Post-modern thought rejects ____________truth in favor of determining truth by feelings and desires
The devil _______against God and uses people toward his evil goals since they are naturally proud & sinful
Churches are accused of “putting people’s lives at risk,” but it is ____________incompetence that does that
______________of the favored “essential” entities spreads the virus while shutdowns spread misery & death
The Nature of Truth
Pilate was skeptical that truth could be ___________, a common belief in a post-modern society
Truth does __________, and it is easy to find in God, Jesus, the Spirit and the Scriptures
Truth, tm6a60 / ìmìt, carries the idea of being firm, _____________, constant, durable – all attributes of God
Truth, ajlhqeia / al theia, carries the same ideas plus being genuine and _________
Truth is what is in accord with fact and ____________, it is the antithesis of what is fake and false
Truth is essential to __________as a reflection of God’s character: Exodus 34:6-7; Psalm 19:9; 119:151,160
Truth ________from God to His creation: Psalm 43:3; 85:10; 89:14, John 1:14, 17: 8:31-32; 14:6; 2 Pet 1:3
Those who would be saved must know God & ________truth: John 3:23-24; 1 Tim. 2:4; Psalm 15:1-2; 51:6
Christians are characterized by seeking, living by & speaking the ______: John 3:20-21; Eph. 4:24-25; 5:8-9
Truth is a characteristic of __________: Proverbs 12:17, 19; 22:17-21; 23:23; Exodus 18:21
The Origin of Lying
Lying is the antithesis of truth and God’s character (1 Sam. 15:29:Titus 1:2)
John 8:44 – the ___________is a liar, the father of lies, and there is no truth in him
Satan’s first lie was to ____________ to think he is and can be something he is not
The devil’s deception of Eve was dependent upon lying and ____________God’s character
Eve took the bait because she was enticed by her own ___________ – 1 John 2:15-16
People lie because it is in their very _________ : Ephesians 2:1-3;
_____________of truth is an aspect of man’s sin nature: Romans 1:18; 25; 2 Timothy 3:8; 2 Peter 3:3-7
False teachers deceive by appealing to people’s own ______: 2 Peter 2:2; 2 Timothy 3:2-7; 4:3-4; 2 Thess 2
Satan is the father of lies, but humans willingly follow & create their own lies in pursuit of their own ______
Scripture gives many ____________ about false teachers and admonitions to know God & His word
God changes Christians ___________ making them new creatures who desire to pursue truth
A falsehood communicated without knowing it is a lie may be unintentional sin – or purposeful evil
Repeating the “spin” of news stories, just like gossip and rumors, is often repeating ______________
Truth is _________in figuring out a proper response to any situation, and even more serious in facing danger
Gossip and slander are serious ________even if the passing along of the falsehood was not intentional
Unintentional lying by ______________ passing along falsehoods is also sin
Intentional Lying –
This is knowing the truth and deliberately saying what is false
____________ contradictions to the truth – False witnesses, purposely misquoting, slander
___________ is a more pleasant form of lying, but it is also sin: Prov. 29:5; Romans 16:18; Jude 16
Lying, spreading falsehoods and deceit are characteristics of the ungodly regardless of the supposed ______
Most lying is done to either gain an ____________or to prevent personal pain – including avoiding conflict
Lying lips & false witnesses are ____________to God (Prov. 6:17,19; 12:22), malicious gossips are wicked
The scriptures ____________& warn against lying in all forms: 2 Tim. 3:2-5; Prov. 10:18; 25:18; 26:8
The godly are commanded to lay aside lying and falsehood and speak ____(Lev. 19:11; Col. 3:9; Eph. 4:25)
The Consequences of Lying
Temporal consequences include: __________(Prov. 19:5); loss (Prov. 21:6); exclusion from God (Ps 101:7)
__________ & Destruction: Proverbs 21:28; Psalm 101:5; Deuteronomy 18:20-22
Eternal separation from God in __________ : Hebrews 10:26; Revelation 21:8
Every human is a natural born ________which makes post-modernism an attractive excuse to reject truth
Diligent work is needed to teach children to be truthful & lawyers are needed to keep adults honest
People can be generally honest for honor’s sake or fear of punishment, but only the Lord changes the _____
The level of your ________________ reflects your maturity and walk with God
The Lord can forgive the ______________ liar, and He changes those who walk humbly with Him.
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help.
Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Write down all the verses mentioned in the sermon and look them up. 2) Count how many times truth is mentioned. Talk with your parents about the importance of truth and why lying is such an evil.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What evidence have you seen or experienced that indicates a secular or a post-modern response to the COVID-19 crises. What is post-modernism? Define truth. Why are truth and post-modernism antithetical to each other? How does that definition reflection the attributes of God? How does truth proceed from God into creation? Why is it necessary to seek truth in order to know God? How is truth to manifest itself in the Christian? What is the relationship between truth and the wisdom from above? What is the origin of lying? How did Satan deceive Eve in Genesis 3? Why do people lie? Why do people suppress the truth? Why are false teachers able to deceive people? How do people lie unintentionally? When is that accidental and when is it purposeful? Give examples. What is the difference between gossip, malicious gossip and slander? Describe intentional lying that is direct, by misquotes, by partial truths, and by omission? What are the most common motives for intentional lying? What is God’s perspective of liars? What are some of the temporal consequences of lying? How does lying lead to death? What are the eternal consequences of lying? What hope is there for a liar? How can a person become honest?
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