Michael Youssef - Honor the Truth
I wonder if you've ever thought of the meaning of the word "sincere". Back in the Dark Ages, when we used to write letters, before emails, we used to sign "Sincerely yours". By that, of course, we mean genuine, we mean honest, we mean the real thing or we mean without hypocrisy, right? The word "sincere" comes from two Latin words: sine means without, cera means wax. So that's really what it means when you say "sincere," it means without wax. But that needs an explanation. What does that mean, "without wax"?
Back during the Roman Empire, marble was a very popular and it is beautiful to this day, of course, stone. But back then, large slabs of marbles that extracted out of the ground and clever craftsmen would turn it into a pillar or a statue or a vase, beautiful stuff. Sometimes, if the marble is an inferior quality, it would develop a crack and therefore it becomes useless. It has no value. To avoid losing income some unscrupulous craftsmen did something with these cracks. They filled them with wax and then they smoothed them over, they polished it to a high gloss, and they passed it off as the real thing.
Unfortunately, in time, the wax would shrink and the marble would split. And the unfortunate purchaser would realize that he's gotten a worthless piece of marble. Buyers eventually wised up to this unscrupulous business and so when they purchased the marble, they demand the assurance by the seller that the product is the real thing: pure marble without hidden flaws or imperfection and it's not filled with wax. Or "sincere," without wax. Now you know some trivia, but it's gonna help you understand the message today. I said today because the reason hypocrisy, literally, we're swimming in it now. Is because absolute truth has departed from our culture. And whenever the absolute truth of God no longer exists, hypocrisy takes its place.
Hypocrisy comes from the Greek word, "hypokrites". Hypokrites was used mostly to describe actors. They did not call them actors; they called them hypokrites. Why? Because actors played a role. That is not who they are. They played that character and, to this day, it's the same thing. An actor is not expressing who he is or who she is, but the role of the character they're playing. They're not who they are. Later on, the word came, turned into be used exclusively in the negative. It wasn't that way, but it expresses the nature of deception, or the nature of the deceivers themselves. Just like an actor attempts to play a convincing role on the stage, pretending to be somebody who they're not, so is the hypocrite.
Matthew 23:15, Jesus calls them the sons of hell. They're are not only pretenders and they're pretending to be something who they're not but their intention is to deceive and to make the...with all my heart I believe their judgment is gonna be so horrific. You see, they try to condemn others who disagree with them so that the attention on the other people, not on them, on their misery. They, themselves, feel superior. They think of themselves as the elite, and they are so condescending, just by the nature of deception, nature of hypocrisy. 1 Corinthians 15:33, Paul said, "Bad company corrupts good morals". Young people, if you're watching me, young people here, be very careful, take this to heart. Bad company corrupts good morals. Don't think, "Well, they can't harm me. I will just be on the fringes. I'll go with this part, but I won't go with them on this part".
Bad company corrupts good morals. Take heed. Look with me please at the text. Luke chapter 12 beginning at verse 1. There are three non-negotiables. Three what? Non-negotiables. These are gonna keep you from eternal disaster of being a hypocrite. These are gonna keep you from being influenced by hypocrites. Here they are: Honor the Father, honor the Son, honor the Holy Spirit. It is only when our focus is on the triune God, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, one God. It's only when we're focused on a triune God that we avoid the traps of being impacted by false teachers.
Now, why is this so important? Listen carefully. Because it is so easy to be influenced by the hypocrites. And he said, "But whoa, why is it easy? Why is it"? I'm gonna tell you why, because I've been there and I know what I'm talking about. Because these hypocrites present an arguments that appeals to the flesh. It appeals to our fallen nature. They present their views to help us avoid conflict with the world. They present their views in such a way that to avoid being harassed by the evil world, just do this, just say this, just believe this, just use this lingo and you will be popular. Hello? Jesus said, "Don't listen to them, don't listen to them. Don't let their noxious poisonous wheat seep into your psyche. Don't let this bad yeast be baked into your thinking and into your life". Instead, focus on the triune God. Focus on honoring and worshiping and adoring and obeying the Word of God.
Instead, of quoting them, I got sick and tired of people quoting the Reverend SmellFungus. Don't quote them, don't tell me who says what. Quote the Scripture. Quote what the Word of God said. Because these three, one God, they are interlocking chain of testimony to each other. The Father testifies to the Son, and the Son reveals the Father, and the Father loves and glorifies the Son, and the Holy Spirit is the spokesman of the triune God, and he is to glorify the Father and the Son. Verse 3: "What is said in the dark shall be heard in the daylight and what is whispered in the inner rooms will be exposed on the rooftop".
Now I need to explain to you a Middle Eastern practice. It's very important. You see, back then, the storeroom where the valuable, where the things that are really precious to them, was not in the garage because the thieves can get to it very easily. It was not in the, you know, in the room up front. No, no, no. They build a room inside the house, in the middle of the house, that would take a thief, I mean, has to go through many rooms to get to it. It's right there in the middle of the house. And that's where they stored all of their valuables. Ah, but they also went into that room when they would talk secrets, when they do not want anybody to hear what they're talking about, they go inside these rooms and they will talk and they'll share their secrets.
These were the hiding places and Jesus said, "Honor the Father because you cannot hide things permanently". But why? Because God the Father one day will judge and punish the hypocrite. My blunt preaching through the years and my refusal to compromise the Word of God, to compromise biblical morality, compromise all issues in life that I know, even though I am a fallen man, I have clay feet, even though I am full of foibles, but nonetheless when it comes to the Word of God and the truth of the Word of God, I refuse to compromise, and because of that, I offended some people through the years. Does this make me happy? No, no, it doesn't. I'm flesh and blood. But I tell you what my family know, and so many of my friends know, that I care more about the day when I'm gonna have that audience of one than make people like me in this lifetime. Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, escapes his knowledge.
God's omniscient knowledge is for even the most insignificant details, sparrows that are so small and they were not even the food of the poor, they were the food of the very poor because five are sold for equivalent of 2 cents today, so think of the sparrow that's worth less than half a cent back then and now. So insignificant by any standards. But they are not insignificant to God the Father. He knows every single hair on your head and if you don't have hair, he knows all the follics in your head too. All hundred thousand of them. This truth comforts all believers, but it cause tremor to the hypocrites. And that is why they try to conceal the truth. They try to destroy the truth, they try to distort the truth. Or they try to twist the truth. They try scream loud the thinking that they can stop you from hearing and believing the truth, but they'll fail. Sooner or later, they'll fail.
And so the first cure for hypocrisy is honor God the Father. The second cure for hypocrisy is honor God the Son. Look with me at verses 8 and 9: "And I say to you, anyone," I'm gonna explain that to you, "anyone," that means anyone, "who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God". See, the word term "anyone, everyone," it means everyone in the world. Question: What does confessing Jesus mean? Well, the Greek word here is homologeo. You know what the word "logos" mean, word, logos. Homo, one. One, or means to be in total agreement with, total agreement. Or the same thing, believing exactly the same thing that Jesus said about himself.
Why do you think they are so desperately trying to change who Jesus is? I mean, they play mental gymnastics with their minds: "Well, did Jesus really say that he is the only way? Or he is a way. Do we really have the exact words that Jesus spoke, or they changed those words along the way? Do we really know the", and they just twist and twist and twist, until they look like pretzels from being twisted so much. Because they do not want to confess what Jesus says about himself. They do not want to accept what the Bible said about who Jesus is. They do not want to obey and agree totally with what Jesus says about himself. Why? Because that will force 'em to obey by believing the Word of God. Confessing Christ in public determines our eternal destiny. Confessing Christ openly and unabashedly, unhesitantly, will set the stage for where we'll spend eternity. But why before the angels? Ah, 'cause the angels are gonna be witnesses.
You know, in a court of law you get witnesses? The angels are gonna be witnesses. They're objective, they don't have anything against us or against anybody. They will tell the truth. They'll be our witnesses, either for us or against us. I'll pray to God not a single soul watching me or right here have never committed their lives to Jesus Christ and have accepted him as the only Savior and Lord would do that today. The worst thing in the world when you have the angel testify against you. 2 Thessalonians 1:7, Paul said, "They will be with Jesus on that flaming fire". Those who fail to confess Jesus as only Lord and Savior and only Lord and Savior for all people of the world, not just those in the church, they will hear from Jesus these most devastating words: "I never knew you". But we wore clerical garb. "I never knew you". But we preached in church pulpits. "I never knew you". But we agreed with some things in the Bible. "I never knew you". But we helped a lot of people. "I never knew you".
Heaven belongs to those who honor the Father, honor the Son, and honor the Holy Spirit. Look at verses 10, 11, and 12, 'cause the question immediately say, "Why the Holy Spirit? Why the Holy Spirit"? I want you to listen carefully please, I beg you. The Bible said, "No one can come to the Father unless they come through the Son. And no one can come to the Son without being brought by the Holy Spirit". The Bible said very clearly, every one of us, every one of us, every one of us, born spiritually dead, I mean, dead, dead, dead, dead, not in a coma, dead, physically alive, spiritually dead.
Only God the Holy Spirit comes in and he raises the dead on the inside of us. Our dead spirit rises when the Holy Spirit says, "Awake and rise," and we rise up and realize that we're sinners and we're heading for hell and we need the Savior and then turn to Jesus. All that is the work of the Holy Spirit. Anyone who denies any part of the Bible does not honor the Holy Spirit. Let me repeat that. Anyone who does not honor any part of the Bible does not honor the Holy Spirit. Don't miss this, don't miss this. Verse 10: "Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven to him". Some of you I know have questions about that and I've got this one several times. "But anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven". To blaspheme the Holy Spirit is to reject the testimony of the Holy Spirit concerning Jesus. He testified to Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is the one who reveals that salvation is found in no one else other than Jesus. And so Jesus concludes this section, Part 1 in a series we call "Enduring Wisdom," with a promise. Don't miss the promise. You do not have to worry not one second, not one nanosecond, you have to worry about anything because he will turn our trials into triumphs, he will turn our pain into gain, he will turn our troubles into blessings. He will turn and his power, his protective power, will keep us, all the believers, secure in his mighty hand until the day we go and be with Jesus. If that's why, they can call us all the names they want. They can falsely accuse us all they want. They can harass us all they want, but they can never, never, never, never rob us of the treasure which we have in Jesus.