Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers and sisters came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 3 John 2-4
Pilate asked Jesus this question before he turned Him over to be crucified: ‘What is truth?’ That’s the question we must all answer. The Bible contains absolute, objective and unchanging truth. As Christians, we subject ourselves to the truths of the Bible such as: we are created by God; there is a Heaven and a Hell; not everyone goes to Heaven, but only those who place their trust in Jesus; there is such a thing as right and wrong; God wrote the Bible through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit; and the Bible is our authority for living.
This is not popular or widely accepted in our culture. There is a way of thinking that prevails called “Postmodernism.” Postmodernism affirms that there is no absolute truth: instead, the thought is that truth is relative to the community in which we participate. This mindset drives political correctness, tolerance, and an acceptance of any and every lifestyle as all being okay. It used to be that people criticized Christianity because it was thought to be unscientific and untrue. Now we get flack because we have the audacity to claim that Christianity is true. When Christians proclaim truth, we are called arrogant, bigoted, intolerant, offensive and haters.
There were false teachers and prophets in John’s time, and there are false belief systems in our “post Christian” era. To hear that people are walking in the truth was important to him and it is important to our time and culture. We can’t shrink under the push back on our beliefs. Jesus’ proclamation of John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me,” is still what He would shout out today.
Philippians 2:15-16 urges us to “do everything without complaining or arguing so that we would be blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which we shine like stars in the universe as we hold out the world of life.” As we hold out our torches against a dark backdrop, the challenge is to not be obnoxious, argumentative, or irrelevant. In 2 Timothy 2:24-26 Paul told them that the Lord’s servant must not engage in foolish and ignorant disputes that produce quarrels, but to be gentle to everyone and to teach with love and patience in the hope that it would lead to repentance.
People need Jesus to give them the forgiveness of sins, hope, and eternal life. Our culture needs people radically committed to loving not just in word, but in deed; to shine brightly without being abrasive; and to rely on the power and love of God to work through us as we proclaim truth. We cannot water down the truth to fit in, or shut up to keep from being harassed. May we walk in the truth boldly, love fearlessly, and live radically to reach this generation.