Tell Them the Truth

Video Talk

In Acts 6:1-15 and Acts 7:1-60 we read about Stephen, a man of great faith, who was being persecuted and lied about by Jews who were libertines. We read of how he was brought before a council and how false witnesses testified against him, but how, when asked if these accusations were true, he chose to talk about the history of the Jews, and how those Jews who were persecuting him were stiff-necked people, always resisting the Holy Spirit, which was a true statement. After that his opponents stoned him to death, and Saul (later called Paul) approved of his execution.

Acts 8:1-4 ESV

“And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him. But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison. Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word.”

What I am getting out of this passage of Scripture today is the importance of telling people the truth regardless of how we get treated in return. It has to be more important to us to tell them the truth, so that they have an opportunity to surrender their lives to Jesus Christ, than we value our own reputations and that we care about how people treat us and whether or not they like us. Now this is not saying we should not care at all, for Jesus cared, and Paul cared, for they expressed those sentiments.

Now since we know that Stephen was a godly and a righteous man who loved the Lord, we know that his intention was not to get even with his persecutors, and it was not to “trade tit for tat.” He wasn’t being hateful or nasty or uncaring. In fact, he cared a lot about his persecutors or he wouldn’t have said what he said to them. I mean, why bother putting yourself in a position where you will most likely be hated, rejected, slandered, and killed if you don’t really care about the people you are addressing with the truth?

So, as followers of Jesus Christ, we are to speak the truth to people, but in love. But “in love” never involves compromise of the truth and of righteousness in order to not offend people. For the truth offends. It does! But we need to be willing to offend, if need be, in order to tell them the truth as Jesus told the truth and as the NT apostles told the truth. And none of them sugar-coated it, either. They were kind, but they spoke the truth straight out, and they did not dilute it so as not to offend other people.

So, where the Scriptures teach that we are liars if we claim to be in fellowship with God while we walk in darkness (sin), and that we are liars if we profess to know God but while we do not obey his commands (New Covenant), we need to speak those same truths without compromise and without shame. And where it teaches us that if sin is what we practice, and if obedience to our Lord and righteousness are not what we practice, that we will not inherit eternal life with God, we need to speak that same truth uncompromised (see 1 John 1:5-10; 1 John 2:3-6; 1 John 3:4-10).

And yes, we will be hated and persecuted as Jesus was, and as his NT apostles were, and as the prophets of old were also hated and persecuted for telling the people the truth they did not want to hear. So be kind, but don’t water down the truth to be less offensive. Speak it as the Scriptures speak it, for that is how the people need to hear it so that they will be convicted of their sins and repent and turn and obey the Lord. For that is the goal of speaking the truth in love, to help others to be of genuine faith in the Lord and to walk in his ways and in his truth to the very end of time.

The Truth we need to be speaking:

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
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For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: We’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.
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