Truth or untruth?

by John E. Werhan

“It ain’t Survivor until the lying starts!”

This statement came across the television in a recent advertisement. Within the advertisement the promoters glorified the art of lying, deception, backbiting and malicious intent among its participants. It seems that our society has become engrossed in the idea that such manifestations are acceptable, if not to be glorified.

Such actions are common not only on television but in the daily existence of the populous. Even small children are seen manifesting these actions in their lives. Have you ever asked a child a question such as, “Did you spill that milk?” and the child respond, “No!” even though you witnessed the incident?

Many wonder why our children lie about such things and where they learned to do this. The answer is such actions are so common in our society that these little ones do not understand it to be unacceptable. And people wonder what is happening to our world?

God in his eternal and all knowing wisdom condemns such acts. God truly knows how destructive lying can be to a society. Under the Law given to Moses for the Israelites God commands, “You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another (Leviticus 19:11).

“You destroy those who speak falsehood; The LORD abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit” (Psalms 5:6).

”My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me. He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me. Every morning I will destroy all the wicked of the land, So as to cut off from the city of the LORD all those who do iniquity” (Psalm 101:6-8).

“Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal faithfully are His delight” (Proverbs 12:22) and “A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will perish” (Proverbs 19:9).

Throughout the teaching of the Old Testament actions such as lying, deception, backbiting and malicious intent are condemned.

The same is true in the teachings of the New Testament. The apostle Paul enumerates what is commonly called “the deeds of the flesh” in Galatians chapter five. Such actions as lying, deception, backbiting and malicious intent are found within this listing (Galatians 5:16-21). Paul also notes that those who practice such things, “…will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:16-21).

In the Colossian letter, Paul notes the contrast between living an unrighteous life and a righteous life (Colossians 3:1-25).

“But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him” (Colossians 3:8-10).

John records the words of our Lord in Revelation concerning such actions:

“But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelation 21:8).

It is a sad reality that many in our society stand opposed to God in their glorification of such actions as, “lying, deception, backbiting and malicious intent.” If an individual desires to receive the promise given by our Lord (Revelation 21:1-4) they will strive to cast such actions and attitudes out of their lives.

Truth will set one free as untruth will condemn one to the abyss.


John preachers for the The Northeast church of Christ in Sentinel, Oklahoma.

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