A Classic Message from Billy Graham: What Is Truth?

Billy Graham preaches the Gospel during his Crusade in Columbus, Ohio, September 22-26, 1993.

Pontius Pilate asked the question, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). And many people today are asking, “What is truth?” Inside the Bible are stories of lust and hate and war and crime equal to anything that we read about in history. The Bible tells the truth. It tells the truth about God, about man, about the devil.

Jesus wasn’t afraid to call Satan what he is: a liar and the father of lies. Jesus said, “There is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). The first time that man had to make a choice between God’s truth and the devil’s lie, he chose the devil’s lie. When Adam and Eve rejected God’s truth and accepted the devil’s lie, that was the moment that all the troubles of the whole world began. Our sinful nature often sides with the devil’s lie instead of God’s truth, because we are sinners. We’d rather believe the devil’s lie than God’s truth.

Sin is a disease that affects the entire human race. The disease of sin is at the heart of the troubles of the world. To those involved in this dying world, Satan will come with evil’s undiluted power to deceive, for they have refused the truth which could have saved them.

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God sends upon them, therefore, the full force of evil’s delusion, so that they put their faith in an utter fraud and meet the inevitable judgment of all who have refused to believe the truth and who have made evil their playfellow. God says these people deliberately forfeited the truth of God and accepted a lie. God, therefore, handed them over to disgraceful passions. They see truth as a lie, and the lie as the truth. They accept the lies of the devil. What are some of these lies?

First, there is the lie about sex. In Proverbs we read, “Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one walk on hot coals, and his feet not be seared?” (Proverbs 6:27-28). The Scripture refers to lust. Lust means if you had the opportunity, you would commit immorality. Many people fantasize in their thinking, and lust that way.

Second, the devil lies about drugs. And it’s interesting that the words drugs and witchcraft come from the same root word in Greek. Drugs are one of Satan’s great lies. He tells you that you will soar to Heaven and have great, wonderful experiences. But every time, you end up in trouble.

“To those involved in this dying world, Satan will come with evil’s undiluted power to deceive, for they have refused the truth which could have saved them. … They see truth as a lie, and the lie as the truth. They accept the lies of the devil.”
—Billy Graham

Third, there is the lie about religious hypocrisy that brings no lasting peace. Millions of people attend church services without having a personal relationship with Christ. I used to be taken to church by my parents, and I hated church. But when I was a teenager, I received Christ as my Savior. When I went back to church, I said to my parents, “The pastor certainly is preaching wonderful sermons.” And they replied, “He’s preaching the same type of sermons, but you’re listening with different ears.” And I was.

Fourth, there’s the delusion that peace is just around the corner. It is not! There will not be peace in the world until the Prince of Peace comes.

We find deception, delusion and lies on every hand. The credibility gap is everywhere. What is the answer? What can people do?

Turn to Christ—to the truth. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). He said, “I am … the truth” (John 14:6). Jesus did not say, “You shall know a truth” or “any truth” but “the truth.” He’s the embodiment of all truth. Jesus said, “If you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). If you don’t believe that and don’t accept Christ, you will die in your sins and you’ll be lost. Jesus Christ claimed to be ultimate truth. Are you willing to face the truth?

Jesus told the truth about sin. He said, “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, and adulteries, and all other sins that we commit” (Cf. Matthew 15:19). War comes from the human heart. Family tensions and problems come from the human heart. Rebellion comes from the human heart.

He told the truth about love. God loves you. And He loves you with a love that you don’t know anything about, because there is no human love comparable to divine love.

God’s love sent His Son to the cross to die and shed his blood for you. He would have died had you been the only person in the whole world. That’s exactly what our Lord Jesus Christ did. God raised Him from the dead, and He’s alive.

Jesus told the truth about judgment. He warned people to “flee the wrath of God” (Cf. Matthew 3:7). Yes, God is angry with the wicked. Jesus said, “Every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36). Every idle word, all your thoughts, all your words, everything you have ever done, will be at the judgment. And you will be condemned by your own words.

Satan is getting ready to launch his tremendous attack under the leadership of Antichrist. Even many of the very elect are going to be almost deceived by these lies. That’s why we need to study our Bibles and pray—so that we can discern.

Jesus told the truth about repentance. He said, “Unless you repent, you will perish” (Cf. Luke 13:3). Have you repented? Repentance means change. I change my mind about God, about myself, about my fellow man. I change my way of living. But on my own I don’t have strength to change. I can’t change. I can’t become a Christian. Why? Because I’m “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). God has to help me change. He has to help me repent. And I have to say, “O God, help me to repent.” Not only do we have to repent, but by faith we must receive Christ into our hearts as Savior and Lord.

Jesus told the truth about conversion. He said we have to be born from above, born again (John 3:3). The process is called conversion. Jesus said, “Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). He’s not telling people to become like adults. He’s telling us to become like little children and have childlike faith. Some people try to enter the Kingdom of God head first. They want to understand it, but we can never comprehend it all. There are many things in the Bible I don’t understand. We come by simple faith, like a little child who trusts his mother and father. We put our total confidence in Jesus Christ by faith. Have you done that?

Repent, receive by faith and then also obey Him. Live the life. Follow Him, serve Him whatever the cost. And it is costly. In the world in which we live, if we hold on to Christian values and live up to moral standards laid down by Christ, it will cost us. So there’s repentance, there’s faith and there’s obedience. Obedience means following Christ, even to the death. Are you willing to do that?

Before you come to Christ, you are a slave of sin. Christ’s truth makes you free—free from the penalty of sin so that you’ll never go to hell. Freedom now from the power of sin so that sin shall no longer have dominion over you. And freedom someday from even the presence of sin. You can be free, right now, by coming to Christ. ©1985 BGEA

Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.