Fighting Truth Decay
Truth has fallen on hard times. As I read the headlines each day, I can’t help but wonder: “What happened to truth?” Then I think of all the ways God’s people are bombarded with lies every day. They’re carefully crafted lies and they so easily deceive. Satan, the head trafficker of lies, is doing booming business. Though it comes from an entirely different context, Isaiah 59:14-15 seems to have been penned just this morning:
Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands far away; for truth has stumbled in the public squares, and uprightness cannot enter. Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.
How can we as Christians continue to stand in the face of this truth crisis? How will the church survive? It’s going to be like it always has: on the basis of the public, objective truth of God’s Word. Let me point out four ways we need to work with God’s Word to battle truth decay in our day.
When you come to worship each Lord’s Day, you’ll hear your pastor proclaim God’s Word as steadfast, eternal truth. You can’t underestimate the impact that has. When you hear a man himself firmly convicted of the truth he’s preaching, that’s going to be a boost for your own grasp on the truth. Moreover, if that preaching is faithful to God’s Word, it’s not merely a man you’re hearing. In fact, Scripture teaches that the preaching of God’s Word is God’s Word (1 Thess. 2:13). It’s a word from him who will never lie (Titus 1:2). Faithful preaching is the Word of Christ, who is not only the way and the life, but also the truth (John 14:6). There’s a reason why the Holy Spirit tells believers not to forsaking gathering together (Heb. 10:25) — the Spirit of truth drives home the word of truth in our gatherings. So come each Lord’s Day and get your truth supplement.
Regular Daily Family Worship
Imagine if every family in the church were to gather regularly for the reading of God’s truth. Imagine the good that would do not only for our children, but also for parents. To listen to the truth of God’s Word each day and then to reflect on it together is going to be powerfully reinforcing its message for us. A super helpful resource for reflecting and discussing every chapter of the Bible together is the Family Worship Bible Guide.
Regular Daily Bible Reading
One of the biggest regrets of my pastoral ministry is that in my first congregation, I didn’t teach the importance of developing the discipline of reading through all the Scriptures — that was so foolish! God taught me this in my second congregation through a godly elder in a home visit. More than ever, we need to be imbibing the truth of Scripture for ourselves every day. It’s not enough just to read a Bible devotional. Bible devotionals are selective — they only give you a verse or two chosen by the author of the devotional. Bible devotionals are sometimes defective — too many of them neglect the fact that the Bible is first of all about Jesus. Bible devotionals are always subjective — as you read it you only get the limited viewpoint of that author. Bible devotionals can be helpful, but it’s not the same as doing the hard work of reading and studying the Bible for yourself. It’s through that hard work that you appropriate God’s truth for yourself. Developing that habit means that every day we’re letting the Holy Spirit speak truth to our hearts through the Word. There are all kinds of Bible reading plans out there — you just need to pick one and starting running with it. It may be hard at first, but if you persevere for the long haul, you won’t regret it.
Studying the Bible with Others
Finally, the truth gets reinforced as we study the Scriptures with one another in the communion of saints. We have brothers and sisters who have seen truths in the Bible that we have not yet seen. We need them to share that with us. Similarly, we may have grasped truths from the Scriptures that they haven’t yet. They need us to bring those truths to them. Getting a better handle on the truths of God’s Word needs to be a communal effort. Together, we can see and grasp more of the truth we need for life in this world in the grip of lies.
Let me leave you with Phil. 4:8, where the Holy Spirit says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true…think about these things.” What is more true than God’s own Word?