John 1:14: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
In the 1992 legal drama “A Few Good Men,” a self-important marine officer was caught in a lie during a trial. When asked for the truth, his response, dripping with contempt and condescension began with: “You can’t handle the truth.”
We have heard this kind of equivocation so many times that many of us have become numb to it. We hear it, in various forms, on the lips of politicians, military officers, public health officials, and rank and file members of society.
The truth is never going to win a popularity contest in our world, and so many people take solace in the crowded world of lies. Satan, whom the Bible describes as “the father of lies,” is hard at work, trying to keep people from understanding or believing ANY truth, including the most important truth of all: the gospel of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:4: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Within the world of professing christendom, there are three general types of lies that undermine the gospel message, as follows:
- That eternal life may be received through a combination of faith in Christ plus our own works.
- That eternal life really isn’t eternal life, and must be maintained by our good works or faithfulness.
- That our assurance of eternal life can be based on examining ourselves for evidence of eternal life, in terms of sinning less, doing more good works, changes in attitudes, etc.
We cannot know the motives for why people teach, or tolerate these lies. We know that Satan’s motive is to deceive people, and that he is behind all of these lies.
Jesus warned against following the crowd in believing lies versus believing the truth about how to have eternal life:
Matthew 7:12: Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
He defined Himself as both the straight gate and the narrow way that leads to life:
John 10:9: I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
John 14:6: Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
One sure way to evaluate purported biblical teaching for error is to consider whether it meets the following three tenets, consistently taught throughout the Bible:
1. Is it consistent with eternal life by Grace alone through Faith alone in Christ alone?
2. Is it consistent with eternal security?
3. Is it consistent with assurance of eternal life, based on God’s promises alone (i.e., it is not internally-focused on changes in attitudes, behavior, etc.)?
If a scriptural interpretation clears all three tests, it might be true. Otherwise, it can be categorically dismissed as false.
Jesus summed up the truth about eternal life, the permanence of eternal life, and the proper basis for assurance of eternal life in the following verse:
John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
If we could not handle the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we would not be accountable for it. But we can handle this truth, and our eternal destinies each rest on whether we believe it, or not.
You CAN handle the truth.
If you would like to know more about how to have eternal life, click here: THE GOSPEL