The Present Truth: The State of the Christian

This blog contains excerpts from the book, The Present Truth.

Christians must examine themselves in light of the word of God. “I wish Mr. (or Mrs.) X could have heard that sermon. It’s just what he (or she) needed,” said Mr. Y as he shook the pastor’s hand after the worship service. Christian, examine yourself, not your neighbor, the church, or the world. Examine your real self, your inward self, not the outward appearance.  Examine yourself at the present time, not the past, nor what you expect to be in the future. Examine yourself according to the Word of God, the whole counsel of God, not according to a spoof text to defend your views and not according to your own feeble feelings.  On the other hand beware of the elite super-spiritual Christian because he or she is always ready to condemn your spiritual journey.  In fact, some of them are ready to stone you to death if they judge you to be a sinner.

The popular concept today is culture comparison.  How well are we keeping up with the culture around us?  Too bad that so many have on glasses so dark they can’t see reality.  As in the days of the apostle Paul, Christians live “in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation” (Philippians 2:15).  Christians should be ever aware that the culture looks at the Christian with critical eyes.  When they look at Christians they see the church.  Do our unbelieving friends see grumbling, complaining, and divisive church members?  Visit most any TV sit-com and you may see some startling resemblance to the modern evangelical church.

The question that plagues every religious sector, every philosophical proposition, and every cultural milieu is, “what is truth?”  From the 18th century enlightenment until the 20th century Heisenberg uncertainty principle, the concept of relativity has trumped truth.  The blame does not properly belong to any one philosophical discipline, or the concepts of modernity or post modernity.  The blame lies in the doctrine of sin.  The effect of sin on the intellect is the reason for all the conflict over truth.  Not only the intellect, but the will represents the changeable nature that accompanies the confused sinful mind.  Truth is neither easy nor convenient.  To acquire and understand truth requires hard work. But not even hard work will solve all truth propositions. The discovery of truth depends on the source that reveals truth. To put it another way, the knowledge of truth is not possible without divine illumination. When the Jews, the professing people of God, confronted Jesus they said “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father – God” (John 8:41). Jesus responded with a statement about the truth.

If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.  Why do you not understand My speech?  Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.  But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.  Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?  He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God. (John 8:42-47)

Unbelievers may know some truth, but only by the generous providence of God.  The cultural elites have successfully deceived several generations into believing that truth is so abstract that it becomes practically useless.  Mental assent is sufficient for most and for the rest if truth really surfaces, it is to be put on a shelf so it will not divide the ranks.

So where does this leave the state of the Christian?  It leaves the Christian standing on the edge of a cliff about to fall into a neo dark age.  It is for that reason that God’s people need to wake up before it is too late.  Turn your back on the darkness and “shine as light” so says the apostle Paul.  Don’t pretend to be Christian.  If you’re not a Christian admit it and seek the Lord while He may be found.

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