The truth of God is man’s most precious possession. Rob any man of the truth and you have removed the light which illuminates the pathway of life and have destroyed his hope of heaven. The wise man said, “Buy the truth and sell it not,” and we can see the reason for his exhortation when we consider the power and value of divine truth. Here are some things which only the truth which is in Christ Jesus, can do for humanity:
The truth sanctifies (John 17:17).
The truth purifies (1 Pet. 1:22).
The truth frees (John 8:32).
No man can come to God without the truth (John 14:6).
Are You Anxious to Learn
It certainly seems that the whole world should be anxious to learn the truth. Only truth can break the shackles of sin and spiritual ignorance. Only truth can purify the souls of the obedient and free the slaves of sin from the bondage of corruption. Yet, in spite of the great value of saving truth, some people become offended at anyone who has the courage to tell them the truth in religion.
It was Paul who said to the Galatians, “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Gal. 4:16). Paul lifted his voice against their violations of the law of Christ and these faithless brethren became his enemies. It is impossible to preach the truth and retain the friendship of some people. Christ preached the truth to the religious leaders of His day and they led Him away to Calvary. Someone has well said that the Gospel preacher cannot hope to hold the friendship of those who place coin above character and sinful pleasure higher than duty to God. If the bootleggers and crooks in the community sing a man’s praise, there must be something wrong with his preaching. A Gospel preacher may retain the respect of sinners, but he is not likely to be the object of their affections.
Teaching the Truth
Paul believed that the preacher of the Gospel should, “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Tim. 4:2) and this is not the path to popularity. Poor (?) Paul had not read Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, so he violated one of the rules for making friends by condemning the conduct of wicked men.
Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of them‐ selves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:8-10).
Such preaching lost the friendship of some people, but it also saved many souls from death. A man is known by his enemies as well as by his friends. They regarded Paul as their enemy, but he was the greatest friend they ever had because he was not ashamed or afraid to tell them the truth.
Examples of Opposition Aroused
Human nature is about the same in all generations and the teacher who condemns unrighteousness and opposes the errors of his day is likely to be hated and persecuted.
Noah tried to befriend his generation by proclaiming the coming flood and urging a reformation of life (Heb. 11:7; 2 Pet. 2:5), but he was despised and ignored.
The prophet Elijah was an enemy of idolatry and a friend to God and His people, but Ahab the King of Israel looked upon him and said, “Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?” (1 Kin. 21:20).
John the baptizer preached the truth to Herod on the marriage and divorce question, but it cost him his head as soon as Herodias could contrive to have him slain (Mat. 14:1- 12).
Jesus condemned sin and religious hypocrisy and taught the only system of perfect truth the world had ever heard, but they crucified Him.
Stephen did not tell the Jews anything except the truth which ex‐ posed their sinfulness and cut them to the heart, but they stoned him to death (Acts 7).
Attitude of Many Today
Thousands of people have no knowledge of simple New Testament Christianity in the present day. Their intentions are good and they are sincere, but they are simply uninformed as to the Gospel plan of salvation and have not been taught how to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). There are others whom Paul accurately described in the long ago as those who perish “because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 The. 2:10).
My friend, and I hope that you will regard me as your friend, do you love the truth? Are you willing to accept the truth of God’s Word when it contradicts some cherished religious opinion or idea? Do “I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” Will you carefully consider these statements and test them in the light of New Testament teaching:
The church of Christ, which was purchased by His blood (Acts 20:28) and is spoken of as the body of Christ over which He reigns as head (Col. 1:18), is “One Body” (Eph. 4:4). This “One Body” is not a denomination, nor is it composed of all the denominational churches of earth, because it existed in the days of the New Testament as a perfect working organization, hundreds of years before the oldest existing denomination was born. The Lord’s church is truly independent of any and all denominations and stands separate and apart from all sectarian alliances and invites you to be a Christian only (Acts 11:26; 1 Pet. 4:16).
You are invited to become a Christian through humble submission to the New Testament law of pardon: (1) Believe in Christ (Acts 16:30; Heb. 11:6), (2) Repent of past sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30), (3) Confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:37), and (4) Be baptized into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Mat. 28:19), for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16).
Obedience to these simple conditions will make you a member of the Lord’s church (Acts 2:47), free from any denominational entanglements or man-made creeds, and subject only to the will of Christ as it is declared in the New Testament Scriptures. Am I your friend or your enemy when I tell you these things?
The real friend of humanity is the Gospel preacher who preaches the whole truth. Think on these things.