OceanSide church of Christ

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Victor M. Eskew

            The political season is in high gear.  It is common for the two sides in a political contest to run “attack ads” against one another.  These ads are designed to wound the opponent.  This writer is not against such ads as long as the truth about the opponent is represented.  Recently, however, the truth does not seem to matter.  Both candidates are seeking to smear the other with lies.  Lying is not an honorable way of conducting business.  It reflects poorly upon the character of the one who tells the lie.

            All lying finds it roots in the evil one.  In one of His discussions with the Jews, Jesus said:  “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.  He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own:  for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).  Satan began his campaign of deceit in the Garden of Eden when he lied about the results of eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  “And the serpent said, unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:  for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:4-5).  His mission of deceit continues unto this day.  The apostle Paul expressed his fear about Satan’s work in II Corinthians 11:3.  “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

            In addition to Satan, we find that false prophets and false teachers are also proficient liars.  These individuals oppose the truth, add to the truth, subtract from the truth, and manipulate the truth.  Paul warned the young evangelist about those who speak “lies in hypocrisy” (I Tim. 4:2).  One of the saddest stories in the Bible is found in I Kings 13.  A young prophet had been sent to the wicked king Jeroboam with a message and specific orders.  “For so it was charged me by the word of the Lord, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest” (I Kings 13:9).  All was fine until an old prophet lied to him.  I Kings 13:18 states:  “He said unto him, I am a prophet also as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with thee into thine house, that he may eat bread and drink water.  But he lied to him.”  The young prophet gave heed to the words of the old prophet.  His disobedience led to his untimely death.  “And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him:  and his carcass was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcass” (I Kings 13:24).  John warns us that there are “many” false teachers gone out into the world (I John 4:1).  Peter noted that “many” would follow their pernicious ways (II Pet. 2:1-2).  It is hoped that none who are reading this article will be numbered in the host of those who are deceived by false teachers.  To protect ourselves we must do as the noble Bereans, and “search the scriptures daily whether those things” are so (Acts 17:11).

            Satan and false prophets are not the only beings who can lie.  It is possible for a child of God to engage in this evil practice also.  In Acts 5, two members of the first century church were caught in a lie.  “But a certain man named Ananias with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet.  But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?...And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.  And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much?  And she said, Yea, for so much.  Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord?...” (Acts 5:1-9).  Because it is possible for Christians to lie, the Scriptures warn against this sin.  To the Colossians, Paul penned these words:  “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds” (Col. 3:9). 

            Dear readers, lying is a very easy thing to do.  It also seems to serve very useful purposes at times.  Very quickly our hearts can become hardened to this sin.  We find ourselves lying to others, lying to self, and even lying to God.  Our lies become such a part of our life that we no longer consider how evil has invaded our character.  Christians must rid themselves of this sin.  Our lies need to be replaced with truth.  “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor:  for we are members one of another” (Eph. 4:25).

            Lying is listed at one of the sins God hates.  “These six things doth the Lord hate:  yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  a proud look, a lying tongue…”  God hates lying because it is diametrically opposed to His nature.  God is absolute truth (John 14:6).  It is impossible for Him to lie (Tit. 1:2).  Thus, He opposes lying in every form.  Not one liar will be found in the heavenly realm according to Revelation 21:27.  “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie:  but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”  In fact, all liars shall be punished in hell’s hot lake of fire and brimstone.  “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8, emp. mine, vme).