What is TRUTH?
What is Truth?
Before condemning Jesus of Nazareth to death, a man named Pontius Pilate asked a question that troubles many today: “What is Truth?” No doubt we should all agree that this question deserves to be answered. And really, it must be answered; for without truth, it is possible that everything around us is a lie. But there is something within each one of us that wants to know for sure, whether that assurance be regarding life, death, family, or health. Dear friend, rest assured: there is truth!
Are There Absolutes?
Perhaps you have heard one say “There are no absolutes!” or perhaps you have said it once before also. This teaching is called relativism. But let us think about that for a moment. One could easily respond to such a statement by saying, “Are you absolutely sure?” You see, one cannot say there there is not absolute truth, because that statement would be an absolute in itself.
Perhaps one could say, “My truth is not your truth. Whatever we believe is right in its own way.” Even on a surface reading, one could conclude that this statement must be false. This implies two things:
- Man’s opinion is truth.
- Anything we believe is right.
But let us think for a moment on this. If statement number one is true, this still means there is such thing as truth, which refutes any teaching of relativism. Though one may believe “different” truth, he still admits that there must be such a thing as truth at all.
But if the second statement is true, it contradicts itself, showing that there must indeed be one truth. For one, this means laws are obsolete, and we are left to decide right and wrong, meaning if one decides murder is right, then it is. Secondly, what if one’s truth was that there was only one truth? Some would then say that this is false, implying that there are limits to right and wrong. Two truths cannot be equally right.
It should be clear to every person: there must be absolutes. In every person’s core being, there are absolutes, whether they admit it or not. Either one believes in the absolute truth that there is one truth. Or one believes in the absolute truth that there are many truths and therefore contradicts himself. There are absolutes.
Is Truth Possible?
While it is clear that there are absolutes in many cases, one would still object to this word “truth.” Why? Because it implies boundaries. It implies accountability. But since we know absolutes exist, this means truth exists, whether we are aware of it or not.
Is Truth Knowable?
We have proven why there must be truth, but this does not mean we can know it. And perhaps when one says “There is no absolute truth.” he really means “There is no knowable truth.” But does he really mean even that? Truth is on the surface another word for “fact,” though there is deeper meaning behind it. Nevertheless, it is still fact.
Do we not believe in facts? Do we not believe in the fact that we exist? Do we not believe in the fact that there must be right and wrong? Do we not believe in the fact that gravity exists, that 2 + 2 = 4, that we will one day die? Truly, because any person thinking logically would believe these things, we can know that because facts exist, truth must exist.
And so, now we have seen that not only are there absolutes, not only is there truth, but truth is knowable. But What is truth?
What is Truth?
Is opinion truth? It cannot be, because the very definition of opinion contradicts this. Is religion truth? How can it be, since so many die because of it, and so many are left empty? Truly, we must be able to agree that truth is higher than what we can decide or attain unto. Truth cannot be man-made, for man himself is not absolute. Yet we are still left with this daunting question: what is truth??? But first, we must answer the question: What shall I do to inherit eternal life?
What Shall I Do to Inherit Eternal Life?
O how oft’ this question is asked! The story behind this question is a man’s desire to boast of himself. This man was a rich young ruler; and he came to Jesus one day, asking that very question. Jesus responded by saying “You know the commandments…” to which the ruler replied “I have kept all these from my youth.” But he lacked one thing; he cleaved to his riches and would not follow Christ.
Perhaps you, the reader, have thought of the same question; and you desire a real answer. Each person must know the answer, but first there are some questions we must ask ourselves before we see the answer.
Where is Your Priority?
This man came to Jesus and asked, “What shall I do…?” But notice the question of another man to a man named Paul, “What must I do to be saved?” You see, one man left his question grieved, while the other left with hope. The one who left with hope made eternal life his priority; he asked “What must I do…?”
Dear friend, is salvation something that you would not mind having if it is available? Is it merely temporary satisfaction you look for? Or is there a burning desire within you to find real and lasting life for which you would search the ends of the earth? Is your eternal life a priority? Are you asking “What shall I do…?” or “What must I do…?”? For any person seeking true salvation, it must be his priority. Is it yours?
What is Eternal Life?
Is it merely existing forever? Is it something one would even want to inherit? Fortunately, we can confidently say that eternal life is more than lasting forever: it is LIFE that never ends! This is life which God desires us to have. In fact, this eternal life can be yours even now; for it starts inside. Eternal life comes with new birth – being born from above, born into relationship with God. Truly this is life we need.
But the nature of this life, we must understand, is not physical and ordinary. It is spiritual in nature. It is life within. Our bodies will still see death, but we will be free from spiritual death and separation from God. But you may be asking, “What are these other ‘deaths’?”
What is Eternal Death?
Truly, we cannot appreciate life until we realize the reality of death. No doubt many of us have been to a funeral and have seen an inanimate corpse in a wooden coffin, soon to be buried. If this is the end, we have nothing to fear. But this is only the beginning.
One may have a long life of 85-95 years, or perhaps a very short life of 10 years. We cannot predict death. And to understand physical death, we must understand spiritual death, which will lead us to understand eternal death.
Spiritual death is inward. Though a child may be full of life, one does not need to teach that child to do wrong. In the sight of God, that wrong is called sin. It is not a mistake, a behavioral reaction, instinct, or any other fancy word one may like to call it – it is sin. This sin on the outward points us to the condition on the inward. A car breaking down is not because it is outwardly dirty, but because of an inward problem. In the same way, sin points to the inward problem: that problem is spiritual death.
Perhaps a better term to us would be dead to God. In other words, because we are at enmity with God, we have no spiritual life in us, making us spiritually dead. That is why we are called sinners and are born that way. Our nature is to sin, and we inherit that from Adam, our first father. And while we are not accountable for the sin of Adam in rebelling against God, we are responsible for our own sins.
What does sin do? It causes death. Truly God was right (as He always is) when He wrote “The wages of sin is death.” We physically die because of a condition of spiritual death, a condition of unforgiven sin.
What, then, is eternal death? When one physically dies still in his sins he faces the judgment of God. The Lord Jesus was accurate when He said “Fear not him who can kill the body, but fear Him who can kill both body and soul in Hell.” We can fear physical death, but let us more fear the punishment we face after! This punishment is because of sin. That punishment is eternal separation from God in fire that is never quenched. It is as if one is dying, but never dead – hence the name “eternal death.” This is the opposite of eternal life, and by now that life should be seen as a necessity for all of us? Why? We have all sinned! We all deserve the judgment for it.
What Can We Do?
Friend, you can do nothing! Don’t be like the rich young ruler and try to show off your works. Many could list several works and point to many volunteer hours and many people who attest to their goodness – but it is all about pride! This is goodness, not by God’s standards, but ours. This is not inheriting heaven; it is intrinsically heathen before God to try to work to please Him. The rich young ruler cleaved to his money and his works, neglecting anything else he heard; and he went away sad. Truly, at the end of your life if your goal is money and pride in your works, you will go away sad and empty – without eternal life – unforgiven.
Hopefully, by now you will feel the burden of your sin, because it is real. Hopefully you ask “What can I do to be saved?! I need to be saved.” But then the question arises: how can one do something and be saved? From the mouth of God, we can answer: “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast.” We read the verse, “The wages of sin is death,” but there was a second part: “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” We are faced with two options, (1) death without hope or (2) eternal life. But we cannot do anything to inherit that life, for it is a gift. Nevertheless, we are still plagued by that question: “How can we know the way?”
How can we know the way?
This question was asked by Jesus’ closest friends. He told them that they knew the way, yet they said “How can we know the way?” These statements seem contradictory. But we will come to that at the end of this article. Firstly we must ask ourselves this question: “Is there a way at all?”
Is There a Way?
Many today not only say there is no truth; but they say there is no God, or at least no way to Him. But yet, it is these very same people who seem very lost and lacking in purpose. Is this you?
If one would look around at today’s religious world, he would see many trying to make their own way to God. That way may be through prayers, through works, through meditation, through murder, or many other man-made systems. But notice they all change and fade and offer no hope! If we are trying to find our own way to God, then in that sense there is no way.
But let us put human effort aside; it has only wreaked havoc across the globe. Let us put aside our pride. Let us look to God.
Would a God who cared enough to create us with such design simply put us aside to live until we destroy ourselves? Is God really distant? If He was, why are so many changed from feeling the weight of their sin to being made free? Why do we see so “many infallible proofs” such as the resurrection of Christ, which no one has conclusively disproved? Why did the person of Christ exist at all?
Truly these are words of truth by the great Apostle Paul who also knew freedom from sin: “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”
God is not distant. There is a way.
How Many Ways Are There?
We can look at religion and works and prayers, but they all leave us empty and back with the same question: “How many ways are there to God?” If we desire to meet God, let us simply do nothing; for we will meet Him in judgment if we continue in sin. We will meet God in a consuming fire, regardless of religion or works. Our question should rather be “How many ways to the Father?” All men will get to their Creator, but they may not have a relationship with Him. We must seek a way, not merely to God, but to God in His mercy.
Truly, there is only one way. This is not intolerance. This is not bigotry. This is truth. How can we know? There is one God, and only through sins forgiven can one meet Him in mercy. If there were many ways to God, we could conclude that this would be a god who cannot decide what he wants, a god who is not a god of truth, but of indecision. This would be a god of indifference. There is only one way.
But how can we know the Way?
To all three questions, we see one awe-inspiring answer from the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself: “I AM the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. No man comes unto the Father but by me.” What hope is offered!
We can know truth: it is a Person.
We can have life: it is a Person.
We can know the way: it is a Person.
You see, this is why we looked at two apparently contradictory statements. Jesus said, “You know the way,” while the disciples said, “How can we know the way?” The disciples knew the Way, but they did not realize it. They thought the way was a what, not a Whom. Sadly this is the same today.
Many have heard the name “Jesus,” but it is just a name to them. They continue on in vain religion, while all that time they could have eternal life and know it. How? The person of Jesus Christ. The answer is simple.
How, then can you come into the good of this blessed Person? How can you have Truth? How can you have Life? How can you know and be on the Way? Consider these verses from God’s Word:
- Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrated his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
- John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”
- John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth (trusts) in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (17) For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
- 1 John 4:9 “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.”
Do you want to know truth? Do you want forgiveness of sins? Do you want LIFE? The way was made through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Will you believe in Him – that He is God’s Son and that He truly did rise from the dead? Will you repent of your sin and simply receive Christ?
- Luke 13:3 “I tell you, No: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
- Acts 16:31 “And they said, Believe (trust) on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”
Your decision is vital. One cannot have two masters. Will you reject Christ fully or receive Him fully? Heaven awaits your decision…
“Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents.” Luke 15:10