By: Gary L. Hutchens
Jesus stated, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (Jn. 8:32). The truth of God’s word is key to the development of our personal faith (Rom. 10:17) and, consequently, to our eternal salvation (2 Tim. 2:24-26; 1 Pet. 1:22-23). It is through the truth taught in scripture that we are guided to salvation and to live a life of faithfulness before God (2 Tim. 3:15-17). In his work to bring about our spiritual destruction (1 Pet. 5:9), it is imperative that the devil find a means of silencing the truth. How can the truth be silenced?
One of the most effective ways for Satan to silence the truth is through disbelief. If he can find a way to persuade people to disbelieve the very teachings of God’s word that can lead them to salvation, the devil wins. “But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Cor. 4:2-4).
A second method employed by the devil to silence the truth is to lead people, even if they believe it, to simply ignore the truth. James addressed this tendency on the part of mankind: “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin” (Jas. 4:17). The best way to resist the devil is by walking faithfully with God (Jas. 4:7-8). Ignoring that truth will automatically result in sin, and the ultimate consequence of sin is death (Rom. 6:23; Jas. 1:14-15). When a person ignores the teachings of scripture and lives a sinful lifestyle, the devil will be successful in leading that soul to eternal condemnation.
A third way to silence the truth is by openly, vociferously campaigning against it. Truth sheds light on, exposes the darkness of sin and the depravity of immorality. The light of truth makes a great many people uncomfortable in their sinful lifestyle. They don’t want to give up the sin, they simply want the truth to be silenced. So, they speak out loudly against the truth and criticize and denigrate anyone who teaches truth that would expose their sin. Sadly, in some cases teaching the truth on a matter can be- has been- made illegal. Such was essentially the case with Jeremiah during much of his ministry. In some nations today it is illegal to openly teach the Bible. In our own nation, there are continual attempts to pass laws that would make it illegal to teach the truth from God’s word on a number of issues.
The warning is clear: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isa. 5:20). We must be alert and aware. All that is needed for evil to prevail is for the righteous to do nothing. The truth will set us free (Jn. 8:32), but the truth needs to be upheld and taught for its greatest effect to be realized. As Christians and the church, we are to be guardians and communicators of the truth of God’s word (1 Tim. 3:15). Let us always vigorously fulfill that role and never allow the devil to succeed in silencing the truth…
Gary L. Hutchens