12 Jul 2024

I’ve been thinking about something a lot lately – a little thing called truth.  And if that was the only thing I was thinking about, that would be enough.  But my thoughts have not been on only truth, but also on our willingness to stand up for it.  All of us believe in things, and all of us are willing to stand up for those things to some degree.

For example, do you believe that 1+1=2? (No, it’s not a trick question).

I hope so!  But suppose you were in a math class (or had kids/friends/relatives in math class) where the teacher believed and taught that 1+1=0.  But take it further, what if this teacher didn’t just believe this without proof, what if he actually had a proof, and it went like this:

Suppose we have two numbers, a and b, both of which are equal to 1.  We write that like this:

$$\text{1) Let } a=b=1$$

One thing we know is that if two numbers are equal, we can square both of them, and their squares are equal.  So, in our example, squaring both sides gives us:

$$\text{2) }a^2=b^2$$

If we subtract the same number from two numbers that are the same, the result is the same.  Therefore, we can subtract $$b^2$$ from both sides and get:

\begin{align}\text{3) }(a^2-b^2)&=(b^2-b^2)\\(a^2-b^2)&=0\end{align}

Now, this requires a bit more than “basic math”, but equations in this form are called “the difference of two squares” and can be written like:

$$\text{5) }(a-b)*(a+b)=0$$

Now, if we have two numbers that are equal, we can divide them both by the same value and the result will be equal.  For example, if 10=10, we can divide both sides by 2 and get 5=5, right?  Doing this gives us:

\begin{align}\text{6) }\frac{(a-b)*(a+b)}{(a-b)}=\frac{0}{(a-b)}\end{align}

The left side reduces to (a+b) since the (a-b)’s cancel out.  The right side is still 0 because 0 divided by anything equals 0:

\begin{align}\text{7) }\frac{(a-b)}{(a-b)}*(a+b)&=0\\1*(a+b)&=0\end{align}

So we are left with:

$$\text{8) }(a+b)=0$$

If we substitute our original values, we arrive at:

$$\text{9) }(1+1)=0$$

There you have it!  We have just proved that 1+1=0!

So, now do you believe that 1+1=0?  I still hope not!  You know that 1+1=2, not 0…so where’s the problem?  The proof looks reasonable, doesn’t it?

But this isn’t about math, it’s about truth.  And more than truth, it’s about our desire to defend it.

My guess is that if your child/friend/relative/self had this math teacher, you’d be pretty upset.  In fact, you might even complain to the board to get him suspended or fired or transferred.  You’d stand for this truth, right?

Time for the hard question, and no, it’s not “where’s the error in the proof” (hint – it’s in step 6)…it’s this:

Does the truth claim “Jesus is God” hold your loyalty as much as the truth claim “1+1=2”?

If you are a Christian, you must say yes.

And here’s the “hard part” – saying “yes” means something.  It means that anyone who says “No he’s not” is just as wrong as someone who says “1+1=0”, even if they have some sort of proof.  It means that saying “Jesus may be God for you, but not for me” is just as absurd as saying “1+1 may equal 2 for you, but not for me.”

Christian, do you truly believe that Jesus is the one and only Son of God?  Do you believe that we are all sinners in need of a savior?  Do you believe that sin is wrong and not only separates us from God for a time, but if left unatoned for, will separate us from God for eternity?  Do you believe that God’s word is true?  Always?

If you believe these things are true, then you are obligated to defend them as if they actually are true, just as you would defend the truth that 1+1=2!  Do you?

Or, by your words and actions, do you show that you really don’t believe those things are actually true, but only true for you?

During this week leading up to the celebration of the ultimate display of Truth the world has ever seen, would you reflect on how you view this truth…

1 Corinthians 15:3–5 (ESV) (3) For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, (4) that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, (5) and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

… or this truth …

John 8:21–24 (ESV) (21) So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” (22) So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” (23) He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. (24) I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”

… or this one …

John 14:6–7 (ESV) (6) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (7) If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

The Truth.

Jesus is the Truth.

Will you submit to the truth of scripture?  The truth of Jesus’ words?  Or will you be quiet when the world around you assaults Him and His truth?

Will you curl up in defeat and give in to the world who says:

“Jesus may be your truth, but don’t you dare say he is THE truth!”

or will you boldly proclaim, to all who would oppose you:

“Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  You will never see heaven except through Him!”

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