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This sermon – Discerning Truth – was originally preached 2013.03.24 by Leon Yoder.
Passages used: John 18, Revelation 20, Jeremiah.
Satan is at work. He is now working with the Children of disobedience and he is the father of lies. Jesus warned us by saying that the god of this world has blinded many.
Man is much more receptive to Satan because of the bent that he has towards sin. When Satan offers these things to man, man is often drawn away by his desires and lusts. Paul said that people gravitate towards people who tell them what they want to hear. Even us as Christians can tend to gravitate towards the things that we want to hear.
We need to be very careful about following the wrong things, no matter how good or right they are. Not that we shouldn’t follow things, but we must be careful who or what we follow.
Satan’s deceptions usually don’t lead us astray in big steps, but rather little steps following little steps. Satan has big and little deceptions, but all of them are aimed at undermining who God is, God’s goodness, the truth of judgement, the very definition of what sin is, etc. We need to be wise and we need to be careful.
How do we know something is truth? Sincerity? No sincerity is not enough. Things can sound good, but like Paul said, there were false apostles who were transforming themselves into “angels of light.”
For earnest Christians the greatest dangers are probably not the big things that are obviously against God. Instead probably the greatest dangers for us as Christians come in the diluting of the gospel, the scripture, holiness, a confusion of works and liberty, etc.
Can we say something is true because of an amazing emotional performance? No. Emotions only go so far and are often not grounded in truth. Can we say something is true because of things we have experienced?
Some Safe Guards
God is truth. God is our Rock and He is truth – He is our truth. God want’s man to know truth.
The Spirit is with us and desires to guide us in all truth. It has never been God’s desire to leave us in the dark not knowing what truth is. God, the God of truth, wants us to know the truth.
The character that we have, our heart and how we ask “what is truth?” is very important. We need to check our motives and the character of our hearts. The difference between the way the Rich young ruler came to Jesus and the way Nicodemus came to Jesus was important and made a difference.
God loves the humble, sincere, honest seeker.
Test The Message
We must test the message and the messengers against scripture. The character of the messengers has a lot to do with the validity of their message. Does the messenger have a fruitful and holy life?
The council of the brotherhood is a blessing and a safe guard for us as we seek the truth.
Information is something that is very available these days. Information isn’t all of equal value, some of it is evil, a lot of it is evil. Some of it is neither bad nor good. There is other information that is critical to life – the word of truth that Jesus came to offer us.
Knowing the truth is the greatest safeguard against false teaching, false information, and evil.
We know where the truth is found. We know who the truth is. Let us guard ourselves and breathe the breathe and truth of life so that we can live and grow and become more like Jesus.