It’s amazing to me the number of people – many who profess Christ as Savior – who think it acceptable to lie. When the Bible speaks of Heaven it says:
Revelation 21:27 (KJV) And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or MAKETH A LIE: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Revelation 22:14-15 (KJV) Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and MAKETH A LIE.
No liars will be in Heaven. The Bible is very clear on this. God does not condone lying. It was with a lie that Satan twisted the words of God, leading Adam and Eve from Paradise. God is not the father of lies, but Satan is. Jesus told the Pharisees:
John 8:44 (KJV) Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because THERE IS NO TRUTH IN HIM. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for HE IS A LIAR, AND THE FATHER OF IT.
The Bible testifies that “the Law was given by Moses, but grace AND TRUTH came by Jesus Christ”. Though Pilate asked “What is truth?” Jesus declared “everyone that is of the TRUTH heareth My voice” (John 18:37). The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ is supposed to be “the pillar and ground of the TRUTH”. The Apostle Paul told Timothy to withdraw himself from “perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the TRUTH” (1 Timothy 6:5). He also prophesied of the latter days when “men would be lovers of their own selves”, who would “creep into houses, lead captive silly women laden with sins … ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the TRUTH” (2 Timothy 3:6-7).
Are there times when a lie might be justified? Yes, but in a very narrow area. When Joshua sent spies into Jericho the King of Jericho sent men out to catch those spies. The Bible tells us that Rahab – a prostitute – hid those men. When asked if she had seen the men Rahab said “There came men unto me, but I wist not whence they were” (Joshua 2:4), which is a fancy way of saying “I don’t know where they are right now”. She knew where they were, for she had hidden the men under stalks of flax on the roof of her house. She told the soldiers “when it was dark, that the men went out: whither the men went I wot not: pursue after them quickly; for ye shall overtake them.” (Joshua 2:5). On her advice the soldiers went on a wild goose chase while – all along – Joshua’s spies rested on the roof. Did Rahab lie? Yes, several times. Why did Rahab lie? She said:
Joshua 2:11-13 … the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath. 12 Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token: 13 And that YE WILL SAVE ALIVE my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and DELIVER OUR LIVES FROM DEATH.
She lied to save lives. She saved the lives of Joshua’s spies, who surely would have been put to death. She also lied to protect her family’s lives. The spies agreed to save Rahab and her family, then returned to Joshua with the good news:
Joshua 2:24 (KJV) … Truly the LORD hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.
Rahab lied to protect life, much like many good people lied to Nazi authorities when they hid the Jews from the death camps. The Bible notes that Rahab was “justified” in her action of hiding the spies. We read …
James 2:25-26 (KJV) Likewise also was not RAHAB THE HARLOT JUSTIFIED BY WORKS, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Hebrews 11:30-31 (KJV) By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days. 31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
Rahab actually ended up in the earthly lineage of Christ (Matthew 1:5) for her deed. Her lie saved life – many lives. Yet no where in Scripture does God say “Rahab, I approve of that lie”. The fact that she believed on God and saved lives – even at the risk of her own – is what God honored. Her lie was, in this slim case, the lesser of two evils, and God used it for good.
Lying should not be endorsed nor exalted by those who claim Christ as Savior and Lord. We are called to TRUTH. Christ is TRUTH. His way is TRUTH. He never uttered a lie. When questioned and He did not want to answer, Christ spoke not a word. He considered His words before He spoke them, and cherished the truth. We as Christians are called to SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE (Ephesians 4:14-15). We are not to be abrasive in our truth (and I confess – sadly – that many times I have been so) but to speak motivated by love. Most of the evil that the world points out in the Church we bring on ourselves by violating the Law of Truth. The ninth commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness”, has been too freely handled by those who profess Christ.
When we as Christians become like the world in our handling of truth, then there is no light for there is no difference. God told Israel:
Leviticus 6:1-4, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the LORD, and LIE UNTO HIS NEIGHBOR…or hath deceived his neighbour…and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein: Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is GUILTY,”
When I was a kid when someone was caught in a lie we’d chant, “Liar, Liar, pants on fire!” If you make lying a habit, and spread lies through gossip rather than going to the source and finding out the truth, you may have more than pants on fire. Heaven is not for liars.