Dangers In Believing A Lie

2 Thess  2:10-15

 

10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  (KJV)

 

In speaking of certain characters our text declares “because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved”…. that “God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie” and perish.

 

 I want to speak regarding “the dangers of “believing a lie” in John 8:31-32 “Jesus therefore said to those Jews that had believed him, If ye abide in my word, then are ye truly my disciples; 32and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

 

In Psalm 19:7-10  the psalmist declares that ““the law of Jehovah is perfect, restoring the soul, His testimony sure....  In keeping them there is great reward”.   God’s Word  is the absolute standard in determining  whether our lives are anchored securely and whether our hope will stand the test of time.  

 

There is a very, very popular idea held by many today that if one believed a thing to be right, honestly follows that conviction, that it will ultimately land him safe in glory at the end of life’s pilgrimage.  I quickly add, the principle thus stated is not accepted by anyone, save in the matters of religion. To illustrate the principle let me suggest —    A man passing through here stops to get directions to Atlanta, but we sent him on his way driving  north. Does the fact that he believes us, and acts accordingly, guarantee he will arrival in Atlanta as he expects?.   Such A Question Needs No Answer

 

Well again look at the way we make investments, suppose I take all the money I can raise,  Invest it in some “get rich quick adventure”, believing it to be sound investment,  Question—  Does the fact I believe it to be good and true, guarantee that I will not loose my money”? Again   Such A Question Needs No Answer..   Marriage is such an important decision suppose a young woman is considering the hand of a certain young man in marriage, she believes that he is the one to make her dreams come true, when in fact, he is a worthless, character, Now Question — “Does her belief in this man, guarantee her happiness,  if she marries him”? 

 

Now these are rhetorical questions, undeserving of an answer in all the affairs of life “Belief in a proposition does not guarantee the safety thereof.”   It does not work in any of the affairs of our normal daily affairs of life.   Paul did not subscribe to that doctrine,  In 2 Thess 2:10-12 he states-  Because certain ones, “10….received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this cause God sendeth them a working of error, that they should believe a lie: 12that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.   Thus there is something connected with the belief of a lie —  now what it is?     Not salvation but damnation

 

In this wonderful country in which we live , there are Bibles in every home , truth is available on every hand, but so often there is no real love for truth. This passage teaches individual responsibility.   Hence God allows us to be sent a working of  error, that is…. allows us to hear untruths,  and thinking all  Ii well  we can believe these lies and be damned.. Well why? Because there is no love for truth.  It is not enough simply to have the truth, but a person must have a love of it in his heart, or else can be deceived by strong delusions..

 

In the Bible there is a fine story told expressly to demonstrate this principle and is found in 1 Kings chapter13.  Now I want you to follow and study the story with me and  then see if the application is fair and worthy of  our time.                          

 

To preface our text allow me to related the history leading up to it. By year  931-BC Solomon's sins had become  great 10 tribes were taken from him and given to Jeroboam, who became afraid these 10 tribes by traveling to Jerusalem to worship God as He commanded would eventually overthrow their allegiance to him and go back under the rule of David’s lineage .  The solution? He builds  two altars. One at Bethel and one at Dan, makes a golden calf, and said, “it too much for you to travel to Jerusalem, behold your gods, that brought you up out of  Egypt,  and set up a feast day in the eight month that   He devised of his own heart.”

 

On a certain day Jeroboam as  was burning incense to his golden calf, God speaks to a  young prophet instructing him to go down to Bethel and thus speak   1 Kings 13:2 

2And he cried against the altar by the word of Jehovah, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith Jehovah: Behold, a son shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he sacrifice the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall they burn upon thee...                 

 

This young man was told exactly what to do and say,  He understands perfectly,  He does not raise a single question as to what  God's demands of him.  He was told further ““Thou shalt eat no bread, nor drink water, neither return by the way that thou camest.” 1 Kings 13:9

 

In this young prophet, we see a fine, sincere and courageous man, ready to obey God.  He breaks through all the people that had come up to witness the burning of incense to this calf and cries out as God commanded.  His message”     

2 O altar, altar, thus saith Jehovah: Behold, a son shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he sacrifice the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men’s bones shall they burn upon thee”.                                     1 Kings 13:2    And the Bible further says:   verse 3

 3And he gave a sign the same day, saying, This is the sign which Jehovah hath spoken: Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out.”

Jeroboam became indigent (verse 4) and he put forth his hand crying  Lay hold on him! ” his hand became stiff and he could not bring back again  The altar was torn just as the young prophet had stated.     Jeroboam was not unfamiliar with Jehovah... now what? 1 Kings 13:6                   

“And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Entreat now the favor of Jehovah thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God entreated Jehovah, and the king’s hand was restored him again, and became as it was before.”

 

Now what? Well now instead of wrath, instead of  having murder in his heart……… The King was changed to admiration¾ Notice the king's offer!  I Kings 13:7 “And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward”.    A wonderful, temptation, and an offer which he had not expected.

 

Now how would we respond to an offer from a king or president to attend a lunch or banquet?   What will this young prophet do?  Immediately the young man spurned the invitation  saying to the king   1 Kings 13:8-10

8And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thy house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place; 9for so was it charged me by the word of Jehovah, saying, Thou shalt eat no bread, nor drink water, neither return by the way that thou camest. 10So he went another way, and returned not by the way that he came to Beth-el.

 

I submit to you there never has been pictured a finer type of man in obedience to God thus far.   He had listened well, he had not even raised a question as to the instruction God gave him.  A  fine young man not moved by the king's flattery, neither by the offer of gain,  but carried out all that God had ask of him. Now brethren, if our story ended here all would be well¾   But there is another part to our story. As we continue reading our text  reveals  I Kings 13:11-12

11Now there dwelt an old prophet in Beth-el; and one of his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Beth-el: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them also they told unto their father. 12And their father said unto them, What way went he? Now his sons had seen what way the man of God went, that came from Judah.

 

The old prophet of God without doubt knew of Jeroboam's sins and sacrifices, but thought it not wise to raise  his voice up against the King.   His sons had witnessed this wonderful event and related  the story to him.  1 Kings 13:13-15

13And he said unto his sons, Saddle me the ass. So they saddled him the ass; and he rode thereon. 14And he went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak; and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am. 15Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread.

 

I want to point out the attitude and the response of this fine young prophet.  I Kings 13:16

16And he said, I may not return with thee, nor go in with thee; neither will I eat bread nor drink water with thee in this place: 17for it was said to me by the word of Jehovah, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.

 

 This young prophet knew exactly what God had commanded of him.  I cannot return with thee.” Well why not?

17for it was said to me by the word of Jehovah, Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.   Verse 17

 

Watch now as our story goes deeper. The old prophet quickly  answers again.  Verse 18

18And he said unto him, I also am a prophet as thou art; and an angel spake unto me by the word of Jehovah, saying, Bring him back with thee into thy house, that he may eat bread and drink water.   But he lied unto him.

 

This old prophet was anxious to meet and entertain the man who had courage enough to speak out against the king and his sins.  He says “, I also am a prophet as thou art;” True,  and an angel spake unto me by the word of Jehovah, saying, Bring him back with thee into thy house, that he may eat bread and drink water.  But he lied unto him”.

 

 So the young man returned with the prophet and note what happens as we continue reading in  1 Kings 13:20-24

20And it came to pass, as they sat at the table, that the word of the LORD came unto the prophet that brought him back: 21And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee, 22But camest back, and hast eaten bread and drunk water in the place, of the which the LORD did say to thee, Eat no bread, and drink no water; thy carcass shall not come unto the sepulcher of thy fathers. 23And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that he saddled for him the ass, to wit, for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew him: and his carcass was cast in the way, and the ass stood by it, the lion also stood by the carcass.

 

-Here’s a young man able to resist King's offer,  he wasn't a bad man, but a brave one.  He knew what God had commanded him,  but he fell victim to a lie.  The old prophet  was so anxious to have the young prophet into his home... that he framed a lie, not a tale, not story, it is told to us in three letters  L- I- E   He lied to him. And we doubtless would say the old prophet was guilty of the  greater sin.  Why didn't God just punish him,  he told the lie caused the disobedience? 

 

There are many scriptures that warn us of the  of  the destiny of liars,  I especially like the one given in Revelations 21:8  “all liars, their part shall be in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.   The old prophet if he failed to repent, no doubt got his comings,   but I believe the story is recorded that we might see the dangers ‘In Believing A Lie  the fate of this young prophet is a wonderful testimony that “every transgression and every disobedience received a just recompense of reward “ Hebrews. 2:1-2

 

Well I would just like to ask this question!  Is every lie detrimental?   Does damnation necessarily follow every lie we might  hear and believe? And  I'm inclined to say no! There are lies the old prophet could have told him and not caused his death.  He might have found the young prophet resting by the tree, and yelled to him. Run there is a hail storm coming.  It would have been a lie, but would not have necessarily caused the young man to disobey God's command,  Thou shalt eat no bread nor drink water there, nor turn again to go by the way that thou camest.”.  Therefore any lie that we believe that causes us to fail to obey God’s will for us is detrimental to our soul.

 

Now lets give our story application to us…. there are many strange voices today, bringing messages supposedly from God.

“One church is as good as another, worship attendance is not necessary, baptism unimportant”. Lies we hear on every hand.  Hence in Matthew 7:15, Jesus warned;  15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves..

 

There are many today, who are just as interested in obeying God as the young prophet, “But have fallen victim to a lie.   There are many pious, attractive, appeals that, in the last analysis, are nothing but lies, dressed up with every plausible appearance of authenticity by the devices of Satan, but still unqualified lies.

 

That's why this story is recorded for all time. To show us the damnation of falling victim to a lie.  Beloved, there's only one thing we can afford to believe!  What does God word say? Do that don’t fall victim to a lie and be damned for eternity

 

 Most popular lie ¾ There's plenty of time left!   Just put it off, enjoy life for now,  you can become a Christian  after you've sowed your wild oats.   There’s plenty of time.  Only obedience to the truth can set a man free from his sins and set him safely on a course to heaven, John 8:31-32

      

 contact:

Ron Cope Minister churches of Christ

email:  RonCope@chestnutmtchurchofchrist.com

phone:  (678)617-9658