Let me begin by saying that I am the world’s worst mechanic. I know how to change a tire and change the oil and other simple “fixes”, but when it comes to anything even slightly mechanical, I don’t have a clue what I’m doing!

I was recently driving around Knoxville when my Hyundai Santa Fe began making a faint, squealing sound. Immediately, my heart sank and my mind began racing, thinking of all the things that could possibly be wrong with my vehicle. But, before the feeling of dread could go too far, my hand reached up and turned the radio on. Without another thought, I turned up the volume of the radio until I couldn’t hear the sound of the squealing anymore.

It didn’t occur to me at the time, but later I realized that I had done the very thing that I so often preach against. Without even realizing it, I had tuned out the unpleasant truth by listening to a comforting lie.

The Bible says that “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tim.4:3-4).

As believers, it is easy for us to see this going on in the world around us. Evolution, for example, is being taught and accepted throughout our education system, with no sound scientific evidence to back it up. It is truly a “fable” that a lost man uses to tune out the revelation that there is a God who created him. Often times a lost man will fall under conviction, but rather than face the truth and get saved, he will turn to drugs, psychology, or religion in an attempt to sooth his conscience and avoid dealing with the real problem.

Unfortunately, we can see this truth displayed throughout much of professing Christianity as well. Most mega-churches are built upon the very principle found in 2 Timothy 4. They do not teach sound doctrine. They leave out negative subjects like sin, hell, and judgment. They tell people convenient lies and half-truths in order to build a large congregation. And, to make matters worse, they have been incredibly successful in these last days!

But, what my car situation taught me is that we all have a tendency to tune out the truth. We are all perfectly capable of lying to ourself in order to remain comfortable. Even as an Independent, Bible-believing Baptist pastor, a strange noise in my car taught me that I am not exempt from the same temptation.

As a believer there are many inconvenient, negative truths that we must accept and remember on a daily basis. Sin is real and it is destroying lives, and homes, and churches. Hell is a reality. It is a place of eternal fire, darkness, and torment and people that we know are going there every day. As Christians, “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” (1 Cor.5:10). We will one day give an account of our service for Christ and we will either receive a reward or suffer loss.

If we tune out these truths with worldly distractions then, just as with my car, the problem will only get worse. If we fail to confess sin and fight against sin in our lives, then we will surely drift further and further out of fellowship with the Lord. If we ignore the reality of Hell, we will be forced to one day look back in regret at many of our loved ones and neighbors who died and went to that awful place. We must take heed to the truth now, while there is still time to do something about it.

The good news is that we have a God who loves us and desires to break us of self and build us up into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. If we will seek the truth, facing it head-on, it may be difficult at first, but it will ultimately lead to true liberty in Christ.

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).