There can be no greater irony regarding truth than the inscription of John 8:32 on the lobby wall of the CIA in Langley, Va.. I’m sure that it was well meant at the time of its installation, but neither the person who authorized it nor the organization have any more understanding of truth than did Pontius Pilate in the first century, AD. The truth is that, as Jack Nicholson’s character, Colonel Nathan Jessup said in the motion picture, A Few Good Men, “You can’t handle the truth.”
Such is often the case in our world. There are nations of people, societies, cultures, and individuals who can’t handle the truth. Millions and billions of people who are in no way prepared for the freedoms promised by the scripture in John 8:32. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
When Jesus spoke these words He prefaced them with a stipulation that few in our world today have accepted, or kept. There can be no stronger evidence of it than the so-called, “Arab Spring,” of 2010, with its continuing tsunami of violence and depravity spreading across the Middle-East and onto the shores of the entire world.
If I were free to rewrite the scripture, I would write it thus, And you shall know the truth, and the Truth shall make you free. Did you notice that the word truth is capitalized in the second stanza of the verse? That’s because the Truth is a person. Jesus said, “I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Me.”
But the world today, as we approach the end of time, is filled with every kind of human depravity, exactly as it is described in the first chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans. Mankind have altogether become filled with unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, envy, murder, strife, deceit, and hatred of God, but there is another form of depravity that pervades society today. It is the depravity of willful ignorance. Willful ignorance is defined as the intentional denial of an obvious truth or condition because it doesn’t support a commonly held popular opinion. It is, in effect, a form of mob hysteria. A prime example of such ignorance today is the hysteria over gender identity, but it doesn’t stop there, it permeates every aspect of our daily lives, and, In large part, it is a sign of the times in which we are living, a fulfillment of the prophecies of Sodom and Gomorrah.
That brings me to the bubble of time. Time is like a soap bubble that is floating through the atmosphere of eternity. While eternity exists both inside and outside the bubble, time only exists on the inside. When the bubble ceases to exist, time will be no more and, like any soap bubble, cosmic forces are terminally at work constantly thinning the transparent walls of the time bubble, until, one day, in only a moment, the bubble will burst and only eternity will remain. Where will you be when time comes to an end? Where will you spend eternity?
Your earthly body cannot survive the eternal environs. Only your soul, a spiritual existence of awareness, will survive eternity, so it’s important you prepare. You can choose to spend eternity either locked in darkness or flying free in God’s light, those two are the only choices. To be free, your heart and soul must be prepared. The test of your preparedness is whether or not you know the Truth, and, by the knowledge of Him, have the law of love written in the blood of Jesus Christ, on the doorposts of your heart.
Morally speaking, freedom requires a large measure of individual responsibility, along with a significant measure of unselfishness. The more self-centered a society is, the more irresponsible its members become. The more irresponsible the less freedom can be allowed, and the concept of freedom brings us to the subject of democracy.
Given the state of education today, I don’t think anything could be more misunderstood than the polity of democracy. For those who went to university but failed to educate themselves, you might be interested to learn that democracy is not a permanent form of government, it is only transitional in nature, moving polity from one form of government to another and it certainly does not, in any instance, result in freedom. An implemented Democracy will consistently result in the tyranny of “majority rule,” and pure democracy can only lead to chaos, civil war, and, ultimately, anarchy. So the idea that you can set people free by planting the seeds of “democracy” among them is not only errant, it’s ignorant and, I’m afraid that, in the case of the “Arab Spring,” the ignorance was willful.
So, if freedom is the goal, how do we prepare people for it? To begin, the world must be prepared morally. By that, I mean that the leaders of any society must have a proper and consistent standard of morality that stems from individual responsibility and unselfish service to the community at large. Because the nature of any culture flows down from its leaders, not up to them, this type of leadership must remain in place until the behavior of the people is fashioned by it. Only when the people, in the vast majority, have adopted a culture of unselfish responsibility toward one-another, will they be prepared to be free. Unfortunately, leading by example could take a very long time to translate into cultural change, especially among the vast majority, thus the temptation toward utopianism, (but I digress.)
Jesus was very aware that leading by example might require more than a man’s lifetime to foment a change of heart in a majority of any people. He had twelve men following Him daily that were a constant proof. In His frustration, He more than once asked them, “Are you so dull?” (Mark 7:18) It was a rhetorical question. The point is that we, humanity, are dull, in every sense of the word, and it takes more than leading by example to change our hearts. The Apostle Peter is a clear illustration of this principle. Peter, in the course of a few weeks, went from denying that he ever knew Christ Jesus to testifying before the Sanhedrin that Jesus was the Messiah. So, by what power was this rapid change wrought in Peter’s heart? It was by the power of the Spirit of The Living God.
So how do we get the power of the Holy Spirit into the hearts and minds of the vast majority of any people? We do it by the power of prayer. On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus fervently prayed for himself, for His disciples and for all believers, present and future. The church must follow His model of fervent prayer, by making prayer a priority in every moment of our daily lives. Only by the power of prayer can we prepare the soil so that the seed we sow will not go to waste. And we must sow good seed, seed that is soaked in the stipulation of Christ’s blood. Only by the power of prayer can the Holy Spirit bring conviction and only by the power of conviction can repentance spring forth. Mankind must repent before the change can come.
The world today is in no way prepared for freedom and their condition is the church’s responsibility. The scripture is clear, the church has been given the power to move mountains and to change the world. There’s no denying the influence of the church in much of the world’s history, the good that has come from it, but we need to do more. We need to resist the legacy of Laodicea. We need to march out into the everyday world around us and testify to the Truth that we know in our hearts. We need to fervently pray for individuals, groups, and leaders so that the soil of their hearts will be prepared to “know the Truth,” so that the “Truth will make them free.” We need to, each and every member of the Body of Christ, commit ourselves to The Great Commission, to “go forth and make disciples of every nation,” so that their hearts will be changed, as Peter’s was. Only then, only in the light of the Truth, will people truly be free.