Tuesday, 06 May 2008 17:09
Revelation 21:8 says, "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."
We have heard much discussion on how serious a lie is or is not by the media discussing the character of various individuals. There are attempts to redefine what constitutes a real lie and to say that depending on the circumstances, it is okay to lie. But no matter how our society may distort this word, a lie is always a lie. What is a lie? Stated in simple terms, it is a failure to tell the truth in any way whatsoever. Let's note some things the Bible says about truth and falsehoods.
The Bible clearly teaches that we are to be truthful in ALL things. Philippians 4:8 teaches, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble... if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things." Proverbs 12:17 says, "He who speaks truth declares righteousness, but a false witness, deceit." Ephesians 4:25 instructs us, "Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,' for we are members of one another." Ephesians 4:29 says, "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." In Colossians 3:9, Paul admonishes, "Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds." 1 Corinthians 13:6, speaking of true Christian love says that it, "does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth."
Everything about the Christian life is to be true. We follow the truth which is God's word (John 17:17). This same truth makes us free (John 8:32). In speaking to others, we are to mean what we say (Matthew 5:36-37). We are to buy the truth and not sell it (Proverbs 23:23). We are to be above reproach which demands that we speak and live the truth. This is contrary to the world's idea of what truth is! We live in a society that wants to deny that there is any absolute truth. Consider the words of a U.S. Senator, "Morality is like beauty. It is in the eye of the beholder." Is there any wonder that our nation is so corrupt? We must clearly understand that there is absolute truth and those who reject it will answer to God one day.
Concerning lies, those who practice lies and deceit are spoken of in 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." These words of Jesus say it all. Any time there is an attempt to hide or even cloud the truth, you can rest assured that Satan is behind it. Peter told us, "For he who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit" (1 Peter 3:10). David, speaking of God and His word said, "You reject all those who stray from Your statutes, for their deceit is falsehood" (Psalm 119:118). And let us not forget the text we began with, "...All liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone..." (Revelation 21:8).
But what does "all liars" mean? It means anyone who is guilty of any type of lie. Too many people, while they say that an outright "bold-faced" lie is wrong, will excuse "lighter" forms of lies. For instance: they might say that circumstances dictate whether or not one can lie. They might say, "If a lie is made for a good cause then it's excused." But, I ask, where does the Bible make this distinction?
Some speak in half-truths claiming what they say is not really a lie, but it is certainly not the truth. An example of this is Satan telling Eve she would not die (Genesis 3:4). Note it was this half-truth that caused Jesus to call him the father of all lies in John 8:44. A half-truth involves intent to deceive someone and thus is WRONG!
One can be guilty of supporting a lie by not correcting error that is taught. 2 John 1:9-11 warns us against such behavior.
One who speaks gossip can be guilty of a lie, if what they say is untrue in any way. If they repeat what they have heard without investigation and it is later determined to be untrue, that person is guilty of lying. We must investigate before we speak. (There are other sins associated with gossip, too).
Often times when one gives an excuse, they are lying. If you tell someone the reason you do something or don't do it, and it is not the primary reason, it is a lie. Consider again the excuses of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3. While they were not outright lies, they were hiding the real reason they disobeyed Him, they lusted after the forbidden fruit.
A hypocrite is living a lie. Consider 1 John 1:6, "If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth." Hypocrites are ALWAYS condemned in the scriptures (Matthew 23:13-30).
These are some types of liars. Unfortunately there are probably others. Whatever the case, let us not forget, "all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone." While our country might excuse someone for lying because of the circumstances behind it, rest assured that God does NOT! Let us examine our lives often and ensure that we are not guilty of any type of lie whatsoever.