1. This one is THE lie. It was the first lie, and it is still Satan’s favorite lie. It’s also one that millions of Christians have swallowed hook line and sinker. It’s found in Genesis (hey, I said it was the first one) in the account of the temptation of Eve.
Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die”
Did you catch it? Let me rephrase it for you. “There are no consequences to sin.” “God didn’t really mean what he said.” Actually God did say she would die, He did tell her and Adam that there would be consequences for their sin. He wasn’t kidding. He wasn’t bluffing. He wasn’t using exaggeration to make a point. He told them that if they ate off that tree they would die. The Hebrew says, “to die, shall you be dying.” The moment they ate that fruit their spirit died, they were separated from God, and their bodies began to die. We look back at this and think, “If Adam and Eve hadn’t fallen for the oldest trick in the book things might be different today.” I’ve got news for you, the modern American church has fallen for this to the point that we now survey sinners to see how we should develop our churches, so as not to offend them. I know of churches (big, famous churches) that will not even use the word sin because it has a negative connotation. The problem with that is there are consequences to sin. God said there was.
Check out Eph 5:3-7…
3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints;
4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.
Sounds like a prime time television show or the latest blockbuster, yet many Christians think they can live this way or watch things on TV or in movies that exemplifies that way of life and that God doesn’t care. He cares, just like any parent who is teaching a child, He expects obedience. And he has told us what the consequences of disobedience are.
2. Since we’re talking about Satan, let me mention another lie the majority of Christians in America believe.
You don't have to worry about Satan.
I say majority because it’s true. According to a Barna poll, 60% of American Christians believe that he is just a symbol of evil, not a real, living being or person.
That statistic amazes me. What that tells me is that the majority of Christians do not believe the Bible. (I guess I already knew that, see lie number 1, but it’s still shocking to see it as a stastical fact.)
The Bible says in 1 Peter
1 Peter 5:8-9
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
I guess Peter and God are liars to 60% of American Christians. These “Christians” just don’t get it. Satan wants you to think he’s not real, that he’s not a threat. The French poet Charles Baudelaire famously said, "My dear brothers, never forget, when you hear the progress of enlightenment vaunted, that the devil's best trick is to persuade you that he doesn't exist!"
That’s exactly where we are today, we think that we have some new truth, when the real truth is that Satan wants to kill you and your family. You don’t need to deny the existence of Satan, you just need to realize the truth: Satan is defeated, Jesus already did it, you just stand strong in that and resist him and he will flee. The Bible says so. God says so.
3. This one’s a biggie in America:
The main thing that God wants for you is to be happy in this life and in this world.
I hate to break it to you, but that sentiment is in the Declaration of Independence, not the Bible. That’s one of your American rights, but not necessarily one of your Christian rights. Don’t get me wrong, God wants you to be happy. “The Joy of the Lord is your strength.” Neh 8:10. In fact someone who is truly seeking to know Him in the power of His resurrection AND the fellowship of His suffering, is happier than anyone else on Earth. It’s just not God’s main goal for you. It may not even be on his top ten list of goals for you. As Americans we are repeatedly reminded that it is one of our country’s main purposes, giving you a place to pursue happiness. As a Christian you should be happy, you should have Joy. Too many Christians are worried, troubled, depressed, and drugged. They wouldn’t be if they would stop pursuing happiness and instead pursue the “unsearchable riches of Christ.” Eph 3:8
God’s purpose for you is to give up your will, your dreams, your desires, your hopes, your fears, your worries, all that you are, and passionately pursue his Son.
4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. <—Does He give us what we want OR does He give us desires?
4. When I think about the different ways Christians fall for this next one, I frankly get frustrated.
Church is not important.
This one manifests itself in many different ways. I’m going to list some to give you an idea of how this lie subtly creeps into a Christians heart.
Sunday morning on the lake, park, mall, etc. It blows my mind how many Christians just don’t show up at church because they want to go play.
“My relatives are in town and they didn’t want to come.” Hello! Maybe you could bring them to church and get them saved.
“Brother Wonderful is playing the piano with his toes at The First Church of the Frigidaire downtown so we’re going to go hear him.” Translation - “God, oh and Pastor, We’re just looking for entertainment”
“I go to this church because they have a good nursery, Children’s program, youth program, worship team, etc.” Umm… do they preach the truth? Does the Pastor love you and spend time in prayer and Word. Does he preach Jesus Christ. (see Eph 3:8 again) Do you care?
“I go to this church because it’s Baptist, or Assemblies, or Church of God.” There’s no denominations in Heaven.
I believe God can speak to me at home that I don’t need to go to a “Church.” <—The quotes denote a sarcastic, or prideful tone. God can speak to you at home, of course you’re being disobedient by not assembling with other believers but maybe your one of that 60% crowd.
I was up all night watching the late show (or even worse drinking and partying) but at least I’m here. Are you? Are you really? Don’t do God any favors. After all he only gave His Son for you.
I play sports. I have lot’s of homework. Something else regarding school. (Tell that to God on judgment day)
I could keep listing them but I need to move on. Christians go to church, there’s no way around that.
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
In case you are unaware of current World events, let me just say that the Day is approaching. I believe the turmoil in America is God’s judgment on the American Church for the luke-warmness and all the downright heresies we’re using as church growth tactics. (What happened to the Holy Spirit? – That’s another lie for another day)
1 Peter 4:17
17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
And the church you go to is important too. I know people that believe as long as they are in a church they’re doing good. NO! Your church should be preaching Jesus. Not pop psychology, not success, not money, not comfort in sin but security in righteousness. Look at the largest churches in America. In many of them the gospel is rarely, if ever, preached. Their size alone indicates an issue. The further along Jesus got in his ministry the smaller the crowds got. In Isaiah and 2 Timothy we see what people want from their church:
10 Who say to the seers, "Do not see," And to the prophets, "Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.
2 Tim 4:2-4
2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. <—They don’t want that! So a lot of pastors do this in their Bibles, I guess. (Maybe they just ignore it)
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. <--- One popular fable is that as long as you “love” God and others you’re fulfilling the greatest commandment and the way you live won’t matter to God. (See lie 1)
Many today will simply find a new church if the sermon makes them “uncomfortable.” We don’t even recognize the conviction of the Holy Spirit anymore. God help us!
5. Okay, last one. You ready? Here it is:
God doesn't care if you support the church with your giving - or not.
Here’s one thing God said about Giving:
8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings.
9 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation.
10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this," Says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.
11 "And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field," Says the Lord of hosts;
Think about that. God is saying test me! Try this out! I can speak from personal experience that God will honor this promise every time. (Yes I know it’s an Old Testament verse, but Jesus quoted the OT and so did the Apostles. When your shadow starts healing people you can talk to me.)
This past year alone God has blessed me in ways I would never have dreamed of. We were saving up to go to Disney World this year all through 07 and 08… but had to spend the money on other things. (You know braces, car repairs, life.) So we (by the way, “we” is my wife Loree and I) gave up the dream. There’s 5 of us, how could we go this year? We don’t use credit. We’ll need to save up for a few years again to get to go. But you know something? We tithe, and even give, faithfully and God honored that. ---We just got back at the end of June from an 8-day trip, for our family of 5, to Disney World. God miraculously and unexpectedly and all at once, provided for it. (Here you thought I believed God didn’t want us to be happy!) And this is just the most recent example of God proving himself to us.
Do I have some mega faith for success and prosperity. NO! In fact I’m not sure God wants us all to be prosperous in the World’s standard. I think success is dangerous it tends to make us have too much faith in ourselves. I just have a simple faith that says God will bless me because I tithe, because He promised to. Oh, and we tithe on ALL our increase. When God provided the finances for the trip we wrote a check for 10% of it to him (our church). By 10%, I mean one-tenth, you know if you have $100 you give $10 to God. Not my interpretation of what a tithe means to me, but what the Bible says it is. If you are not giving you are missing out on God’s full blessings. What’s worse are telling God that you don’t really have faith that he can take care of you. I know I was there at one point in my life, “God I can’t afford to tithe.” Believe me, you can’t afford not to.