By Tyson Thorne

November 12, 2015
 
 

3BigTruths large

 

This week we’ve been examining three lies the world uses to destroy faith and minimize the effect of evangelism. These lies are powerful enough to delude many, and indeed their impact is being felt among the current generation called millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996). At the current rate of their effectiveness these lies have the ability to turn the tide of both religious and political direction in this nation. In point of fact, it has already done severe damage in one of America’s two political parties.

The same Pew Research poll that identified the downward trend of faith in millennials also indicates that members of the Democrat party largely regard themselves as “religious nones” (people who do not identify with any religion) and outnumber those who consider themselves as Catholic or Protestant. Is it in wonder then, that in 2012 this very party removed any mention of God from the official party platform? As ABC News reported at the time, “For Democrats, there is no God in 2012 – at least as far as the parties platform is concerned.”

We’ve also seen how these lies have infiltrated some Christian institutions, including seminaries and the church. These lies have the same effect as when they are spread by the secular community, the devaluing of faith leading to abandonment of God. How do we combat these lies? The same way Jesus combated Satan in the wilderness, with three big truths.

Truth #1: Narrow is the path to life, wide is the path to destruction.

Different approaches must be made to the secular community than to the Christian community. When combatting the lie that all paths lead to God means there is no divine justice for the truly evil people of history. The Hitler’s and Saddam Hussein’s of the world will enjoy a perfect afterlife the same as everyone else. The obverse could also be true, there is no divine grace meaning that there can be no forgiveness of sins and that everyone will suffer equally in the afterlife. Either is a grave injustice unworthy of a being like God. The only other alternative is that not all path’s lead to God, and that some will lead to eternal punishment and others to eternal life. How do we know which is which? Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14.6).

From this point we can make a case the truth of the Bible and about Jesus. Such explanations should not be necessary in the church. When gently and respectfully teaching one who claims to be a follower of Jesus the truths about the Bible and Jesus should be accepted already. Point them to Matthew 7.13-14. “Wide and spacious is the path that leads to destruction” directly opposes the notion that all paths lead to God. In fact the path to destruction is wide, accommodating many beliefs. “The gate is narrow and the way is difficult that leads to life” indicates only one way. Then take them to John 14.6.

Truth #2: Live as a new creation in Christ

Once a person has put their trust in Jesus and have been indwelt by the Holy Spirit, one cannot comfortably live “as the Romans do.” Instead, our new nature compels us to live the way Jesus did. It’s not about following rules or commandments, it’s about loving God and loving others. Jesus didn’t fit in with his people either, so Christ-followers will naturally not toe the line either. This sometimes leads to conflict with the culture, but when you have a better way of life it is worth the challenge.

To a Christian we may point to Ephesians 4.17-18: “So I say this, and insist in the Lord, that you no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts.” We might be accused of being close-minded by the secular community due to their lack of understanding, but we should never be accused of being closed-hearted.

Lie #3: No one religion has all the answers, but all of them contain some truth.

This secular argument is really a cop-out. It’s a way of saying “what works for you is great, and what works for me is equally great.” It a way of forcing moral equality on all faiths, including no faith at all. Ask them if they really mean “all” faiths. What of the faith of the Olmech’s, a South American tribe that practiced child sacrifice to hungry jaguars. What about Satanists? What of those that use their children as bombs to kill civilians in marketplaces? Can we agree that some religions contain more truth than other’s?

From here it can be explained that while some certainly practice Christianity as a religion, Jesus taught us that it is a relationship with God, not a religious order. In fact, Christianity is unique in all the world as it is the only faith wherein God strives to have a relationship with man, instead of man striving to be good enough for God. Christianity also has the only person who claimed to actually be Truth. In Romans 1.20 Paul explains that some truth about God is made clear from natural revelation, so certainly some religions may be right on certain points. Unless those religions have Jesus, however, they do not have the ability to save. Only Jesus can do that.

 
 

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