Graphic courtesy of Biblical Worldview Institute – a division of Cascade Christian schools
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. …And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth – (John 1:1-3, 14).
What we believe about truth affects everything we do in this life. How we view God, people, and how we understand the world – past, present, and future – depends on what we believe about absolute truth. If there are no absolutes, then anything goes! As Christians, what we believe about absolute truth depends on what we believe about Jesus Christ and the Bible. The Old Testament refers to God as the God of truth (Isaiah 65:16). The Word of God is perfect. From indisputable historical facts to archeological evidence, the Bible has yet to be proven inaccurate or wrong.
Enemies of truth can make up stuff about the Bible, write their books attempting to debunk Scripture, and create their own documentaries with lies and fabrications, but it won’t change the fact that God’s Word is eternal. Does truth depend on where we were raised, what church we attended, what a teacher taught us, or what the media says is true? Does truth change with the times, technology or circumstances? What is truth?
Jesus prayed to the Father in the presence of His disciples and said:
Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth (John 17:17).
According to the Bible, truth is the self-expression of God. Truth is that which is consistent with the mind, will, character, and being of God. There is complete unity between the written Word of God and the perfect expression of God in Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us Jesus existed in the beginning. In the New Testament, Scripture is called the Word of Christ (Colossians 3:16). The person of Jesus Christ and the Holy Word of the living God then are in full agreement. This is the basis from which we must discern, perceive, and reason. There is no ambiguity whatsoever!
Try defining truth apart from God or without universal absolutes and see where that gets you. Apparently, there is plenty of confusion not only in the world, but also in the church regarding how truth is defined and understood. There are professing Christians who say they believe in “most” of the Bible. Really? We don’t have the option to pick and choose only those Scriptures that suit us or the verses we agree with. The entire Bible is true or our faith is a lie.
The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting (Psalm 119:160).
Furthermore, in the book of Revelation, Jesus is called Faithful and True (Rev. 19:11) when He returns to conquer and reign. Here’s where our worldview starts, and it takes faith: Either God is or God is not. This is something many grapple with. God created all things, but how did He come into existence?
Before the mountains were born, Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God (Psalm 90:2).
God existed in the beginning, before anything and everything. All we need to know is that when Moses asked, God said to him, I AM WHO I AM in Exodus 3:14. We get Lord from the original name of God, YHWH, which is derived from the verb HAYAH, meaning “to be.” Our faith also holds that Jesus is God.
For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11).
Truth has been under attack from the very beginning of time, and in America, opposition to Jesus Christ has intensified. People are avoiding, denying, and suppressing the truth more than ever. They can ignore it, they can mock it, and they can pretend it does not exist, but that changes nothing. The sad thing is there is some debate about what is true even among Christians!
In 1995, approximately fifty percent of Christians said there are moral truths which are unchanging, and that truth is absolute, not relative to the circumstances. Not surprisingly, ten years later in 2005, The Barna Group conducted a poll revealing only 35% of Americans believe in absolute standards of morality, that right and wrong do not change with time or circumstances.1 (33% didn’t even know how to respond!)
ESTABLISHING A CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW
A person’s worldview is a significant step toward self-awareness, self-knowledge and self-understanding. Your worldview as a Christian needs to be based on a foundation of God’s Word. Our sovereign God is not surprised, but it must grieve His heart to see the condition of our country, the world, and the church today. Holiness and righteousness are practically meaningless to some religious folks. The Word of God is being watered down, truth is being diluted, and this has led to moral and cultural confusion.
Here’s a quick example: I’m pro-life and sure hope you are as well. I have learned that even in the church, believers have different views on abortion and when life begins. This proves either we don’t read our Bibles as much anymore, or we believe the talking heads. Especially in the church, building on a foundational worldview of biblical truth is paramount.
In a Crosswalk.com article, Michael Foust wrote:
“Barna defines a biblical worldview as believing that: moral absolutes exist; the source of truth is the Bible; the Bible is “accurate in all of the principles it teaches,” salvation is by grace alone; Jesus lived a sinless life; believers have a duty to witness; Satan is real and not just a symbol; God is the “all-knowing, all-powerful maker of the universe who still rules that creation today.”
This worldview is the foundation for every decision you make in life. I don’t care who you are, how old you are, where you live, or what kind of family you grew up in; if you have not considered exactly how your personal beliefs, philosophy, and worldview were formed, it is time to take a serious look at what you believe and why.
We must be undaunted in establishing God’s Word as the basis of our thinking, our faith, and our lives. If we don’t make this critically important decision, we’ll be in danger of seeing the world through our own feelings, personal experiences, opinions, Hollywood, media, and what others have told us, instead of through God’s eyes. Some of us have lived much of our lives believing what we have heard or read at one time, instead of believing what God says. May the Lord have mercy on our biblical illiteracy!
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness – (2 Timothy 3:16).
Is it possible to live authentically and effectively as a Christian and not believe the entire Bible word for word? If you do not believe in parts of the Bible, then how can you trust God’s Word in its entirety? Is Jesus a liar? Did he only really mean most of the things He said? This is where people living on a spiritual fault line panic at the first sign of a life-shaking trial, revealing their foundation wasn’t very solid.
You may be reading this right now and God is nudging you to evaluate what you think about truth. Jesus promised his followers the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth (John 16:13). If you think the Bible is a history book or a moral guide, then you are missing out on knowing Jesus. Evangelical Christian theologian, author, and pastor, Francis Schaeffer stated:
“Truth always carries with it confrontation. Truth demands confrontation; loving confrontation nevertheless. If our reflex action is always accommodation regardless of the centrality of the truth involved, there is something wrong.”
The battle over what is true divides people. This is the state of America today because if opponents of truth can convince people to believe that God doesn’t exist, then there are no moral restraints and anything goes. In his book, 78 – How Christians Can Save America, author and radio talk show host, Peter Heck, included a fascinating interaction with a caller to his program. Here’s a portion:
James: “…There are different ways of looking at the world, and there are different perspectives people have, and …saying that this is a concrete right, and this is a concrete wrong may be true given your perspective, but it’s not maybe true given mine….”
Peter: “…do you realize that Hitler was doing what he thought was right? He was merely speeding up the evolutionary process. He was attempting to bring about a master race and exterminate all the riff-raff. It’s the same thing Planned Parenthood was founded to do. Get rid of all the lesser folks. Now, maybe you don’t agree with his strategy, but he just had a different perspective on how to improve the lives of humanity than Mother Theresa, but ultimately they both wanted the same thing, right?
“What if I said that it would have been better for Mother Theresa to kill all those impoverished people she lived with? Take them out of their misery! Why is this perspective wrong? …There has to be a truth that is fixed, that is right for all men, or we’re in a lot of trouble.”
The truth established from the beginning is God. He is eternal. Though humanists have made progress in their goal to blot out God, ultimately it will be impossible. Even if they could eradicate Christianity from America one day, we know He is everlasting; He is the beginning and the end, and He holds the universe in his hands.
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever (Isaiah 40:8).
IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T BELIEVE, START WITH THE TRUTH
In my personal conversations with people who do not believe the Bible is the Word of God, my intention is never to try to force them to believe or to convince them about Jesus; that’s the job of the Holy Spirit. My job is to speak honestly to whoever will listen and allow God to work through me. Some people simply don’t want to believe, and that is the beauty of free will. We serve a loving God who refuses to force His creation to worship Him.
The road to life is a narrow one, but whoever believes in Jesus can have everlasting life because God is no respecter of persons. Take the necessary time to thoroughly examine the Scriptures. Even though God knows some will refuse to believe no matter what, He desires all people to know the truth and be saved through Jesus Christ because there is only one God (1 Timothy 2:3-5), and Christ is the only Mediator between God and man.
If someone gave you this book, and you are not a follower of Jesus Christ, it’s not too late to be saved unless you are simply unwilling to ask. Please search your heart right now and see if you honestly want to know the one true God personally. He loves you and He is waiting for you with open arms. He is the only God who is alive! It’s not wrong to have doubts, but those doubts need to be dealt with – and He’s knocking right now.
If you are sincerely ready to accept God’s will for your life, here’s a prayer God always answers: “Father in heaven, please show me the truth about who Jesus Christ is.” He wants to reveal His love and truth to you and show you His plan for your life. God never promises an easy life, but He does promise us a better life. Our part is the faith, His part is the fulfillment.
Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3).
It is easy for people to criticize what they do not understand. The Bible tells us the message of the cross is foolishness (1 Cor. 1:18) to unbelievers because God frustrates those who think they are intelligent or wise. Proverbs 3:7 warns us to not be wise in our own eyes. After all, who can fully comprehend a perfect God?
Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels, announced to the nations; He was believed in throughout the world and taken to heaven in glory (1 Timothy 3:16).
Jesus is the cornerstone, which is one reason why there is so much division over him. Everything written in the Bible concerning Him is true. On the other hand, some think Jesus was simply a persuasive teacher, the leader of a rebellion, or even a lunatic because of the claims He made. According to Jesus, He is the bread of life, the door, the gate, the light, the truth, and the way. Jesus said He was not of this world and that He overcame the world.
Before His crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples He was going back to heaven to prepare a place for them and then return for them because He wanted His followers to be with Him in God’s glory. He also told them they should know where He was going and how to get there. Thomas said to Him, Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way? Jesus answered:
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him (John 14:6-7).
This statement by Jesus Christ must be dealt with, because it does not allow for wiggle room. The Bible is the God-breathed, Holy Spirit-inspired Word of life. If you doubt the Bible can be infallible, since it was written by men, then you are putting God in a box.
Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21).
Is anything too hard for the Lord? God’s ways are higher than ours, and if we believe in the Creator then we must believe He gives us our intellect. Without a creator, without a design, and without a plan, you and I are just cosmic accidents living a purposeless, random existence.
After all, without God, our lives are based on ourselves (we’re number one!) and on living for today. But if God’s Word is true, and we really are sinners in need of rescue, then there must be right and wrong, true and false, good and bad, light and darkness, and moral absolutes.
Our godless society has been heading full speed away from Christ, and many people seem to hate the very truth that could save them! As a whole, our secular progressive culture has denied the truth of God and the authority of the Bible, in order to defend and justify their unholy living. The result is chaos, confusion, moral relativism, self-exaltation, and countless forms of spirituality apart from Christianity. It is difficult for the natural man to grasp the sovereignty, omniscience, and omnipotence of a perfect God. Even in the church, doctrine divides denominations and the best of Christians. Riding the fence with a foot in two different worldviews is not an option.
CHRIST BEFORE ALL THINGS
John [the Baptist] testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me (John 1:15).
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule… (Genesis 1:26).
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power… (Hebrews 1:1-3)
These verses confirm and bear witness to the fact Christ existed before He came to live on earth for 33 years. This can be hard to grasp with our human minds, but it is essential to understanding the truth. It also reinforces the Trinity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Believers don’t consider the creation account often enough. All things were created by Him and for Him. Colossians 1:17 tells us He [Jesus] is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
In addition, Jesus said the following in John 5:39, 40, and 46:
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life…. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.
The religious leaders flipped out when they heard Jesus say this, and then they blew a gasket when Jesus told them He existed before Abraham (John 8:56). This challenges us to dig deeper into our faith. John R.W. Stott was an English Christian leader and was very influential in the worldwide evangelical movement. He said it is the uniqueness of Christ that we defend:
“So, because in no other person but Jesus of Nazareth did God first become human (in his birth), then bear our sins (in his death), then conquer death (in his resurrection) and then enter his people (by his Spirit), he is uniquely able to save sinners. Nobody else has his qualifications.”
Most Christians don’t have a problem with the above assertions or Scriptures, but some have a hard time with being saved by grace alone. A few religions overemphasize good works – doing as much as you can to be accepted by God or to get to heaven – which is not what the Bible teaches. In Ephesians 2, Paul writes that we are saved only through faith because of God’s grace. Grace is undeserved favor. Grace has nothing to do with our efforts.
However, it is also important to balance out our faith and good deeds because faith without actions is useless. We are to live what we believe in full expression and demonstration of our faith. The Bible also teaches faith works through love (Gal. 5:6). But please do not miss the point that there is absolutely nothing you or I can do to get God to love us more or accept us more. Nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of Christ (Rom. 8:38-39).
Then there are others who don’t think they need to put their trust in Jesus to go to heaven. They might say, “I am a good person. I have never murdered or raped anybody. I try to follow the Golden Rule. I love the planet and recycle, and I even volunteer.” I would ask them if they think Jesus was a good person.
As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to Him and knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone (Mark 10:17-18).
No one is good enough on their own to approach a holy God. He also made the point that we are incapable of keeping the commandments, so how can anyone be saved by trying to be good through their own efforts?
Have you ever lied, stolen anything, coveted something someone else had, hated someone in your heart (murder), or lusted after another person (adultery)? Have you always honored your mother and father? Have you ever idolized a person or a thing over God? (Like a Hollywood actor, rock star, sports team, athlete, celebrity, bike, car, boat, house, etc.) Have you ever taken the Lord’s name in vain? Not one of us is good, and it’s impossible for us to keep the laws and commandments of God on our own. That’s why the gospel truly is very good news. Those of us who confess Jesus is our Lord and Savior, believing in our hearts, are forgiven, saved, set free, redeemed, restored, sanctified, and blessed. We have a bright future and an eternal hope!
PRAY FOR THOSE WHO REFUSE TO BELIEVE
I recently had a good conversation with a very liberal guy who is not a Christian. Though he didn’t believe the Bible is God’s Word or that Christ alone is Lord, he listened to what I shared. Sadly, the conversation left his heart unchanged. He complimented me on being a person of conviction even though he disagreed with me.
But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised (1 Corinthians 2:14).
The natural man may be wise according to the world’s wisdom and intellect, but that won’t get him very far when it comes to discerning spiritual things. His pride, earthly success, degrees and worldly education prevent him from admitting he needs God. Though this person I talked with hasn’t read much of the Bible, he had formed strong beliefs and negative opinions about Christianity and religion in general. Not only that, but he also taught this worldview to his children, and they now take bits and pieces from many religions.
I call it cafeteria Christianity. They choose what they want, when they want it, and avoid what they don’t like in the Bible. It is being dangerously mired in the mucky middle. But if you have an unwavering faith in Jesus Christ built on the solid foundation of God’s Word, your beliefs will not be shaken. Your faith will withstand the debates, opinions, talking points, arguments, and attacks of opponents. We don’t have all the answers, so we don’t need to pretend we do.
I love the Lord because He changed my heart. I am convinced about the truth of Jesus Christ because of massive evidence – archeological, biblical, and historical – and years of personal research and study. This other person was just as convinced in his views by his upbringing, by liberal friends, and higher education. We both believe our convictions are right and true. So what is the lesson? Don’t get discouraged when you talk to someone who simply doesn’t want to believe. Pray for them. The results are in God’s hands.
The more I study the Bible, the more I realize I need to learn. Our responsibility is to always be ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence (1 Peter 3:15). Are you prepared to explain the reason for your faith in Christ? The Holy Spirit will instruct us and teach us. People may not know exactly what they’re looking for, but they are searching. Everyone has a void only Christ can fill. We are ambassadors for Christ commissioned to share the truth, so speak it with boldness.
Biblical truth has been forced out of the public square, followed by a purposeful shift away from Christianity in America to the point where we are confused about church and state issues. Since truth matters, we need to look at what our founders believed and how this country was established. While doing this, we must understand the founder’s intent and the connection between God and government in the United States. We’ll tackle this in chapter two…
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved… For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:9-10, 13 ESV).
This is an excerpt (Chapter 1 in its entirety) from the book, ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA, by David Fiorazo. “Why Truth Matters.”
How then should we live?
Graphic courtesy of Biblical Worldview Institute – a division of Cascade Christian schools