“What People Need”
The Rev. Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)
How time flies when you’re having fun! Three years ago, I wrote an article entitled, “What is Truth?” Now, with all manner of information and news happenings swirling around us, I believe that there is a fundamental question that lies under the question of truth. There is a question that is timeless and applies to all mankind. The question is, “What do people need?”
My earlier article began with the question asked by Pilate of Jesus two thousand years ago. He asked, “What is truth?” Pilate’s question revealed that he thought truth was irrelevant. Pilate believed that his authority and the power his office held was what should concern Jesus. For Pilate the issue was worldly authority and power. Pilate’s fear and respect for power was not wrong in itself. Pilate’s philosophy was missing the truth of who held the most power. Jesus said not to fear men but fear the one who could destroy body and soul in hell. In other words, fear God! Matthew 10:28
There was a Christian song recorded by Steve Green several years ago entitled, “People Need the Lord.” I affirm the message conveyed in the song. Yet, I know that in order to know the Lord Jesus, one must receive the truth. Notice the requirement for knowing Jesus is the truth, not just a truth. No, to know Jesus as He is offered in the gospel, one must receive and embrace the truth which is absolute.
The definite article “the” is critical. Christians affirm that all truth is God’s truth. There is, after all, Jesus’ declaration that He is the truth, John 14:6. He is not one of many truths. Jesus is uniquely the truth.
Further, God’s word is truth, John 17:17. Truth is that which is real. Jesus said that knowing the truth sets a person free! John 8:32.
The truth is that all men are born in bondage to sin. This is true for all men for all time. There is only one who was born without sin. The Bible declares, “Sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned.” Romans 5:12 All who are effectually called by God are given the gift of repentance and thereby embrace the truth of their sinfulness.
The truth is that God’s wrath was appeased by Jesus Christ on the cross. This propitiation was only possible because Jesus was sinless. In spite of spurious teaching that originated in the Middle Ages, Mary was not born without sin. Mary is not our co-redeemer. Mary was a sinner saved by grace as is every believer in Christ.
Salvation is not possible unless the truth is embraced. Heaven is only the inheritance of those who have been pierced in the heart by the truth.
Indeed people need the Lord! The truth is, only those who acknowledge their need turn to the Lord and only those who embrace the truth that can turn to the Lord.
So then, the answer to people’s need is the truth, the unadulterated, inerrant, infallible and all-sufficient truth. Jesus is the truth and His word is truth.
But there is a problem. The natural man will never acknowledge his need for the truth. The natural man’s will is inclined to evil. The natural man seeks to find a truth that fits his imagined need. The natural man is unable to embrace the truth of Jesus on his own. The Spirit of God must break into his heart. Rather, it is more accurate to say that the Spirit of God must take his heart of stone and give him a heart of flesh.
There is no one who can solve the problem of man’s refusal to embrace the truth. Yet, as Jesus told His disciples, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
In summary, permit me to be bold. People need the truth because the truth is reality. God has revealed the truth fully in the person and work of Jesus Christ. The truth is Jesus is the only Son of God, begotten not made. The truth is the only way to know Jesus is through the Bible which is God’s breathed-out word. The truth is that apart from Jesus you will experience the wrath of God. The truth is that there is salvation in no other name but Jesus, Acts 4:12.