Truth Wins! A Message in Response to Reading Love Wins

May 16, 2011 — 9 Comments

This weekend I delivered a message I wrote in response to Rob Bell’s best-selling book, Love Wins.

I entitled my message, Truth Wins!

Several ministers and people have asked for my manuscript, so I’m sharing my entire message on my blog.  Feel free to share this message however you see fit.  All I ask is that you credit this message properly.

I will have more to share on Rob’s book in the coming days.  For now, this is what I have to say:

_____________

Truth Wins

By Arron Chambers

 I love to write sermons, but I don’t like to read them.

Today I’m changing that up.

What I want to say to you—as we start this new series on Truth—is so important that I want to get every word right so I’m going to read my message.

You may not agree with everything I’m about to say.

That’s fine.

All I ask is that you check everything I say against the only standard that matters—the Bible, God’s Word.

I have to tell you that I’m preaching angry today.

Now, I’m not angry about being at Journey.  No, quite the opposite.  I love this church and I love serving with you.  Weekly, you are like abundant cool fresh water source to this man’s parched soul.   I love you more than I can express.

And I’m not angry about being in Greeley.  No, quite the opposite.  Greeley is a great place to live. I love our view of the mountains.  I love that we eat cinnamon rolls with our chili!  I love raising my kids here.  I don’t really like the smell some days, but—otherwise—I wouldn’t trade my Greality for anything.

And, you need to know that I’m not angry with you.  No, quite the opposite.  I’m proud of you and humbled to be in the presence of greatness, kindness, and so many good people who love Jesus and are committed to changing this world.

And, I’m not even angry that my Colorado Rockies have been losing a lot lately because Jimenez can’t hit the strike zone, Ian Stewart is playing like…me, Cargo can’t seem to hit homeruns anymore, and Houston Street can’t hold a save to save his life!

But I digress.

No, I’m not angry with you.  I’m frustrated because I just read a book that I found very troubling.

And I’m not talking about American Idol judge and Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler’s new memoir, which is actually beautiful, just beautiful.  Just kidding.

A preacher named Rob Bell recently released a book entitled, Love Wins.  I find it troubling because I don’t think Rob is telling the truth when he strongly suggests that…

–Atheists go to Heaven. (pp. 1-4, Love Wins)

–Hell is not eternal. (pp. 91-93, Love Wins)

–Christ’s use of the word “Hell” is hyperbole. (pp. 71-75, Love Wins)

–Lost people can—after death—eventually move into a new state and be with Christ in Heaven. (p. 105, Love Wins)

–Because of God’s love, “Given enough time, everybody will turn to God and find themselves in the joy and peace of God’s presence”—even after death! (p. 107)

–He also suggests that we can’t answer this question, “Will everybody be saved?” (p. 115)

When I read that sentence, I ran to the garage for some duct tape, because I thought my head was going to explode.

Rob, we can’t say—with authority—that not everyone is going to be saved?!?

Rob, I wish that everybody could be saved too, but Hitler, Bin Laden, and Jesus know that not everybody is going to be saved.

Jesus said…

Matthew 7:13,14

13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

 Mark 16: 15,16

15And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

This is the truth we find in God’s Word and I’m so frustrated with Rob because he should know better.

He attended and graduated from a Christian University.  He should know that truth is important.

God wanted us to recognize the importance of truth so He commanded in Exodus 20:16, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Truth is important to God and He loves when you and I walk in the truth.

3 John 1:4

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

The founders of our country recognized the importance of truth, so—in the Declaration of Independence—they wrote, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

When we sign important legal documents, we are asked to sign our name on a line confirming that the information we’ve submitted is true.

Parents understand the importance of truth, so we tell kids the story of little George Washington being asked if he cut down a cherry tree, to which he replied, “I can not tell a lie. I did.” Which, ironically, is a lie because it never happened.

Superman recognized the importance of truth and made it the first word of his slogan: “Truth, Justice, and the American Way.”

 

Our legal system recognizes the importance of truth, so—when one is testifying in a court room—he must put his hand on the Bible and promise, “To tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

My five-year-old brother Adam recognized the importance of truth, so he was greatly distressed when I told him that the ice-cream scoop was really an “egg-scrambler”—leaving him covered in egg yoke and me very pleased with myself.

It’s no fun to be lied to.

I believe that “You can handle the truth!”

And you must handle the Truth with great care, responsibility, and love.

Men, women, boys, and girls do not need us to entertain them, impress them, or tell them that they can live like hell because there is no Hell.  No.  Men, women, boys, and girls need us to tell them the truth.

They need us to tell them the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

What’s the truth?

I’m glad you asked.

The Bible is God’s word.

2 Timothy 3:16,17

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

God’s word is the truth.

John 17:17

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

There is a God.

Romans 1:19,20

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

God is One.

Deuteronomy 6:4

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.”

 God created this world.

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

 Human beings are created in the image of God.

Genesis 1:27

 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him;male and female he created them.

 When God created everything, it was good.

Genesis 1:31

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.

 God didn’t create cats. The Devil did. Jk (wanted to make sure you were paying attention.)

Adam and Eve morally fell in the Garden of Eden because they ate fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 3:6

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

This is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Adam and Eve’s descendants became wicked and only Noah found favor with God, so only Noah and his family were saved when God destroyed the Earth with a flood.

Genesis 7:23

He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. They were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those who were with him in the ark.

Eventually, the Earth was repopulated through Noah and his family and God made a covenant with one of Noah’s descendants—a man named Abram.

God promised Abram that all of the families of the earth would be blessed through him.

Genesis 22:15-18

And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven and said…”I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”

Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise that God made to Abraham.

Galatians 3:16

Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.

This is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Jesus is God in the flesh.

John 1:1, 14

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth

Jesus and God are one.

John 10:30

I and the Father are one.

Jesus was born of a virgin.

Matthew 1:23

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel”(which means, God with us).

This is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Jesus never sinned.

Hebrews 4:15

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

All human beings are sinners.

Romans 3:23

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

All sin leads to death.

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death,

This is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Through Jesus we can have eternal life.

Romans 6:23

but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Jesus died for our sins.

I Peter 2:24

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

 

Jesus rose from the dead.

I Corinthians 15:3,4

 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

If Jesus is still in the tomb, we have no hope of resurrection.

I Corinthians 15:12-14,16-20

 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

This is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Jesus came to seek and save lost people.

Luke 19:10

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

God wants us to seek and save lost people anywhere and everywhere.

Matthew 28:19,20

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

Through faith in Jesus Christ demonstrated through belief, confession, repentance, and baptism, we can be forgiven of our sins and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 2:37,38

Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

In Christ, if we confess our sins, they are forgiven.

I John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

This is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Jesus ascended into Heaven and now sits at God’s right hand.

Mark 16:19

So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.

The Church is the body of Christ.

Colossians 1:24

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,

Satan is real.

Matthew 4:1

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Satan wants to devour us.

I Peter 5:8

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Satan is a thief, murderer, and a destroyer.

John 10:10

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.

 But, Jesus came so that we’d have life.

John 10:10

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

This is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Satan is a loser.  (I actually don’t have a specific Scripture for this, but it just feels good to say.)

Hell is real.

Mark 9:43-48

And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell.  And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’

Hell was not prepared to punish people.  It was prepared for the Devil and his angels, but all who reject Jesus go to Hell.

Matthew 25:41

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

God doesn’t want anyone to go to Hell.

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

Hell is eternal.

2 Thessalonians 1:5-9

This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

This is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Rob Bell is wrong.

Jesus is coming again!

Matthew 16:27

For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then repay each person according to what he has done.

Heaven is real.

John 14:2

In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

God loves you, your neighbors, and everyone else in the world.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world,

God wants you and whoever else who believes in His son to go to Heaven.

John 3:16

that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

 Heaven is eternal.

Matthew 25:45,46

Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

The only way to get to Heaven is through Jesus.

Let me pause here and make an important point.

Why should we tell people the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?  Because truth is the only thing that will truly save scared, confused, and lost people.

Do I believe in the overwhelmingly wonderful and pursuing love of God?  Yes!

Do I believe that we’re supposed to love each other and every other person in this world? Absolutely!

Love is our motivation, but truth is our message.

The only true love is love that is based on truth.

Only truth truly changes lives.

Only truth truly offers hope.

Only truth truly saves us.

Only truth truly sets us free.

John 8:31,32

 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

God is love, but love is not God.

When Christ’s disciples were scared, confused, and lost Jesus didn’t offer to give them a hug–He told them the truth.

John 14:1-6

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

The thing that frustrates me most about Rob’s book is that I believe he’s raising up a generation of people who will have no fear of Hell.

No Hell…Wow! Wouldn’t that be great?  Where do we sign up for that?

Not in the Bible!

And not at this church, because I love you too much to not tell you the truth.

His book has made Rob pretty popular outside of Christian circles, which doesn’t surprise me.

If I’d spent my life rejecting Jesus, living in sin, professionally breaking every commandment, cursing like a sailor, cheating on my taxes, womanizing, hating my neighbors, neglecting my kids, encouraging cat ownership, abusing God’s name, and mocking everything good and holy, I’d want Rob Bell to preach my funeral because he seems to think that dying outside of Christ is really not that big of a deal.

I disagree.

I believe what the Bible says about Hell and I think it’s something to be avoided at all cost so I think the fear of Hell is an important thing.

But, I also believe that—in losing their fear of Hell—the people who embrace the teachings of his book risk also lose their fear of God.

Yes, God is love (I John 4:8) but He’s also a “consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29).

And we will one day stand before him, so I want to walk for Him—and to Him—in the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth because I believed Him when He said, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.’

So, walk in the truth and—no matter what you face in this life—you’ll realize that truth wins.

Facing discouragement?  Truth wins!

Facing fear?  Truth wins!

Facing alcoholism? Truth wins!

Facing guilt? Truth wins!

Facing debt? Truth wins!

Facing depression? Truth wins!

Facing heartbreak? Truth wins!

Facing cancer?  Truth wins!

Facing sin? Truth wins!

Facing an eternity without Jesus?  Give your life to Him today, because Truth wins!

This is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

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9 responses to Truth Wins! A Message in Response to Reading Love Wins

  1. 

    Good stuff.
    Glad to see folks standing up for truth; glad to see false teaching being called false teaching.
    Mike

  2. 

    THANK YOU AARON FOR PREACHING THE TRUTH!

  3. 

    Thank you for printing this sermon!

  4. 

    Isn’t it amazing how God’s Truth is the foundation for God’s Love? I’m so glad that God’s Love has teeth enough to hold me because of His Truth!

  5. 

    Refreshing! Ephesians 6:18-20 Stay BOLD!

  6. 

    Arron…I am a fellow preacher and I have been so troubled by the widespread acceptance of Rob Bell’s lies. Thank you for addressing so thoroughly this book. I pray that God will bless you for preaching the word in truth. You are a preacher of righteousness seeking to be found an approved worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed who accurately handles the word of TRUTH brother! Yeah you may not draw in 80,000 people but in my book it is better to proclaim the truth and save 5 then to lie and lose 50,000. The scriptures predicted this and as you know it’s been going on for the last 2000 years. People have been and will continue accumulating for themselves teachers who will tell them what their itching ears want to hear. Thank God you and I won’t be found in that number! Be bold and courageous. Thank you!!

  7. 

    Re: Put on the Belt of Truth
    I just read Relevant magazine’s interview with Rob Bell, and I came away with only one certainty: He’s getting better and better at using more and more words to say less and less. Hallmarks of a false teacher.

    Thanks, Arron!
    http://www.lenawood.com

  8. 

    Arron,
    Well done. So thankful for teachers like you who are still preaching the Truth!

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