How should we respond to lies?
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to witness the embrace of lies by society as it’s been the case lately. I believe we are facing a “truth war” crisis. The masses seem to be oblivious to the fact that we are being lied to every single day. Just the other day I heard a reporter say that voters couldn’t act because they must first wait and see whether the promise a politician made would come true or not. How should we respond when society has fallen prey to a culture of lies?
I’ve been following some of the debates in parliament and I’m amazed at the ability of politicians to analyse the same data and come up with opposing conclusions. We see the same thing on social media. It is common to find opposing views about the same thing. Have you noticed how people’s opinions and feelings are being confused with the truth. Will we wake up one morning and find that truth have been replaced by opinions and feelings?
Have you noticed how many lies have been exposed lately? What I find disturbing is a growing trend among society to defend lies. Why would anyone trust a liar? People who lie are being appointed to positions of power while those who speak the truth are being ridiculed. Society seems to be oblivious to the fact that lies and deception are two sides of the same coin. According to the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy: “A lie is an untruthful assertion… Hence, a lie involves an intention to deceive.” (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/lying-definition/).
The world is filled with lies and deception. Believers should not be susceptible to lies and deception because they are supposed to know better. Jesus warned His disciples to be aware of deception (Matthew 24:4). Scripture teaches that Satan is the father of lies, and it is in his nature to deceive. Believers are supposed to be aware of Satan’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11). We should not randomly accept what the world says because the world is under the power of the devil. We read in 1John 5:19 “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” (ESV)
The apostle Paul said to the believers in Colossians 3:9-10 “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.” (ESV). Paul exhorts the Colossian believers not to lie to one another. Why? It is because they are no longer slaves to sin. They do not have to do the things they used to do. Lies and deception are characteristics of the unregenerate.
Believers have been set free from the power of sin and death. We live in the light as Christ is in the light. God’s children have victory over sin and they do not have to tell lies, manipulate and deceive. They are people who love the truth and expose lies whenever they hear it. The world is under the power of the god of this world and he controls and manipulates through lies and deception. Paul reminds the believers in Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the world’s rulers, of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” The unregenerate hates the truth and embrace lies because they are under the power of the god of this world who lies and deceives (Ephesians 2:2) and he is a murderer from the beginning.
Jesus said in John 8:44 as He rebuked the Pharisees: “You are of the devil as father, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and did not abide in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
In 2 Thessalonians 2: 8-12 the apostle Paul gives the Thessalonian believers clear perspective on what will happen in the world as we approach the second advent of Christ. Paul wrote: “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the breath of His mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming, whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceit of unrighteousness in those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, so that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, so that all those who do not believe the truth, but delight in unrighteousness, might be condemned.”
Prior to the second coming of Christ, there will be a culture of lies among those who perish. Remember that lying and deception are like two sides of the same coin. Satan, the father of lies, is hard at work to establish a culture of lies in society. As a society deteriorates into a state of unrighteousness there will be an ever-increasing culture of lies. As the culture refuse to receive the love of the truth, God will send them a strong delusion to the extent that they will believe lies rather than the truth. The unbelieving world will progressively lose the ability to think logically, and they will continually migrate toward everything that is not true.
It is hard to imagine, but the church is the target of the great deceiver. If Satan can deceive believers and get them to accept his lies, he will be able to defeat them. In a culture of lies the line between truth and lie becomes blurred and Satan uses this confusion to catch those who are unaware of his snare. Revelation 12:17 gives a warning of Satan’s intentions: “Then the dragon (Satan) became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus…”
One of the ways Satan fights this war is by using the unregenerate to create a culture of lies. Once the culture of lies is established he can spread whatever he desires, and the unregenerate masses will receive it. The church is called to expose the lie by telling the truth. When the truth is suppressed within a culture of lies, the unregenerate becomes deaf to the truth being proclaimed by the church.
Throughout the New Testament we find instructions about lies. We read in Ephesians 4:25 “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbour, for we are members one of another.” Paul addressed the issue of lies among believers because it became a problem in the church.
In 1 John 2:21 the apostle Johan writes: “I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth.” A lie as a lie and the truth is the truth. As believers we are called to speak the truth in love and to expose all the works of darkness. We should not participate in anything which is not of the truth.
The apostle John reminds his readers what the penalty is for being a liar. We read in Revelation 21:8 “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.”
As God’s children we are called to be children of the light because God is light. In God there is no darkness. 1 John 1:6 says: “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” As believers we should walk in the light of truth. Our lives should reflect what it means to be children of the light. When lies are presented as truth we should expose it and boldly proclaim the truth even if it is unpopular. Believers should embrace truth and refuse the lie. If we do, lies will not be able to get a foothold in the church because it will be expose by the truth every single time. Stand as a proponent for the truth and reject all lies – that’s who we are in Christ!
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