Truth & Lies 

Romans 3:4
“Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar.”

A few years ago, I was returning home from one of my many visits to West Africa. Since it was a day flight, most of the passengers were wide awake, doing anything they could to pass the time. After a while, I struck up a conversation with the young lady sitting beside me. After covering the pleasantries: where we were from, our families, what had brought us over seas, I noticed an open door to engage her in the things of the Lord. After sharing the Gospel message, and even giving a few examples of lives that had been drastically changed by responding in faith to Christ, she grew disinterested. Realizing, that to push too hard would only turn her off to Christians, I concluded our conversation by asking her if she would do me a favor. I requested she simply read the Gospel of John, and pray if God was real, He would show Himself real to her. I was surprised when she responded, “I do not have time for that. I live in the real world.” I realized that her statement revealed a struggle we all face, between what seems to be “real” and the promises found in the Word of God. It is as though a battle is raging between the promise of God, and what we “know” to be true.

How often we doubt the Word of God over the claims of our circumstances, emotions, or the experience of others. Perhaps the biggest arena where the Word of God is brought to question, is in the realm of science. To some, it seems we have a choice of either being a critical thinker, or believing the claims of the Bible. To that Paul would say, “let God be true but every man a liar.”

History is filled with examples of Biblical promises that seemed unbelievable, only later to be worked out with precise detail. The Bible promised a Messiah that would be born of a virgin, have a ministry of the miraculous, be rejected by men, suffer and die by crucifixion, and rise from the dead. After four hundred years of silence, the promised Messiah appeared fulfilling the promises of God. The same Messiah promised the gigantic stones of the Temple would be knocked down, and the city of Jerusalem conquered. It seemed ridiculous to his disciples. How could such a massive building be leveled. Yet within a few decades, the Romans attacked, and the promises were fulfilled. In more recent times, we have seen the fulfillment of a promise so outlandish that even pastors and Bible scholars did not believe it. The Bible promised that the nation of Israel, that ceased to exist in 70AD, would be revived.

Now, Israel is a nation, and has celebrated its 67th anniversary. “. . . let God be true but every man a liar.” We have grown to question the authority of the Bible, while believing in the inerrancy of emotion, experience and science. It is as though we question every claim of the Bible, and believe without hesitation the claims of science. It might help to keep in mind, not everything that was once heralded as scientific fact still holds true today.

For instance, in the Nineteenth Century a French mathematician discovered a tiny planet between Mercury and the Sun, and named it Vulcan. His discovery became the buzz of much of the science community. Others came out with claims to have also seen the planet in its orbit. It was only after his death that his claims were proven false, and the planet Vulcan remains only the fictitious home of Mr. Spock. In more recent times, an Italian astronomer discovered a series of intricate “canals” on Mars. Many believed they were a detailed irrigation system built by Martians. Only after the development of more powerful telescopes, was it proven that no such canals existed. As recently as the 1700′s, many scientists believed life could literally spring out of nothing, when sun light struck the right environment. This theory, known as the Spontaneous Generation of Life, dates as far back as Aristotle who, seeing maggots appear in dead animal carcasses, thought that sunlight had birthed these disgusting little bugs.

Suffice it to say, science, experience, nor emotion are trustworthy foundations to build our lives upon. There is a Rock that will sustain us in the storms of life and through the test of time. That Rock is the authoritative, infallible, inerrant Word of the Living God. Read it, know it, trust it and live by it. His promises will never let you down.

Pastor Jim

 

Help My Unbelief

Mark 9:24
Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

IMG_1437We are introduced to a man facing one of life’s greatest obstacles, the illness of his son. We have little glimpses into the great love he had for his child. We are told the father cried out with tears, and although the boy had been suffering from childhood, his father stood with him, even risking his life to rescue him. When he finally came face to face with Jesus, he was given a great promise; “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” This man’s response is both practical and poetic. “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” It seems to me, this man had many reasons not to believe. His son, whom he loved, was tormented; this had been going on his whole life. He implies that time and time again, his son was at the point of death, only to be rescued by his father. It seems clear, nothing medically could help him. To make matters worse, he had come to the disciples, and they were no help. It is not difficult to understand why he was filled with unbelief. Love, medicine, and religion were of no help in overcoming the great obstacle he was facing. It is easy to see why his faith had waned.

I think it is important to note, that in the midst of this dilemma, he also had much reason to believe. He had been hearing of the great things Jesus had done for others. He had heard of the blind, the deaf, the lame, and the possessed, all being transformed by simple faith in Christ. On top of that, he had a promise from God; “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” One of the great lessons from this man’s experience, is while he was being squeezed (on one side by doubt and the other by faith), he chose to act in faith. He made a decision. He would not allow his doubts to keep him from trusting in the promise of Christ. The result, his son was healed. We are much like this man. We have life obstacles that cause our faith to wither. In those times, we are being pressed by doubt on one side, and by the promises of God on the other. In those times we have a choice to believe life or believe Christ.

The great lesson from this man is that with all of his unbelief he chose to believe.

What will you do?

Pastor Jim