The Tremendous Ten: Liar Liar

The Tremendous Ten: Liar Liar 

Welcome: The Lies We Tell
1.      I’m Fine
2.      I’m 5 Minutes Away
3.      Let’s Keep in Touch
4.      I Totally Forgot to Do That Thing You Asked Me to Do
5.      My Phone Died
6.      I’ve Been Swamped Lately
7.      I’m Busy That Day
8.      I Love It!
9.      Yeah, I’m Listening
10.    Oh Yeah, I Remember You

Proverbs 19:9 ESV 
A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish.

Proverbs 12:22 ESV
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who act faithfully are his delight.

Psalm 101:7 ESV 
No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.

Opening Illustration: George O’Leary’s Fall From Grace
SOUTH BEND, Ind., Dec. 14, 2001— Five days after naming George O'Leary its new head football coach, the University of Notre Dame announced today that O'Leary had resigned suddenly after admitting to falsifying parts of his academic and athletic background.

For two decades, O'Leary, 55, formerly the coach at Georgia Tech, exaggerated his accomplishments as a football player at the University of New Hampshire and falsely claimed to have earned a master's degree in education from New York University. Those misstatements followed him on biographical documents from one coaching position to another until finally reaching Notre Dame, one of the most coveted and scrutinized jobs in college football.

O'Leary's undoing and the university's humiliation took place in a matter of days, beginning with a series of telephone calls placed this week by The Union Leader in Manchester, N.H., a newspaper trying to report a feature article on O'Leary. What it discovered was that former coaches and players at the University of New Hampshire could not remember O'Leary playing there, even though biographical information in various media guides at teams he later coached claimed he had earned varsity letters there from 1966 to 1968.

When Notre Dame officials contacted O'Leary, he admitted the inaccuracies first about his playing career, then about the master's degree. Both he and university officials agreed he should resign, and in a span of 36 hours O'Leary tumbled from the high point of his career.

''Due to a selfish and thoughtless act many years ago, I have personally embarrassed Notre Dame, its alumni and fans,'' O'Leary said in a statement to the university Thursday night, which university officials released today. ''The integrity and credibility of Notre Dame is impeccable, and with that in mind, I will resign my position as head football coach effective Dec. 13, 2001.''

Friends, there is not one person in this room who is not guilty of lying.  Chances are, you have lied already this morning.  

According to a 2002 study conducted by the University of Massachusetts, 60% of adults can't have a ten minute conversation without lying at least once.

Lying seems to be a way of life for many people. We lie at the drop of a hat. The book The Day American Told the Truth says that 91 percent of those surveyed lie routinely about matters they consider trivial, and 36 percent lie about important matters; 86 percent lie regularly to parents, 75 percent to friends, 73 percent to siblings, and 69 percent to spouses.

Chances are there is someone in this room who was asked “how are you doing” today.  You replied “fine”, smiled, and went on your way.  The truth is that your heart is breaking.  You are really struggling.  Life is not easy and you are feeling the crushing weight of sin in your life.  You are hanging on by a very very thin thread.  But you said fine.  

What about this scenario? Is there anyone in there today that would admit that they received a ticket in the past year for speeding?  Ok, so there are a few of you.  Some of you didn’t raise your hands, bunch of liars.  Just kidding.  

When the policeman came to the window of the car and said “sir/miss, do you know why I stopped you today…”, how did you respond?  

“No officer, I have no idea.”  But you really knew you were speeding.  

Friends, I have done that before.  You have too.  

Not only do we lie to guard and protect ourselves, we hate it when we are lied to. We lie to hide pain and sin but we hate it when others are not honest with us.  

“While Jan was visiting her mother, they went for a walk and bumped into the pastor. "Is this your daughter?" he asked. "Oh my, I remember her when she was this high." Without pausing Jan’s mother said, "Well, she’s twenty-four now." Jan, 35-years-old, nearly fainted on the spot. After everyone had said their good-byes, Jan asked her mother why she’d told such a whopper. "Well," she replied, "I’ve been lying about my age for so long, it suddenly dawned on me that I’d have to start lying about yours too."”

"Everyone wishes to have truth on his side, but not everyone wishes to be on the side of truth." 
- Richard Whately

So, lying is very common.  Honestly, we are all a bunch of liars.  Every single one of us.  Lying has become so common that we forget that there is a cost.  George O’Leary was caught in the lie he perpetuated for decades.  He rode the lie all the way to Notre Dame.  Don’t you think that he was so worried that one day, the lie would be uncovered?  When the truth came to light, O’Leary was embarrassed, his family humiliated, the University was tarnished.  

You see, lying has a ripple effect that we usually never consider.  

Friends, Lying is Common and Costly!

Lying Is Common and Costly!

Exodus 20:16 ESV
16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

We all know the story of the Ten Commandments.  There have been movies made about Moses and the Israelite people. Once liberated, the Israelites enter the desert on the way to the promised land.  Although confronted by God’s presence and blessings, the Israelites grow unruly and lack order.  They begin to fall away from God.  So God creates a covenant with His people.  This covenant comes in the form of the ten commandments.  If the people walk in accordance and obedience with these 10 rules, their lives will be blessed.  If they disobey these rules and break the covenant with God, punishment will come their way.  The Israelites agree and we know the rest of the story.  For hundreds of years, the Hebrews go through a series of keeping and breaking the law of God.  

There are lots of misconceptions about the 10 commandments.  The first misconception is that by keeping the 10 commandments one can be saved.  God never says this.  In fact, we discover that the 10 commandments never lead to salvation.  The 10 commandments were given for two reasons.  First to govern the people.  Let’s be honest, these people are pretty wayward.  At the first hint of Moses’ possible death and disappearance, they build and idol and have an orgy filled display of worship.  God gives the commandments as the foundational rule of government for His people.  Remember, the Hebrews did not have a president, a congress or a senate.  God served both as their focus of worship but He was also the spiritual and physical head of government for HIs people.  So, the ten commandments were foundational to the success and growth of His people.  

Remember what God tells the Hebrews in Deuteronomy 6:6-8.

Deuteronomy 6:6-8 ESV
6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

Second, the 10 commandments are meant to help us understand the depth and depravity of our sin. If the 10 commandments are meant to be the illuminating light, then the shadow is our sin.  We could not fully grasp or understand our sin if it were not for the 10 commandments.  

This is what Paul means when he writes in Romans 7:7. 

Romans 7:7 NLT
7 Well then, am I suggesting that the law of God is sinful? Of course not! In fact, it was the law that showed me my sin. I would never have known that coveting is wrong if the law had not said, “You must not covet.” 

Friends, you need to understand this morning that you will be judged by the law of God.  Found within the first 5 books of the Old Testament, the Torah and the Septuagint are God’s laws.  The ten commandments are the basis for the law.  The law reveals to us the sadness of our spirit and serves as the measuring stick for our actions.  Listen again to Paul’s words in Romans 2:12.

Romans 2:12 ESV
For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.

So, are the ten commandments important.  Yes indeed. 

Transitional Statement:
Friend, today we are looking at the 9th commandment.  “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”.

So, why is the truth important?  Why should we steer clear of lying?  If everyone lies, then why is it a big deal?

Why Is The Truth Important?

I. The Truth Is Evidence of Salvation

For those of you who claim salvation, do you remember that moment?  Do you remember the moment you were saved?  When you took Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you invited the Holy Spirit into your life, mind, and soul.  You asked the Holy Spirit to guide you.  You asked the Holy Spirit to direct you.  Listen to what Jesus says about the Holy Spirit in John 16:13.

John 16:13 ESV
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

Did you catch what Jesus said.  He doesn’t refer to the Spirit as the Holy Spirit, but the Spirit of Truth. This Spirit of truth will guide you, connect you directly to God and reveal to you special insights from the Father.  

Friends, if we truly possess the Spirit of Truth, then there is no place for lies.  How can one say they have the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, and still lie?

Friends if a lie is a bullet, then the mouth is the gun that fires it.  Lies are always spoken and then supported by our actions.  If we have embraced dishonesty, if we lie, then we ultimately have a heart problem.  

Luke 6:45 NLT
A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. 

Lying is a sign that we have a spiritual void in our hearts.  If we possess the Holy Spirit, then there can be no lying. Lying is a part of the old sinful nature.  It has not place in the new found spiritual nature offered in Jesus Christ.  

Colossians 3:9-10 NLT
9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.

Why Is The Truth Important?

I. The Truth Is Evidence of Salvation
II. The Truth Extends Security 

The Problem With Lying…

A. Lying Adds Stress

Did know that a lie planted yields a harvest of lies?  When we speak lies we have to produce more lies to support the lies we have already told.  This constantly circle of lying adds stress to our lives.

“A lie has no legs. It requires other lies to support it. Tell one lie and you are forced to tell others to back it up. Stretching the truth won't make it last any longer. Those that think it permissible to tell white lies soon grow colorblind.”
Austin O'Malley

B. Lying Dismantles Relationships
First, we cannot remember all the lies we told.  Secondly, our lies that are supposed to support the other lies often bring such discrepancy that it breaks the trust that others have in us. Our lying then puts us on edge.  We lose confidence in our selves.  No matter because when we hit that point, we just lie to ourselves.  It is at this point that we become delusional.  We lose all credibility with ourselves and others.  

C. Lying Disables Spiritual Growth  

You might not realize it, but lying damages our walk with God.  Listen to Proverbs 6:16-19.

Proverbs 6:16-19 ESV
16 There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, 19 a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

Twice Solomon mentions that God detests lying.  Lying adds distance between you and God.  

Friends there is safety and security in the truth.  There is blessing that comes in living in the light of the truth.

Philippians 4:8 ESV
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Paul again tells believers in Ephesus that they can stand firm if they possess the truth.

Ephesians 6:16 ESV
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness…

Why Is The Truth Important?

I. The Truth Is Evidence of Salvation
II. The Truth Extends Security 
III. The Truth Exposes Sin

The story is told of four high school boys who couldn't resist the temptation to skip morning classes. Each had been smitten with a bad case of spring fever. After lunch they showed up at school and reported to the teacher that their car had a flat tire. Much to their relief, she smiled and said, "Well, you missed a quiz this morning, so take your seats and get out a pencil and paper." Still smiling, she waited as they settled down and got ready for her questions. 
Then she said, "First question--which tire was flat?"

Not only does the truth bring evidence to one’s salvation but truth also exposes the need of salvation to all mankind.  Our ultimate shortcoming or sin that separates us from a loving God. 

Isaiah 9:2 tells us that people are walking in darkness.  The people are hopeless.  They are stumbling around bumping into things and hurting themselves.  

Satan wants to keep these people in the dark.  He does not want them to open their eyes to see what real life is really like.  He does not want them to see salvation or realize that there is hope.  So, what does Satan do?  He lies and deceives people into believing that the darkness is really light.  Jesus even calls Satan the “father of lies” in John 8:44.

So if people live in the dark, and Satan keeps them there with his lies, what does God do? God wages war on Satan with truth.  

I Timothy 2:3-4 ESV
3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

God sends Jesus His Son to earth.  Jesus is the truth and by this truth we are both set free from the bonds of darkness.  

John 8:31-32 ESV
31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

We are guided into the Father’s presence.  

John 14:6 ESV
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Do you know what the truth that God wants all men to know? He wants them to know that they are sinners. And He wants them to know that because of their sin, they stand condemned to eternity suffering in hell. It would seem that the nice thing for God to do would be to just keep our dirtiness a secret and let us go on believing the lie that we have told ourselves. You know the lie I’m talking about, don’t you. The lie that says that we are ok, that we’re pretty good, that God is going to let us off the hook because we’ve been pretty decent people. The Bible records that “There is a way that seems right unto man, but the end thereof is the way of death.” (Prov. 14:12) The most unloving thing for God to do would be to allow us to continue to believe that lie without challenging it. By telling us the truth, God has given us a way to escape the dangerous situation that we were in. 

So, the truth shows evidence of salvation, extends security of living, and exposes sin.  Friends the truth is so important because it says so much about who we are and what our relationship with God is really like.  If you struggle with dishonesty, confess that sin and begin to work to rid yourself of a lying tongue.  

Closing Illustration:
In the mid 1980’s, there was a story about Reuben Gonzolas, who was in the final match of his first professional racquetball tournament. He was playing the perennial champion for his first shot at a victory on the pro circuit. At match point in the fifth and final game, Gonzolas made a super "kill shot" into the front corner to win the tournament. The referee called it good, and one of the linemen confirmed the shot was a winner.

But after a moment's hesitation, Gonzolas turned and declared that his shot had skipped into the wall, hitting the floor first. As a result, the serve went to his opponent, who went on to win the match.

Reuben Gonzolas walked off the court; everyone was stunned. The next issue of a leading racquetball magazine featured Gonzolas on its cover. The lead editorial searched and questioned for an explanation for the first ever occurrence on the professional racquetball circuit. Who could ever imagine it in any sport or endeavor? Here was a player with everything officially in his favor, with victory in his grasp, who disqualifies himself at match point and loses.

When asked why he did it, Gonzolas replied, "It was the only thing I could do to maintain my integrity."

Let The Truth Set You Free Today!


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