August 24, 2020
Truth or Consequences?
my writing ministry I received a
God-lesson I never forgot. I don't want
you to forget it either.
was writing pieces for a Christian
publication out of Los Angeles at the
time. One day the editor forwarded a
letter to me with an inquiry. Oh goody,
a compliment! But this was more valuable
than a compliment; it was a correction.
The reader, a lady, asked for the source
of an Oswald Chambers statement I had
quoted. No problem, this will be easy, I
thought to myself.
But after looking through all Chambers'
books, I received a rude surprise. My
quote was incorrect. It was the same in
essence but not verbatim - and I had
placed it inside quotation marks,
indicating it was a verbatim quote!
Embarrassed, I set about to write the
dear lady back. Then I noticed her
return address: "Truth or Consequences,
New Mexico!" Immediately, the God-lesson
hit me. I had failed to tell the truth
and this embarrassing moment was the
consequence. From that day to this, I
never quote something without
meticulously checking the original.
But this lesson has larger implications
for us all: Every time we in any way
fail to tell the truth, there will be
adverse consequences for someone,
When Philippi's jailer asked Paul, "What
must I do to be saved?" Paul answered
with the truth: "Believe on the Lord
Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,
and thy house" (Acts 16:30-31). Any
other answer, however religious or
astute or philosophical, and the jailer
and his household would have been
When Nathan challenged David over his
sin, David responded with the truth, "I
have sinned against the Lord" (2 Samuel
12:13). Anything less truthful, and
David would not have been restored to
right relationship with God or the
throne of Israel.
When the Judaizers confused the
fledgling Antioch church with erroneous
teaching, Paul responded with the truth.
In no uncertain terms, Paul asserted
Gentiles did not have to become
Jewish proselytes to be saved. If he had
said anything less or other, the first
Gentile church, and perhaps the whole
church age, may have never recovered.
Are we as
truthful? When we've sinned? When we're
asked the way of salvation? When we're
asked our opinion of egregious,
fundamental errors? When asked for
biblical counsel by a sin-troubled soul
earnestly seeking help? When asked to
confirm or deny gossip or hearsay that
has slandered an innocent man or woman?
When asked if homosexuality is biblical,
abortion is a woman's right, or gender
is a human choice?
In all these scenarios we must step up
and speak up, "speaking the truth in
love" (Ephesians 4:15). Our choice is
simple: be credible or be convicted!
Speak truth or expect consequences!
our Lord Jesus prophesied the truth will
always come out, sooner or later, and
when it does all will know who told the
truth and who did not. "There is nothing
covered that shall not be revealed; and
hidden that shall not be known" (Matthew
10:26). This makes our choice even
clearer. We will speak the truth now,
with honor, or we will speak it later,
with dishonor! But speak the truth, we
will. "Every knee" will bow and "every
tongue" confess (Philippians 2:10-11).
If we don't
receive the truth, there are adverse
consequences. When ministers teach us
Bible truths that convict us, and we
spurn those truths because they humble
us, immediately we erect a wall of
separation between our hearts and the
living Truth, Jesus. Or, if we won't
receive true (accurate) correction about
faults that make us difficult to live or
work with, we remain uncorrected, out of
fellowship, and a disappointment to
Christ and other Christians.
If we don't follow the truth, there are
unpleasant consequences. Paul taught,
"As many as are led by the Spirit of
God, they are the sons of God" (Romans
8:14). If to follow our own wisdom we
reject the wiser leading of God's
Spirit, we will one day realize how
unwise we were - and have to work our
way through a thick tangled web of
troublesome consequences we unwisely
If we fail to seek biblical truth, and
study it diligently, there are adverse
consequences. Because we refused to seek
God's silver and gold - His Word - one
day spiritual poverty will strike. We
will not have enough Bible knowledge to
recognize the subtle errors of false
teachers because we never took the time
to learn God's truth sufficiently.
Ignorance and deception about God and
eternal truth are heavy consequences to
pay in any generation, but especially in
our last-days generation when deceit and
lies are everywhere, and growing by the
Above all, if we fail to obey the truth,
we will certainly rue it. Jesus ended
His greatest sermon with His greatest
warning: Christians who hear and obey
biblical teaching will stand victorious
in the storms of life - but Christians
who attend the same churches and sit in
the same pews and hear the same pastors
give the same biblical teachings but do
not obey them will fall (Matthew
7:24-27). And many will fall with them!
that dear reader from Truth or
Consequences gave me a first-class
education in veracity. This piece is my
diploma. As you examine it, may it
educate you, too, my friend, and keep
you from many an adverse consequence.
Speaking the truth,