AN INCREASING RARITY: SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE
As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ. Ephesians 4:14-15
False doctrine. It has been around since Genesis chapter 3. The devil is the originator of fake news. He is crafty and deceitful. He wants to get us to believe his lies so that we miss out on the wonders of God’s truth.
Throughout the Old and New Testament, the main job of prophets, priests, apostles, and pastors has always been to speak the truth of the Lord with a heart of love and compassion. Truth and love are critically needed and inseparably linked together. Truth without love is brutality; and love without truth is heresy. Proverbs 16:6 tells us, “By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for ….” Both are indispensable for sin to be forgiven.
OUR WORLD TODAY
In Paul’s final letter before martyrdom, he exhorted young Timothy, his true child in the faith, to preach the truth of the word of God. Paul knew that in the last days—the days in which we are living—the multitudes would abandon the truth of God for the myths of man. They would welcome the lies and discard the truth.
Recently, I preached a message at FBC Texarkana called SIN, SODOM, AND THE SAVIOR (Genesis 18:16-33). I spoke the truth in love. I did not water down the Scripture to make it more palatable for the culture. I told the biblical story of Sodom and shared the reasons why God rained fire and brimstone on that city and the surrounding cities of the plain (see Ezekiel 16:49-50). Sodom was guilty of three abhorrent sins: pride, impurity, and perversion. Peter said that the smoking ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah stand as an example and frightful warning “to those who would live ungodly thereafter” (2 Peter 2:6).
The subject matter of the message was certainly not met with indifference. While many were encouraged that the truth was being proclaimed, some were shocked I spoke on this subject at all—since very few preachers seem to ever address it. And some were deeply offended, accusing me of hate speech and promising to never return.
As God knows my heart, He knows I did not preach that message in anything but love. I firmly believe the Bible teaches that those who are embracing a lifestyle of pride, impurity, and perversion are walking on thin ice—with perdition below. God does not want to judge, He wants to save. If He had found ten righteous people in Sodom, He would have spared the whole city (1000+)! If any in Sodom had turned from sin and received the Savior, they would have been forgiven and set free. But alas, they did not.
Our culture heartily approves a plethora of sinful activities, attitudes, and actions. We need to remember that our culture is not king, God is. And the King will judge everyone in His righteousness. Reminding people of this critical fact is not “hate speech,” as some would assert. It is “love speech.” It is loving people enough to tell them the truth. Sadly, truth is hate to those who hate the truth.
We each have a choice. We can either get right with God through humility, confession, and repentance (the cross and empty tomb make this possible), or we can face His perfect holiness in our utter sinfulness. Choosing the latter is the path of fools which leads to everlasting destruction. That’s the path Sodom took. To quote Dr. Phil, “How’s that working for ya?” May we learn from their bad example and choose rightly!
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 182 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
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