By B. E. Echols
Lying Defiles and Destroys
Lying defiles and destroys one’s veracity and reputation to the extent that it makes him an unfit subject for earth and heaven. We read in Revelation 21:27, “There shall in no wise enter into it [the New Jerusalem] any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie.” Again we have the words of Jesus: “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness [some more lying], blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man” (Matthew 15:19-20). The person who gets into God’s church and abides there, and who will eventually make it to heaven, must speak the truth from his heart. (See Psalm 15:1-5.)
Lying Disqualifies One for All Responsible Positions
For a person to be responsible and trustworthy, he must necessarily be truthful. As the title of our section states, lying disqualifies one for all responsible positions, in or out of the church. If lying produced no other results than this one, from a spiritual viewpoint, it would be sufficient to rob one of all honor and rewards here and hereafter. Let not anyone think that he will gain any favors with God by lying. He will rather lose all he has gained, if he has anything to lose. A pastor or leader in the church who will promote one to a responsible position, whom he knows to be untruthful (guilty of lying), is a fool, and he will reap his foolish decision. In fact, lying demotes one in God’s sight, and the same should be true with us unless one repents and forsakes such practices. Lying puts one on that downward march to ruin, destruction, and eternal punishment.
My friend, if you are guilty of lying in any form, your face is not set heavenward but is turned toward that awful pit where there is weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. Let me plead with you to repent of this sin and all others and obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, that you might be saved from that horrible pit. (See Luke 13:5; II Peter 3:9; Mark16:15-16; Acts 2:37-38.)
Lying Is Deceptive and Misleading
If you do not want to be guilty of leading someone astray or be the cause of someone missing heaven, you had better not lie in any manner. Even to lie about there being a Santa Claus might cause some child to be deceived to the extent he would not believe that there is a God, or that the child Jesus was ever born into the world as the Bible informs us. It is an awful thing to deceive or mislead anyone. The blood of such people will be on the guilty one’s hands when he stands before the judgment bar of God as surely as he does not repent and obtain forgiveness.
The awfulness of lying is that it often misleads good people, honest-hearted people, people with a desire to do God’s will, and puts them on the wrong road to success and heaven. Read the story of the man of God in I Kings 13 and see how a lying prophet (preacher) caused him to disobey God and lose his life, which is typical of us losing our souls. The man referred to in the foregoing chapter certainly must have been a wonderful man of God. His name is not given, but he is referred to fifteen times by this most worthy title: “the man of God.” Just think of it, a man like this deceived and misled by a lie! There was a cause for this terrible tragedy, though, on the part of the man of God. He had been plainly and definitely informed by the Lord concerning what he must do, and he should not have listened to or obeyed the false prophet. You and I should measure our lives to the standard given in God’s Holy Writ, if we want to make our calling and election sure. What people say about it may sound good and easy, but man did not have anything to do with the mapping out of the plan of salvation, nor can he change it. There is, “one lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). He who endeavors to get to heaven or to get others there in a different way than what God has planned, is going to make a mess of things and land himself and his followers in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.
It Causes Many to Lose Their Natural Lives
This was true with the man of God we have just been writing about. The lying prophet did not only get him out of the will and favor of God, but he wound up in the path of the lion that slew him. The lion in that story represents the devil who will get us if we follow lying fables and preachers who do not correctly divide the Word of truth. (See I Peter 5:8.)
Then we have the case of Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, whose lives were taken by the Holy Ghost because of their lying to Peter and the apostles concerning an offering they were giving to the church. (See Acts 5:1-11 for the whole story.) This should almost make the hair stand up on the heads of people who lie in any manner. Especially should this be true of those who have once known God and have been filled with the Holy Ghost, as Ananias and his wife were.
King Ahab is another one in the long list of those who have lost their lives by obeying lying preachers and prophets. Read the complete story as given in I Kings 22:2-38 and note the difference in the predictions of Micaiah, the true prophet of the Lord, and the lying prophets of Ahab. Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, came near to losing his life in this battle with the Syrians, and many soldiers undoubtedly did, because he and Ahab followed the instructions of those “lying prophets.”
About the worst tragedy recorded in the Bible leads back to a lie told by David to a priest at Nob, by the name of Ahimelech, when he was fleeing from Saul. He told Ahimelech that he was on an errand for Saul, when the truth was almost the reverse. David was only lying to him to obtain a sword and something to eat. He later found out, to his astonishment, that his lying had occasioned the death of Ahimelech, eighty-four of the priests of his family, and all the inhabitants of Nob, the city where the priest lived. No history gives any exact information as to the size of Nob, but since it is called a city, we conclude that several thousand people must have lost their lives over this one lie that David told. It is bad enough for one to lose his own life and soul for lying, but when it comes to one’s lying causing the death of such a great number of holy men of God and innocent men, women, and children, who possibly never knew or thought of David’s telling the priest a lie, it is an awful thing to think about. It seems that the Spirit of God in me wants to cry out to the world: “Stop that lying, mankind, before you destroy yourself and all the inhabitants of the earth!” Many a person has gone to an untimely grave because of some lie being told either by himself or by someone else.
I trust that those who read this book have not occasioned the death of anyone by lying, and that you never will; also that you will not be instrumental in causing anyone to lose his soul by misrepresenting the true plan of salvation. Above all things that one presents or recommends to a person, he should be certain and positive about the correctness of his representation of the gospel of Jesus Christ or the plan of salvation. Be sure you understand it, and better still, be a partaker of it yourself, before you try to present it to someone else (II Timothy 2:6).
Lying Makes One Abominable before God
“These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood”—Solomon [Proverbs 6:16-17] God does not want to behold or look upon things that are an abomination in His sight. In fact, He hates such things. This means that He hates a lying tongue; but through His abundant mercy He will forgive and save such a person, if he will repent and forsake such practices. Revelation 21:27 assures us that no liar will ever get inside the pearly gates of the New Jerusalem. When it is summed up, we can see that God does not watch over professed Christians who lie, not to protect, heal, or save them. They are roaming around free and open to the attacks of Satan, who is always on the alert to devour such people.
Lying Is Contagious
Lying is something to be feared, for it is very contagious. Listen to Satan, or anyone possessed by his lying spirit for a few moments, and he will have you lying. Tell lies and you will soon have a host of converts or followers. Parents, foremen, officials, teachers, and preachers who lie need not be surprised to find their children, employees, students, and converts lying too. The whole world needs to be inoculated against this damnable and contagious sin, the sin of lying. We shall later give you God’s remedy and serum, which is the only thing that will inoculate one against lying. It is a sure remedy and never fails. It will stop the spreading of lying both in one’s own soul and in the soul and lives of others. Some people hate to take it, like many who draw back from the smallpox vaccination, but in the end it pays.
God Hates Lying
Can you see from this paragraph title that it is an awful thing to be guilty of lying? God is not even obligated to chasten one of His children who will lie. Proof of this is seen in the case of Ananias and his wife. Remember, God only chastens those whom He loves. It is good for one’s soul to be chastened of the Lord, if necessary, to keep him from wandering too far away from God (Psalm 119:67, 71) and from being lost. If you doubt that God hates lying, just read Proverbs 6:16, 19. In the sense that God loves a cheerful giver, He hates a liar. Is this not reasonable as well as scriptural? Surely one needs to repent of such a sin as this if he wants to find favor in God’s sight.
Lying Makes One like the Devil
Why does lying make one like the devil? Simply because the devil is the father of lies—the one who begets lies (John 8:44). He who commits sin is of the devil (I John 3:8), and he who tells lies is also of the devil. If you want to be like the devil and take on his appearance, just let him help you tell a lie. The devil undoubtedly has many more children than the Lord. Many church members and professors of Christianity, who claim to be God’s children and lie every day, are badly deceived if they believe such stuff themselves. All liars are children of the devil and to hell they are going, with him, one of these days. (See Revelation 21:8 with Matthew 25:41.)
God Stands Far Off from All Liars
This being true, what about the prayers that many people pray who are guilty of lying in some form or other? God is not near enough to them to hear their prayers. Such sin or sins separate one from God by a long way, spiritually speaking. “Remove far from me vanity and lies,” said Agur (Proverbs 30:8). What is true concerning this person’s desires is true of the Lord. He does not want liars around Him or near Him. The only way a liar can draw nigh to God is by humbling himself, confessing his sin or sins, and forsaking them. (See James 4:8-10; Proverbs 28:13; Isaiah 55:7.) One cannot go on sinning and lying and get near enough to God for God to heal, protect, or guide him, if he never repents. If one is in need of any of these things, he will have to forsake his lying and sinning as God directs and approach Him in a humble manner. The best route is by way of the old-fashioned mourner’s bench and by crying out to God until the soul finds mercy at God’s holy altar.
This article “Reasons Why One Should Not Lie” was excerpted from the book The Sin of Lying written by B. E. Echols. It may be used for study & research purposes only.