Monday, July 6, 2009

What is the ISSUE?

I love when you visit someone and they ask "what are your stance on the issues" or "will you preach on the issues" or "why don't we hear more sermons on the issues". I have heard a cornucopia of questions checking in on what I believe and possible expectations on what I will deliver. Interesting as it may seem, we should really look down to the basic question then. What is the ISSUE or ISSUES? Are they political or biblical issues? Are they personal political issues that we are passionate about? Is it really just a few things or is it a list of things? Is it an issue because the media made it an issue? These are but a few questions I have to ask myself when someone asks me about issues. The answer could range from homosexuality and the sanctity of marriage, abortion, gambling, drinking, sin in general, adultery, and I could go on and on. It's a loaded question, or is it?

The issue really is the truth. Why should I be concerned with one political issue to the next when we continue to not understand what the main issue is...the truth. It is whether we believe it or not? Where do we find truth: God's Word. We read in Amos where he was shown what the truth was: "Thus He showed me, and behold, the Lord was standing by a vertical wall with a plumb line in His hand. 8 The LORD said to me, "What do you see, Amos?" And I said, "A plumb line." Then the Lord said, "Behold I am about to put a plumb line In the midst of My people Israel. I will spare them no longer. 9 "The high places of Isaac will be desolated and the sanctuaries of Israel laid waste. Then I will rise up against the house of Jeroboam with the sword." Amos 7:7-9 (NASB95)

That plumbline is the Word of God...the TRUTH....the main ISSUE!! This is to be our guide and what we are to carry in our heart and minds. This is the core of who we are as a disciple. We become so engrossed with what the media says is an issue or what we make issues according to our political beliefs and our passions when we need to begin with is the TRUTH!! That is our main issue. If God is saying this today, no wonder we are imploding as a nation, because His Word is not our plumbline. We should fear what would happen when we turn away from our Lord and come to Him in repentance for making His truth unimportant in our lives.

Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself: Do you spend time learning from His truths? Do you spend time reflecting on your life and God's truth impacting it? Are you leading your family according to God's truth? Do you teach your family God's truth? How has your life been changed according to His truth? How have you applied His truth to your life today?

We must establish what the issue really is in our life. It is not political, it is not what we are passionate about, (abortion, drugs, alcohol, homosexuality, etc), and what we can discuss at some coffee is according to God's Word..the TRUTH!! Learn it, live it, and let it be the plumbline of our lives!!

Good to be back from vacation...My family and I missed you all!!


Gene Pool said...

Dear Pastor Brian,

I could not agree with you more. God’s Word, the Holy Scripture, is the people of God’s plumbline--it should be of paramount importance to true believers since it is God revelation of Himself, His desires, His expectations. And with Christians, we should not have to “make the time” to spend in Scripture. We should have to make time for the other, less important things of life, such as entertainment, employment, etc., or at least that is this old man’s opinion. Time with God and in His Word should be first priority.

To know the truth, our passions should be on UNDERSTANDING Scripture--the context of verses, and even entire books for that matter. Understanding what it meant to the original audiences, and the ancient issues it dealt with, before trying to bring Scripture forward for CORRECT application in our lives is critical. To do this, believers must be TAUGHT, TAUGHT, TAUGHT. Otherwise we tend to force Scripture to fit things it was never intended to deal with, not to mention develop incorrect theologies. Scripture should be taught by Sunday School teachers--taught by preachers--taught by parents to their kids--taught by the learned to the unlearned. That is an area western Christianity is the weakest. Too often, Bible classes end up being led by unprepared leaders (or leaders who have done a “Saturday night special” in preparation), and boil down to nothing but general discussions on “this is what I think about the verse, blah, blah, blah...” where virtually nothing is learned (except what the unlearned “think” about particular verses). All too often, sermons are more like Zig Ziggler motivational sessions, with a few jokes and amusing stories that make congregations “feel good,” rather than serious teaching of God's Word. And parents dump their children off on the church to teach morality, rather than live up to the responsibility God has given them to lead their families in the way of the Lord.

“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

So, where does it start? In my opinion it starts with YOU...and ME...and EVERY TRUE BELIEVER who wants to please his Master. We must rid ourselves of the fear of offending those who have their personal solidified theologies derived from tradition and ignorance of Scripture, and in some cases, avoidance of Scripture. We must teach what the Word says AND ESPECIALLY what it MEANS. We must teach verses in context. Pulling verses out of context to make points they were never intended to make must be disallowed. And we must challenge those who do rather than sit quietly for fear of confrontation. Our Master expects that of His people.

May the Lord bless you and your ministry,

Gene Pool

Jerry Rig said...

Amen Brother Brian!

Right on Gene.

The Prophets foretold the Truth.
Jesus "testified to the truth". John 18:37
The Apostles built the Church on the Truth.
Christians should live in the Truth!

The shortest distance between two points (God and man) is a stright/true line...Truth!


Doulos said...

Webster's Dictionary (E-Sword)


1. Conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be. The truth of history constitutes its whole value. We rely on the truth of the scriptural prophecies.

My mouth shall speak truth. Prov 8.

Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth. John 17.

2. True state of facts or things. The duty of a court of justice is to discover the truth. Witnesses are sworn to declare the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

3. Conformity of words to thoughts, which is called moral truth.

Shall truth fail to keep her word?

4. Veracity; purity from falsehood; practice of speaking truth; habitual disposition to speak truth; as when we say, a man is a man of truth.

5. Correct opinion.

6. Fidelity; constancy.

The thoughts of past pleasure and truth.

7. Honesty; virtue.

It must appear

That malice bears down truth.

8. Exactness; conformity to rule.

Plows, to go true, depend much on the truth of the iron work. [Not in use.]

9. Real fact of just principle; real state of things. There are innumerable truths with which we are not acquainted.

10. Sincerity.

God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship in spirit and in truth. John 4.

11. The truth of God, is his veracity and faithfulness. Psa 71.

Or his revealed will.

I have walked in thy truth. Psa 26.

12. Jesus Christ is called the truth. John 14.

13. It is sometimes used by way of concession.

She said, truth, Lord; yet the dogs eat of the crums-- Mat 15.

That is, it is a truth; what you have said, I admit to be true.

In truth, in reality; in fact.

Of a truth, in reality; certainly.

To do truth, is to practice what God commands. John 3.

End WEBSTER's Dictionary

Kenneth WUEST Expanded Translation-

WUEST - Joh 8:21 21-30 Then Jesus was saying to the Jews who, having believed Him, were at the moment maintaining that attitude of faith, As for you, if you remain in the word which is mine, truly, my disciples you are. And you shall know the truth in an experiential way, and the truth shall make you free. They answered Him, Offspring of Abraham we are, and we have never yet been in bondage to anyone. How is it that you are saying, You shall become those who are free? Answered them Jesus, Most assuredly, I am saying to you, Everyone who habitually commits sin is a slave of sin. But the slave does not abide in the house forever. The Son abides forever. If therefore the Son make you free, you shall be free individuals in reality.


We all deal on a perceptive level -- that which I perceive to be true is true to me.

The difficulty is in aligning my perception with the truth.

the only truth is that which is based upon God's definition of statement of what is TRUE.

True freedom is in knowing what truth is and making that truth the plumb line of one's life.

Praise God that he reveals that truth.