Lucia's Blog: THE TRUTH IS PRECIOUS AND WORTH FIGHTING FOR!
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Friday, September 20, 2019

THE TRUTH IS PRECIOUS AND WORTH FIGHTING FOR!

"Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ."
Jude 1:3-4


There is a Russian proverb that says, “One word of truth outweighs the world.”  In Romans 3:4 Paul said, “Let God be true and every man a liar.” That, of course, is generally true. All men are liars.  Jeremiah 5:1 challenges God’s people with these words,  “Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, look and take note! Search her squares to see if you can find a man, one who does justice and seeks truth, that I may pardon her.”  In a world full of deceit and half-truths, Jesus and the apostles called on their disciples to defend the Truth as soldiers of the Gospel and accept no false doctrine that surrenders to the darkness of liars.

In John 14:6, Jesus said, “... I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me." Today many who profess faith in Jesus Christ deny the inspiration of the Scriptures.  Some endorse homosexuality and adulterous marriages, calling it "ecumenism!"  They compromise the Truth instead of defending it and loving it!  Jesus never compromised the Truth. He defended it! He confronted the religious hypocrites!
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone." (Matthew 23:23)

It was not a compromise of the Truth when He pardoned sinners and then told those precious souls to go and sin no more! "... Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."  (John 8:10,11; read vs. 1-11).  Jesus would not compromise the Truth when He came face to face with false teachers and their teachings! "Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matthew 15:7-9; read vs. 1-20).  Jesus didn't compromise the Cross for "religious freedom!"  (John 3:14-15,18; read vs. 1-21: understanding that "belief" is obedient belief! Cf. James 2:19-24).

If we want to be saved, it is vital that we love the Truth (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).  When one does not love the Truth found in God’s Word, he can easily be deceived and accept a lie!  To be free from sin and be accepted by God, we must know the Truth and abide in it daily (John 8:31-32).  Is it not enough to just love the Truth? Must we defend it also?  Paul declared he was ready "for the defense of the gospel" (Philippians 1:17).  There are many reasons why we must love and defend the Truth against false teaching or doctrinal error. When we allow false teaching, many vital issues are involved. So we must not allow Satan to blind our hearts. The stakes are very high!   The hope of eternal life depends on man's obedience to the Gospel Message.  It is a Message from God, not man!  Sadly, there are some teachers, whose primary purpose (it seems) is to pervert the purity of the Gospel, teaching doctrines that are contrary to the Truth of God’s Word.  So we must defend the Truth against false doctrine!  Why?  


  • Simply because the Truth makes us free from the slavery of sin by providing and equipping men with everything they need to obtain freedom from the shackles of sin.  Man-made doctrines cannot accomplish this.  
  • Because we Christians have been commanded to contend eagerly for the faith, the Truth, when others pervert it and oppose it (Jude 3). 
  • Because we must be ready to answer everyone who may ask why we believe the Message of the cross. They need the knowledge of our hope that brings salvation to those who obey its Message (1 Peter 3:15).  We must show all men why man-made doctrines will not give them the salvation they are seeking but only the Gospel Message.  
  • Because we must prove all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21,22).  God expects us to open our minds and of course, the Bible, for He demands that we be able to prove what we believe. Why?  Because our salvation does not depend on what men say, but only on God's Message.
  • Because the church is the pillar and ground of the Truth (1 Timothy 3:15).  The church which the Lord purchased with His own blood, must not change the Truth of the Bible. She must uphold it!  Man-made doctrines wilfully change what God's Word says as they weaken the pillar and ground of the Truth.  
  • Because Satan and his ministers are busy teaching error, false doctrine (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Do you suppose Satan's ministers don't carry their Bibles? You see, most denominational doctrines contain some Truth. You ever wonder why? 
  • Because many are being misled and thus are losing their souls (Matthew 7:21-23). Denominational doctrines lull men into believing a lie, for they think they are pleasing God with what they’re doing. But God calls it iniquity and thus it becomes a grave matter!
  • Because Satan must be exposed (Matthew 7:15,16; Ephesians 4:15).  We must speak the Truth in love, for man-made doctrines endanger men's souls, helping Satan, not God. Those who love the Truth must point out this dangerous wolf to protect God’s sheep no matter the cost! God never promised His faithful followers that it would be easy, or that men would love us for doing so. Thus, we must be courageous and at the same time love men’s souls.  And though God is the one who judges men’s hearts or motives, we Christians must expose false doctrine for what it is. It is fatal to men’s souls!
  • Because we can easily believe a strong delusion (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).  Those who listen to and accept man-made false doctrines have lost their love for the Truth. God will allow them to accept and believe false doctrines as Truth!  So we must stand ready to guide them to God's Truth, for that’s their only hope of salvation.
  • Because false teachers must be exposed (Romans 16:17,18).  We must be ready to teach all people the Truth, for they must learn it to avoid false doctrines that do not measure up to God's Truth. So we must expose error in the light of God’s Truth, allowing them to make the wise choice that pleases God. 
  • Because if we do not continue in the Gospel, the doctrine of Christ, we forsake God and do not have fellowship with the Father and the Son (2 John 9-11). Do you suppose we can believe and practice doctrinal error, false teaching, and not lose our fellowship with God?  What do you think?  Absolutely! Why? Because God connects believing and practicing Truth to having a proper relationship with Him.
  • Because some pervert the Gospel (Galatians 1:6-9). “Another Gospel” refers to man-made doctrines that can deceive and mislead many souls.  We must never allow anyone to deceive us with a perverted Gospel.  We must keep our noses in the Sacred Book!
  • Because if we add to, or subtract from God's Word, He will remove us from the Book of Life! (Revelation 22:18,19). We must not change God's Word.  Period! What do “church creeds” or man-made doctrines do to the Word of God? They add to, subtract from, or modify them. It is an abuse of the Sacred Scriptures with terrible and eternal consequences, and men must be warned!
  • Because religious division is sinful (1 Corinthians 1:10). Despite the popular slogan that we can just "agree to disagree," God hates religious division.   When we teach the Gospel of Christ but allow another to teach doctrinal error, the end result is nothing but division.  The only remedy for eliminating division is to go back to the Bible and obey the doctrines of Christ.
  • Because worshipping according to men's creeds is sinful (Mark 7:7,8). Man-made doctrines lead to vain worship. Why?  Because we must worship God according to His wishes, not according to men’s wishes!
  • Because many souls are going down the broad way of destruction (Matthew 7:13,14) In this life, we only have two pathways that we may choose: One leads to eternal life; the other leads to eternal damnation. Does doctrinal error, or man-made doctrines lead men in the same direction as God’s Truth?  The answer, of course, is a big NO!
  • Because conversion goes hand in hand with teaching and learning (John 6:44,45).  The hardened and untaught soul cannot be converted.  Can we teach the Gospel plus doctrinal error, or man-made doctrines and still convert men to just one thing? Impossible!  Why?  Because two different messages will result in converting souls to two different doctrines.  It is either one or the other, for only one of the two is right! 
  • Because the Gospel is God's only power to save men (Romans 1:16).  Do you suppose the Gospel and man-made doctrines have the same amount of power?  According to God’s Word, the Gospel Message is the only one that is powerful enough to save souls.  Men's messages fall far short of saving men’s souls.
  • We must use God’s Word when we attempt to reason with men about how to please God (Acts 18:4).  The Bible harmonizes completely without contradiction. Can the same be said of man-made doctrines? Can they agree among themselves? Of course not! The Bible does not fear open examination! Can the doctrines of men make the same claim?  What do you think?
  • Because some men oppose themselves! (Acts 18:6). One of the major problems with man-made doctrines is that they’re constantly changing, finding themselves at odds with certain Bible teachings.   But this will never happen to God’s unchangeable Message, for it is given by an all-knowing God!
  • Because some have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge and are ignorant of God’s righteousness, seeking to establish their own righteousness (Romans 10:2,3).  Although many appear to have great zeal for man-made doctrines, they’re still very ignorant of God’s Truth, the divine Message.  They’re ignorant of God’s Message because they don’t handle His Word correctly or rightly.  You see knowledge is wonderful, but it must be God’s true knowledge, not men’s knowledge.
  • Because those who fail to obey the Gospel will pay with their souls for eternity (2 Thessalonians 1:8). When we choose to follow doctrinal error or man-made doctrines, we end up losing our souls eternallyThat is a tragedy! 
  • Because we must understand the value of our soul (Matthew 16:26).  When it comes to the value of our soul, it does not matter what men might think. Our soul is our most precious possession!  Man-made doctrines and teaching jeopardize our soul’s eternal destiny.  Thus, we must be ready always to defend the Truth against all false teaching or doctrinal error, for it will deprive man’s soul of this most precious gift.  


CONCLUSION:

Every faithful disciple of Christ must proclaim the Gospel of Christ in a loving and positive way.  We must proclaim the good news about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection.  We must assume that each soul that we find is honest until he should show himself to the contrary.  Jesus wants us to carry on His work in seeking those souls that are lost (Lk. 19:10).  Although Jesus’ intent is for us to seek and teach the lost, He has also given us the responsibility of opposing every false way, every false teaching.  The Lord commands us to defend the Gospel (Phil. 1:16), to contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 3), to reprove, rebuke and exhort (2 Tim. 4:2), and to give an answer to those who inquire about our hope (1 Pet. 3:15). Elders of Christ’s church are commanded to instruct in sound doctrine and rebuke those who contradict the doctrine of Christ (Tit. 1:9-11).  It is not enough to preach and teach the Truth and be positive, for one must be ready to stand against error to be right with God.

Integrity is vital to giving a defense of the Truth, our faith and our hope.  Our argumentation or defense must be honest and sound. Any fallacious argument used in defense of the Truth is unworthy of Christ.  The Truth does not need misapplied Scripture and invalid reasoning, for the Truth can stand on its own!  Virtue demands that we attempt to prove our position correctly. Every Christian’s duty is to individually defend the Truth and stand up against apostasy, false doctrines and those who oppose the Truth and promote false teachings that deny the Lordship of Christ.  We must not remain silent while false teachers sweep away others into doctrinal error, perverting the purity of the Gospel as taught by His apostles! The letter of Jude deals strongly with false teachers, declaring that such teachers are not led by the Spirit of God, but are actually motivated by satanic powers (verse 19).  That same letter urges Christians to help those who are caught up in deception and apostasy (verses 22-23) to save them from eternal destruction.

Each Christian is responsible for warning others, especially other Christians, against false teachers and their false teaching which is contrary to the Scriptures.  We must help them turn away from error that they may repent and withdraw from any church that does not rightly divide the Word of God.  And though it might sound harsh, those who genuinely desire to do the will of God, walking in the light of His Word, must not have any spiritual fellowship with those who insist on following a form of cheap and degraded Christianity, teaching the man-made doctrines of men.  God commands us to separate ourselves from all falsehood and sinful practices, or false religion.  We have been given a warning in the book of Revelation (Rev. 18:4-6).  Those who worship God in spirit and in Truth (John 4:23-24) must have nothing to do with false “Christianity.”  Faithful disciples of Christ cannot fellowship with those who persistently teach myths, human traditions, outright error, and falsehood.  Today’s “Churchianity” denies the cost that Jesus imposed, and has overwhelmingly become cheap, carnal-friendly “Christianity,” which is nothing but false religion.  When we tolerate and accept such false teachings and practices, we are in grave danger of forfeiting our eternal destiny! 

God has already done everything to bring us to salvation through His Son, our Lord Jesus and He has made it His responsibility.  He has likewise given us His Spirit through His revealed Word so that we can have understanding, and be filled with His love.  But each of us must hunger and thirst for His Word.  Although He loves us and wants the best for us, He cannot keep us from being exposed to false doctrines and being deceived by them.  Rather, He has given us the Truth of His Word so that we may recognize and refute all false doctrines. He has provided “the Spirit of the truth” to guide us and to teach us the Truth of everything that pertains to godliness and holiness and eternal life through Christ.  But we must desire the Word of God earnestly to avoid being deceived by false doctrinesAll disciples of Christ must be growing in the Grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ to enter the gates of heaven. As individual Christians, we must be grounded and built up in the Word of God to resist the corrupting influence of false ministers. It is our own Christian responsibility to diligently study the Word of God to discern truth from error, lest we too be deceived.  In the letter to the Hebrews, the writer urges the brethren to not be babies in their understanding of the Truth, for they were negligent in their responsibility to grow spiritually, to be mature in their understanding, and in their discernment of God’s Word.  They were still babies in need of milk rather than solid food, for they were to be skilled teachers in the word of righteousness able to distinguish good from evil.  These brethren were sharply rebuked because they were not diligently grounding themselves in the Word of God (Heb. 5:12-14).

God's desire is that all Christians grow into spiritual adults and to fully conform to the perfect character of Jesus Christ. We must be like Him if we are to truly be born into His divine family and become His children forever. We cannot become spiritually mature if we neglect to feed on His Word constantly. If we choose to feed on outright error, as taught by false teachers, we will never grow up.  Rather, we must earnestly choose to understand nothing but the whole Truth of God’s Word, that we may grow spiritually into His likeness. Only then will we be able to “discern between good and evil” and thus be able to recognize and refute all false doctrines.  There cannot be true fellowship apart from God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son through the power of the Holy Spirit.  In 1 John, the apostle John wrote,
“That which we have seen and have heard we are reporting to you in order that you also may have fellowship with us; for the fellowship—indeed, our fellowship—is with the Father and with His own Son, Jesus Christ.” (I John 1:3)

The apostle John also said we must “worship God in spirit and in truth” because God is Spirit. True spiritual fellowship is not just a once-a-week event, but an ongoing relationship with God and Jesus, for we must earnestly seek daily to live by every word of God.  Jesus said, "It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God'" (Matt. 4:4).  Fellowship with God the Father and Jesus Christ cannot be granted by any church organization, for such fellowship must be founded on a personal covenant with God when each true believer is baptized for the forgiveness of sins.  And while this intimate spiritual fellowship is God’s gift to every Christian, it is our responsibility to maintain that fellowship by walking in the light of His Word.  There can never be a genuinely spiritual fellowship or union with God the Father and Jesus apart from walking in the light of His Word.  We can rest assured that if we continue steadfastly in this intimate and true fellowship with them, we have nothing to fear.  God will not forsake us as long as we remain faithful to His Truth even when we have to stand alone in defense of the Truth.  It is the only way to have fellowship with the Father and the Son!

All faithful followers of Christ must be tested to see if they genuinely love God the Father and the Son Jesus Christ. Jesus said, 
“The one who has My commandments and is keeping them, that is the one who loves Me; and the one who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him…. If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. The one who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word that you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s Who sent Me.” (John 14:21, 23-24)

Jesus has given us God’s true doctrines. We must remain steadfast in those teachings, His doctrines. If we truly love Him, we will want to build our lives on that foundation, the only true foundation laid by Jesus our Lord.  To receive the gift of eternal life, we must build upon the foundation laid by Christ.
“For no one is able to lay any other foundation besides that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or stubble, the work of each one shall be manifested; for the day of trial will declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall prove what kind of work each one’s is. If the work that anyone has built endures, he shall receive a reward. If the work of anyone is burned up, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, yet as through fire.”  (I Cor. 3:11-15)  

Evangelists like Paul build on that true foundation and who hear and obey are the result of that work. We will be tried by persecution, and worldly stresses and temptations, a trial by fire, and some of us will not pass the test.  Those who fail will be burned as chaff, but an eternal reward remains for those who are purged by the fire like gold or silver and precious gems. God will not give us an eternal reward if we fail to do the true works of righteousness, for they will help us to withstand the fiery trials (I Pet. 4:12-19).  The apostle Peter urges us to not be discouraged or disheartened by these fiery trials, turning aside from following Jesus, but rather we must suffer, choosing to remain faithful to His teachings or doctrines.  We can rest assured that in doing this, we will be richly rewarded at His coming.  So we must rejoice in this eternal promise!

So are you willing to follow the example of Jesus our Lord and Savior by remaining faithful to the Truth of God, even if it brings you persecution from your closest friends and members of your own family? Are you willing to hold fast to the true teachings, the doctrines of God’s Truth revealed in the Bible, even if that means you must withdraw from fellowship with your present church organization? Is your membership in a corporate church more important than worshiping God in spirit and in truth?  Will you be numbered among the few faithful?  Therefore, we must remember that our love for God is based on the Truth of His Word and that it must be perfected in each faithful Christian. 
“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because he first loved us.”  (I John 4:16-19)

May we defend the Truth and stand up against apostasy, false doctrines, and those who oppose the Truth and promote false teachings that deny the Lordship of Christ and His rule.  May we follow the example of Jesus, our Lord, and Savior by remaining faithful to the Truth of God’s Word, even if it brings us persecution from our closest friends, family, and other Christians.  May we be willing to hold fast to the true teachings, the doctrines of God’s Truth revealed in the Bible.  May we be numbered among the few faithful ones.  Finally, may we love God’s Truth, defend it with all of our breath and remain faithful to His Truth even when we have to stand alone when defending it because this is the only way we can have fellowship with the Father and the Son.

Luci


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