The Toughest Pill To Swallow

Something big happened on television this week. The Bachelor had his final rose ceremony and proposed to the woman he decided to spend the rest of his life with (I may have just lost a few readers there, but I have a point and it is important) He decided after proposing that he actually loved the runner up, and broke up with his fiance while the cameras were rolling. I only watched 2 episodes of the Bachelor this season, and the finale was one of them. Like all of America feels, it was painful to watch the breakup. It was brutal. And people are mad at The Bachelor for choosing to have this moment filmed. However what most people don’t realize is that, as horrible as it was, he signed a contract to become the Bachelor and I can’t say 100% for sure, but I almost guarentee that his contract had something to do with how this was all handled. But the contract can’t be that bad right?

When living in California…

I actually signed a contract like that, but not for the Bachelor. Years ago, when I lived in California, I decided to try out for American Idol. So I printed the contract, read it, signed it, and my friend Erica and I drive to Pasadena to sleep on pavement for a night in the parking lot of the Rose Bowl. That day was an experience (and surprisingly Ryan Seacrest is shorter than I am), but what I remember is the 14 page contract. When you sign it, it is like signing your life away. Your life is theirs, and basically you give them permission to do what they please in each and every way, even if it makes you look bad and ruins your reputation.

I look back now, and I can only think What was I thinking signing something like that? And I actually read the contract! What scares me, is knowing that so many people probably sign the contract and don’t read it.

You know what else scares me? These words:

Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
2 Timothy 4:2-5

Over the past few weeks and even months this has become a borderline burden for me, and I see it happen all the time. All. The. Time. People believing and teaching what makes them feel good, instead of what His truth says. And I get it, the Gospel isn’t an easy pill to swallow, when we want a belief system that makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside. Many of us want to operate on our own strength, and not the need for a Savior. We want to believe there is no punishment for our sins, and that there is more than one way to get to heaven. We just want to be happy.

But friends, just because we want to believe what makes us feel good, doesn’t make it true. There is only one absolute truth, and if you believe other than what it says, that does not change that it still stands true. And I don’t know about you but I want to believe and live the truth.

Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had know Me, you would know My Father as well.
John 14:6

When I read the words from Paul to Timothy, I take them to heart as encouragement but also as a serious warning. This was Paul’s last letter that he wrote. This was his last chance to say what he needed to say. These are his famous last words. These words are important. And the verses above aren’t the first time Paul encourages Timothy to preach the Gospel, it is weaved all throughout his 2 letters to him.

What happened in the garden…

When satan approached Eve in the garden of Eden, the first thing he did was plant a seed of doubt that Eve heard God wrong. Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’? You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

She ate the shiney fruit, and the second she did she signed her life away. He will plant seeds to make you doubt if God’s word is true, and then he will twist God’s word to make it seem like being disobedient is good.

I don’t want to live my life in doubt, and believing that being disobedient is good. I want to believe only His word is true, and that even when His way is hard, it alone is good.

So what can we do? Here are 3 things that will help us to stand firm in the truth :

1: Know the Truth. Just like it scares me that people sign contracts that they don’t read, it scares me that there are people out there that share a belief that is not the truth. I see it all the time. Make sure that you are in the Word and studying it, because it tells us to always be ready to defend our faith. We can not communicate the truth well if we don’t know it ourselves.
2: Pray for those who do not believe that the Bible and His word are absolute truths. Pray that God would open their hearts to the truth, and that the truth would set them free.
3: Share the truth, and share it clearly. When I first came back to faith, I was asked to run a small group. I didn’t really know what I was doing, usually the story of my life, so I asked what I could do to prepare myself. I was told to study apologetics. So I did. I bought a few books that really helped ground my faith (this being one of them). That isn’t the first time I have gone back to do that, and it has not only helped strengthen my faith, but it also answered questions that I didn’t even know I had, and helped me to share truth in a stronger way.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace.
Hebrews 13:8

The Truth does not change, because we don’t want to believe it is true. You can make the Bible say whatever you want it to say, or you can take Him at His word and let that be enough.

Heavenly Father, we believe there is one absolute truth, and we believe that it is Jesus. We humbly come to You knowing that we need You, and that Your word is true. Help us to stay focused on You, even when the road is hard and even when the truth is a hard pill to swallow. Help us to know the truth, help us to stand firm on the truth, and help us to boldy share the truth about Your Son, Jesus. Give us the strength to flee the doubts that come that Your word isn’t enough. Satisfy the deepest need in our being, so that we can boldy stand firm in faith. Thank you that He is the truth, and because of His death and resurrection, we are set free. Amen.

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