The Truth Does Set You Free

Jesus famously said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). What happened in Hawaii last week powerfully illustrates the importance of the truth.

The State of Hawaii has an emergency notification system. It consists of message boards and text messages. One of those state-wide notifications went out Saturday, January 13.

Can you imagine getting that text message warning you that a ballistic missile has been fired at your state and that you need to take cover?

Parents put their children down manholes, stores closed, and people sped through the streets (probably trying to get to the people they love). People with relatives on the mainland texted or facetimed or did whatever they could to get in contact with their loved ones. People in Hawaii thought they were going to die and people on the mainland assumed they would never see them again.

It was all a mistake. The governor said someone pushed the wrong button. For 38 minutes the mistake went un-corrected.

One of the families in our church talked to their daughter after the alert went out. Their daughter has young children. The family described how their daughter took their grandchildren into the inner part of the house and prayed over them. They were still filled with emotion a week later (so was I as I listened to their story) as they re-counted what they all went through.

One mother of grown children who lived in Hawaii texted her children on the mainland to “be faithful. I’ll see you in heaven.”

If the truth ever counted, it was that Saturday.

It’s easy for us to get caught up in our lost world’s attitude that truth is relative and that it doesn’t really count.

But it does. It counts in everything. It matters in every way.

More than ever, our world needs the truth. It needs the truth of Christ, and the hope of the world that goes with it.

You and I have the truth, not because we are something special, but because of the revelation of God to us in Christ Jesus.

We need to quit apologizing about the truth that is in Christ and start sharing more and more what it is that Christ does for us right now.

On that Saturday, people in Hawaii needed the truth. They needed to know that even in the worst of times God is faithful. They needed the peace that comes in Christ Jesus. And yes, they needed the hope of Christ that we who belong to Him will be with Him forever in heaven.

As I’ve said before, eternity isn’t urgent until it is.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. — Proverbs 17:9 (NIV)