Posts Tagged ‘Truth


This Is Not Fake News

There’s a lot of talk about “fake news” everywhere these days. From politicians to social media, people use that term quite a bit. Back in the apostle Peter’s day, he and his fellow believers were being accused of fake news when it came to Jesus. Peter wrote this in 2 Peter 1:16-17 (NLT):

For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes 17 when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”

The story of Jesus and His coming was not “fake news,” Peter says. He says that they saw Him and His majesty with their own eyes. They heard the voice of the Father affirm that Jesus was His Son. They weren’t making it up. Jesus wasn’t a mythological figure or a fairy tale story. He really came to earth and He really lived a perfect life. He really died on a Roman cross and He really rose back to life. He really is coming again and we’re really going to live with Him forever. This is the real news and it really is really good.


Do You Want To Enjoy Life?

Mark Twain famously said, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” In other words, when you lie, you have to remember the lie you made up so that you don’t get caught. Peter said something along those lines in 1 Peter 3:10 (NLT):

For the Scriptures say,
“If you want to enjoy life
and see many happy days,
keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies.

Peter was quoting Psalm 34. He said that if you want to enjoy life and have happy days you have to mind your tongue. King David said if you want to have a long and prosperous life you have to mind your tongue. It’s true, you know. If you speak love instead of evil and truth instead of lies, you’ll have a long and prosperous life filled with happiness and joy. Why? Because our tongues get us into so much trouble! We have to watch what we say and that includes what we post. How many times do our tongues, working through our fingers, get us into trouble on social media? If you’re constantly speaking evil and lies, don’t be surprised if you’re living a miserable life. After all, God said it in His Word and His Word is true.


Promises, Promises

I’ve heard people try to convince others that their word is true and they’ll say something like, “I swear on a stack of Bibles ten feet tall!” or “I swear on my grandmother’s grave!” Jesus said that we should be known for honesty so we don’t have to do that. He said:

Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. – Matthew 5:33-37 (NIV)

The best way to convince someone that you’re telling the truth is to be someone who tells the truth. So in your dealings with people today remember that honesty truly is the best policy.

The Heavy Responsibility of Handling God’s Word

Peter closes out his description of false teachers and their destiny by quoting the book of Proverbs. Peter wrote:

Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” – 2 Peter 2:22 (NIV)

He was writing about how there were false teachers who were returning to a former sinful way of life. They had become followers of Jesus, but were abandoning their faith to return to a life of sin. Perhaps even worse, they were convincing others to do the same. Teaching carries with it a great deal of responsibility. The apostle Paul told his protege, Timothy, to handle the word of Truth correctly. We who preach and teach are held to a higher standard because so much is on the line. If we don’t handle God’s Word correctly, we could lead people astray from the Truth. It’s a scary thing to know that so much is on the line when it comes to teaching and preaching. God has given us His Word so that we would know the Truth and could be set free by it. We must be careful to not only preach and teach well, but to live consistent lives of holiness and righteousness, too.

Falling Prey To False Teachers

In 2 Peter 2, the entire chapter is devoted to false teachers. He describes their methods and their future. He wrote:

They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. 14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! – 2 Peter 2:13-14 (NIV)

We must be on our guard against false teachers in the church. This is why it is so important to know the truth. False teachers are greedy for power, prestige and money. They derive pleasure from seducing the unstable to follow them. Do not listen to the lies of false teachers! Instead, know the truth and what God really says and you will be less likely to fall victim to their schemes.

What False Teachers Do

Peter, addressing the topic of false teachers, said that they will lead many astray. They would deny the truth and bring it into disrepute, Peter says. He wrote:

Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. – 2 Peter 2:2 (NIV)

When false teachers spread lies, two things occur. First, they lead people astray from the truth. Whatever heresy they spread, they end up leading people from the truth. Their version of the truth is really more of a perversion of it. Peter says that their conduct is depraved.
Second, not only do they lead people astray, but they hurt the witness of the church as well. False teachers cause confusion in the church and they hurt the church’s reputation in the world. The world doesn’t know any better for they tend to be ignorant of God’s Word. What is sad is when Christ’s followers are ignorant of the Word of God as well. If we don’t know the truth, we’ll be apt to be led astray and the church will be hurt as well.

Truth Versus Lies

False teachers are nothing new. In the days of the Old Testament prophets, there were false prophets. Peter warned his readers that false teachers would come among them as well. He wrote:

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. – 2 Peter 1:1 (NIV)

If you want to recognize a false teacher, you have to know what is true. You have to know what God says in His Word to be able to spot heresy and false teaching. If you don’t know the truth, how can it set you free? If you don’t know the truth, how will you ever be able to differentiate it from a lie? God has revealed the truth of His Son in His Word. Commit yourself to knowing the truth so that you won’t fall victim to a lie.

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