ABSOLUTES; are there any? TEN ABSOLUTES FOR A FIRM FOUNDATION
Is there such a thing as truth, stability, consistency, or absolutes? Peggy Lee had a popular hit tune where she sang about her disappointment with life. As she gradually obtained all the rewards of life and found them to be empty and meaningless, she exclaimed, ďIs that all there is?Ē Certainly, if that is all there is then life is a big disappointment.
Even Paul in 1 Cor 15:19 states, ďIf in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.Ē
Is there more then? Are there such things as consistency, absolutes, or life after death? Is there a meaning, a purpose, or more to life than what is obvious? Is there a solid foundation upon which we can base our life? Actually, are we not asking the same question using different words? Isnít it truth that we are seeking? Following are a series of absolutes that I believe, because I have found them to be true, and have given me a solid foundation for my belief system and direction in life. Perhaps you could determine some for yourself.
Shouldnít we first be sure we understand what we are asking? Truth to some may not be truth to others. Some say that, as long as itís true for you, then itís true. If you perceive it to be so then it is so, or is it? Can something be true for me but not true for you? Shouldnít truth be consistent for all, or is truth relative?
Can we create our own truth? Is there some inherent power in the nature of a strongly held belief that makes it so? Is something true because you believe it or do you believe it because itís true? Belief based on belief alone has no foundation.
Absolute truth exists independent of what anyone thinks or feels about it. Belief does not determine reality; reality exists and is true apart from belief.
Absolute truth is real for all people, for all time, for all places and for any situation. It is not wishful thinking masquerading as faith.
The first absolute: Truth, the foundation of all absolutes. Accept no substitute.
Absolutes should be evaluated by gathering all the evidence available, both pro and con, before accepting it as a truth. Reevaluation should be done if verifiable new evidence is presented, otherwise growth may be stymied.
Any absolutes, like facts, beliefs or truths, must be proved and accepted by the individual or it will forever be suspect. I canít prove anything to you; you canít prove anything to me. Evidence can be provided, but the acceptance or rejection of it is up to the individual.
Therefore, the responsibility of obtaining, verifying, and evaluating the evidence is, of necessity, with the individual. The resulting consequence of any decisions made is theirs also. Again, are your absolutes true because you believe them, or do you believe them because they are true? Just why do you believe what you believe? There are truths, there are lies masquerading as truths, there are honest misconceptions and there are those that donít know or care about the difference. We are encouraged to rightly divide the word of truth (2Tim 2:15). The first absolute provides the standard for all others; if you agree letís go to my next absolute.
The second absolute: Is there a supreme God that created all things?
Some say God is beyond scientific proof, however He is not beyond rational thinking. Some examples from accepted rules of scientific evidence are:
Scientist canít see black holes but by their effect on other planets they know they are there. Neither do we see wind but we know that it is there. Because we donít see God is not evidence that He is not there. The first law of thermodynamics states that energy canít be created or destroyed. Where did it come from? The second law of thermodynamics defines the law of entropy, which proves that all things revert back to their original state, or that all things are in a constant state of deterioration. This alone should be enough to disprove evolution. The law of biogenesis tells us that only life can beget life. So life had to start with life. Who was that first life? Where did it come from?
There is much more evidence available, but if a person strongly believes that there is no God he will not accept any evidence to the contrary and will labor on in his self delusion to his own destruction. Believing there is no God does not eliminate God from ones life; there is a God and there is a consequence. The choice is yours. Truth does not matter to the closed mind so they canít progress beyond the first absolute. If you believe the truth of the existence of God, then we can go to the next absolute.
The third absolute: Did God provide us with guidelines or instructions for life?
Reason dictates that a God that could create all that we see must have a purpose and would not leave man without direction. Did God, as any good manufacturer would do, give us a reliable book of instructions?
There are many great books to choose from, many will have some truth and good advice. Most will have conflicting stories, half-truths and outright falsehoods. Is there a standard by which they can all be evaluated? Wouldnít that standard be truth, accuracy, consistency and an underlying direction and purpose for life? Shouldnít we apply our first absolute to our search for the right book? If the answer is yes, letís go to the next absolute. However, there is little point in advancing to the next absolute if you havenít proven the previous one.
The fourth absolute: Is the Holy Bible the inspired word of God?
Put it to the test. Prove it for yourself. Jesus knew scripture and thus defeated Satan. ďIt is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of GodĒ (Luke 4:4). The unadulterated, pure word of God is 100 % accurate (but not all translations). The bible can and does accurately tell of events before they happen. History has proven the bible to be correct. Archaeology proves the bible. The bible is the only book that:
Gives complete instructions for a long, healthy, victorious life.
Gives proof that God exists.
Gives proof that it is His word
Tells you how to have eternal life.
Reveals Godís purpose for you in relation to His great creation.
All these things one must search out and prove for themselves. If you believe the bible is the true word of God and have proved for yourself the above statements then we can go to the next absolute, but donít leave here till you do or these next absolutes will be of little benefit to you.
The fifth absolute: Does the bible have a principle message for all mankind?
Manís present condition is that all mankind will die once, but that many will die twice. Heb 9:27 --- it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. There is a resurrection that will involve all mankind and there is a second death from which there is no deliverance. (Gen. 3 and Rev. 20)
If you have proved to your satisfaction the desperate condition of mankind then ---
The sixth absolute: Does the bible reveal hope for mankind?
Isa. 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. KJV
God loves us even more than we love our own children. Isa. 49:15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have carved thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.
Isa 49:13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.
John 15:13,14 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Do you believe that God, through His love, offers hope for mankind? If the answer is yes ---
The seventh absolute: Did God offer a way to avoid the second death?
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Col 2:13-14 and you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. (A kind of I.O.U.)
What was against us? It was not the law, but a written record of things charged against us that was nailed to the cross: the laws we transgressed, our very own sins.
Do you believe that the Son of God paid your death penalty in your stead? If the answer is yes ---
The eighth absolute: Is there any other way man can avoid the second death and receive eternal life?
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Eph 2:9-10 Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
1 Tim 2:5-6 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
The ninth absolute: The only way to obtain eternal life is by committing oneís life to Jesus Christ. Three very important steps accomplish this.
Belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, that He paid your death penalty in your stead.
Repentance (a complete turnaround from your present direction).
Baptism by emersion (symbolizing death to your old life, burial of your past sins, and resurrection to a new life in Christ).
He is the one that paid the price, and the only one qualified to do so (Rev. 5:9), therefore He is the only way to eternal life. Wearing a scapula, praying to Mary, living a good life, etc. will not provide salvation and is an insult to the one who died so that you might live.
This is a beginning, not an end as we are not there yet.
The tenth absolute: I John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
We will be kings and priests unto our God; and we shall reign on earth (Rev. 5:10).
I have weighed the evidence and determined for myself true and absolute truth and have determined that, as Christ stated in John 17:17, GODíS WORD IS TRUTH! Therefore, I have chosen His word as my rock and foundation for my life. What about you?
Message given 12/3/05 Del Leger, Pastor, Christian Church Of God, Grand Junction, Co. (970) 249-6857.
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