Summary: This sermon deals with the ways in which we lie and deceive ourselves.

Liar Liar Church On Fire

11/1/98 Ezekial 13:1-9 Revelations 21:1-8 Genesis 3:1-15

The story is told of Joe the Butcher who had crafty ways of selling his chickens. He had one chicken left, and he didn’t want to keep it over the weekend. The pastor of the other church in town came into the store. He said my wife sent me to buy a good size chicken to roast for dinner on Sunday. We’re having my boys come back home from college.

Joe said I have just what you need. He went to the freezer and brought out the last chicken and put it on the scale. Joe said, "this one is 2 pounds 3 ounces." The pastor said, "it looks sort of small, do you have anything else?" Joe took the chicken back into the freezer and came back with the same chicken. He put it on the scale and this time said, "this one is 3 lbs 2 ounces. But since you’re a man of the cloth of I’m going to let you have it for the same price." The pastor said, "well thank you neighbor, but come to think of it, the way my boys eat, just go ahead and give me both of the chickens and I’ll pay the higher price for them both.

Just when he least expected it, Joe had been caught in a lie. When was the last time, you like Joe, was caught in a lie? Although we don’t want to admit it, lying is one of the most common sins practiced by Christians with little thought given to it. We say a quick, "Oh God please forgive me" and go on with life.

The world has tried several ways to get around the sin of lying. First lies were classified as little white lies, huge black lies, and bold face lies. But the word lie was still in the description of the action so they went to calling it something else such as mistatement, misrepresentation, slight distortion, and legally accurate statements.

The only problem with lying is that God takes it a lot more seriously than we do. The phrase liar, liar, church on fire has its basis in what happens to all liars in the end. The word of God says, all liars shall have their place in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. That’s another way of describing hell.

Some of us may be thinking lying is somebody else’s problem. Have you ever found your self saying, "if that’s so and so on the phone, tell them I’m not here." "What about telling some one, "you never do anything in this house", "I have to do all the chores", "you always yell at me", "I always have to." Check again when you use the words always and never when describing your behavior or someone else’s. Chances are, you are lying about it.

There are several ways to lie. We can lie by our silence. Who did this?-no response. We can lie by our tongue. It wasn’t me. We can lie by our behavior. "Ooh look what somebody did." Some of us become masters at trying to cut as close as possible to a lie while still maintaining an appearance of telling the truth or living truthfully.

We can become masters at creating loopholes. A mother had disciplined her daughter by taking away her TV privileges for the night. The mother had to go to work that evening. But she had discovered it was not enough to simply tell her daughter, "You cannot watch this tv tonight." Instead she said, you cannot watch this TV or any other TV in the house, nor can you have anyone bring over another TV for you to watch, neither can you call your friend next door and have her place the TV in the window for you to watch, nor use the binoculars to look at the neighbor’s TV across the street.

We attempt to play the same kind of spiritual game with God’s word. Even thought the Scriptures do not expressly state what we are doing is wrong, we lie to ourselves and to God claiming we are technically within bounds.

Why does a God who loves us, minds so much whether or not we lie? A lie does three things. The first thing a lie does is misrepresents the truth and hides the truth. The person lied to does not know the truth; therefore he or she has to act or live upon on a lie. The more serious the lie told, the more dangerous for the person believing it.

The second thing a lie does is it makes a deceiver out of the person telling the lie. A person deceives to get what he or she wants, to seduce someone, or to cover up or hide something. The third thing a lie does is it builds a wrong relationship. Two people cannot possible be friends or live together joyfully if the relationship is based upon lies. Lying destroys confidence, love, trust, hope and security.

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