Truth has its consequence. There is a definite price to pay when one follows truth. Truth in religion is God’s word. Jesus prayed to the Father: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:17). The principle of cause and effect is very prevalent regarding the truth. When one follows the truth, he is to be prepared to accept possible consequences that develop from following the word of God.
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Jesus referred to such in Matthew 10:34-36: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in–law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” Again, from Luke 14:26: “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” These and numerous other passages in the scriptures reveal that truth has its consequences! But what possible course can men take when they are confronted with the consequences?
The individual may refuse to obey the truth due to fear of the consequences. The chief rulers mentioned by Jesus are examples of this. “Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (John 12:42-43). For fear of the Pharisees and losing their seat in the synagogue, they would not confess their faith in Christ. They loved men’s praise more than the praise of God. Such a course was tragic! The only hope man has for eternal life with God is to obey the truth. Nevertheless, we are persuaded that many people refuse the truth for fear of the consequences. We should have faith enough to obey God and let Him help us with the consequences or let the consequences take care of themselves!
Men may endeavor to change the truth to modify the consequences. God’s truth can never be changed! We are not the designers of truth. Paul wrote of the Galatians: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-9). Men may pervert the gospel of Christ and preach another gospel, but the truth of God’s word remains the same. “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.” (Psalms 119:89).
The power of sentiment induces some to feel that family and fleshly ties are the greatest in the world. Jesus taught to the contrary: “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10:36). Let some one say that to follow the truth would make their home unhappy or even destroy the peace of family ties, and invariably he finds sympathy among some brethren to the extent that they would justify him in not obeying the truth to lessen the consequence. WE ALL HAVE OUR CROSSES TO BEAR! “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24). Regardless of how sentimental we might be, the truth is the truth and no one can faithfully alter the truth to lessen the consequences.
Men may obey the truth regardless of the consequences. This is the honorable thing to do. This is the real meaning of faith! When we obey the truth, we should prepare our hearts for the acceptance of the consequences. Our choice before God is that of accepting or rejecting His truth. In all things, we must possess the Spirit of Christ. “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Romans 8:9). Paul wrote: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (Philippians 2:5). Christ followed the truth of His Father and suffered the consequence of the agony of the cross. (Hebrews 5:8-9, 12:1-2). The writer of Proverbs admonition his readers: “Buy the truth, and sell it not;” (Proverbs 23:23).
So many people still think that they can float to heaven on a bed of ease. In sentiment, they want the truth, but the consequences they would deny. They want the crown but not the cross. When we are prone to be weary of the price of truth, stop and think of what the consequences will be for those who do not obey the gospel. (2 Thessalonians 1:6-9). Let us resolve to always obey the truth and trust in God to help us endure the consequences. (1 Corinthians 10:13).