We have heard it said in life that honesty is the best policy. Lying is not a misdemeanor, but is a grievous sin that can cause us to be thrown into the lake of fire. As John wrote, “All liars shall have their part in the lake, which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Rev 21:8) .
Paul admonishes everyone in his letter to the Ephesians, “That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another” (Ephesians 4:22-25).
The world uses lying to get an advantage in life. The better the liar, the richer the person. It saddens me to witness so called Christians vote for people who blatantly lie. In the election of 2016, America is witnessing lying taken to a new level in the person of Donald Trump. Is it any wonder that he is a very rich man who uses lying to his advantage. What is even more sad is that most every politician lies to some extent or another. Imagine the impact of a “Donald Trump” on the weak minded and little children. Imagine the impact it will have on the churches of Christ and its members. Both the Democrats and Republican lie to get your vote. Christians need to reward only the politicians who have the courage to tell us the truth.
Despite what the world does to get ahead in life, many in the church are doing the same thing. Note the sad message of Titus 1:12, 13: “One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretians are always liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.” Imagine the difficulty of trying to establish a faithful congregation among such people, and yet that is the very task at which Titus was to work so diligently. Souls were and are in danger.
Some speak things, which they ought not for filthy lucre’s sake (Titus 1:11). The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. There are, and always have been religious racketeers. The most dangerous deceivers are the religious receivers. These false teachers subvert whole houses. They should be convicted by sound doctrine so that their mouths are stopped.
Those who depart from the faith, and sear their conscience as with a hot iron, may speak lies in hypocrisy. (1 Tim 4: 1, 2). Liars are among those who cast their fiery darts at the faithful soldiers of the Lord’s army (Eph 6:10- 17).
The love of money, is often the motive of those who speak evil of the way of truth. They make merchandise of men. They speak things, which they ought not for filthy lucre’s sake. They speak feigned words, or lies in hypocrisy. Such men are false prophets. This is the form of dishonesty with which the New Testament deals most often.
Often, the ones we trust the most are the ones who lie the most. Yes, even preachers and elders can go astray and lie to us for earthly gain. Notice 2 Peter 1:21-2:3: “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: But holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: Whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation sleeps not.”
We should all do as the church at Ephesus in regard to false apostles. Note the Lord’s commendation in Revelation 2:2. “I know thy works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you cannot bear them which are evil: and you have tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and has found them liars.” It is easy to see that such men should be marked, avoided, and rejected (Titus 3:10, 11 f; Romans 16:17, 18).
Think seriously of these words from this apostle. “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as you have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly’ and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things)” (Philip 3:17-19). Such enemies of the cross of Christ should not be supported as gospel preachers. They deserve no honor. Let us use again the strong words of the scripture in saying they are to be marked, avoided, and rejected. They are as wolves among sheep. The sheep should be warned.
To stamp this on our minds better let us consider 1 John 4:1. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” Evidently he was right, and that sad situation still prevails. Men are not always what they seem. They transform themselves into another image if they speak lies in hypocrisy (2 Corinthians 11:12-15). “But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion, that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel, for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
The world is filled with liars, this is a fact. Sadly, so is the church. This is why some in the church who speak God’s truth are hated and despised and run from their midst (Gal 4:16). The father of all liars sits on the front pew of every congregation and fills the seats with those just like him (Jn 8:44). This is why elders are rejected and rule by unqualified men prevail. This is why the rich are favored (Jam 2:2-6). This is why women are told that teaching children and other women in the church is not speaking and is okay with God (1 Cor 14:33-40). This is why preachers are being paid two and three times more than the average member (1 Tim 6:3-10). This is why it’s up to you to study God’s Word and challenge these cowards who hide behind their own lies (2 Tim 2:14,15). Resist the Devil and he will run from you (Jam 4:7).