“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Titus 1:2).
The story is told of a rather simple-minded factory worker who got called into his supervisor’s office for talking back to his foreman. His supervisor asked, “Did you call your foreman a liar?” The man admitted that he had. “Did you call him stupid?” He had to admit that was true as well. “Did you call him an opinionated, narcissistic egomaniac?” To this charge, the simple-minded man replied, “No, but could you write that one down so I can remember it?”
Of course, no one would ever accuse God of lying—or would they? There must be a reason the Apostle Paul wrote to Titus about the hope of eternal life, “which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Titus 1:2). Why would Paul have to vouch for God’s integrity like that? Surely somebody was thinking that God could lie, or it wouldn’t have been necessary to affirm the opposite. And it isn’t likely that it was Titus.
But Titus was stationed on the island of Crete (Titus 1:5), and the Cretians to whom he ministered used to worship the Greek god Zeus, who is said to have been born in Crete. And according to Greek mythology, Zeus was always lying to his wife Hera to cover up the affairs he had with gods, nymphs and mortal women. So the Cretians needed reassurance that the God of the Bible wasn’t lying in promising them eternal life, an assurance that Paul was more than happy to give them in an epistle that became a part of God’s written Word.
By the way, did you ever wonder why the gods of the Greeks were such moral degenerates? Why would anyone invent gods who were guilty of lying, cheating, stealing, fornicating, and even killing? It was because if your gods acted like that, it gave you an excuse to act like that! The Greeks invented such gods to justify their own sinfulness! After all, the gods couldn’t righteously deny men entrance into heaven because of their sins if they themselves were just as morally depraved!
How different is the God of the Bible! The Bible doesn’t justify men by lowering God to their low level of wickedness. The Bible justifies men by lifting them up to God’s level! As the Lord Jesus Christ hung on Calvary’s cross, God made Him “to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (II Corinthians 5:21). That means if you’ve trusted Christ as your savior, you have the very righteousness of God. God Himself is no more righteous than you are, for you have been “made the righteousness of God.” And that means God can’t righteously deny you entrance into heaven, for He has lifted you up to His own level of righteousness.
If that makes you feel eternally secure, say amen!
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.