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(TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES!)
SCRIPTURE - John 8:32, Gal 6:7 MARCH, 2006
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
SUBJECT - TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES!!
Several decades ago now, there was a game show on TV called, 'Truth, or Consequences!'
Now, I can't remember just how it went, but I believe that a contestant, was either asked, or presented with a situation, where they had to make a choice between 2, or more options. And, one of the options, represented something that was true. And if the person picked that one, they received a reward. On the other hand, if they picked the wrong one(s), then they would fall victim to some sort of prank, or gag.
The idea was, of course, to avoid the pranks, by choosing those situations, that reflected one thing, and that was, the truth.
Well, as you can guess, this month's message, as the title shows, presents, somewhat the same thing. And that is, 'Truth', and the consequences, of choosing things, that deny the 'Truth.'
First, just what is truth?? It is something, that is undeniable. It is a constant. Something that never changes. It is, what is known as an, absolute.
Now, there are many things, and circumstances, that occur in this world, that qualify as being truth, or as absolutes. That means, you can always count on them, to be the same, day in, and day out, no matter where you encounter them.
Well, these things remain the way they are, because they were created to be that way. And they were created by someone, that Himself, is the epitome of being an absolute, and Truth. I'm talking about Jesus Christ. John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Now, it goes without saying, that, since Jesus is the epitome of Truth, then, it stands to reason, that everything He says, and does, falls in the realm of truth.
The bible makes 2 points, that bear this out. Jas 3:11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Mat 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
There is another scripture that brings forth the point that says, as a person thinks in their heart, so is he. Meaning that whatever the core of an individuals thoughts, are, then that is what defines, who they 'really' are.
Now, since we know Jesus to both, say, and act, in a manner, that reveals His total personality, then we can rest assured, that, anything that He says, has got to be, the TRUTH.
Now, having said that, look at the first, subject scripture. It says, that if a person, knows the 'truth', it (the truth) will set them free. Of course, it must be stated, that they have to operate, within the framework of that truth.
Example. Airplanes fly, because there are certain laws, like 'gravity', and 'lift', that when followed, will allow a plane to break free of gravity, and fly. However, if the designers of the plane, knowing these 'laws', design something, that violates these 'laws', then what do you think will happen?? It will never take off.
By the same token, If the plane is designed to follow these 'laws', then, breaks one of them, while in the air, then, it will fall to the ground, and crash.
Now, if you will notice. It is better if the plane never takes off in the first place, than to take off, then, fall from the sky, from about 20,000 feet.
Well, in like manner, Jesus addressed a situation, that had similar results., when He said, Luke 14:28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Luke 14:31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
Or, here is a familiar one, Mat 7:24-27 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
All of these scriptures, tell the tale, of how planning, and following
plans, that, are proven successful, will result in victory, and a final result, that is to be envied by all.
But, all of these things, are only possible, if, proven plans, are known, and followed, to the letter.
This is the key to everything that we encounter, in our lives. Our lives, in fact, can be looked at, as airplanes, towers, and houses, and even ships, on a sea. And, in each case, with Jesus, being the Master Builder, He has given us the plans to follow, so that we can have the best results, possible.
However, He, has given us, free will, to follow the plans, or reject them.
However, there is the warning, that is put forth, in the second scripture, of the title.
Now, that scripture, mentions, sowing, and reaping.
Those of you that are in to gardening, farming, or working with plants, and vegetables, know a lot about what this verse is saying.
There thousands, if not millions of different types of trees, plants, vegetables, and fruits, in this world. There also many different types of climates.
Now, for each different type of plant, tree, or whatever, you want to grow, there is a different type procedure, and climate, and time of planting, that must be followed. If you follow the procedures, you will reap a good product.
On the other hand, if you go against, them, and try to do things your way, then you are in for disappointment.
Now, just what is the gist of this message, you might ask. Well, it is this.
As I look around me, and observe people, complaining about how their lives are going nowhere, fast. And how, they seem to be marked, for all of the worst, that life has to offer, I have to wonder, just what circumstances are factors in the problems that they are suffering.
These factors are, just what is it, that they are really suffering?? Could this suffering be from God?? Is it because of something that they are doing?? Or maybe it is something that they are not doing??
Now, facing truth, God, does not put suffering on a person. God does not strike a person with cancer, just to teach them something. However, God will allow a person to suffer, if that is what is called for.
You see, we all, good and bad, will suffer, during our lifetime. No one is immune to it. Whether it is sickness, disease, famine, persecution, and even death, all will confront us, at some point in our lives.
We know that Jesus, suffered, persecution, and death, and He was perfect, so what does that say, about our suffering the same things?? Jesus, never got sick, or afflicted by a disease, so that should reveal something to you. And that is, if a person, is walking perfectly, with God, then, the chances of their being sick, or afflicted with a disease, are greatly reduced, as compared to those that walk, contrary to His direction.
Persecution, and death, however, come on the righteous, as well as the unrighteous. The bible tells us, that, John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
Now, a lot of people, moan and complain, about things that are part of the life, of all of us. Jesus said, Mat 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
This means, we will all suffer some sort of disappointment, and problems, in our lives, and should not be dismayed about them.
However, here is where the similarities end. Because, there issuffering, that comes, from no other source, than our disobedience to God. Our disobedience to Him (called sin),m opens us up, to all sorts of things, that the obedient, don't have to face, let alone deal with.
Example, AIDS. How is it primarily contracted?? Through unprotected sex, with an infected individual. Of course we do have the cases, where intravenous users, may get it, by the sharing of needles. However, if two people, are monogomous (and married), and neither is infected, then, they have nothing to worry about, in that area. If they don't use drugs, then that is even better.
That is, Truth. God's Truth.
Now, you can say, "Man wrote the bible, and I am going to do what I want to do. You can't judge me!" Well, that is your right. But, you need to realize, there are consequences, that go along with what you do. And they aren't going to be pleasant.
Diseases that come on individuals, that drink, like alcoholism (even though it is not a disease, but a sin called, drunkenness), and scerosis of the liver, never come on those that don't drink.
People that are suffering, because of something they are doing, or not doing, are simply reaping the consequences, of thier actions. They have been planting, in the fertile ground of sin, and reaping the fruit, of those actions.
This nation, is suffering, what it is, because of its continuing, progress, away from the Truth (Jesus Christ), through abortion, gay rights, affirmative action, separation of church (Jesus) and state, environmentalism, and animal rights. The popularity of the garbage, that emminates from Hollywood, and the entertainment industry, that mocks God, and glorifies, ungodliness.
All of these things, God addresses, in the bible. He gives us the design, and the directions. Yet, we want to improve on what He has said. And we see, the results, of trying to improve on, the Truth.
Can man, change gravity?? Can we change the laws that allow planes to fly?? Or that allow ships to float??
If something is an absolute, then that means, it is, for all intents, and purposes, unchangeable. And that means, the consequences of violating those absolutes, are just as unchangeable.
We have got to accept, that certain things, are tried and true, because they were designed to be that way, by God. Now you can say what you want, and buck the system, all you want. But, remember, there are consequences that go along with it. And when they come knocking on your door (life), remember, 'you asked for it '(another TV show).