WHAT IF IT’S ALL TRUE
Jn.17: 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
What if it’s all true? I mean all of it. Every single truth in Scriptures is completely and utterly true beyond our earthly imaginations? I know we all loudly proclaim our conviction that it really is all true. But now I ask what if it really is all true? What does it mean to us here and now? Heaven and hell; Eternal punishment and eternal reward; Armageddon and the Second Coming; what if it’s all true. Every bit of it is true and every prophecy will come to pass just as it is laid out in Scripture.
“But I believe it is all true!” Do you? Do I? Let us say that God whisked a handful of us into the future and we were given a firsthand tour of eternity and all the things in the spirit realm. We were guided through heaven and we were shown the horrors of hell and we even were granted a full five minute view of the Risen Christ. And then we were brought back to 2014 and dumped right back where we were picked up. And no one missed us or thought we had vanished for a time. But we remembered everything we had seen and experienced. Everything. Would that change our lives?
To the degree that trip would change our lives is the degree to which we live in unbelief.
It is beyond belief and beyond reason that a person could believe the New Testament Scriptures are literally true and all the things about eternity are limited revelations about things that are actually tangible and true and yet live so unremarkable in such a fallen culture. It makes no sense at all. If we drag out our precious statements of faith in all its glorious orthodoxy and we examine just what we say we believe we have some explaining to do. It oh so easy to write what we believe and stand upon that statement as gospel truth without having to measure the audacity of that statement against our unexceptional lives which blend in so easily with those who do not say they believe those things.
But again I ask all of us in all sincerity. What if it really is all true. Everything we say we believe, and everything we have heard in Sunday School, and everything we have read in Scripture is all true in substance. But before we can understand the impact of that statement we must examine much more closely what we say we believe and what we say the Scriptures teach. And all we need to do is strip it down to a few foundational truths and issues. In fact, all we need is one primary issue with which to juxtapose upon our lives and see if they accurately reflect someone who believes it.
We say we believe that eternity is comprised of only two places and only those who believe in Jesus will spend eternity in heaven with Him and the others will spend eternity separated from Him forever in hell. Think about what I just wrote. That is what we say we believe. And based upon that statement we believe we have eternal life in heaven already secure in Christ and that the remainder of our earthly lives are His to use to reach others who do not yet have eternal life. Now if that is true, and if we believe that with all of our hearts, then what should our lives look like?
But please take into consideration the profound and almost unimaginable essence of the tenants of our faith. I mean this is no religious philosophy. This is no spiritual musings. This, our faith, contends for the eternal souls of all men. Think about that. We have become so inoculated to our own statements of faith that we can recite the most outrageous and shocking doctrines with less emotion and passion than we show while watching a football game. We can take loud doctrinal stands about the reality of heaven and hell and yet live hardly different from our unbelieving neighbors.
We can castigate those liberal monsters who say there is no hell and write very impressive exposés revealing their lack of Scriptural exegesis and yet our lives are very similar to theirs. And having won the Scriptural argument we feel very smug and orthodox. But it does not bother us in the least that our lives show no more obedience and distinction or even passion than do theirs. We are content with winning the doctrinal argument without having our lives passionately reflect the truth we have carefully learned.
If it is true that every living soul will spend eternity in either heaven or hell, then how can we even begin to defend our lives and the duplicitous nature in which we give so much attention to the temporal while passively supporting a set of eternal truths which are profoundly revolutionary in every way? The suggestion that every soul lives forever in one of two places, if truly believed, must so alter a life that it makes that life observably remarkable in the midst of a fallen and unbelieving culture. In fact, that basic tenant of the faith is so unreasonable and fanatical and carries with it the eternal destiny of every soul ever born that anyone who truly believes it should be considered a fanatic on some level. When it was told to an atheist what a Christian believes about eternity and the necessity of believing the gospel, his reply was, “If I believed what you say you believe I would walk on my hands and knees upon broken glass to tell everyone I could.”
So once again let us lay aside our well worn pronouncements of orthodoxy and let us honestly ask ourselves this question without explanation or excuse.
What if it is all true?