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LET GOD BE TRUE, BUT EVERY MAN A LIAR

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord’s Day Morning, March 19, 2006
at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

“For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar…” (Romans 3:3-4).


Many of you are studying various subjects in secular colleges. You surely understand that few if any of your professors are true Christians. You must also have seen that few of your classmates are genuine believers. Day by day you go to a college or high school that tolerates your Christian faith - but only just barely tolerates it. If you press the points of Christianity strongly enough in a classroom discussion, the teacher may back off a little, and say something like this, “That’s the way you see it. That’s your truth.” Or, they may say, “That’s one way of looking at it, but in a pluralistic society, there are other viewpoints. All of them have value. What is true for you, may not be true for them.”

That viewpoint has a big name, but it is a name worth learning. It is called “post-modernism.” The idea is this - in “modern” times people had certain fixed ideas and beliefs. But we no longer live in modern times. We have moved away from that. We now live in a post-modern world and today, if you want to be “up to date,” you have to agree that there are many paths to truth, and all of them are equally valid. But our text blasts open that false idea in the very strong words of the Apostle Paul,

“Let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).

Just as it was in the time of the Apostle Paul, today most people do not believe. Does that disprove the reality and faithfulness of God? Not at all. Let us look at the Apostle’s reasoning.

I. First, what if some do not believe?

There have always been some who did not believe. In fact, most people throughout history have not believed. Only eight people were saved at the time of the Flood. All others perished through unbelief. All but two of those who followed Moses out of Egypt died in the wilderness through unbelief. Only Joshua and Caleb entered the promised land. In the time of Elijah only seven thousand people, out of the whole nation of Israel, believed, and did not bow the knee to the false god Baal. When the Apostle Paul wrote this, in the book of Romans, only a small number of the nation Israel believed in Jesus - only a few thousand or so. The others rejected Christ. Wherever Paul went they tried to kill him.

When Christ was preaching “some did not believe.” The scribes and Pharisees for the most part did not believe Him. They knew the Bible better than anyone, and yet they did not believe He was the Messiah. They rejected Him even though they were the religious leaders of the people. Is it any different now? Many people are members of a church but do not know Christ savingly. Even among preachers there are some that have not believed in Christ to the saving of their souls. Yet this should not surprise us. Christ Himself told us it would be so.

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?...And then shall I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23).

There have always been some, even among those who prophesy, who do not believe savingly.

Even among the nations that have had the gospel for a long time “some [do] not believe.” I read a recent article in Christianity Today (March 2006) which said, “South Korea sends more missionaries than any country on earth but the U.S. And it won’t be long before it’s number one.” The U.S. and Canada combined have 112,000 missionaries. But the comparatively small country of South Korea has 103,000 missionaries. Within five years South Korea will pass the U.S. in the number of missionaries they send out. South Korea sends out 1,100 new missionaries every year (ibid., p. 30). “That means Korea alone sends out as many new missionaries each year as all of the countries of the West combined” (ibid.). “Korea sends 34 percent of its missionaries to unreached peoples; the international average is around 10 percent” (ibid.). Many Korean missionaries are in Muslim lands, in China, Mongolia, Siberia, various African nations, and other difficult places.

The explosion of Christianity is not only happening in Korea. The Los Angeles Times recently featured an article titled “Vietnam’s Religious Revival” (March 6, 2006, p. B10). All of us have heard about the tens of thousands of people becoming Christians in China. The Third World is experiencing a literal explosion of Christianity. This shows that Christianity does not depend on America. It will do quite well without the Americans.

Yet, here in the Western world, here in America, “What if some [do] not believe?” If the number of those here who are unconverted were not so large, we would be in far better shape than we are - in America, and in the West. Let us do all we can to bring people to Christ here, where we live, in Los Angeles. Let us obey Christ and

“Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in” (Luke 14:23).

II. Second, if some do not believe, does that make the
faithfulness of God a failure?

“For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith [faithfulness] of God without effect?” (Romans 3:3).

Does the unbelief of people we know the make the faithfulness of God invalid? Does their lack of faith show that God is unfaithful and powerless? Has God failed to keep His promise to Israel because some of them refused to believe in Christ? The answer is, “no!” Take a look at the newspaper. God has been keeping His promise to Israel even though most of them do not believe in Jesus! Why do you think the nation of Israel was formed in 1948? Because God promised it!

“The Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people” (Isaiah 11:11).

The first time, God brought them back from Babylonian captivity. The “second time” is now. God is keeping His promise. He is bringing them back “the second time” - just as He said He would! And

“Afterward shall the children of Israel return” (Hosea 3:5).

“For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith [faithfulness] of God without effect?” (Romans 3:3).

Are God’s promises invalidated by the unbelief of Israel? NO THEY ARE NOT! The trustworthiness of God to keep his promises does not depend on what man believes or doesn’t believe. God keeps His promises whether man believes Him or not!

Dr. J. Vernon McGee said,

All of His promises for the future of the nation [Israel] will be fulfilled to His glory in spite of their unbelief (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D.,  Thru  the  Bible,  Thomas  Nelson, 1983, vol. IV,  
page 661).

And it is equally true that all the promises of God to this world will be fulfilled - whether anyone you know at school or work believes Him or not. God’s faithfulness does not depend on their belief. Whether they believe it or not, Jesus Christ is coming again!

“For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:27),

whether they believe it or not!

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God”
     (I Thessalonians 4:16),

whether they believe it or not! And Jesus said,

“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again”
     (John 14:3),

whether they believe it or not! And

“This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go up into heaven” (Acts 1:11),

whether they believe it or not!

And we shall behold Him! We shall behold Him!
Face to face, our Saviour and Lord!
   (“We Shall Behold Him” by Dottie Rambo, 1934 - ).

whether they believe it or not!

“They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9),

whether they believe it or not!

“For thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10),

whether they believe it or not!

And we shall behold Him! We shall behold Him!
Face to face, our Saviour and Lord!

If some do not believe, does that nullify the faithfulness of God? Does that prove that God’s faithfulness is a failure? No it does not! It only proves that man is a liar!

III. Third, human unbelief proves that God is faithful and man is a liar.

That’s what man’s unbelief proves. It proves that all men are liars. That’s why they don’t believe in Christ. They are liars.

“For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith [faithfulness] of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar…” (Romans 3:3-4).

Let me put it this way - God’s record says,

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life” (John 3:36).

But in your heart you don’t believe it. Your heart says that God is a liar. Jesus says,

“Come unto me…and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

But in your heart you don’t believe it. Your heart says that God is a liar. But the fact is that you are the liar!

“He that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son”
     (I John 5:10).

You may think that God is a liar, but it is really you who is a liar,

“Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).

Every man? Yes, every man. That is what the Apostle Paul is teaching in this chapter. All human beings have broken their word and told lies at times. That is a universal truth. All men are liars because all men are sinners. That is what the Apostle is teaching in the chapter.

“There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10).

“With their tongues they have used deceit” (Romans 3:13).

Every human being lies because every one is a liar in his natural state. Born in sin, every human is a sinner by nature. Out of his naturally depraved heart, man lies about the Bible. He lies about the nature of God. He even lies to himself about his own inward state.

Let me ask you a question. Have you ever had thoughts in your mind that you wouldn’t want others to know about? Think of it. Don’t those thoughts show that there is something wrong with your heart? Don’t those thoughts reveal the contamination of your heart? And isn’t it true that you would give some slippery answer if you were asked about those thoughts? You’d give some sort of excuse, or some sort of dodge, wouldn’t you?

And there you have it. You are a liar, a sinner by nature. And the Bible says, specifically,

“All liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” (Revelation 21:8).

Since you are a liar by nature, that is where you are going.

“Let God be true, but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).

And isn’t it about time you stopped lying to yourself about your need for Jesus Christ? No one can cleanse and save a sinner like you but Jesus. Only Christ has the power and authority to pardon your sin and clothe you in His righteousness. You need the Blood of Christ to cleanse your sins. You need the resurrected Christ to give you imputed righteousness in the face of God!

Will God change the gospel to suit those who do not believe it?

“God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar…” (Romans 3:4).

God will not change the gospel to suit your unbelief. No - it is you (not God) who must change your mind. That’s what the word “repentance” means. God’s way is true. Your way is not true. Therefore it is not God who must change His mind. It is you who must change your mind. Change your mind and come to Christ God’s way.

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."


Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Romans 3:3-18.
Medley of Songs Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith.


THE OUTLINE OF

LET GOD BE TRUE, BUT EVERY MAN A LIAR

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.


“For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar…” (Romans 3:3-4).

I.   First, what if some do not believe? Romans 3:3a; Matthew 7:22-23;
Luke 14:23.

II.  Second, if some do not believe, does that make the faithfulness
of God a failure? Romans 3:3b; Isaiah 11:11; Hosea 3:5;
Matthew 24:27; I Thessalonians 4:16; John 14:3; Acts 1:11;
Isaiah 11:9; Revelation 5:9-10.

III. Third, human unbelief proves that God is faithful and man is a liar,
Romans 3:4; John 3:36; Matthew 11:28; I John 5:10;
Romans 3:10, 13; Revelation 21:8.