Truth or Consequences
This is the essence of life. You are either living truth, or you will suffer the consequences. How should you say this to an atheist, a Hindu, a Buddhist, or a Muslim? That would be a redeeming confrontation that must be guided by the Holy Spirit, giving you words to say (Matthew 10.19-20) that He has subconsciously told the hearer to listen for. His purpose is to draw non-Christians to the Truth (defined in John 14.6) because He does not want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3.9; Ezekiel 33.11; Acts 26.15-18). In this study, you will gain insight into how Jesus confronted the Pharisees in a redeeming way.
Lies, lies, and more lies!
- John 8.12-59 tells the story of Jesus’ redeeming confrontation and its results.
- Specifically, verse 44 is His frontal attack at the foundation of their beliefs.
- How is Apostle Paul’s warning in Colossians 2.8-10 an illustration of Jesus’ point? Why is it verity that Paul includes the belief systems above in his list?
- If all of these are ‘traditions of men’, what two conditions do John 8.43 and 2 Corinthians 4.3-4 say these tradition-bound ‘men’ shared with their founders? Name some followers of these men that you know from history and, then, some you know personally, revealed by the same conditions.
- Do you agree with the conclusion that all of the named belief systems are lies told by founders who heard them whispered by satan? Why or why not?
Lies cannot save!
- This is Paul’s argument in Acts 17.26-28. God expects people in every age to come to realize that any tradition of men they may follow (thought to be equal to Jesus’ atoning death and bodily resurrection; Hebrews 10.11-18) only leads them to perish. See Jesus’ remarks about this in Matthew 7.13-14.
- Paul drives this point to the heart in Acts 17.30-31. Note Paul’s confronting word ‘ignorance’. What does that make his hearer?
- What is the consequence of such ‘ignorance’? Consider the consequence that Jesus presented in John 3.17-21 and 8.34-36. Paul comments on the condemnation of homosexuals, by illustration, in Romans 1.18-32.
- Contrast this with Romans 8.1 and his explanation in verses 2-11.
Lies in the four aberrant views of god today.
- Hindus believe in 320,000,000 gods and counting! Their gods are finite and personal. They teach a balanced life and reincarnation.
- Buddhists believe in an impersonal force. Thus, they focus on a place of worship. They are reincarnated because of bad karma until they achieve harmony with all things.
- Atheists do not believe there is a God.
- Muslims believe in a god they think is infinite but not personal. This jealous god tolerates no others and instructed his followers to subjugate or annihilate them.
- These are in contrast to Christians and Jews who believe that God is infinite and personal. He masters the expanding universe and, yet, made man in His image. Contrary to the others’ disregard for the body, Jesus lives today with a redeemed one, and we will, too! He thinks abstractly but communicates wisdom for the narrowest question. He is unique and exists in Trinity!
Jesus’ appeal to the Pharisees instructs our redeeming confrontations.
- In John 8.23-24, Jesus challenges their view of Him and states the consequence they should expect. The Pharisees’ blindness kept them from connecting the obvious confirmation of Jesus as Messiah, as He states in John 15.24, which connects Him to Deuteronomy 18.18 and Exodus 34.10.
- In John 8.31-32, Jesus declares freedom through His word for those whose hearts responded to the Holy Spirit’s voice. But, others declared their freedom as children of Abraham. It is humorous to note in verse 33 their statement ‘…never been in bondage to anyone’ when they were ruled at that time by Rome and satan.
- In John 8.39-40 and 56-58, Jesus deflates their argument of heritage by contrasting their beliefs from Abraham’s.
- Lastly, in John 8.41-47, Jesus defeats their assertion of progeny of God by noting their preference for lies in contrast to His words of truth. Children follow the ways of their fathers. Consequently, they follow the father of lies, satan, by preference.
What can we say, then: that all followers of belief systems that deny or modify John 14.6 are following satan down the broad way to Hell (Matthew 7.13-14)! This includes any Christians in denominations that teach that the adherent must do something to complete the saving acts of Jesus’ atoning death and bodily resurrection (see Matthew 7.21-23, as illustrated in Galatians 5.1-4). Lifestyles that express the changes brought on by the new birth (John 3.1-16) illustrate Christ but these good works do not save.
If you know someone who believes satan’s many lies, gently confront them with the truth before the time of opportunity ends when you are raptured! See 2 Corinthians 6.2.
Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2012. Visit www.sozoclass.com for more studies.