Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Q&A - Can a Christian lie and still be saved?

Periodically I will get an email from someone asking Bible questions or in this case, someone has told this friend that they aren't a Christian because they told a lie... here was the question and my answer... just thought I'd post it in case anyone else has the same question or knows a similar situation. All names have been kept private for the sake of the one who wrote me. If you are familiar with the situation please don't make a personal comment about the situation or guesses as to who it is. Thanks!

If you have a question or anything, feel free to email me and I will do my best to answer it or point you to a trusted and sound resource that can help you find the Biblical answer.

The Question:

hey! i have a friend but somebody is telling her that she's not a christian b.c. christians don't lie and the devil doesn't get to christians and all of this stuff. I wanted to give her some bilble verses...do you know of any good ones?

The Answer:

Well this can be a tricky question... the question is really two fold... do Christians lie? yes, we are saved... not perfect... we can't be perfect and that's why we needed a Savior...

Should a Christian lie? no, Romans 6:1 says that we shouldn't use the Grace of God as a license to go on sinning. basically... just because we have been saved doesn't mean we should abuse that salvation by continuing to sin... we should live moral and ethical lives because we are eternally thankful for the mercy poured out to us via the cross.

Now, if a person who calls themselves a Christian is lying does that mean they are not saved? Well first we need to be very careful that we don't get into the business of pointing out the saved and unsaved among Christians. Jesus said wheat (Christians) and tares (non-Christians) will grow up together and that we shouldn't try to tear out the tares because we won't always be able to distinguish them... meaning, within those who are Christians and they believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God we shouldn't engage in saying "you're in and you're out" because we truly don't know, only God does...

You can lie and be saved, you can steal and be saved still... the question is 1.) how does that person react to themselves having told a lie? Are they ok with it? if they are ok with lying then I would lean towards the possibility that they aren't saved because when God saves He changes the heart and we begin hating the sin we once loved... we don't go on living lives of intentional lies (or any other sin) because it demonstrates that no change has taken place. As Christians we want to live a life of repentance that constantly seeks out how we can better Glorify the Lord with our lives and express our unyielding thanks to Him for saving us from our sinful depravity.

2.) is lying a pattern? are they remorseful? when they lie, are they seeking forgiveness? not just 'God forgive me for this lie' to clear their conscience about it but praying the way David did in Psalm 51 where he pleaded with God to give him a new heart and a contrite spirit. that he hated sin and loved only God and wanted God to cleanse him of sinful things in his heart that he might live a life pleasing in the sight of the Lord.

as for whether or not they are saved... The Bible is very clear that someone who is saved does not seek to live in intentional lifestyles of sinful behavior... they don't try to rationalize their sin to keep it in their life, a born again Christian tries to identify it and put it to death by the power of the Holy Spirit living in them. the bible says in 2 Corinthians 13 that we are to examine ourselves to see that we are in the faith... I would encourage your friend to go and read through that and see how she measures up... just tell her to get alone and for her to be honest with herself and most importantly honest with God... tell her to read Matthew 6:33 - does her life line up with that? can she say that is a true statement for her life? if no, then maybe she isn't saved... if yes, then she needs to examine her life and make sure that she IS living for the Glory of God alone (Soli deo Gloria)... and nothing else... does her life reflect a life of a person who has seen the seriousness of sin and has repented of it (turned from it) and trusted in the Savior? lives for the Savior? loves the Savior? Wants to be good not because of self-righteousness but to better Glorify God?

try that...

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