Summary: Ananias and Sapphira found out what a big mistake lying really is. Hopefully we can also learn to avoid that mistake.
A. Today’s lesson completes the series we have been in called “Avoiding Life’s Biggest Mistakes.”
1. I hope and pray that the series has been a blessing to you!
2. The last topic in our series is “Avoiding the Mistake of Lying.”
B. You’ve probably heard the old story of the two high school friends who got spring fever and skipped their morning classes and had a big time.
1. When they went into school that afternoon they said to the teacher, “Sorry we’re so late. We had a flat tire on the way to school.”
2. The teacher, who was sure they were lying, smiled and said, “That’s fine. No problem. All you missed this morning was a test, and I’ll let you make it up right now. Just take separate seats and get out a piece of paper.”
3. Once they were seated, the teacher smiled again and continued, “All right, question number one: Which tire went flat?”
C. Most of us know and believe that honesty is the best policy and that sooner or later, lies always cost us.
1. But if we are honest, we will admit that telling the truth isn’t easy and that from time to time we are tempted to lie.
2. One of the challenges of this subject is coming to grips with what is really involved in dishonesty.
3. Satan is so crafty and we are so sinful that we even find ourselves being dishonest about dishonesty.
4. Whether it is little “white lies,” stretching the truth, exaggeration, cheating in school, at work or on our taxes, all of these things are easily justified by dishonest people.
5. Someone has said, “those who believe it is alright to tell little white lies soon grow color blind.” (Austin O’Malley)
D. Sad to say, but more and more people are justifying all kinds of dishonesty.
1. In the book, The Day America Told the Truth, the researchers revealed the following statistics:
2. 91% of those surveyed say that they lie routinely about matters they consider trivial.
3. 75% said they lie to their best friends regularly.
4. 86% of teenagers said they lie to their parents.
5. 32% said they wouldn’t report $2000 in cash earnings to the IRS.
6. 58% said they have called in sick to get a day off from work.
E. Another survey of 12,000 students revealed that 74% of high school students said they had cheated on an exam at least once in the past year.
1. That’s up from 61% of students surveyed in 1992. (just 15 years)
2. Here’s something really scary – I read that a noted physician recently appeared on a network news show and proclaimed, “Lying is an important part of social life, and children who are unable to do it are children who may have developmental problems.”
F. After doing 3.8 million background checks Automatic Data Processing Incorporated announced that 52% of job applicants had lied on their resumes. (that’s over half!)
G. I share these statistics for the purpose of opening our eyes to the extent of the problem.
1. Dishonesty is a big problem in our world.
2. And usually if it is a big problem for people in our world, then it is also a problem for some people in our church.
H. (Turn to Proverbs 6) If we don’t already know it, then I hope we will realize today that if a person has a problem with lying, then they have a problem with God.
1. God is clear about His disfavor on lying and liars.
2. Proverbs 6:16-19 lists 7 things the Lord hates and two of them have to do with dishonesty. “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness that pours out lies, and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”
3. Proverbs 12:22 says, “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.”
4. You’ve probably heard the little tune about lying, “Revelation, Revelation 21:8, 21:8, liars go to hell, liars go to hell.” “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
5. So, we see that God has been pretty clear about this subject.
6. Those who tell the truth are blessed, those who do not are not!
I. Their Story
A. There is a well known story in the Bible about someone who lied and paid a terrible consequence for their lie.
1. Rather than a person, we are talking about a couple. Their names are Ananias and Saphira, and their story is found in Acts 5.