Monday, June 6, 2016

The Trouble With Lone-Ranger Rebels

“I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I, the LORD, speak the truth; I declare what is right.” (Isaiah 45:19)

 When Jesus was on trial before the Roman Governor Pilate, he said, “In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me." (Jn. 18:37)   The 1828 Edition of the Webster Dictionary defines truth: “Conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be. The truth of history constitutes its whole value. We rely on the truth of the scriptural prophecies.” 
 Truth is what is.  You can deny gravity all you want to—but it still “is”.  This unshakable reality is at the core of God’s nature.  He “IS”.  Thus when God appeared to Moses in the burning bush (Ex. 3) and Moses asked God what his name was, “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you.'" (Ex. 3:14)  

We can deny Him, reject Him, rationalize Him away in our minds---but none of that changes what IS. Sin, as defined by God’s Word, is sin—no matter how we spin it.  Jesus IS the Way the Truth and the Life—and the only way to God--whether people accept it or not.  It just “is.”

One day, Jesus was in the temple teaching. “…while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. ‘By what authority are you doing these things?’” (Mt. 21:23)  Jesus took their question as an opportunity to teach them about the “truth” (realities) of God’s Kingdom.  In vs. 42 & 44 He said, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone…  Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”  Jesus is the cornerstone of life. (Eph. 2:20)  All who come to Him with a humble heart experience the brokenness of repentance and death to self, but this brokenness results in a new life of fellowship with God through grace!  On the other hand, all who refuse to fall on this stone in repentance will be crushed by it in judgment.

I know this sounds harsh, but it’s reality.  For all who embrace Jesus as Lord—He is a ROCK of salvation and support, but for those who refuse to embrace Him—that same ROCK becomes the instrument of final judgment.  Take some time to read Revelation chapter 1-3 today and you will get a fresh perspective on the nature of our risen Lord.

“I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I, the LORD, speak the truth; I declare what is right.” Isaiah 45:19 

 Friends, God has made Himself--and continues to make Himself known—though His witnesses (Christ-followers, Acts 1:8) and through His Word.  He is not hiding in dark shadows, or vague in His speech.  His Word clearly lays out what right and wrong look like; the reality that all have sinned and fall short of His glorious standard and how beautifully Jesus redeems all who trust in Him. (Rm. 3:23-24)

When Jesus told Pilate that He had come to testify about truth, Pilates response echoed the spirit of our age, “What is truth?”

 Here’s the deal—if you can understand these two words—they will help you cut through a truck load of confusion in our culture today.  OBJECTIVE & SUBJECTIVE.

If a truth or reality is “objective” it exists completely independent of you.  It IS what it IS—no matter what you do or think about it—example: gravity.

Subjective thoughts are all about what you feel or perceive—and they may or may not have anything to do with objective reality.

Many times in life our subjective feelings conflict with objective reality.  In those times we have to make choices.

Subjective thought: “I don’t FEEL like going to work today.”  Objective reality: “I will be fired if I skip work whenever you feel like it.”

Do you see the difference?

God’s Word is OBJECTIVE TRUTH.  It IS what it is—whether you agree with it and feel like accepting it, or not.  To requote Webster, God’s Word proclaims that which is “fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be.” 

 God’s declarations about ethics, morals, sex, marriage, holiness, sin, repentance, Jesus, grace, etc. ARE reality.  They do not depend on us or need our approval to stand as true.  They are 100% objective.

The question is, Will we surrender to God’s word and allow Christ to be a Rock of Hope & Salvation, or reject it and experience its crushing judgment?  The spirit of our culture is ruled by a subjective mindset.  Whatever we feel rules!  If I feel something on the inside—in a culture where subjectivity rules—that’s all I need to justify my lifestyle or behavior—and who are you to tell me any different… AND if you disagree with what I feel—I might just label you as a narrow-minded bigot or hater!

The BIG problem with SUBJECTIVITY is it’s fickle, selfish, and ultimately self-destructive.

Subjectivity says, “I’m the center of my universe. I don’t care what you, or God, or the Government, or anyone else says, this is how I feel—and THAT makes it right FOR ME.”  One of the many problems with that mindset is—

You can’t build a sane society with a population of lone-ranger rebels who believe their personal feelings trump objective truth.  

History clearly teaches that the end of a subjective culture is always moral decline, decimation of the family structure, and eventually, self-destruction—just ask the Roman Empire—NO ONE defeated Rome militarily—they followed the path of subjectivity and destroyed themselves.

“In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes… There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” (Jdgs. 17:6 & Prov. 14:12)

Listen carefully to the conversations in your world today and ask yourself, “Is this person guided by a subjective, “I feel…” mindset, or an object, “God says,” mindset? And hold tight to—one of the greatest objective declarations ever made: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." (Jn. 3:16)

If this encouraged you--Remember to leave a comment & share with friends, thank you!

Until next time...