By Timothy Johnson
What a person believes dictates their actions.
Most people I know are honest people. By that, I mean if they tell me something, they at least believe what they have said to be the truth. I also think the people who know me consider me to be honest.
Using myself as an example, as a teenager, while attempting to fit into a tight space, I scraped the passenger door of our family car on the corner of a building.
I believe the Bible is true, and it tells us lying is a sin (Exodus 20:16). I believe that now, and I believed it back when the accident occurred.
However, I told my dad that the scrapes were there when I returned to the car. The person parked next to me must have done this. No one was there, and no note was left.
So, if what we believe dictates our actions, and I believe that lying is a sin, why did I not tell my dad the truth?
The answer is more straightforward than you think – emotion and desire grabbed my belief system and tricked me into believing a lie. My emotion – fear – and my desire – not to be punished – led me to believe my dad would fall for my story. Since I believed he would fall for the story and my intended result aligned with my emotions and desires, I chose to lie.
Long story short, I disregarded the truth of the Scriptures (lying is a sin) and created my own truth (Dad will believe me), which led me down a path of sin.
Many Christians and churches have substituted the truth of the scriptures for their own “truth.”
The words used for sin nowadays are: “mistake” and “error.” The Biblical terms are sin, iniquity, transgression, and trespasses. A mistake or error is turning left at an intersection when you should have turned right. A sin is disobeying God. However, believing that most sins “are not that bad” has led to false teachings leading people into sin. The desire not to offend anyone or to never tell anyone they are wrong has led to a belief that whatever you want to do is okay because God understands. On a side note, I have heard Christians use the phrase “God understands” quite often. They use it as an excuse for their sin. “I know the Bible says I shouldn’t do this, but God understands.” God is the one who defines what sin is. God is the one who created us. Yes, God does understand why you are doing what you are doing, but just because He understands does not mean He approves.
Many Christians have sex with those who are not their spouse. This action is fornication, and God says it is a sin. Our desire for the physical enjoyment that sex brings and, in some cases, the love a person has for their sex partner brings Christians to believe their truth, that this activity is okay.
Some Christians refuse to believe that hell exists. The emotional trauma of thinking of our loved ones in the flames for all of eternity is too significant to bear. Therefore, they create their own truth, that hell is either on this earth or does not exist at all.
Regarding doctrine, believing things because of emotions or desires can have a rollerball effect. In the above example, where do the unsaved go if hell does not exist? The only other option is heaven. If they go there, then why did Jesus die on the cross? If there is no hell, and heaven awaits everyone upon death, then there is no reason for Jesus to come here. His primary reason for being here is to save the human race from sin by His death on the cross. If everyone goes to heaven anyway, Jesus’ purpose no longer exists.
When we start believing our own truth and disregarding the truth of the Scriptures, it will lead us into sin and a false sense of security. Our truth, instead of God’s truth, leads us to nothing but lies.
Much of the church today has allowed emotions and desires to dictate what they believe, causing Christians to live lives indistinguishable from the world.
We have disregarded 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” This, in turn, has caused the church to completely forget 2 Corinthians 6:17, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”
Well, Preacher, you have yet to offer any solutions to the problem. Reread the column; the solution is scattered all through it. Believe God enough to know that what He says is the truth and the best thing for you. Then, act accordingly.
In case you are wondering, Dad knew the truth the instant he saw the scratches on the door. Which taught me another Biblical truth, Numbers 32:23, “Bet if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.”
Preacher Johnson is Pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County Indiana. Website: www.preachers-point.com; Email: [email protected]; Mail: 25 W 1200 N; Kingman IN 47952. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Timothy-Preacher-Johnson-101171088326638. All Scripture KJV.