WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
FEBRUARY 24, 2021
TOPIC: DON’T LIVE A LIE
BY T. O. BANSO
“Outside the city are the dogs — the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie” (Revelation 22:15 New Living Translation).
The pastor was not aware he had been passing in front of the church for some time and had been convicted by the message on one of the banners there: You must be born again. This day, he decided to come inside the church. Obviously, he had no intention of attending the service when he left home.
The Bible study was on when he strolled in midway into the service. He dressed casually and had no joy written on his face. He was an adult and, therefore, nobody would expect anyone would have forced him to go to church to warrant the sadness on his face. David said he was glad when they said to him, “Let us go to the house of the LORD” (Psalm 122:1). But this young man appeared not to be glad to come to church.
He came in with no Bible and no writing material, confirming that the church was not his original destination. He was attentive throughout the service and after the service stayed behind to see the pastor. The pastor’s discussion with him showed he was an intelligent young man who had gone astray.
He was a university undergraduate, studying one of the professional courses in the sciences, but was living a lie. He was a good boy at home but a bad boy on campus. In fact, he came to the town, where the church was located, from a different part of the country. He came to the town in pursuit of an ungodly cause, which her mother, who is a Christian, would have vouched that her son would never engage in. His father was living outside the country oblivious of the destructive life his son was living.
As at the time of coming to that church, he had not attended lectures or written any examination in his university for two years. Nevertheless, he was collecting money from home and giving the impression that he was still on campus as a student.
The parents thought he was making progress in his academics and would soon graduate whereas he was busy engaging in criminal activities with his gang whose tentacles spread across the nation. He confessed that his mother saw him as a good boy and would never believe anyone who associated him with any of the ungodly activities he was involved in.
What forced him to come to church were the terrible dreams he had been having shortly before then about his imminent death. Proverbs 14:12 and Proverbs 16:25 say there is a way that seems right to a man but its end is the way of death. This young man didn’t want to die and each time he passed and saw the banner in front of the church, there was the urge to return to the God her mother was serving as a member of a leading Pentecostal church in the country. Before he left that evening, he gave his life to Jesus but he did not leave any information behind for the pastor to follow him up as he promised to leave the town that evening.
There are many people like this intelligent and brilliant young man who are living a lie. According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, to live a lie means, “to live in a way that is dishonest because you are pretending to be something that you are not, to yourself or to other people.”
Those who live a lie deceive themselves and others. In other words, someone who lives a lie is a liar. The Bible says all liars will have their portion in a lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). Those who live a lie have no place in the New Jerusalem. “Outside the city are the dogs — the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers, and all who love to live a lie” (Revelation 22:15 New Living Translation).
Don’t live a lie. Many people do this to impress others. Some do it to take advantage of others. They lie about themselves, saying they are what they are not. They name-drop. They claim to own what actually belongs to others so that people would have high regard for them. I heard someone went as far as taking photographs of another person’s house, claiming to be the owner! Wasn’t that stupid? Imagine a driver driving his boss’ car around and posing to deceive a lady that the car belongs to him. Don’t pretend to be what you’re not. Be authentic; be real.
A businessman, student, minister, etc. can live a lie. Anybody can. But make up your mind not to live a lie. Be true to yourself and others. Don’t pretend to be another person. Don’t lie about your academic qualifications, the size of your congregation, your profession or career, etc. I once heard about someone pretending to be the son of a wealthy person just because his surname and the man’s name are the same. Imagine that. He disowned his father just to be respected by people or accepted by a lady!
Don’t live a lie. Another word for anyone who lives a lie is a hypocrite. Jesus says, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:27-28 New King James Version). The scribes and Pharisees pretended to be what they were not with the intention of deceiving the people. Hypocrites! The Greek word for hypocrite is hupokrites, which means an actor or a stage player. Hypocrites are not real.
Satan is a super actor, a hypocrite! His servants are also. The apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11:14-15, “But I am not surprised! Even Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder his servants can also do it by pretending to be godly ministers. In the end they will get every bit of punishment their wicked deeds deserve” (New Living Translation). They are pretenders, impostors; they’re not real.
Jesus warns His followers to beware of false prophets, who come to people in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves (Matthew 7:15). That means they are not what they pretend to be. They will easily deceive people who don’t know them well. How does one know them?
Jesus says, “You will know them by their fruits (verse 16a New King James Version). Don’t be deceived by their dressing or their smooth talk; watch the way they act. The New Living Translation says, “You can detect them by the way they act” (verse 16a). The New Century Version says, “You will know these people by what they do.”
In Matthew 24:4-5, Jesus, talking about the signs of the times and the end of the age, says, “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (New King James Version). That’s pretence or deceit. It’s living a lie.
In verse 11, He says many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. Furthermore, in verses 24, He warns that false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. Mark 13:22 records the same thing. Don’t live a lie and don’t be deceived by those who live a lie. You have been forewarned.
Also, Paul deals with the problem of false teachers in the church. They will present themselves as real but they are not. Paul warns the Ephesian elders, “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:29-31 New King James Version). Don’t live a lie. Don’t be a false teacher or false prophet, and don’t follow them. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Do you know that long after God had rejected Saul as the king of Israel in 1 Samuel 13:14, he continued to sit on the throne, ruling and even leading Israel to war? But as far as God was concerned, he was no longer the king. From the time God rejected him as king, his reign became illegal. He became an impostor. Unfortunately, the real king, David, became a fugitive, running away from Saul, who wanted to kill him.
In 1 Samuel 16:13, immediately after David was anointed in his father’s house as the king, the Spirit of the LORD came upon him. But verse 14 says the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. Before he died in the war with the Philistines, 1 Samuel 28:5-6 says, “When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD did not answer him, either by dreams or by Urim or by the prophets” (New King James Version). Because he was desperate, he went to patronize a necromancer, witch, or medium. Saul had long ceased being the king.
Anyone whose way does not please the Lord should turn now from his evil way and amend his doings (Jeremiah 7:3; 26:13; 35:15) instead of living a lie. There could be many like that today. People might be celebrating them but God may have rejected them. Living a lie would take them nowhere. Maybe, unfortunately, somewhere: hell. Living a lie would not take anyone to heaven as we already saw in Revelation 22:15.
Don’t pretend to be holy; be holy. God says be holy for He is holy (Leviticus 11:44; 20:7; 1 Peter 1:16). He doesn’t say to pretend to be holy. According to the apostle Paul, among other things that people will do in the last days, “They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. You must stay away from people like that” (Timothy 3:4-5 New Living Translation). That’s an aspect of living a lie.
Jesus warns His disciples not to be contaminated with the yeast of the Pharisees – their lifestyle of hypocrisy. Nothing will be hidden forever. “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees — beware of their hypocrisy. The time is coming when everything will be revealed; all that is secret will be made public. Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!” (Luke 12:1b-3 New King James Version). Be real; don’t be fake. Don’t live a lie. Don’t be a hypocrite.
If you’re living a lie, stop it. Face the reality of your condition spiritually and in other aspects. God hates living a lie. He hates pretence. He told the house of Israel, “I hate all your show and pretense — the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies” (Amos 5:21 New Living Translation). Lay aside all deceit and hypocrisy just as you repent of other sins in your life (1 Peter 2:1).
Don’t live a lie. Don’t pretend to be what you are not. Don’t be living with some secret sins in your life and be pretending you’re holy. People may not know but God knows. One day, your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23). Everything that is now hidden or secret will eventually be brought to light (Mark 4:22).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of all forms of deceit in my life. I shall not live a lie any more. Holy Spirit, I yield the control of my life to you. My Christian life shall no more be a mere pretence. The Spirit of truth shall guide my conduct henceforth. Father, expose all false ministers who are wolves in sheep’s clothing and set free their captives.
(For over 400 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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