Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. [Psalm 86:11].
(Continuation from Part 1)
What Can We Do?
So, what are we to do? What response do we have to combat the assault on absolute truth? How do we not lose our way amidst the deceitful, counterfeit, fraudulent nonsense being spouted as “truth”? Where can we find valuable, trustworthy truth?
Stay Grounded in God’s Word
Along with reading and studying Scripture, memorize and apply it to life. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” [Psalm 119:11]. There is no substitute for intimately knowing God’s Word. The more I study it, the more readily I can identify frauds.
Secondly, study it from doctrinally sound sources. This is where it gets tricky since so many people misquote and misapply Scripture to fit their narrative. Find a lifelong student of Scripture who “rightly divides” God’s Word [2 Timothy 2:15]. When I’m lost, an updated map guides me safely home. Being familiar with the map of God’s Word helps me understand absolute truth and ignore those trying to keep me lost.
Discern Between Truth and Falsehood
Absolute truth is unchangeable. Two plus two will always equal four. The law of gravity is real even should I question or deny it. Oxygen exists even though I can’t see it. So it is with truth – especially God’s truth. It may not always be easy to understand or pleasant to hear, but I can trust it’s inerrancy.
God’s unchanging Word is truth [John 17:17] and His Spirit is the Spirit of truth [John 14:16-17] who guides us into all truth [John 16:13]. Jesus, the second person of the Triune God, came to bring us freedom [John 8:32, 36]. Freedom from sin [Galatians 5:24] as well as from societal pressure [Matthew 10:28]. He frees me so I can hear, discern, and follow God’s truth. Only here do I find the freedom and courage to follow convictions that align with God’s Word.
Contrary to all this, falsehood constantly changes depending on the messenger, circumstance, or situation. It becomes very confusing and is usually devoid of common sense. One great identifier of falsehood is that it always seeks to please. It always has a feel-good, sounds-good, must-be-good message. And yet, it ends up pleasing and fulfilling no one.
The world, with all its false teachings, promises, and sound bites, is blind to truth. It cannot perceive or even receive the Spirit of truth [John 14:17]. Nor does it want to. It only promotes and brings bondage. See, deceit cannot bring freedom because it has to remember what it said to whom. As a liar must do, deceit constantly must check itself or change its tune to keep up its pretenses.
But the reality is, falsehood only enslaves. It develops dependency. It brings bondage to cultural pressure (“C’mon, everyone is doing it!”). Though promising feel-good highs, it addicts to sinful habits [Romans 6:19]. Instead of exposing and prompting repentance, deception seeks new ways to white-wash, excuse, and justify sin. One of its most effective shackles is the promotion and coercion of “alternative morality” disguised as tolerance.
There is a world of difference between truth and falsehood. Truth has an abiding moral code; falsehood has none. Their evidence is as plain as light and darkness – they simply cannot coexist [2 Corinthians 6:14].
Guard against Deceit
Jesus warned, “Watch that no one deceives you” [Matthew 24:4]. He knew these times were coming. Being the compassionate, watchful Shepherd, He warned His sheep. As His follower, I am to test every message with the truth of God’s Word [1 John 4:1]. If it doesn’t solidly and completely align, I ignore it.
Another safeguard against deceit is in not believing everything or everyone [Matthew 24:23-26]. Actually, even more basic – we don’t have to listen to everyone! Just ask Eve! Choose your messenger wisely! Not everyone who posts something online is an expert or truth speaker.
The protection against falsehood is to become intimate in the knowledge of God’s Word. I must know what I believe and why I believe it. “Study to show thyself approved” [2 Timothy 2:15]. Doing this prepares me to defend my faith [1 Peter 3:15].
Watch and Pray
In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus warned His disciples, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation” [Matthew 26:41]. The same applies to me today. The more watchful and prayful I am, the less gullible and vulnerable I’ll be to untruth. Deceit’s tempting call falls on deaf ears of those guarded against anything not aligning with Scripture and who are intentionally serious in prayers [1 Peter 4:7].
In describing events happening on earth prior to His return, Jesus cautioned His followers, “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass” [Luke 21:36]. An alert, vigilant mindset helps avoid deception’s subtle call and stay in tune with the Savior’s voice [John 10:27].
Believing God’s truth involves personal preparation and immediacy since “you do not know on what day the Lord will come” [Matthew 24:42]. Living in expectancy of Christ’s return helps me stay focused on Him instead of being “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” [Ephesians 4:14]. This sounds just like many online forums – many opinions, little truth.
The prophet Isaiah told King Hezekiah, “Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover” [2 Kings 20:1]. This seems like a harsh message to give anyone, but the warning applies to this current day chaos. Christ’s return will be lightning fast and unexpected [1 Corinthians 15:51-52]. To that end, I have no time to entangle myself in the deceitful debates and arguments of this world. I need to get ready and stay expectantly ready, fixing my eyes on Jesus and faithfully running the race set before me [Hebrews 12:1-2].
Jesus also instructed His followers to “occupy till I come” [Luke 19:13]. This means staying busy about the Heavenly Father’s business. Maximizing every opportunity because the days are evil [Ephesians 5:15-16]. Seeing things from God’s perspective [John 4:35]. Fulfilling Christ’s Great Commission [Matthew 28:19-20].
Each believer is responsible to witness to his or her unbelieving family and social circles. “He who wins souls is wise” [Proverbs 11:30]. This happens most effectively through consistency of message and lifestyle. Far from a “turn or burn” blazing message, I am to lovingly invite them to come to Christ. Failure to do so will result in standing before Christ in eternity with blood on my hands [Ezekiel 3:18-20].
Truth is wandering alone in the streets, her voice muffled by deception and ignorance. Who will hear her and boldly champion her cause? Those who know “The One and Only Truth” [John 14:6] and His inerrant Word have the responsibility to own the truth, live the truth, stand for the truth, and proclaim the truth. “Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes” [Luke 12:43].
“Even so, come, Lord Jesus” [Revelation 22:20].