In the iconic courtroom scene from the movie “A Few Good Men”, Colonel Nathan Jessup, played masterfully by Jack Nicholson, tells his cross-examiner Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee (played by Tom Cruise), “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” That line has gone down in film history as one of the most famous lines ever delivered.
At different times in our lives, each of us have been or will be searching for the truth about something — Not only for the the truth in legal matters, but the truth in family matters, the truth in job matters, the truth in educational matters, and the truth about our past. We all want to know the truth as to why things happened the way they did and the truth about how things turned out the way they did. We also want to know the truth about our future so that we can make the right decisions and take the right steps.
Perhaps, the most important area in which we seek the truth is in spiritual matters — or what some would call metaphysics. Great philosophers and thinkers of the past, such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Anselm, Descartes, John Milton, Immanuel Kant, and others, spent much of their lives struggling with these questions. They wanted to know: What is truth? What is the truth about human origins? How did we get here? What is our purpose? Where do we go when we die?
Nearly 2,000 years ago, a man named Jesus Christ was unjustly put on trial under the Roman government. Pilate, who was the governor of that region and who was presiding over the trial, asked a question that many people have asked since. The Bible tells us in John 18 that Pilate simply asked Jesus, “What is truth?”, and then he left the Judgment Hall and went to address the crowd that had gathered to see the proceedings. Numerous Biblical scholars have lamented the fact that Pilate did not wait for an answer from Jesus Christ regarding this all-important question of truth. The British Methodist theologian Adam Clarke wrote, “Among the sages of that time there were many opinions concerning truth; and some had even supposed that it was a thing utterly out of the reach of men. Pilate perhaps might have asked the question in a mocking way; and his not staying to get an answer indicated that he either despaired of getting a satisfactory one, or that he was indifferent about it. This is the case with thousands: they appear desirous of knowing the truth, but have not patience to wait in a proper way to receive an answer to their question.”
Dear friend, I will tell you in a few minutes what Jesus Christ said about truth.
In the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Michael Glanzberg writes, “Truth is one of the central subjects in philosophy. It is also one of the largest. Truth has been a topic of discussion in its own right for thousands of years.” Even today, skeptics, men of faith, and men of science take the time to wrestle with these “big questions” of life. The truth about these spiritual matters — and what we choose to believe — shapes our worldview, helps us to determine our purpose in life, helps mold our passions and motivations, and informs us on how to face the end of our lives. These are important questions that every human being deserves to know the truth about. And I believe that you can handle the truth because the truth will set you free.
That latter phrase — “the truth will set you free” — is a quotation from Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who declared Himself to be, “the way, the truth, and the life.” All truth, no matter what it applies to, is God’s truth and is freedom-giving. But it is only the truth that Jesus Christ offers that frees us from the grip of the curse that has enslaved humanity and gives us the ability to live life freely, abundantly, and forever.
The truth that Jesus Christ offers is three-fold.
1. The truth is, man is sinful. In John 3, Jesus Christ tells a teacher of the Jewish law that “men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” All of us have done evil things that are contrary to the law of God and contrary to our conscience that tells us what is right and wrong. God calls these evil things sin; and He calls us sinners. You can handle the truth!
2. The truth is, man is destined for eternal punishment in Hell because of his sins. Jesus Christ lets us know that a place of torment and pain exists where we are destined to go to suffer punishment for our sins. He said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” You can handle the truth!
3. The truth is, Jesus Christ came into the world to save us from having to go to that terrible place. In Luke 19:10, He said, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Jesus Christ also said in John 3:16-17: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” You can handle the truth!
Dear friend, your eternal future hangs on your acceptance or rejection of the truth. You might be thinking, “Well, I don’t believe what you just shared with me.” Please understand, your unbelief of the truth does not change the facts of the truth. And, if the fact is that you are a sinner (which all of us are because we have done bad things), and if, according to the Scriptures, the fact is there is a place of eternal punishment for sinners who have not repented and accepted Christ as their Savior, and if the fact is that God loved you and me enough to send His only begotten Son Jesus Christ so we would not have to go to that place called Hell, then I think you would agree that it would be pretty foolish to reject the truth of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ came, lived a perfect and holy life that we could not live, died a death that we should have died, and suffered the wrath of God that was meant for us in order that we might be saved from eternal damnation in Hell and have a home in Heaven. I urge you to repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and ask Him to come into your heart and life and save you right now. The Bible says in Romans 10:9,13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you are willing to trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour, please pray with me the following prayer to seal your decision once and for all: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I want to trust Jesus as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your new-found faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Believe by faith. Share the faith. And keep the faith! God bless you!