What are the biblical consequences to lying?


In a list of things that the Lord hates we find lying. "These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, a false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren" (Proverbs 6:16-19). Lies make the list twice, so it is not something easily ignored. The reason for God's hatred of lying is simple, God is the God of Truth. "He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice, a God of truth and without injustice; righteous and upright is He" (Deuteronomy 32:4). God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). Hence, God abhors lying. "You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man" (Psalm 5:6).

The Psalmist warned, "He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house; he who tells lies shall not continue in my presence" (Psalm 101:7). Hence, if Christians desire to be found faithful, they cannot engage in lying. "Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds" (Colossians 3:9). "Therefore, putting away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor," for we are members of one another" (Ephesians 4:25).

Under the Law of Moses, a person who lied in court would receive the punishment the person on trial would have received if the lie was believed. "If a false witness rises against any man to testify against him of wrongdoing, then both men in the controversy shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who serve in those days. And the judges shall make careful inquiry, and indeed, if the witness is a false witness, who has testified falsely against his brother, then you shall do to him as he thought to have done to his brother; so you shall put away the evil from among you" (Deuteronomy 19:16-19). Thus to falsely accuse a person of murder could bring the death penalty upon the liar's head.

Lying is a serious matter. It is not to be ignored. "A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies will not escape" (Proverbs 19:5). "A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who speaks lies shall perish" (Proverbs 19:9).

Ultimately, liars will be judged and sentence to eternity in Hell. "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death" (Revelation 21:8).

See also:

It Was Only a Small Fib

January 27, 2009