by Dr. Michael Cochran
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Jesus said in John 8:44 that the devil “has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Satan's sway over mankind began when he turned the minds of Adam and Eve against God. In order to pull it off, he had to lie to them about God – and they had to fall for it. In that defining moment, he lied to them about God's goodness, His Word, and God's intentions.
It shouldn't be surprising, then, that when trouble interrupts our lives, the father of lies whispers in our ears and suddenly we are questioning God's goodness. When we are told to follow His commands, we wonder if the Word is really true in the first place. When Jesus tells us things like, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth” (Matthew 6:19), Satan tells us that the good life is about piling up things here, causing us to doubt God's good intentions.
Our problem is that we, like Adam and Eve, believe the lies, And when we do, our loyalty to God is compromised. Then the enemy slithers off to his next victim, leaving us alone to face our regrets and the realization that his lies have seduced us away from our truest and dearest Friend.
The Church has been entrusted as stewards of the manifold grace and wisdom of God. Yet today people professing to be Christians would attack the very notion of “Absolute Truth.” Not only should every Christian know and love the truth but we are to be contending for the truth which has been entrusted to us not surrendering it for the sake of harmony or unity.
We are to hold tenaciously to the truth and stand against any that would alter, add, or diminish its message. As members of Christ's kingdom, kingdom living and passivity are not compatible. Proverbs 23:23 says, “Get the truth and never sell it; also get wisdom, discipline, and good judgment.”
“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to the sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.” 2 Timothy 4: 3-4.
Relativism has become acceptable in the church. It is shrouded with the words, This is how I believe” or “It's a matter of interpretation” or “This is what seems right to me.” We no longer hear the emphatic words “Thus saith the Lord!”
We no longer take a stand on what is right or wrong but say it is up to the individual to determine in his or her own mind what is right or wrong. God does not change. Truth is Absolute. “The Church that compromises Truth today will compromise Morals tomorrow.” H.D. Bruce
This mind set has led to worldliness in the Church. The world no longer sees any difference between the saved and the unsaved, because the saved have compromised their walk. Leviticus 10:10 declares, “And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean.”
Denying the faith for the sake of unity and harmony has watered down the Truth of the Gospel where it has become commonplace in the Church to hear compromising statements such as, “As long as they have Christ that is all that matters.” Compromise is planting God's flowers in the devil's dirt!
Professing Christians who do not hold to the faith “once for all delivered to the saints,” are possibly the worse enemy of Christian doctrine. The Word of God says in Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” and Ephesians 2: 8-9 reads, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: lest any man should boast.”
Satan would say, “Let us negotiate.” But there are some things that cannot be negotiable. We must not compromise the Church with the world. Christ and His church deserve our very best and utmost loyalty. 2 John 1:10-11 commands, “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that bids him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”
It is better to be hated for telling the truth than loved for telling a lie. When we fail to declare the whole counsel of God. That is not love! Truth can hurt but brings about healing where falsehood comforts, then kills. If the Church is going to have power then compromise has to be put to rest.
However, we can not lose our testimony in arrogance. We must stand up for the truth, in such a way if the person refuses the truth, they have to do so because they don't agree with it, not because of the way we present the truth. Ephesians 4:15 says, “Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.”
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I think relevance with a pertinent message is just what we need in our writing, if that is, we hope to connect to our readers. While reading, "Unholy Matrimony" I found myself saying "Yes", "Amen," and "That's right" throughout the article. Good Job.
Wow this mini-sermon is packed full of wisdom. One of the greatest lies Satan tells is that there is no devil. This allows him to sneak into the hearts of many. I often hear him whisper things in my ear like, "No one loves you. You're a big burden." Thanks for this timely message.