Program Air Date - 9-23-01



Thank you for joining us this morning for the Living Word Program. It is always a privilege to have you with us for this time of offering to God. We welcome you to this service for our Creator.

Today, we have the opportunity together to worship and praise our God. This morning we will glorify our Lord through songs of praise and through the study of His perfect Word. Won't you do your part to make this time together acceptable in His sight. Now, let's approach our Father's throne in prayer.

This morning we again want to begin by mentioning one of our sister congregations which helps financially to make this program possible. Today, I would like to introduce you to the Freedom Church of Christ in Montreal, Missouri. This congregation is a newer supporter of our work, and we are happy to have them aboard. We appreciate their like desire to do God's will, as we together reach out to this area with the Gospel of Christ. If you have opportunity, please take advantage of meeting with these brethren - even this morning. Today, they will assemble together at 10:00 a.m., for a Bible class and at 11:00, they will have a worship assembly. This evening at 6:00, this family again comes together to worship God. I hope you will visit with them very soon.

If you have any questions or need further information about this congregation, please feel free to contact me or their minister Charles Pitts. Their phone number is (573)346-1516.

It's time to start our praise through song. Won't you join in the first song of the morning, as we sing together, "Is It For Me Dear Savior!"
(SONG # 1)


As we learn more and more about what took place in New York a few weeks ago our hearts seem to grow heavier and heavier. We continue to learn more about those who perished in the tragedy, thus having confirmed for us the magnitude of this event on our society.

Again, I stress to each of us that the only place to find the help and comfort we need is in Jesus Christ. In fact, those who have lived from the very beginning of time have always been reminded that true peace and comfort is only found in our creator.

Think of these beautiful words found in 1 Samuel 2:2, there we read, "No one is holy like the LORD, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God." Truly God is great and their is no other like Him or besides Him. Also notice the way David said it in Psalm 90:1-2, there we read, "LORD, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God."

You see, it is because of this almighty and powerful God that we can have the confidence that He is there for us and that He can help us. The Bible speaks of our God as the great comforter, the prince of peace, the giver of all, the first and the last. What else do we need besides God, to ease our sorrows, to heal our wounds and to ultimately save our souls.

Where have you placed your confidence today? Who provides your needs and cares in this life? Why not chose to turn to Jesus today to get the most out of this life and to have the help you need. And maybe some of you had left the sheltering wing of Christ, again choose today to come back to Him to find the help, comfort, peace and solace you need in this life. I love the way Peter put it in 1 Peter 5:7, when he said, "casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you."

Our topic today will again focus on our series called "Socially Accepted Sins of Today!" Our specific study this morning concerns, "Lying!" So stay with us and in a few minutes I will return and lead us in our thoughts of the Day. Now it's time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, "Just Over In The Glory Land."
(SONG # 2)


Speaker: Ray Sullins

Again, we're happy you're with us this morning. We're thankful that we have this privilege again to study God's word, and today we want to look at lying, a socially accepted sin of today.

When was the last time maybe you said something that you shouldn't? When was the last time you said something that wasn't true? When was the last time you said something that was misleading? Or when was the last time you said something that really wasn't the whole truth about something else? Well, we've all done it. Haven't we? And that's the problem with lying. Lying is something that has affected all of us at one point or another in our lives and probably more often than many of the other sins that we've talked about throughout our series. Lying is something that many of us are faced with every day. Sometimes we like to classify sins, don't we? We have what we call those big sins and those little sins. But really in the Bible we are reminded that sin is sin. 1 John 5:17, "All unrighteousness is sin." We're also reminded that "all sin leads to death," Romans 6:23. So sin is sin. So there's no such thing really as a big and a little sin. Some things obviously might have more implications. There might be some sins we involve ourselves that more are affected by and might harm more individuals, but yet still sin is sin and sin still has the same judgment.

So lying, when we talk about lying, there's no such thing then as a little white lie or a small lie or a little bit of a stretching of the truth or a bit of not giving the whole truth. Really, as God said, "Our yes should be yes." As God said, "Our no should be no." When we say something, people should be able to count on every word, every breath, every syllable to be something which is worthy and trustworthy and can be counted on according to the righteousness of a child of God. So you see, we do have something to look at this morning that is so important that I've been guilty of before and that you've been no doubt guilty of also, that we can all learn together in.

In the book of Genesis, you might remember there in chapter 3 that after making all that God had made and placing the man and woman in the Garden of Eden, there was the serpent that came to her and he lied to her. Well, you know we might actually look at the context and consider actually what he said. He said that it would give them great wisdom. It would help them to know between good and bad. Really, what Satan was saying in many areas was not necessarily a lie, but was it? Yes, it was. It wasn't a lie in the fact that he just came out and said something that had never been said or wasn't true. For instance, like when he told Jesus if He would cast Himself from the pentacle of the temple that He would not be able to hit a stone, that the angels would bear Him up. He was using scripture, something that had been said by God before. But, he was twisting it and misusing it. So you see, he was considered as lying, just as here he was saying something that yes, may have had a lot of validity to it and to a point may have been right, but the implication that he was trying to give or the way that he was trying to make them feel in relationship to them was that they would be like God and wise and to become God themselves in a sense. So yes, it started there with the very first man and woman. The very first few days it seems maybe that the world had been created and that life was anew on earth. So it's not strange that we should consider that lying is such an important thing, and we should consider really what God has to say about lying.

I want you to look with me if you will in our first text which will be found in the Old Testament. We want to see what the Old Testament has to say, and really I just want to look at one text found there in the book of Proverbs because it says it all in relationship to lying. There in Proverbs chapter 6, I want you to read with me a few verses here beginning in verse 16, as we see some things that are mentioned here as those things that God hates. In fact, He mentions them as they are abominations, in other words those things that disgust Him, that are totally contrary to what He desires of us. In verse 16 it begins to say, "These six things the Lord hates, yeah, even seven are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discourse among the brethren. Notice here in our discussion and what we've just read, lying is mentioned twice. He mentions here the lying tongue. An individual that uses that tongue inside your mouth to actually tell something that is not true, to say things that aren't right, that we know aren't right or aren't the full truth, or that we've held something back that really would make a difference in what we were saying if we were to add that information to our sentences or the story that we are telling. Not only that but we notice further on down in verse 19, "A false witness who speaks lies." You see, someone who is saying something false or witnessing in a false way and is really lying because he is saying something that is untrue, something again that is unfounded, that is not according to the word of God. Notice here it says that God hates these things. These are abominations to Him. Now notice again, it doesn't say He hates the individual. It doesn't say that He hates the soul of this individual. It says He hates what they're doing. God does not hate us, but He hates us when we lie. In other words, He hates what we are doing. He hates what we are saying. He hates that we are misusing our words or saying something that we shouldn't, or holding something back or adding to or not really just saying what has to be said when we are asked a question, not allowing our yes to be yes again and our no to be no. So yes, God hates it. In the Old Testament again we find that clearly God said that lying is unacceptable. Lying was something that a follower of His would not participate in because He hated it and it was an abomination according to His will.

Now let's go to the New Testament, and I first want to go to the book of Colossians there where Paul wrote to this church at Colossi in trying to help them understand something about lying because again as I said, we have all been affected from the very beginning of time by this problem in life, saying at times things that we shouldn't say, adding to things, taking away from what really should be said when we answer a question. So let's see what Paul says there in the book of Colossians. Read with me chapter 3 if you will, verse 8 and 9. He says there, "But now you yourselves are to put off these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth, do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man with his deeds." We see in this list here are those things which are carnal. In fact, if you look at the text, he's talking about those who walk in Christ and those who walk outside of Christ and he says those who walk in Christ are like Him, and those who are outside of Christ are carnal in nature, that is fleshly or evil. Well here it says that if we are to be like Christ, then we will not lie. Why? Because we have put off lying. We have put off that carnal nature, that sinful nature, that wrong nature. Why? We've put if off because we've come like Christ. So you see, lying is just lumped in with all of these other things there. In fact, if you back up to verse 5 he also mentions some other things such as fornication, uncleanness, passions, evil desires, covetousness, idolatry, and then he also mentions the things we've just read about: anger and wrath and malice and blasphemy and filthy language. All of these things, and lying is right there in the middle. When we lie, we do that again which makes us like the old man, like a man who is not in Christ, like a man who is of the world. So again we find here that Paul clearly tells them that lying is unacceptable.

Probably one of the best illustrations and stories we have in the New Testament about lying is found in the book of Acts. If you'll turn there, we want to look at a story about a man and a woman, a husband and a wife, Ananias and Sapphira. If you'll look there in chapter 5 and you'll notice with me in the first several verses, we find exactly what was taking place as individuals were selling what they had in order to give to the treasury of the church so that they might be able to do the work of the Lord in a more fitting way. There in chapter 5 and verse 1, it begins by saying this, "But a certain man named Ananias with his wife Sapphira, sold a possession and he kept back a part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it and brought a certain part and laid it at the feet of the apostles." But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of your land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after you sold it, 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." Twice here, we have in this illustration clearly given for us that Ananias knew something and he lied. Now some might say, "Well but he didn't really say anything." Yeah, that's the truth but he implied when he came before the apostles that he was giving all that he had received from the land and because of that, he was lying here as it says in two ways. First, to the Holy Spirit. Then he said "not just to men" there in verse 4, but he said to who? "To God." God the Father. So again, lying was unacceptable. It was unacceptable why? Because it would lead a man like Ananias who here the apostle says, "Was it not your land?" Peter went on to say, "Did you not have control of it when you sold it? Could you not say to us that we kept this part and we give to you that part which would have been acceptable instead of saying, 'we give you all that we received from the sale of this land. We're giving all into your hands.' " You see, they lied. They told something that was not true, and the way they did it was by not really revealing all that they knew knowing if they had revealed it all that it would not have been according to what people perceived. So again, lying is not just a matter of saying, "Well, I know this to be the case and I'm going to say the opposite and truly tell somebody a lie." That's not only what we're talking about this morning. We're talking about in the case of Ananias and Sapphira, someone who knew more and did not say it or led people to believe something that really was not the full facts or the full truth, and because of that they lied.

I want you to notice also with me the outcome of the lie. All we've got to do there is go to the next verse, verse 5. It says, "Then Ananias hearing the words fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon those who heard these things." Now if you'll notice Ananias came before the apostles, before the church, before the people, before the men and he lied. He lied against the Holy Spirit. He lied against God, as we see here, and because of that his punishment was immediate destruction. He was dead. He died. Not only that but we see about an hour later that the wife came in, caught up in the same deception, trying to again deceive them in the same way, and then was found wanting the same way also. In other words, she did not tell the truth. She did not tell the whole truth saying, "Well yes, we're giving some, but we did keep some for ourselves." You see, she lied also. And in the lie, what happened to her? She fell dead there next to her husband. So again, we find that the outcome to lying is the same that it will be for us if we lie. Maybe we won't be struck down immediately when we lie because yes, we are in a different period. We are in a different time today in the Christian dispensation. We're in a time when we are told that vengeance are the Lord's but they will come in the day of judgment. But yet at the same time we know that when that judgment comes, that if God hates lying and it's an abomination and we are liars, and again you and I know we will be held accountable for that.

I'd like to also mention in relationship to lying that when we lie we are also of someone else, not of God. There's a verse in the Bible that helps us to understand this clearly. If you'll turn with me to John chapter 8, we want to read that verse because this tells us a little bit more about the devil. We're often in our lives understanding about the devil and who he is and what he is all about, and how that he works against God and does things against him. But in this verse here. We have him referred to as the father of evil. Not only the father of evil but notice specifically the thing that is mentioned here is lies. He's the father of lies. So I want you to read that verse with me there in John 8, and we're going to read together verse 44. He said, "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 not truth in him. Where he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources for he is a liar and the father of it." Now clearly here, we see that the devil is being discussed. Now I want you to notice here in your Bible that these are the words of Christ. Jesus Christ here is talking to those who are caught up in a lie. Who are caught up in what lie? The lie here that was contrary to the truth, saying things that really weren't according to the truth. Well, were they saying things that were completely wrong? Probably not. You know the Pharisees, the Sadduccees, and others, many times said things that weren't completely wrong, but yet they didn't say the whole truth, did they? Or sometimes they might add to and mislead again. So again, lying here was not just the concept that you know 'A' to be true and you say the opposite of 'A' and thus you are lying. So here we see though that they were guilty of lying and because they were guilty of lying, they were of their father who is the father of what? The father, as it says here, of lies. So when we are liars, when we choose to do that which is contrary to God which is an abomination, which is part of what He hates, as the Bible tells us, that lying, then again we find ourselves as followers of Satan, doing those things that are again contrary to God's will and according to either our own will or the will of our father, which at that point would be Satan.

There's another verse I might mention, Galatians 6:7-8. It says, "The way that we sow in this life is the way we will reap." When we sow to evil and bad and things and we lie and we do things according to Satan, then we will reap according to that and the punishment that God will give us someday at the judgment. When we do those good things and we bless those who are around us and we work towards God, again, we will receive those great blessings that God has promised us.

There's one verse I want to end with and that's found in the book of Revelation. Revelation 21:8. You've probably heard it before, but it's interesting that out of all of the sins again that are mentioned as well as with Satan there in John 8 is lying in this one in relationship to the final judgment. It says there in 8 of 21 the following: "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderer, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone which is the second death. Here we have mentioned for us something that will send us straight to Hell, something that will cause us to be lost, to be in the fires of Hell, and what is that? One of those things again is lying. If we choose to lie, we must understand that the outcome of lying as a sin is that we will lose our souls, and that we will not receive the rewards that God has promised to us. So let's make sure in all that we say and do that we say that which is true, that our yes again is yes, and our no again is no.
(SONG # 3 - "Farther Along!")


Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our Lord. Let me also invite you to join us every Lord's Day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our Creator.

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May we take more time to say those things that are trustworthy, because Christians never use their speech to misguide or to mislead!
(Program closing)