“That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee.” (Proverbs 22:18-24)
Everything around us is changing.
We are told, however, that the gospel doesn’t change. Because the foundational ideas or truths of the gospel do not change.
Truths are eternal; and they are founded upon specific words and specific phrases.
So, logically, we must also be able to trust that the words behind these truths have not changed. That the words also must be eternal.
Or, to say it another way, the words must be certain. They must be fixed, unchangeable, incorruptible. (I Peter 1:23; Isaiah 40:8)
But, for all practical purposes, that is not what many churches teach today. The modern Evangelical church and a growing number of Fundamental churches do not truly believe this.
This may seem like a wild and unsubstantiated charge.
But most churches have come to accept this without even realizing it. They have allowed men in high places to tell them what the truth is; and what it isn’t.
What is Truth?
Pontius Pilate asked this question of the Lord Jesus just before he had him crucified.
Our modern culture is really no different than Pilate. They also reject the idea of absolute truth.
In fact, that is the whole basis of Post-Modern philosophy. That truth is relative.
You have your truth; and I have mine. You have your reality; and I have mine.
So, they are really saying the same thing to the Lord that Pilate said.
Whether they realize it or not, they are taking the same position as Pilate. Rejecting Christ as “the Way, the Truth, and the Life“.
The Seeds That Have Been Sown
Our modern churches have allowed their foundation to be removed. They have allowed doubts to be sown in the field. And those seeds of doubt have grown up to choke the good wheat.
It is not enough to have a church library filled with different translations. And expect that the hungry soul will find truth there. To think that someone can sift through a multitude of Bibles and commentaries and find the right way.
How is that even possible when there is no certainty about which words are correct? Which specific words are correct in which specific translation? It’s a nightmare.
But the average leader today doesn’t see it that way. They think we have a great wealth of information at our disposal today. A wonderful range of choices. All the wisdom from the great Christian scholars and translators that have filled our bookshelves with their Bibles.
But what good does this do? Really?
The advantage, leaders say, is that they can direct people to the version that “speaks to them”. To the one that is easiest for them to read.
But, for all practical purposes, it’s more about leaders having more options to find the one that has verse-phrasing that best supports the leader’s teaching. The ones that he can quote in a sermon that will back up whatever point he is trying to teach.
So, it’s not a question of certainty at all.
In fact, when did anyone last hear a sermon on the certainty of the words of God? If anything, they were talking about ideas or the essence of truth – not words.
Is it Really That Important?
We just don’t understand spiritual matters today. Everything has become pragmatic. It’s about getting things done. Meeting people’s needs. Being relevant to the culture.
We don’t understand that Salvation is not simply about the “message of Jesus”. Or the “story of Jesus”.
The gospel is built upon words. About “the words of life“.
The gospel is about something supernatural that occurs when the words of God are read and spoken. And the eternal effect that they have on the souls who hear them. An effect that nothing else can replace.
This goes far beyond any church program, or church culture, or outreach ministry, or community service, or “missional” fad.
This has to do with God using His eternal words to accomplish His eternal purposes.
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