Today, the believer is challenged much more rigorously than in past generations, to herald (proclaim) God’s truth to a world that is becoming more and more hostile to God’s truth and for whom Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary to have this very world reconciled to the Father. The Bible has for many generations been regarded and accepted as the standard of truth and the authentic Word of God amongst Christian families and nations. The moral laws of many governments, under their judiciary system, took its cue from the Law of God.
Many Christian nations have become secular states in which there is freedom of religion. In most secular states, the Bible is being marginalised more and more by modern society. It is evident that the world is deviating further away from God’s Word which was once accepted as the ethical standard by which one should live. For example, in past generations, homosexualism, lesbianism, prostitution, same sex marriages, etc., were regarded as deviant and immoral behaviour. Not to mention abortion! These lifestyles were immoral and rejected by governments of past generations. What was once referred to as immoral, is now being defended and justified as freedom of expression-a global trend.
What has actually developed globally today is an acceptance by the world that there are different standards of truth. This is called relativism. As a result, what is true to me may not necessarily be true to someone else. Another thing that has become a standard of truth is the bill of human rights of various governments. What was recognised as immoral behaviour then has now been sanctioned as acceptable social behaviour by the bill of human rights. Therefore such behaviour should not be condemned by society at large. Consequently these lifestyles that are condemned by the Bible can now be justified as constitutional rights! It won’t take long for prostitution to be legalised in our country, South Africa. For these individuals, the truth is the constitution of their particular country and religion does not seem to be considered.
This change in the bill of rights of the various governments of the world has now become a new challenge to the believer globally: how does the believer convey the truth to a world that is now embracing the, then, unacceptable behaviour and lifestyle? I am reminded of the words of Jesus: we must work while it is day, for when the night has come the time of work will be done away. Is this not perhaps the “night” Jesus was referring to: a time when it will be difficult to confront people with the truth because of possible legal/constitutional implications? Romans 1:28 says the following: Furthermore since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God. He gave them over to a depraved mind; to do what ought not to be done!
Since the world and everything therein were created by God, there can only be one standard by which the world should be regulated, and that is GOD! God has set the standard of truth. The standard of truth is captured in the Bible. God is not a respecter of person-He does not have favourites. The standard of truth for all is the same. Our status in society, whether rich or poor, educated or uneducated, male or female, black or white, sick or healthy does not have any effect on God’s truth. His truth remains the same for all because truth is absolute. In Acts 10:34-35 we learn that God accepts individuals on the basis of how they meet up with the standard of truth found in His Word. Then Peter began to speak: I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right”(NIV).
The Bible further says: The law of God is right, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The law of the LORD is right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward (Psalms 19: 7-11NIV).
The believer is obligated to stay true to having the Word of God as his/her standard of truth and that truth is found in the Bible which is to be used to call people to repentance. There are local churches who are tempted to compromise the truth as it is found in the Bible; however, the believer is not to uphold human rights bills which are in direct contradiction to God’s truth. In the book of Acts, the apostle Peter gave the believer an example of what it means to speak and stand up for the truth: Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking what we have seen and heard (Acts 4:18-20NIV).
The world is not in favour of the truth as found in the Bible because it condemns immoral behaviour. It does not matter what standard of truth the world lives by, the standard of truth for all is God’s Word. The believer is often condemned by the world as showing no love or mercy when the believer calls on the unrighteous to leave his/her path of unrighteous behaviour that is described by the Bible as immoral behaviour. However, if Jesus was condemned for preaching the truth, the believer too can expect to be condemned by those who reject the Bible as the standard of truth for all!
In conclusion, Jesus, who is the Truth said: “But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven” (Matthew10:33NIV).
Founder and President-BOH7