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What is "Truth"? Does it Matter?

The sky is green! Grass is blue! You and I are standing on Mars. We are living in the 15th century. There is no such thing as the human brain and, despite what they say, there is nothing definite like death and taxes.


Now, if I could peer into your heart and your thoughts, you’re probably thinking, “This guy is nuts! Because, nothing he just said was true!”

Well, my question to you is now, “How do you know that? How do you know that all those statements I made are untrue? How did you determine that?"

You did it, because you are capable of discerning TRUTH!

So, then, what is truth?


WHAT IS TRUTH?

The MOST important question anyone can ask in their lifetime, is “What must I do to be saved?” I believe the second most important question a person can ask - and it’s related to the question occupying first place - is, “What is truth?” If a person can find the answer to that question, it will secure the absolute right answer to the first question.


In John 18:33-28 when Jesus was standing before Pilate, accused by the Jews of some made up crime, Pilate couldn’t figure out what the problem was, so he asked Jesus, “What have you done?" Jesus responded by saying His kingdom was not of this earth, if it were, His followers would have fought the Jews. This prompted Pilate to deduce the question, “So, are you a king?” To which Jesus responded, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."

I can just see the confusion, or contempt on Pilate’s face, when he said, "What is truth?" I can see the confusion so easily, or the contempt so clearly … because I can see it today on the faces of people when they ask that SAME question! What is truth? This is an important subject, and I hope to encourage you by dealing with … the Truth! I want to approach it by asking three main questions.


FIRST QUESTION: IS TRUTH SUBJECTIVE?

It is no wonder that there is so much confusion in the world, and especially in religious circles, because many people - for many centuries - have been giving, what they believe to be, the answer to that question. Don’t believe me? Just do what the majority of people do today when they want to know something … go to the Internet and Google it!

Isn’t that what we do? We turn to some resource that we trust to be reliable. It’s sad how much information we ingest from the internet on a regular basis!

We should remember, that famous quote from Abraham Lincoln, “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.” (You should look that one up)

Sadly, it is a really bad habit that so many have developed.

From just from a quick search of “What is truth?” You will find that the world would have you to believe that truth is subjective = based upon, influenced by personal feelings, tastes and opinions.

Here are a couple of “quick answers” from the top drop down menus from teh search (another bad habit we have)

britannica.com - How do they define truth? - truth, is the property of sentences, assertions, beliefs, thoughts, or propositions that are said, in ordinary discourse, to agree with the facts or to state what is the case.

CSMonitor.com - What is truth according to the Bible? - Knowing the truth, is knowing God in some degree. Daily study and prayer to understand Him better are the best means to this end.

Neither of these are good or right answers, because they still miss the main point! You will see what I mean later in the discussion. If you continue to dig further, it will probably get even more confusing because you will find books and websites, blogs, YouTube videos, college professors and even religious people along with a plethora of other sources telling you things like:

  • There is no absolute truth / Truth does not exist

  • You have your truth and I have my truth

  • You must find your own truth / speak your truth / live your own truth

There are examples, like philosophers from the 1700’s and 1800’s such as Immanuel Kant and Soren Kierkegaard who wrestled with, discussed, debated and challenged truth - implying or stating it was subjective. There is also the famous 19th century German philosopher, Frederich Nietzsche - is quoted saying that “truth is a matter of perspective - there are no absolute truths.” A more recent example is Siri Hustvedt: who, in her book, A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women writes, “Each person does see the world in a different way. There is not a single, unifying, objective truth. We're all limited by our perspective.”


The point here is this: There is no shortage of people who challenge what truth actually is - they muddy the water and create confusion. They propose and teach that truth is subjective - thus, it can be almost anything. And for more than a 150 years - truth has been questioned and eroded and these are the answers that millions of people have embraced!!!

Embracing such subjectivity in truth has taken it toll on our culture and society. It is the basis of much disagreement. The magnitude of disagreement that exists in the world today - especially in our society - is absolutely astonishing. It is more than frustrating, it is aggravating, it is painful, and it is pitiful!

It is a terrible shame that many people cannot see the truth about very controversial subjects such as: Abortion, Genderism, Homosexuality, Racism, Gun control, Critical Race Theory, Civil Rights, Immigration, Terrorism, Climate Change, Censorship vs Free Speech, Capital punishment, and so many more …

Every one of these hot topics have been subjected to situational ethics, being politically correct, overly politicized, sensationalized, used in virtue signaling and wokeism and more, all so that many people can justify their opinions, beliefs, and the things that come out of their mouths.

But THE most important question for every one of these topics - no matter where you stand on the subject - is, “What is the TRUTH?” Point being: truth matters! If these subjects are important to you then, you should want to know the truth about each of them!

THAT means that we must figure out how to determine what is true in those particular topics. What is truth in general. Even though the world is teaching that truth is simply not important!

To discern what is truth actually is, we must first look at what truth is not - this a list that can be found on the internet, on several sites:

  • Truth is not simply whatever works. A lie can appear to “work,” but it’s still a lie and not the truth.

  • Truth is not simply what is logical or understandable. A group of people can get together and form a theory based on a set of logical, or understandable findings, assumptions, or deductions - then all agree to teach the same thing - but that does not make their theory or presentation true.

  • Truth is not what makes people feel good. Think about that, because even bad news can be true.

  • Truth is not what the majority says is true. This is a big one - and one that’s affecting our country. A majority can still believe a lie - proving that truth is not subject to what a majority may believe.

  • Truth is also not what is publicly proven - or certified by peer review. A truth can be known in private and does not have to be proven in teh court of public opinion - think of the 1st century Christians.

  • Which leads to Truth is not simply what is believed. A lie believed is still a lie.

  • Truth is also not what is comprehensive. A lengthy, detailed presentation can still result in a false conclusion. I’ve seen this countless times - I usually discount such long winded replies to word gymnastics or sleight of hand rhetoric - designed to weary you or distract you from the truth.

  • Truth is not defined by what is intended. Good intentions can still be wrong.

Lastly, no one can logically say “Truth is Subjective” or there is no truth … and it be a sound argument, because to say that means you just gave an absolute truth that truth is subjective! It defeats itself. Same with all others!

So … With so many variables and questions and problems - It should be obvious that truth can not be subjective. All of these things are all on shaky, questionable, unsound, illogical, ground … makes no sense!

SECOND QUESTION: IS TRUTH OBJECTIVE?

Objective means - expressing or dealing with facts or conditions without distortion of personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations. It is independent, fair, unbiased, and sound.

So, HOW is it that I, a simple country-boy, preacher, can identify truth, know what truth is, and can say that all those other sources I pointed out are wrong? What makes me right and them wrong? Who made me the authority? Well, no one did and I am not ….. but there DOES exists a source beyond me, … the Bible.


Exactly what IS truth? The Bible tells us - IN more than 200 verses in KJV, NKJV (130 in ESV, NIV). Think God wants you to understand the word truth? Indeed! HE DOES!

The Hebrew word in the Old Testament Bible for “truth” is emeth, which means “firmness, stability, constancy” and “duration.” Isn’t that a great foundation for what truth means - something reliable and constant. Facts and reality! Found 127 times.

Please Listen to what the Bible says in OT:

  • Deu 32:4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.

  • Psalm 119:160 The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments is everlasting.

  • Isaiah 25:1 O LORD, You are my God. I will exalt You, I will praise Your name, For You have done wonderful things; Your counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.

  • Dan 10:21 But I will show thee that which is noted in the writing of truth.

  • Zechariah 8:8 I will bring them back, And they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. They shall be My people And I will be their God, In truth and righteousness.'

In the NT, the Greek word for “truth” is aletheia, which literally means to “un-hide” or “hiding nothing.” It conveys the thought that truth is always there, always open and available for all to see, with nothing ever being hidden or obscured. Listen to what the Bible says in the NT:

  • John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

  • John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by Me.

  • Col 1:5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel,

  • 2 Tim 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

  • 1 Jn 5:6 This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.

So what do we learn from these few verses - remember there’s a lot?

  • ONE: That God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit ARE truth - each one is described in the Bible as being what truth is. God IS truth, Jesus IS truth, the HS IS truth. It is equivalent to God being love - it is His nature, what He consists of. So truth comes from God because it is what He is!

  • TWO: The Word is Truth - both the OT and the NT proclaim that these writing are truth.

So, what is firm, reliable and steadfast, open and unhidden? God and His word!

What is Truth? It’s very simple … it is God and His Word

The words that come from God’s mind. The inspired words of the Bible. The “God breathed” words as 2 Timothy 3:16 calls them! And since Tit 1:2 says in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began. Then everything God has said must be, has to be true.

When people are thrusting their opinions upon the rest of the world, they really only have ONE source on which to draw Truth from - the Bible. God is truth, His word is truth. It is NOT the internet, nor is it some fallible human who props himself up as a philosopher. That’s human wisdom vs divine wisdom. There is only one truth!


Now let’s answer the question: Can we really know what truth is? Yes, brethren, we absolutely can know what truth is. Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32) You shall KNOW. THE. Truth! You can know it! And when you know this truth, then all untruths are so easy to identify - THAT’s how this country boy knows!

Sanctify them through thy Truth. Thy word is Truth (John 17:17) How much more simple could God make it? It seems to be such an easy thing for people in this world to miss!

God has provided truth to us. In order to come to an understanding of the truth we Christians today are commanded “to study” or “be diligent” to know God’s Word 2 Timothy 2:15, and to “give attendance to reading” the Word of God 1 Timothy 4:13.

The reason many people simply do not know what Truth is, is because of Satan - he is a liar! He does not want us to know the truth, and that is why he makes every effort that he does to try and deceive us! If he can convince people that they do not need to read their Bibles, and that all they need to do is listen to what some man says then no wonder there are so many false doctrines and religions and philosophies in the world today!

God even explains how this happens Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator…. Satan helped them change it!

Now, this subject is way bigger than I can deal with in just one lesson here. So, let’s get to the real heart of the matter … why does many of this matter to you and me?


THIRD QUESTION: WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH TRUTH?

Pilate asked Jesus the question - but he still had to make a decision. Even today, as I said at the beginning, this is an important question. And what will you do with truth?

There is a side effect that comes with Truth - it’s called Cognitive Dissonance - in plain terms, it means a disconnect in the brain, something isn’t working together, adding up … SO people will:

  • Bury their head in the sand, shut up their ears, drown it out so they can ignore it, hide it under the rug, put it out of site out of mind … that’s dangerous for the soul!

  • Or, they wrestle with it, work it out question it and het to a place of acceptance

Truth is like a football, you can kick it, spike it, throw - it will keep its shape and still be football

Here’s the thing about truth - there is an absolute truth and YOU have to decide what YOU will ACCEPT as truth and what is not. Even if you choose an untruth, that does NOT change THE truth - it simply means what you are willing to accept a lie instead of what God has offered you.

1 Timothy 2:3-4 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.


ILLUSTRATION:

Here is how important truth really is!

If you were put on trial, would you want everything that was said about you to be the truth? Well of course you would! That’s why they have people swear to tell the whole truth and nothing but truth

Let me give you another example. There is going to be a trial - if you will - and truth will matter to you then also. In Rev. 20:12 we read of the judgment scene.

So, on that day, what would happen if God came to your name and the things that were written and said to you were not true? Would you become upset? Would you yell out and say, “That is not true!! You did not do those things! I did not say those things!”

But then, what if God were to turn to you and say, “Oh, does truth matter to you? I thought truth was subjective - you have your truth and I have mine? I certainly could not tell if truth were important to you because of the way you lived your life and the way you disobeyed THE truth!

1 John 2:4 He who says, I have known Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

I hope this has spoken to your heart and encouraged you to seek out THE truth, buy it and sell it not! (as Proverbs says)



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