God's Truth is Marching On

Sermon delivered on July 7th, 2024
Sunday Morning Service

By: Pastor Greg Hocson

Scripture Text: John 18:33-38

 

John 18:33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? 34: Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? 35: Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? 36: Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37: Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. 38: Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.

 

Introduction

French writer Alexis de Tocqueville, after visiting America in 1831, said, I sought for the greatness of the United States in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, her fertile fields, and boundless forests—and it was not there. I sought for it in her rich mines, her vast world commerce, her public school system, and in her institutions of higher learning— and it was not there. I looked for it in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution—and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness, did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great!”

 

Our country has been blessed. America is still blessed. I believe the blessings we enjoy today in this country is not because of the faithfulness of the present generation but mostly because of the faithfulness of past generations. The founding fathers of America were men of faith in God and God's Word. America was founded on Biblical truths. But sadly, we as a nation have forgotten the reason for Americas greatness and blessings. And as a result, we are seeing right before our eyes Americasdownfall and destruction.

 

On November 18, 1956, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, said these chilling words “We will take America without firing a shot. We do not have to invade the United States. We will bury you from within.” Today we are seeing this frightening prediction coming true right before our eyes. America will never be destroyed from the outside. If America is destroyed, it will be because we have destroyed ourselves from within. In my humble opinion, one of the major causes that will lead to Americas downfall is the denial and rejection of truth in our society. There is a fast-growing number of people who are denying and rejecting truth. Once truth is denied and rejected, any person, any life, any society, any culture, any country, any nation will not survive.

 

Tragically, this is the world in which you and I live. This is where America is. This is what we see in almost every segment of our society. This is what we see and get in the television, on the radio, on the internet, in the newspapers, in the magazines, in entertainment industry, in corporate America, in the school, in colleges, in universities, in our government, in many of our politicians, etc. We are living in a day where truth is denied and rejected. Thats where America is. Thats where Pilate was.

 

John 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

Here our Lord informs Pilate what was the great end and purpose of His incarnation—to bear witness of the truth! But Pilate responds in John 18:38, What is truth?” Understand that Pilate is not asking a question to get an answer, rather he was making a statement. By this statement, Pilate revealed his own worldview. What Pilate is really saying is, “Meh, what is truth! There is no truth!” As soon as Pilate said, What is truth,” our text says, he went out again unto the Jews.” Pilate's action in walking away and not waiting for an answer, only showed that he did not want to know the truth, nor does he believe the truth.

 

But what is truth? What is the definition of truth? Oxford Dictionary defines the word truth as that which is true or that which is in accordance with fact or reality.” Truth is that which is real. It is the way things really are. In one word, truth” is reality.” Scripturally, truth is what is because God declares it so and made it so. God the Father is the God of truth.” Jesus Christ is full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). In fact, He is “the truth” (John 14:6). The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth” (John 14:17; John 15:26; John 16:13). Paul calls Scripture the Word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). Jesus prayed, Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Everything about God is true. God always tells it like it is.

 

Truth is precious. It is more to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”

 

Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

 

This morning, consider with me some of the characteristics of truthSeven glorious truths about truth.

 

1. Truth Exists

Pilate makes this statement, “What is truth?” This same statement is being made by many today. They would say, “Does absolute truth even exist?” Like in the days of Pilate, we live in a generation that denies and rejects the existence of absolute truth. But contrary to what Pilate asserts, contrary to what modern society and culture say, Jesus Christ Himself says truth exists.

John 18:37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

 

Absolute truth exists. It cannot be denied. Those who deny truth make the self-defeating truth claim that there is no truth. They say, All truth is relative!” But I ask, Is that truth or is that a relative truth?” They say, “There are no absolutes!” Then, I ask, “Is that absolutely true? Are you absolutely sure?” They say, “Its true for you but not for me!” Again, I ask, “Is that statement true just for you, or is it true for everyone?” To deny truth is to make the self-defeating truth claim that there is no truth.

 

Truth exists because the One who is the incarnate Truth Himself says so.

 

2. Truth Matters

A teacher asked his students, Whats the greatest problem in our society today? Is it ignorance or is it apathy?” One of the students answered, I dont know, and I dont care!” Thats an accurate good summation of the problem in our society today. There are many people who do not know and do not care about truth. They do not care truths about God and about morality. But when it comes to money, medicine, relationships, safety, health—they do care passionately about these things.

 

Truth matters. Everybody wants truth, even the relativists, those who deny the existence of absolute truth. No one wants to be lied to. Truth matters to everyone. As one Christian apologist puts it, “The reality is, that truth matters – especially when you are on the receiving end of a lie.” I don't know and I don't care attitude about truth is fatal and dangerous. Ignorance and apathy about truth about  God and morality has both temporal and eternal consequence. So, truth matters. What you dont know, or dont care to know, can hurt you.

 

3. Truth is Knowable

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

How do you know what truth is? How do you know that you have the truth? How do you know you are right? How do you know for sure that Christianity is right and the other world religions are wrong? These are good and valid questions. Dont be offended when someone asks you these types of questions. Instead of being offended, the apostle Peter challenges us in 1 Peter 3:15, But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.”

 

Jesus Christ declares that Gods Word is the truth. “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John17:17). There is absolute truth, and we can know it. And where is truth found? Truth is found and known through the Word of God. We as Christians go to the Word of God for truth. We know what truth is because it is right here inside of the Scriptures. Now, how do we know the Bible is true? We know the Bible is true because Jesus Christ declares that the Bible, the Scripture, is Gods Word ... thy word is truth. And I trust Jesus to reveal the truth because of the overwhelming evidence that Jesus Christ is reliable. The way He lived His life. His teaching and way of life are consistent. He lived out what He taught. Atheists and relativists cannot live out what they believe. The way He treated His enemies. The way He conquered sin and death. That's why I believe the Bible is true because Jesus Christ is reliable. I trust Jesus to reveal God accurately.

 

4. Truth is Objective and Binding

Truth is based upon objective facts. It is not subjective. Meaning truth is not determined by personal feelings or personal opinions. Truth is still the truth regardless of how anyone else feels about it. Truth is truth whether it speaks to your heart or not. Objective truth is something that is true for everyone, whether they agree with it or not. And truth is always the truth whether anyone believes it or not. Much like your own existence is true regardless of who believes it, if God exists, He exists regardless of anyones opinion. 

 

You dont have to believe it in order to make something true, just like the Law of gravity. If you say, you don't believe in the law of gravity and you will disprove its existence by climbing up to the roof of this building and then jump off from the roof. Guess what? You may not believe in the law of gravity, but you will still suffer the consequence of ignoring it. You may believe all you want but the truth is that the law of gravity does exist, and it is binding. Your belief will not change the fact that your weight and pull of gravity are realities that cannot be ignored or denied.

 

Your faith doesnt change about a thing whether or not the Bible is true. The only thing that your faith does is that it appropriates the Bibles message for you. 

 

So, the relativists cannot live out what they believe and say. The outlook in life that says, truth is relative, there are no absolute, true for you and not truth for me is not livable. It is not practical.

 

True for you and not truth for me. Try that with your bank teller. Go to your bank and withdraw 10,000 dollars and the bank teller checks your account and says I am sorry you only have 2,000 dollars on your account. You cannot say to the teller, True for you but not for me. Give me 10,000 dollars.”

 

The truth is binding for all of us whether you believe it or not. Just as the same gravity keeps all people on the ground whether they believe in it or not, the same logic applies to all people whether they believe it or not.

 

5. Truth is Unchanging

Truth exists, Truth matters. Truth is knowable. Truth is objective and binding. Truth is unchanging. There is nothing fixed in this universe, only God and His Word.

Psalm 102:25 Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. 26: They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: 27: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.

 

God does not change and neither does His truth. The psalmist declares in Psalm 119:89, For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” God's truth is firmly fixed in the heavens. As Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and so is His truth. Society may change. Culture may change. Society may try to redefine morality. Culture may try to reclassify its values. Society and culture may redefine marriage, family, sexuality, manhood, womanhood, fatherhood, and motherhood. But the unchanging truth is that truth is unchanging. Whatever God says about these things remains the same. Truth is unchanging reality. It is fixed and absolute. Its timeless and its forever.

 

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

 

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.

 

6. Truth is Not Invented

We are not originators of truth. We do not invent truth. We only discover them. Just like in science. Science is quest for knowledge. It is discovering what is.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Truth is not to be invented but it is discovered and to be received and believed.

 

 I like what Spurgeon said about this…

I am content to live and die as a mere repeater of Scriptural teaching. As a person who has thought out nothing and invented nothing.” what he is saying, “I have never had an original thought in my mind.” We are not originators of truth. We do not invent truth. We only discover them and repeat them.

 

7. Truth is Powerful (liberates)

John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

The way to experience freedom is not to deny that truth exists. The way to experience grace and forgiveness is not to give up truth and pretend it isn't there. The way to experience freedom is to embrace truth and submit to it.

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

The key to genuine freedom, grace, and forgiveness is found in the phrase; continue in my word.” Jesus says we come to know the truth by continuing in His teachings, and truth is that which will liberate us or make us free.

 

The enemies of truth may try to silence truth, but truth will prevail.

 

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;

He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;

He hath loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword:

His truth is marching on.

 

Refrain:

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

His truth is marching on.

 

-Julia Ward Howe

 

Closing Exhortations

Jesus Christ came to testify to that truth. Our Lord Jesus came to testify to that truth—He is the key witness.

37: … To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

Jesus Christ came to bear witness to the truth. He is the King of Truth!

 

Dont be like Pilate when you hear the truth. Pilate's response to Jesus in verse 38 was a cynical, or perhaps hopeless, What is truth?”

 

Embrace the truth!

We must acknowledge and embrace that absolute truth exists. That truth not only exists but it is knowable, unchanging, binding, and liberating. That we do not invent truth but we discover it and believe it and submit to it.

 

Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

Know, get, acquire the truth and never let go of it.

 

Consider truth as precious. Obtain it at all cost and do not give it up for any thing in this world. When you get truth you will have wisdom, instruction, and understanding.

 

John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

 

Jesus Christ came into the world to bear witness to the truth, the unchanging absolute truth of God. Dont be afraid of the truth. Take the truth seriously and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

 

Proclaim the truth!

Proclaim the truth by your life before your children and wife and classmates and friends and neighbors and co-workers. Proclaim the truth by your life and by your words.

 

It is unloving not to tell the truth. While we should respect the rights of others to believe what they want, it is unwise, and even unloving not to tell them the truth.

 

Why is this unloving? Because if Christianity is true, if Jesus Christ is telling the truth that no man can come tot he Father except trough Him then those who do not have Jesus Christ in their lives will spend eternity in a place called hell. If Christianity is true, we ought to lovingly and kindly tell them the truth because only the truth can set them free.

 

Proclaim the truth with grace. Do it with love, grace, and humility.

Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

 

We are to respect the beliefs of others, but lovingly tell them the truth. But if we truly love and respect people, we will lovingly and graciously  tell them the truth that have eternal consequences.

 

Jesus Christ was the most loving person who walked on earth yet He was not afraid to tell the truth.

 

He came to bear witness of the truth

37: Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

 

He is full of grace and truth

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

 

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

 

AMEN!