Error that is contrary to God’s truth may work for a time—but you must ask, “What does it work for, and for how long?” Let’s look at the difference between false “truth” and God’s truth.
“Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth.”
- Colossians 1:5b-6
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Transcript: Hi, welcome to Five Minutes With Pastor Lutzer. So glad that you have joined us, because we are discussing the attributes of God—the wonderful, mysterious attributes of God. And as you have frequently heard me say, whenever we are in God’s presence, we should make sure that we are edified; oftentimes we are rebuked; and always, we should worship.
Today, we continue our discussion of truth. Jesus called God the Father “the only true God.” So one characteristic of God, for sure, is the characteristic of truth. Colossians chapter one verse five says, “Of this you have heard the truth, the Gospel.” The Gospel is presented in the Bible as truth. Now, if you’ve been with us in the last sessions, you should know that I gave two characteristics of truth. First of all, truth has universality. It has consistency. And today we come to another very important characteristic, and that is it has eternality. It exists forever.
Did you know that error works? I remember studying William James years ago, the philosopher who said, “We don’t know which religion is right, because all the results aren’t in. We need a religion that works.” Well, error can work. I’m reminded of the Sunday school boy who said that a lie is an abomination unto the Lord, but a very present help in time of trouble.
I remember out in the farm when I was a boy, I discovered that. It was my responsibility to feed the chickens at 4:00 every afternoon. So here I am, I’m in the garage with my father. It’s about five in the afternoon. He asks, “Did you feed the chickens?” And I lied. I said yes. Later on I snuck away, and then, when he wasn’t watching, fed them. It’s a good thing God didn’t let me get by with that lie, because my brother saw it and told me, and said, “You know, you lied.”
I’m not sure that I ever fixed that up with my father or asked him to forgive me. But here’s the point: it worked. And there are plenty of false religions today that work. As a matter of fact, you can pray to false gods and sometimes get results. The devil make sure that that happens. Falsehood can work. But when you come to these issues, here are two questions that are absolutely important: What does it work for, and how long does it work?
False religions might help you. They might reduce stress. They might give you something else to think about. Your life may go better. But in the end, they disappoint and they mislead you. The Bible says, “There is a way that seems right onto a man, but the end thereof is the ways of death.”
Now, here’s my heart to yours today. When we come to the Gospel, it is the word of truth, and the Word of God endures forever. That’s the difference between the truth that is spoken of in the Bible and the false truths that are spoken of in different religions. Whenever we come to truth, remember, don’t forget universality, consistency, and eternality—and only in God’s Word do we have those three characteristics.
So today, read the Word. Enjoy the Word. Meditate on the Word of God, and I hope today, you discover the power of God’s Word in your own life. And today, go with God, and I’ll see you right here next time.