Truth or Consequences; what am I referring to here: a TV game show from years ago, or a town in New Mexico?  Neither.  I’m talking about believing and following the truth, or you will suffer the consequences.
Every decision we make is based on what we know, or what we don’t know, or what we fear, or maybe all three.  For example, if you’re standing on the curb on a city street and a bus is coming down the street, you wouldn’t step out in front of that moving bus if it’s very close.  Why?  Because you know it might run over you and you might not live, AND it will hurt, and you fear pain.  That might be an extreme example, but I think you get the point.  Our lives are the sum total of our past decisions.  But suppose a person tells you if you invest all your life savings with them, you will get double your money back in three months. Common sense should tell you THAT isn’t going to happen, but many people are so greedy for gain that they are easily swayed to believe a lie.  So they hand over all their money to a person they will NEVER see again.  What is the consequence?  They lost their money.  GONE!  Hopefully they won’t make that mistake again.  Or will they?  Well, unfortunately, some people never learn.  But you don’t have to be one of them.
How we want to believe there are not consequences for unwise decisions, yet just because we don’t WANT there to be consequences doesn’t make it so.  A person who gets drunk and then drives a vehicle believes they can drive just fine, and there will be no problem.  But on the way home they are involved in an accident and someone gets hurt or killed, not to mention the property damage.  After they sober up they wish they had made a better decision, but it’s too late now, the damage is already done and they can’t take it back.  If they’re not sorry because they made a bad choice, they are for SURE sorry they got caught, but like I said, there are consequences for what they did, and that’s just the way it is, like it or not.
In the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, consequences for breaking the Laws of Moses are clearly laid out.  You would think just knowing the penalty would be enough to deter anyone from breaking the laws, but there is always someone who thinks the law doesn’t apply to them.  But in Old Testament days, judgment was swiftly carried out, not dragged out for years and years while numerous appeals were made trying to get them out of the punishment.   In today’s society, people often try to dodge responsibility altogether for their actions, blaming others for their troubles, or claiming ignorance of the law, or anything they can think of to keep from facing judgment.
Truth or Consequences; let’s examine that more closely.  Christ Jesus said in John 14:1-6,
(John 14:1) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
(John 14:2)  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
(John 14:3)  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
(John 14:4) And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
(John 14:5)  Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
(John 14:6)  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
OK, here Jesus said HE is the Truth, so that means He is telling the truth, and no lie.  By that statement Jesus is telling His disciples HE is the way, the ONLY way to the Father, and there IS no other way.  Some people tell us there are many ways to the Father, but they lie.  This is not about religion, this is about TRUTH.  If you want to reach the heavenly Father, Jesus is the only One you can go through.  Or else.  Or else WHAT?  Or else the consequence: you can’t get there, period, no how, no way, no matter what someone else has told you.  It’s either Jesus’ way or no way.
Think about that for a moment.  God isn’t asking your opinion about it.  He’s telling you the way it is, the TRUTH, and if you don’t believe Him, you’ll face the CONSEQUENCES, that upon your death you will have lost ALL HOPE of eternal life whatsoever, and there is no chance for a reversal of that.
Yet, while you live, there is hope, not only for eternal life, but that you can lay hold onto all that the LORD has made available to you in THIS life. And not just YOU, but “whosoever will”.  That, my friend, is a most generous offer from our heavenly Father.  Here’s where the word “repentance” comes in handy. Repentance, meaning to consider where you’re headed and turn from evil and do that which is right and good in God’s sight.  After all, God has paid the highest cost imaginable for your redemption, why would you want to forfeit eternal life in the Kingdom of God, in order to exist in the here and now, far below the standard God has made available for you.  And not just YOU but all mankind, that is, “whosoever will”.
Here’s where I start preaching.  Psalm 103:2-5 are some of my favorite verses, saying,
Psa 103:2  Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Psa 103:3  Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
Psa 103:4  Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Psa 103:5  Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Why do I like these verses so much?  Because, I like BENEFITS, doesn’t everyone?  When someone believes and acts upon the TRUTH, that being God’s Word, His Word goes to work in their behalf doing things for them that they cannot do for themselves.  And that’s a benefit. The scary part of living in sin is the fact that Satan blinds you to the consequences awaiting you just on the other side of this life.  And sadly, those consequences don’t necessarily wait to punish you in the “hereafter”, as most all can testify.  All you have to do is look around at all the wrecked lives of men, women and children, and you can see the consequences of sin at work.
You’ll notice verse two contains the word BENEFITS.  That word is plural, meaning, more than one benefit.  For who?  Jesus said, “Whosoever will”.  Let’s assume you are a “whosoever”.  How would you like to be healed from sickness?  Healing is a huge benefit available those who believe.  I chose to believe, and can testify it certainly works for me, never having a sick day in nearly twenty years now since believing the TRUTH.
Over the years there have been many who have told me that God doesn’t heal everyone.  Actually, that’s TRUTH: He only heals those who believe. The rest who don’t believe have to deal with the CONSEQUENCES, and thus they stay sick, putting their trust instead in doctors and medicine and the wisdom of men.   Here’s one woman’s story, told about in Mark 5:25-34.
Mar 5:25  And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
Mar 5:26  And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
Mar 5:27  When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
Mar 5:28  For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
Mar 5:29  And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
Mar 5:30  And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
Mar 5:31  And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
Mar 5:32  And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
Mar 5:33  But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
Mar 5:34  And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
Clearly, Jesus is the cure for sickness. Why are some people so hard-headed?  Why do they keep listening to the lies of the devil and stay miserable, sick, broke, and lost, when the TRUTH is there to set them free?  It’s almost like they WANT to miss out on a wonderful relationship with the heavenly Father.  Their excuse?  I’m TRYING to believe, but…..But WHAT?  You either believe, or you don’t.  GOD IS NOT A LIAR, SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
Last night right after praying for a dear friend who is sick, I heard the Holy Spirit saying to me, I hear those “but what ifs” from My children.  Why won’t they believe Me? You see, our heavenly Father has feelings too.  It hurts His heart to see His children suffering because they doubt His Word and are therefore missing out on their benefits that cost Jesus his life’s blood on the cross. We cannot BEGIN to understand how horribly Christ Jesus suffered on that cross for us.  How He would gather us all up in His arms and love and protect us from the evil one, if only we would let Him.  He offers us all TRUTH.  It’s there free for the taking.  Or, we can pass it up and suffer the CONSEQUENCES.  I choose the TRUTH and I will not be moved.  What will YOUR choice be?