"You can't handle the truth!"
You've most likely heard this statement a time or two, made famous in the 1992 movie "A Few Good Men" by Jack Nicholson. Although the premise in the movie was much different than the underlying meaning in this blog, there is some similance in the thought as well.
Even a more popular statement that aligns with the meaning, "the truth hurts," is used, it is also understood to be a negative...and rightly so! Let's look at some application in which the truth really does hurt...
when the truth hurts....
The truth hurts when someone that loves your soul sometimes tries to help you identify the truth
This may seem like an odd statement, but is it really? The Apostle Paul writes "Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth" in Galatians 4:16.
Paul wasn't trying to make enemies, but rather, he was trying to help souls find salvation in Jesus Christ. Jesus says, "and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:32)." Why would Paul be concerned about souls knowing the truth?
It's simple really...the Bible also tells us that the devil, or Satan, is the father of all lies. We cannot follow the lies of Satan and know the truth. Paul is emphatically wanting others to know the truth, so that they may be saved!
The truth hurts when we choose to believe a lie
There is a quote that says "It is easier to believe a lie than to believe the truth." (unknown source)
The truth in the quote itself is paramount, but the context of what is being said is much deeper than the statement alone. It IS much easier to believe a lie than it is to believe the truth. By believing a lie, there typically is less friction to contend with, less rules to live by, and certainly less obligation to stand fast to anything else.
But, what is the end result of believing a lie?
Paul gives us some insight into refusing to believe the truth in the 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
The truth hurts when we face Judgment without being obedient to truth
What a terrible thought that it may be to face Judgment not knowing, believing, or practicing the truth. The problem herein lies that there will not be any opportunities to bargain against the truth, change your mind about the lies that you have been living, or "lie" your way out of this one.
You see, in the day of Judgment, we are each one going to be judged the same according to our works, our faith, our belief, and our obedience unto truth.
For some, this day will be a great day. But, even Jesus says Himself that many will not find the path to life eternal with Him. Why is that? Because the truth will hurt for those folks.
That day is coming!
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil." 2 Corinthians 5:10
On that day there will be some that stand before Christ and say things such as:
"I believed what my 'pastor' (preachers are not pastors most cases) said I needed to do to be saved!"
"But, I just thought what was in my heart is what matters."
"Lord, I know that you commanded certain things, but they just didn't make sense based on my interpretation."
"I never knew that the Bible said that!!!"
"I asked you to come into my heart in prayer."
Friends, if you choose to believe a lie, it will be detrimental to your soul. You may not even realize that you are believing a lie; however, there is a way that you can test all things and stand fast, and that is through the word of God. You will not find error in the word of God, but only truth.
If you cannot find the answer to how you are saved without the use of the doctrine, creed, or handbooks of men, but instead, plainly written in the Bible...you are believing a lie. A lie that in turn will cause you to know exactly what the statement "when the truth hurts" means.
It is my sincere prayer and desire that you study these things and that you examine your own beliefs, interpretations, and understandings to weigh them against the truth of the word of God...and if you aren't living by the truth, please do what is required to make that change!
May God bless you and may your heart find truth always.
Rock Hill church of Christ