A Christianís approach to life situations part 17

Lying

 

Lying is one of the most tempting and easy sins that a Christian can commit. Sometime we find it easier to lie than to tell the truth. Some of the latest Twix commercials have played on this idea and they have come up with their own way to keep you from actually having to say the truth in difficult situations. The first one I remember is a man was sitting on the couch watching some TV eating on his Twix barwhen his wife comes in and ask him if her outfit makes her look fat and of course this was a large woman and she had on spandex. He quickly shoves the whole Twix bar in his mouth and then answers the question. Of course you couldnít understand what he said, but the woman assumed the best and told him how sweet he was. Once she left the room he wiped his brow in relief.

 

While this might make us laugh its situations like this that tempt the Christian to lie. However, we will learn in this lesson that a Christian should avoid lying at all cost because it is a sin.

 

One of the first things we need to realize about lying is where it comes from,

 

John 8:44 "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

 

Jesus was rebuking some Jews who would not believe Him and said that the devil was their father. He also tells us that the devil has no truth in him and he is the father of lies. He is the one who invented it and he is the first one we read about using a lie to deceive in,

 

Genesis 3:4Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die.5 "For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

 

The devil is good at telling lies. He loves to mix in a little truth with his lies to make them more believable. That exactly what he did with Jesus when he tried to tempt Him. Remember how he would quote scripture to Jesus trying to get Him to sin, but Jesus knew his tricks and was now fooled by him and said,Away with you, Satan.

 

So we need to keep in mind that when we decide to tell a lie, that we are making Satan our father and we joining forces with him. Anytime you decide to lie, just visualize in your mind the devil putting his arm around you and patting you on the back telling you what a great job you are doing. Imagining that should make the hairs on your neck raise up and make you think twice about lying to someone.

 

If you are someone that lies all the time I hope you have good memory because itís going to be hard for you remember what lie you told a week ago or a month ago. However, if you donít tell lies you donít have to worry about this because your story will always be the same. Once a person realizes that you like to lie, they will never trust what you say even when itís important.

I am reminded of the children story of the boy who called wolf. He called wolf several times when there was no wolf to play a joke on the people, but when a wolf really was there and he cried wolf, no one would come because they figured he was lying and the wolf got to eat as much as he wanted.

 

Next we are going to examine several examples from the Bible of why people lied and what the results were from it.

 

Genesis 4:8 Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.9 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?"10 And He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground.11 "So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand.12 "When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth."

 

In this familiar story we know that Cain was jealous because God accepted Ableís sacrifice, but he didnít accept his. So, he kills his brother over this. Now when God asked him where his brother was what did Cain do? He lied. Why did he lie? Because he didnít want anyone to know what he had done. But his lying didnít do him any good when it came to God because no thought or deed can be hidden from Him. What was the result of his lie? He became cursed and the ground would no longer produce for him as it had and he would always be on the run like a fugitive.

 

This teaches us that nothing escapes the eyes of God. In fact Jesus tells us,

 

Matthew 12:36 "But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.37 "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

 

We need to realize that God is listening and He doesnít miss a word. Knowing this should encourage us to choose our words wisely and to avoid lying.

 

Our next example comes from when Josephís brothers wanted to get rid of him because they were jealous of him. Instead of killing him, they sold him into slavery and they decided to lie to their Father about what had happened as we can see in,

 

Genesis 37:31 So they took Joseph's tunic, killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the tunic in the blood.32 Then they sent the tunic of many colors, and they brought it to their father and said, "We have found this. Do you know whether it is your son's tunic or not?"33 And he recognized it and said, "It is my son's tunic. A wild beast has devoured him. Without doubt Joseph is torn to pieces."34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put sackcloth on his waist, and mourned for his son many days.35 And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and he said, "For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning." Thus his father wept for him.

 

Jealousy is what drove these brothers to lie. Instead of dealing with their problem in a positive way they got rid of their brother and simply lied to cover it up. At the time, they thought it was great idea and thought their father would get over it soon enough, but as we read this made Jacob extremely sad and he could not be comforted and he states that he would mourn his son until the day he dies.

 

This shows that while a lie may seem like an easy way to cover up something evil that you have done and to make your life easier it can still hurt someone else. After his brothers saw how much Jacob was hurt by this scheme they concocted, you know they felt guilty for the misery they had caused him. So, we need to keep this mind before we lie to make things easier for ourselves.

 

Our next example comes from,

 

Acts 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet.3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?4 "While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.

 

As the story goes on we know that His wife tells the same lie and she is struck dead by God as well. But, what motivated these two lie? Well, as I mentioned this morning they were being greedy and wanted to keep part of their money while pretending to give it all away. But, another possible reason they did this was so they would receive the praise of others. Right before this event, Barnabas had sold his land and gave all the money from it to the apostles. It certainly possible that the people were praising him for making such a great sacrifice and so Ananias and his may have wanted this same praise.

 

They didnít have to lie about what they had done because their land and their money was theirs. They could give part of it or all it. Nobody was demanding that they give it all. But, since they lied about it, the result was physical death.

 

This is another result that can come from lying. Now, God is not going strike you dead today for telling a lie. However, if you tell the wrong person a lie, they could kill you or someone else.

 

Another example comes from,

 

Matthew 26:69 Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, "You also were with Jesus of Galilee."70 But he denied it before them all, saying, "I do not know what you are saying."71 And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, "This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth."72 But again he denied with an oath, "I do not know the Man!"73 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, "Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you."74 Then he began to curse and swear, saying, "I do not know the Man!" Immediately a rooster crowed.75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." So he went out and wept bitterly.

 

If you will remember Peter had told Jesus earlier that he would never deny Jesus even it would cost him his life. But now, we find him lying because he is afraid for his life. These people were sure that he was one of Jesusí disciples, but He denied it 3 times before the rooster crowed. The results of his lie caused him to be overwhelmed with guilt and disappointment in himself.

 

This same thing can happen to us today when we lie. Sometimes a Christian will lie about being a Christian when they want to fit in and they will engage in some sinful activity, but afterwards when they reflect on what they did they too will be overwhelmed with guilt and disappointment in themselves.

 

Our next example shows how some use lies and deception to lead people astray.

 

2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

 

There have always been false prophets and false teachers in the world and they have learned well from the master the devil because they like to cover up their false ways by claiming they love God. They will use scripture and mix it in with their own opinions and hidden agendas and they will manipulate you with their deceptive words.

 

An example of this comes from 1 Kings 13 when God sent a man to go to Bethel to speak a prophecy to King Jeroboam about the alter he set up. Once he spoke it to him, Jeroboam invited him to come eat with him, but the man said,

 

1 Kings 13:8 If you were to give me half your house, I would not go in with you; nor would I eat bread nor drink water in this place.9 "For so it was commanded me by the word of the LORD, saying, 'You shall not eat bread, nor drink water, nor return by the same way you came.' "10 So he went another way and did not return by the way he came to Bethel.

 

Next an old prophet catches up to this man and invites him to eat with as well and once again the man of God says he would not because God said he could not. But watch how this prophet lies to manipulate this poor man,

 

1 Kings 13:18 He said to him, "I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the LORD, saying, 'Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.' " (He was lying to him.)19 So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house, and drank water.

 

Just because this man claimed to have a message from God, he believed it and went and ate with this man. As the story continues the man of God finds out that this prophet had lied and that he had broken Godís command and that he would die after he left this man house and sure enough he did.

 

What we need to learn from this story is that we cannot believe someone just because they claim to be a Christian or gospel preacher. When we have guest preachers come we might assume that they are going to preach the truth and I am sure that they will, but we cannot put our minds on in neutral and just accept everything they are saying as being Biblical. We must open our Bibles and compare what they are saying to it what it says. If it doesnít match up then we can know that they are lying or misinformed.

 

So, the best way to keep from getting duped by a false teaching and finding yourself sinning against God is by studying your Bibles and being like the Bereans by searching the scriptures daily see if what is being said is so.

 

Now, letís take a look a few verses that defines what else can make a person a liar,

 

1 John 2:4 He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

 

A person doesnít have to speak a lie to be a liar. They way they live their life can make them a liar because if they claim to be a Christian and then they do not follow Godís commands then they are a liar. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

 

1 John 2:22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

 

This means that all atheist, Jews and everyone who denies Jesus as being the Son of God are liars.

 

1 John 4:20 If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

 

If you hate you brother you are liar.

 

1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

 

The Bible makes it clear that we have all fallen short of Godís glory and we all sin from time to time and to deny this makes you a liar.

 

Now lets take a look at how God views lying.

 

Proverbs 6:16 These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:17 A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood,18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil,19 A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.

 

Notice two of the seven things mentioned have to do with lying and God hates these things and views them as an abomination. Since God hates lying and views it as an abomination, surely we can see that as Christians we should stay far away from lying. Proverbs 13:5 says that a righteous man hates lying and this should be the case because if God hates it, we should hate it to. This is why Paul tells us in,

 

Ephesians 4:21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind,24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.25 ∂ Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another.

 

Once again we can see that lying should not be part of a Christianís life. The book of proverbs and the book of Psalm says that the liar will not go unpunished and must be stopped. Lets look at few of these.

 

Proverbs 19:5 A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who speaks lies will not escape.

 

Proverbs 12:19 The truthful lip shall be established forever, But a lying tongue is but for a moment.20 Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy.22 Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal truthfully are His delight.

 

Psalm 63:11 But the king shall rejoice in God; Everyone who swears by Him shall glory; But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped.

 

Psalm 31:18 Let the lying lips be put to silence, Which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

 

All of the verses confirm that if we love God and we are going to be servants of righteousness then we must not lie. However, if you are still not convinced that lying is that big of deal I have saved the best verse for last that should encourage any God fearing person not to lie.

 

Revelation 21:7 "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.8 "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

 

John is letting us know that lying is a sin and that it will keep us out of heaven and it will cause to be cast into the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which of course is referring to hell. So, if donít want to go to this horrible place, then donít be a liar. Instead, be a person who tells the truth and stands for the truth.