The Nature of Truth

Truth is Objective 

   Johnny received his math test back from his teacher.  He got all the answers right but one.  He answered that 2+2=5.  Wanting so much to get 100% on his test, he rushed up to the teacher’s desk and pled with her, “Mrs. Brown, I believe with all of my heart that 2+2=5.  Won’t you count my answer right?”  

    What would Mrs. Brown say?  Would she say, “O.K. Johnny, I will count your answer right since you sincerely believe that it is right”?  Or would she say, “No, Johnny, 2+2=4.  No matter how strongly that you believe that 2+2=5, you are wrong.  I cannot accept your answer.”

    This simple story illustrates that nature of truth.  Truth is not subjective.  Truth is not what each person decides for himself that it is. Truth is objective.  Truth is based on a standard outside of the beliefs and feelings of the individual.  When it comes to spiritual matters, Jesus is the Truth (Jn 14:6).  Jesus said, “Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (Jn 18:37).  

    Jesus tells us how to live morally pleasing to Him and how to worship and serve Him.  If we do not follow His Word, then He will not accept us no matter how sincerely we hold to our beliefs and practices.  Jesus will tell many who called Him “Lord” and who sincerely thought that they had acted in His name to depart from Him.  Success or failure at the Judgment will be determined by whether or not we have heard His words and acted on them. (Mt 7:21-27)

Truth is Unchangeable   

   Yesterday, 2+2=4.  Today, 2+2=4.  Tomorrow, 2+2=4.  Another characteristic of truth is that it is timeless and therefore unchanging and unchangeable.  Despite any “new” math that may come along, two and two will still make four.  No worldwide council on math will ever change it.  

    God’s truth is final.  God spoke through many people and in many ways in the past, but since Jesus returned to heaven He speaks to man through His Son (Heb 1:1-2).  Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to His apostles to guide them into all the truth  (Jn 16:12-15).

    By the time Jude wrote, he spoke of the truth as “the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3).  The word translated “once for all” is used in Heb 10:10 to describe Jesus’ sacrifice.  There is as much possibility of men receiving revelation from God after the time of the apostles as there is of Jesus dying again.  No chance!  

    God’s truth is eternal.  Those who have become Christians in the 21st century have been born into God’s family through the same seed as those in the 1st century- the incorruptible Word of God.  Peter wrote, “All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of the grass, the grass withers, and the flower falls off, but the word of the Lord endures forever.  And this is the word which was preached to you” (1 Pet 1:23-25).

     If God’s truth is final and eternal, then it is therefore unchanging and unchange-able.  Even as the New Testament was in the process of being revealed, no new revelation could contradict one already given.  Paul warned the Galatians in no uncertain terms, 

    “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he should be accursed.  As we have said before, so I say now again, now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” (Gal 1:8-9)

    In view of this warning, it is shocking and unbelievable that for centuries men have presumed to sit in the law-making seat of God in their human and denominational councils.  By a simple vote they have changed the sinful into the acceptable (for example; homosexuality).

    While God’s timeless, objective truth has remained the same in His Son’s New Testament, man’s subjective beliefs and teachings have constantly changed gen-eration after generation in order to fit the times and to please men. (2 Tim 4:3-4)

Truth is Narrow

  Out of all the infinite numbers in the world, only one answers the equation 2+2=?  Four is the only right answer.  Truth is narrow.  Anything outside of it is wrong, erroneous, and false.  Therefore  Mrs. Brown’s red ink on Johnny’s paper was justified because he answered that 2+2=  “5”.  He was wrong!   

   Modern religious thought is that truth is broad and that God’s attitude is, “Whatever you want to believe or practice is acceptable.”  Can you imagine Mrs. Brown having the attitude, “Whatever number you want to put as the answer to 2+2=? is fine, as long as you answer the question”?

    The only way for truth to be broad would be for it to be subjective.  My belief that 2+2=5 would be as good as your belief that 2+2=6.  But, truth is objective. In spiritual matters the object that it is based on is the Word of God.  Anything believed or practiced that is not according to the teaching of Jesus is false.  It is error.  It is wrong.

    John was not only the “apostle of love”, but he was also the “apostle of truth”.  He emphasized that love is shown by obedience to truth  (e.g. Jn 14:15).  John emphasized truth throughout all his writings.  His short letter of 2 John is a perfect example.  John loved the elect lady “in truth” and  so did  all  who  knew   “the truth for the sake of the truth.”  He rejoiced greatly to hear of her children “walking in truth” (2 Jn 4). The apostle gave this solemn warning to those who would choose not to walk in the truth, 

   “Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son.  If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds”  (2 Jn 9-11).

    Does this sound like God’s attitude is, “Any answer will do as long as you fill in the blank?”  The teaching of Christ is the standard- the truth.  Those who do not follow Jesus’ teaching do not have fellowship with the Father or the Son.  And, no one can wish God’s blessing upon them without condoning their error and therefore participating in their error. 

    It is time that those who claim to be Christians stop kidding one another that truth is broad and treating everyone with a “buddy buddy” attitude, as if every professor of Christ is O.K.  We must study the gospel of Christ- the only true basis of fellowship with God and each other- so that we might understand, obey, stand for and unite on the truth.

    See Truth for Yourself

     Mrs. Brown determined that the best way for Johnny to learn that 2+2=4 was for him to see it for himself.  She pulled two apples from a basket and placed them on his desk and had him count 1….2.  Then she took out two more apples and had him to continue the count 3…4.   Johnny saw the right answer and he told Mrs. Brown that his answer was wrong.

   Paul preached in Berea that Jesus was the Christ (the Messiah or King).  The inspired record says that “they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.  Therefore many of them believed…” (Acts 17:11-12). The Bereans researched the Scriptures for themselves and they were convinced that Paul was teaching them the truth about Jesus.

   What do you believe about Jesus?  What do you believe about how He would want you to live and to worship?  Do you accept the popular false doctrine that there is no absolute “truth”?  Do you accept the Scriptures as the truth- the objective, unchangeable, and narrow standard.  Do you check out every teaching that you hear?   Will you, as the Bereans, open-mindedly search the Scriptures for the answer to all spiritual questions?  Will you do so with a willingness to accept what you find, to admit if you have been wrong and to let go of your wrong beliefs and practices?