Truth or Consequences

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6

In the 60’s there was a game show called Truth or Consequences where contestants received two seconds to answer a trivia question correctly. If the contestant could not complete the “Truth” portion, there would be “Consequences”, usually a zany and embarrassing stunt. From the start, most contestants preferred to answer the question wrong in order to perform the stunt. Unfortunately, our inability to respond correctly to the truth of God can result in graver spiritual consequences than an embarrassing stunt. How then are we to respond to God’s truth?

When we hear the Word of God (which is truth), our first response is to decide how it fits with our current reality. Reality is the state of things as they actually exist. For believers, God is the source of life from which we derive our meaning and our reality (Gal. 2:20; 1 Pet. 4:1-2). Therefore, when God’s truth is received, believers are to allow it to reshape their thinking according to God’s standards and adjust their behavior accordingly (Rom. 12:2). The Holy Spirit is the Agent within believers who guides us into all truth and helps us to discern God’s will (John 16:13). However, if we choose to reject God’s truth and disregard the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can expect unpleasant consequences as a result of our willful disobedience. “If we deliberately continue sinning after we have received a full knowledge of the truth, there is no other sacrifice that will cover these sins. There will be nothing to look forward to but the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies.” (Hebrews 10:26-27, NLT) God’s truth leads to consequences that are either good or bad.

If one’s reality and meaning is not anchored in Christ, a dilemma arises when presented with God’s truth. The dilemma is created because a decision must be made as to whose “word” will be accepted as truth—the world’s, Satan’s or God’s? Jesus’ teaching as recorded in the Gospels created such a dilemma for all who came into contact with Him. The disciples left there safe vocations to become apostles who would witness to the truth of the gospel (Acts 4:33). Those who were healed and delivered from spiritual bondage found life and freedom in the truth that Jesus offered (John 8:32). Upon receiving the truth from Jesus at the well, the Samaritan women joyfully invited others to drink of the living water she had received (John 4:29). Jesus’ truth causes those who hear it to exchange their current reality for one that includes the “grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the sweet communion of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 13:14). God’s truth creates a moral dilemma for people.

So how are we to respond to the light of God’s truth? As believers we are to live a life that is “rooted and grounded” in the Lord. Our lives are to be lived “authentically” without hypocrisy, obediently giving preference to the Lord who is the Head of all things (Col. 1:17-19). Our affirmation of faith is to be more than flowery words but “love in action”—extending God’s love to all we meet. Lastly, we are to boldly proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ so that men will come to Him Who is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).

“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).