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THEY DID NOT LOVE THE TRUTH!

Quite frequently we discuss the importance of Christian love in our lives.  Agape love is an important subject that we need to frequently remind ourselves of.  As we have noted, it is an integral part of every relationship we are involved in as Christians – God’s & Christ’s love for us?  Our love for Christ and Jesus and the Holy Spirit, our love for our brethren, neighbors, family and even our enemies.  All are integral to proper behavior toward them.  How do we define this love?  “Caring enough to sacrifice for what is best.”  That is a worthwhile definition of “agape” love.  But I now want us to consider another passage of scripture for a moment.

2 Thess. 2:9–10, “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”   This is a text in which Paul is clarifying some misunderstandings about when the Lord would return.  In essence, Paul said a number of things had to happen first.  He then describes this deceiver who will be followed by “those who perish” and the reason they will follow him is because, “they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  In essence, Paul was noting that many who follow Satan and his ungodly minions (and whoever this lawless one might be), do so because they do NOT love the truth.

What is interesting about that expression is that the word “love” that is found in this text is the same word “agape” that is associated with our many relationships.  And that has got me to thinking, HOW can we “agape” the truth of God’s word?

 First, we have to care about it – we cannot approach the word of God with indifference.   When you care about someone how do you treat them?  When you care about something, how do you treat it?  If you buy a new car that you love (funny word eh?) what will you do to take care of it?
Do we treat the truth that way?  We should not be flippant or careless with the word of God – Heb. 2:1 tells us to “give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.”
Paul told Timothy in 1 Tim. 6:20, “Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge…”

In 2 Tim. 2:15 we are told to “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  The idea of rightly dividing the word of truth means that you are careful with its use.  The NASU says, “Handling accurately the word of truth.”
How do you treat your copy of the Bible?  While in truth, physically it is just paper and ink, but we need to view it as the word of God.  NOT as an icon, but a vessel that contains the message of God’s word.  As such, the Bible ought to be one of our treasured possessions that we cannot live without.   We ought to care about it and know where it is.  And learn as much as we can about it. 
IN all likelihood, the way you treat your copy of the Bible, says something about what its content means to you.  IF you neglect or forget about your copy of the Bible, you are probably not getting much out of it.  What about those old and worn out Bibles – that is NOT a bad sign of neglect, but of love for truth that is so great, you can’t stay away from it.

 Second, we need to be willing to sacrifice for it – The idea of sacrifice is to do without or give up something of value for that which you care about.  WE can see that in the sacrifices of the Bible.  And in our lives, we are to be a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1-2)
But consider the truth!  Do you care enough about it that you will sacrifice for it? 
Will you sacrifice other things to spend time with it?    2 Tim. 2:15 – tells us to “Be diligent to present ourselves approved…”  The KJV says, “Study to shew thyself approved…” 
Psalm 1:1-2 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.”   Psa. 119:97 says, “O how I love Your Law!  It is my meditation all the day.”
Paul told Timothy to “Meditate on these things.  Give yourself entirely to them…” (1 Tim. 4:15)

Prov. 23:23 says, “Buy the truth and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding.”

Furthermore, how much will we sacrifice to defend its teachings?  Will we face mockings? Will we stand up for truth when it is not popular to do so? 
Concerning the word of God, how much are you willing to invest (sacrifice) to secure the resources to ensure that you can get the most out of it?  When we consider how much we spend on entertainment, etc., how much are we willing to give for a good Bible and maybe some good study aids that will enhance your understanding of the word?  HOW MUCH would give to help others obtain a copy of the Word of God for themselves?  Just something to think about?

 Third, we need to view it as what is best – Never forget, it is THE WORD OF GOD! 
Romans 1:16 describes the gospel as the Power of God unto salvation which reveals the righteousness of God.
James 1:21 says, “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your souls.”
2 Tim. 3:16-17 describes inspired writings as “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.   

Paul admonished Timothy, “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine.  Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.  (1 Tim. 4:16)

The Bible is described as “Holy scriptures” (2 Tim. 3:15); The “Law of God” (Rom. 7:22); as “Spirit” and “Life” (John 6:63); the “oracles of God” (1 Pet. 4:11, Heb. 5:12); “Faithful” (Titus 1:19); “Good” (Heb. 6:5); and “prophetic” (2 Pet. 1:19), etc.  IF the word is described by all these things and is truth – the certainly there is nothing better in this life to guide us on our spiritual path to heaven.

 Will you respect its ways over those of the world?  IF God’s word is best, we will believe what HE says over anything or anyone else.  We will strive to live by its precepts and examples.  We will use it in giving counsel to others.

 No wonder Paul said that it is the “love of the truth” that saves us.  So how much do YOU love the truth?  Think about it!