Feb 1, 2015

This Sunday in the sermon I’ll share a throwback photo and memories of the old game show, “Truth Or Consequences.”  Okay, I’m old, but I don’t remember watching that one on TV back in the day.  It did start before I did, beginning on the radio in 1940 and then on TV starting in 1950.

And yes, my year of birth is later than both of those…

In the message this Sunday we’ll speak about consequences, bad and good, of rejecting or accepting the truth.  The punch line basically is, you don’t get to choose whether or not to have the truth or consequences.  The ultimate consequences you get are directly attributable to your response to God’s truth, the gospel and Word of Christ.

Notice I said the ultimate consequences.  In this life, however, it’s not always wonderful.  Sometimes there’s suffering, and sometimes that is experienced by even the most faithful children of God.  And sometimes, those difficulties are actually in part brought on because of their faith.

In addition to a slightly blurry shot of a Truth or Consequences audience, I’ll also share this quote from J. Warner Wallace and his “Cold Case Christianity” blog.

Christianity is not easy.  It doesn’t always “work” for me.  There are times when I think it would be easier to do it the old way; easier to cut a corner or take a short cut.  There are many times when doing the right thing means doing the most difficult thing possible.  There are also times when it seems like non-Christians have it easier, or seem to be “winning.”  It’s in these times that I have to remind myself that I’m not a Christian because it serves my own selfish purposes.  I’m not a Christian because it “works” for me…I’m a Christian because it is true.  I’m a Christian because I want to live in a way that reflects the truth.  I’m a Christian because my high regard for the truth leaves me no alternative.  [http://coldcasechristianity.com/2013/im-not-a-christian-because-it-works-for-me/]

Did you catch that?  “I’m not a Christian because it ‘works’ for me…I’m a Christian because it is true.”

The truth is, Christianity doesn’t always “work” for us in the worldly, physical, or even emotional sense.  Sometimes it brings about more difficulties there than we might have otherwise.  But it’s still true.  And that’s why we remain with Christ.  He is still “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), even when it’s hard to follow Him.

This is exactly why the book of Hebrews was written.  The recipients had left Judaism for Christianity and had experienced great suffering because of it.  But it didn’t mean that Christianity wasn’t “better” than Judaism, and better than everything else.  It was.  And it is.

None of this should surprise us of course.  Just look at the Biblical history of God’s faithful people.  More than that, consider the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, including His death.  But also remember His resurrection and victory.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33)

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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