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Jack Graham - Truth Matters


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    Jack Graham - Truth Matters
TOPICS: Don't Blink, Truth

Take your Bibles and turn with me to 2 Timothy, chapter 3. This is our series DON'T BLINK: Focusing on Truth in Today's Culture. That's what we call a world-view, and we'll define it even more in just a bit. We are facing domestic and national violence, international terrorism. The pandemic has brought the world to its knees. And, of course, this is our generation and we fight our own battles as every generation has, but the question that remains for all of us in every generation to answer is: What is truth? Truth with a capital T. What some would call true truth, trustworthy truth.

Second Timothy 3, verse 13 says: "While evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing that who you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work".

And then just slide down in your text to 2 Timothy 4 and read alone with me, these verses 3 to 7: "For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded (Alert-don't blink, wide-eyed), enduring suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry". And on a personal note, Paul said: "...I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. And would to God that everyone of us could say what we are about to read: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith".

With all the confusion and chaos, we must ask ourselves what are we to think and how are we to live? What is your world-view? Unfortunately, though everyone has a world-view, not everyone knows exactly what that means or understands their own particular world-view. Our world-view typically is formed when we are very young. Paul spoke to Timothy of how he came to faith as a young boy. And his mother and his grandmother, we know from Scripture, taught him the faith and passed the faith along to him. And so what was true for Timothy is true for you. Our world-views are typically, and those who study such things tell us that most people's general, foundational world-view is established before the age of 13.

That's why it's so important to teach and to train our children. Because what they are learning, they will soon be living, what they have learned in childhood becomes the adulthood and during our teenage years, you know this, when everything is upended, when we become teenagers and we're seeing the world through different lens, through different adolescent eyes, then we begin to shape our world-view, or our world-view begins to be shaped by our experiences and our circumstances and our friends and so on. And then by the time we reach young adulthood, our world-views are basically established and developed and lived out. My prayer in this world-view series is not that we would just learn something but that we would live something. And my prayer also is that the Gospel will be preached, that Christ will be exalted.

This is not going to be a religious rant. It's not going to be a negative series. It's going to be a message series filled with hope. It's not going to be a political speech each week, but rather we are going to dig into the Word of God and understand what God says is truth. What is the whole truth and nothing but the truth! Absolute truth! Authoritative truth! There is room for debate and discernment within some of the issues that we're going to be talking about. But I guarantee you there is no debate with God, and God has the final say, not me, not you! God has the final say on what is true!

Now, if we are to have a biblical world-view, if we are to have a Christian perspective on life, what is your world-view on the sanctity of life? What is your biblical viewpoint on the meaning of human kind, the origin and the destiny of the species? What is your biblical world-view regarding sexuality and identity and gender? What is your world-view regarding economics and society and politics and God and government and religious freedom? What is the biblical point of view, what is the biblical viewpoint of law and order and crime and punishment? These are all questions regarding world-view. What is the Bible's view on the races and equality and dignity and justice? A biblical world-view.

We live in a world that is filled with secularism, humanism, Marxism, progressivism (and here's the big word) relativism. Everything is relative to your perspective, what you think, or what your friends think or what somebody told you. I'm saying to the church, don't blink. In the face of all of this, get your eyes wide open and focus on biblical truth in this culture. We are living in a post-Christian culture. This is not your daddy's culture; it's not even your daddy's church. And this culture is increasingly hostile towards Bible-believing Christians. And, oh, by the way, other people of faith, like Jewish people! You know America is built upon Christian-Judeo principles. And not only are Christians and our Christian principles and biblical world-view under attack in America, but so is it among the Jewish people.

And Anti-Semitism, are you listening? Anti-Semitism is on the rise again in Europe, around the world and in hotspots across America, and we must stand up and say so and defend our Jewish brothers and friends! But if you believe the Bible and live for Jesus Christ you will be viewed, and have biblical convictions, you will be viewed as haters and bigots and freaks and fanatics and fundamentalists and radical rights and crazies and all the rest! But in view of the resistance and the opposition and if it comes, even persecution, and there are Christians who are giving their lives for Christ around the world. So if you live godly in Christ Jesus, if you want to live in a holy hole somewhere and never bring your head up, if you want to hunker down, you may not face much persecution. But this is not a time to hunker down! This is a time to rise up!

And if you do, you know, we can't afford to fold our tent and hide out in church and wait for the rapture, because God has called us to rise up! That great hymn for men: "Rise up, O men of God. Have done with lesser things. Give heart and mind and soul and voice to serve the King of kings". We rise up! We do not retreat from the enemies of Christ and the enemies of the Gospel. If we retreat, then evil prevails! Our freedoms will be stolen from ourselves and our families! We cannot, we must not be silent! We must like Esther, when facing a choice, "If I perish, I perish", but she said, "I will stand with my people of Israel". And she saved her nation because she had, "come to the kingdom for such a time as this... Who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this"!

Esther stood up to evil Haman. She stood up to the evil and saved the nation! Moses stood up to the pharaoh and cried out for the freedom of his people. Elijah stood on Mount Carmel and declared the greatness and the glory of God. 1 Kings 18:21, "If God be God, serve Him. If not, then serve Baal". And the fire fell because Elijah stood against wicked King Ahab and his vile Queen Jezebel! Fearless in the face of evil! Where does our truth come from? Why does truth matter? Because our view will be scriptural, not cultural, not political. The culture is impacted by truth, politics are impacted by truth in your world-view. But it's clarity and conviction without compromise that we need. I promise you, we're going to speak the truth in love, but we are going to speak the truth. We are going to stand for truth. That's why the Bible is for this truth.

Look again at verse 16. Why do we have the Bible? "All Scripture, breathed out by God". You know why the Bible is eternal? You know why the Bible will, though it has been banned and burned throughout the generations, you know why the Bible still lives? Because the breath of God is in it. The Bible will live as long as God lives. And God speaks in His Word. When the Bible speaks, God speaks! God speaks, the Bible speaks! Somebody said, "I believe the Bible: and God said it, I believe it, and that settles it".

I've got one a little better than that: God said it, that settles it whether I believe it or not! It's God's eternal Word! And it's profitable to do what? Teaching- that's biblical truth and training, for reproof- that is correction, and for training in righteousness. Reproving sin- correcting and then training in righteousness. So as always in every message series this is our goal: is to preach Christ and the Bible, and Christ is the core, the center, the story of the Bible. The story of the Bible is redemption and salvation. Christ is the message and the mission of the Bible. Why? And how? "That the man of God (you and me) that we may be complete, equipped to every good work".

Why world-view? Number one, we are at the battle for truth. Every generation is responsible to do this. As Jude says in verse 3 of the book of Jude, which is all about contending for the faith. Jude 1:3, "Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation". Normally, naturally our messages here regarding our common salvation, how we come to Christ, how we grow in Christ, and that was Jude's desire. He said, I wanted to write to you and just celebrate salvation but he said, "I found it necessary to write, appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once delivered for the saints".

So we don't opt out when it comes to the tough questions and issues of life. We will battle for truth. We will earnest contend, to wrestle with these world-view issues. We will declare the truth. The message series is not a matter of defending the truth. There is a place for the defense of the faith; it's called apologetics, looking at evidences. The goal of this message and others like it, you know, it's not to prove the trustworthiness of the Bible. I could stand here all day and talk to you about evidences as to why we believe the Bible. That's for another day and another time.

You know, it's like the great preacher Spurgeon once said regarding the Bible: "You don't have to defend the Bible; it's like a lion. You don't have to defend a lion; just turn it loose"! So what we're going to be doing is turning it loose; turning the truth loose. So pay attention! You may have already settled your basic world-view. You may already know the basics of your perspective on life, the principles by which you live. But I want you to pay attention because in this spiritual world and war we are to bless our children and pass the faith to the next generation. And that's the second reason we're doing this.

First reason is we are to battle for truth. Second is we are to bless our children and pass the faith to our next generation, our children and our children's children. Again, I reference the mother and grandmother of Timothy who came to faith because they passed their faith along, the common salvation in Jesus Christ. Our children and our grandchildren are growing up in a very different world than you and I grew up. And it's our responsibility to lay spiritual foundations and faith for our families. This is what Moses did. Moses was facing the end of his life, and in Deuteronomy chapter 6 he stood before the children of Israel as they were preparing to enter the land of promise that they had been given, knowing that there were battles yet to fight and victories yet to win.

Moses in an aged state, stood up and said: "Now this is the commandment (This is Deuteronomy 6) the statutes and the rules, that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, (You ought to turn to this if you haven't already, Deuteronomy 6) that God commanded me to teach you". In a way I feel like Moses in this series. I'm not as old as Moses yet, but I'm a spiritual father and grandfather, and like Moses commanded me to teach you that you may do them: "that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all the statutes and His commandments which I commanded you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it go well with you, that you may multiply greatly as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey".

And here it is, The Shema: "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them (watch it) DILIGENTLY to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk in the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. (What you see. That's your world-view!) And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates". Who is teaching your children? Who is training your children? It better be you, mom and dad, grandpa and grandma. And our desire is to equip you and help you to teach your children well. We are to bless our children and pass the faith along.

Thirdly... more to say about that later on. Thirdly, we are to benefit our nation, our country. That's what Moses was doing for Israel. Our nation, America, is at a tipping point. Life and liberty are at stake. Our very way of living! Now here is the truth: Democracy, our way of government, depends upon liberty! Without liberty there is no democracy. And liberty depends on values and virtues. And values and virtues depend upon a biblical, Christ-centered, world-view. Got it? America was founded upon the principles of the Bible and we must be vigilant to protect these principles that made America one nation under God! Psalm 11:3, "If the foundations be destroyed, what will the righteous do"?

So world-view is in behalf of our nation, our community and the future of our world, but ultimately the world-view is for the glory of God. To advance the kingdom of God. Our King, the Lord Jesus Christ, has given us our marching orders. Matthew 28, Matthew 28:19, "That we are to go into all the world and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and make disciples and mark those disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have command you". That's maturing believers. This is our mission; this is our mandate. And, therefore, what we do ultimately is not moralism or culturalism or political achievement, but it's for the sake of Christ and the Gospel! For the glory of God and His church!

This is why we preach Christ! This is why we teach the Bible! So Paul warned Timothy as he warns us today that be aware that there are false prophets, people wearing a mask, hiding behind false doctrine. There is false religion! There are false ideologies. All of that is true. But the only way to win against an argument is with a better argument! The only way to win against an idea is with a better idea! And the idea that we proclaim is that Jesus Christ is Lord! That God's Word is His Truth! And to live by the Word of God is to live in peace and hope forever!

That is why we do this! And while there are enemies of the faith and seducing spirits and false teachers and all the rest, we will endure, and we will not be intolerant, but we will not tolerate evil! There is no hunger, Paul said it here, There's no hunger, there's no taste for Scripture, for the Word of God. People have "itching ears"; "Just scratch my ears". But we will bring the healing, hope-filled message of Christ and the Gospel. We are in deep trouble as a nation. Crime and violence is up, up, up, up. Divorce rate, up, way up. Kids are living in the streets without fathers. The streets become their fathers. Illegitimate births up, teen suicides up.

Is there any hope? Yes, Jesus said, "The gates of hell will not prevail against My church". This is the time to rise and get on our feet, and not to blink, but to courageously stand for truth. To do, as Jesus said: Be salt and light in our culture; to love and live out loud; to do what the Apostle Paul did, to finish the course, to run the race, to fight the good fight and to keep the faith; to run hard all the way; to fight the good fight, to overcome evil with good. Yes, we're opposed to abortion. What's our solution? How are we helping moms in crisis and families that are struggling? Yes, we're prolife in belief but we're also pro-love in our actions.

Where's the church when a marriage is broken? Too often we come with harsh judgment and relentless condemnation. What's our answer? If the church is not there to help and to give hope to broken people, we don't deserve the land we built on. People are broken with addiction to drugs and alcohol and pornography. Where's the help? Where's the help going to come from? Psalm 121:2, "My help comes from the Lord". And the church is to be there for people. We need to be known, yes, for what we are against but more so what we are for! And what we are for is helping people! We're against homosexuality!

It's a terrible bondage! And we will say that it is wrong because it is a crushing sin! But we will standby to help; we will reach out to bring hope and welcome those who are broken by their behavior. On and on I could go. Listen, Jesus came and will transform lives. Romans 5:20, "Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds". And so why are we bringing this series? Because you need to know what you believe, why you believe it; you need to know your world-view. You need to pass it along. You need to help those around you here and know the Gospel and stand for the truth that is only in Jesus Christ. Amen?
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