The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify in Rome.”
Acts 23: 11 (ESV)
By law, when subpoenaed to testify in court the only permissible testimony we can offer is that based on factual information, or put more simply the truth. For what good is hearsay or erroneous testimony when facts are the essential ingredient required to discern the absolute truth. We are sworn to tell, “The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help us, God.” This important caveat is often condensed to, “just the facts” by those investigating or litigating a case. For only the facts bear witness to the whole truth.
And just as Jesus and Paul spoke only the absolute truth concerning their divine commission, we too should faithfully testify to the truth, and only the truth, from the integrity of an honest heart when sharing the Good News of the New Covenant. For the authenticity and authority of the salvation message are faithfully portrayed by the facts presented in the Word of God and through the powerful testimony of the Holy Spirit.
These are the facts, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, born of a virgin, having led a sinless life on Earth was crucified and died once for all time in reparation for all our sins past, present, and future and was resurrected to God’s right hand where he sits in sole command of the entire universe. We are, therefore, forever cleansed and sanctified as a result of his blood sacrifice on our behalf. Our belief in this great commission of Christ Jesus is our passport to God’s eternal Kingdom here on Earth and in Heaven.
That crucial decision we must all make in our lifetime to effectively confront our spiritual destiny can only be made with absolute certainty and with peace of mind when we are fully informed of all the facts that point directly at the truth required to make that decision wisely. For lies are the enemy’s tools-of-trade.
To eliminate all sources of confusion, Jesus Christ was more concerned with conclusively relaying all the facts of his great commission than he was about any embellishment or dramatic impetus put on delivering the Gospel message. Collectively, the facts carry the burden of truth directly to the heart, validating his righteous mission, which in turn, compels us to consider their ultimate impact very carefully. The essential promise, which Jesus gave to Paul, to fully protect him all the way to Rome, was not based on Paul delivering a dynamic address to an overflow crowd at the Coliseum but was to ensure that he, once again, presented just the facts to those sensitized and compelled to hear and respond.
Dear Heavenly Father, keep the hope we have in you vitally alive in our own hearts and in the hearts of others whom we may share our hope with, by the confidence we confer on the facts that truthfully testify to the eternal victory courageously achieved on our behalf by Jesus Christ. Amen.
A F Fischer