The White Lie

Bible Book: 2 Corinthians  4 : 4
Subject: Satan; Devil; Lying

Leonard Sweet, in his “Soul Café” newsletter, included this list of "Top 10 Liars' Lies."

10. We'll stay only five minutes.

9. This will be a short meeting.

8. I'll respect you in the morning.

7. The check is in the mail.

6. I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you.

5. This hurts me more than it hurts you.

4. Your money will be cheerfully refunded.

3. We service what we sell.

2. Your table will be ready in just a minute.

1. I'll start exercising (dieting, forgiving, . . . ) tomorrow. Unfortunately, there is such a list in church life.

The Christian top five:

1. "You just might see us there Sunday, preacher."

2 "This is just between me and you."

3. Mrs. Smith, little Susy was a little "high-spirited" today in Sunday school.

4. I have a "few" words to share from my heart today.

5. When you hear "now, finally" in a sermon.

Have you ever heard someone excuse the telling of an untruth by saying something like, "Well, it doesn't matter, it was only a little white lie"? The propensity to rank lies in varying categories is something that we have learned from a source that is at the very heart of lies. All lies have their beginning in the very heart of Satan himself.

Turn with me to John 8:44. There the Bible says, "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

The scripture plainly teaches that he is the father of deception, untruth, and yes, lies. Let us see how the father of lies began.

Back in eternity, before this world began, God lived in heaven with all His angels around Him. The one angel highest above all was Satan. His high position made him proud and he rebelled against God Himself. That is something which cannot be tolerated in heaven. Pride cannot stand before God, so Satan lost his high position and was cast out of heaven. Satan has never recovered from this downfall, forever since he has been trying to defeat the purpose and work of God.

What is God's great purpose? It is to save people, and for this purpose He gave His only begotten Son to die upon Calvary's cross. Herein is the great work of the devil trying to keep people from being saved. If I were Satan and wanted to prevent the salvation of people, what would I do? I would do just what he is doing. He is not a fool. He is a creature of great cunning and intelligence. He knows how to work on and in people. He has been busy for centuries and will be busy until the end. What would you do if you were Satan?

I. If I Were Satan, I Would Deceive People As To My Identity.

He does just that. In Ephesians 6:11 we read of "the schemes of the devil." He is full of all kinds of tricks. But his greatest trick is, to make people think that he does not exist. There are some who say that there is no devil, but if they would try to live just one day for God they would know that the devil does exist. Modern cartoonists poke fun at a belief in Satan. They paint him as a sinister being arrayed in a red suit, having a long tail and carrying a fork in his hand. But the devil does not come that way. He comes robed in beauty and light.

In I Peter 5:8 the Bible describes Satan as a roaring lion. We have a right to be afraid of him. He is also described as a serpent, a deceiver, the evil one, the dragon. If we saw any one of these coming toward us, we would flee for our lives. Although the devil comes clad in beauty, he is still the same old devil underneath. His motive is evil only, and we should not let him fool us regarding himself. The devil clothes himself in many garbs but he is a ravenous wolf just the same.

Yes, if I were Satan I would deceive people about my existence. I would make them believe that I did not exist and while they were denying my existence I would get in my work and lure them downward.

II. If I Were Satan, I Would Make Sin Attractive.

He does just exactly that. In the Garden of Eden, Eve was surrounded by matchless beauty, but Satan came to turn her from God and he made sin appear so attractive that she yielded. Today he is doing the same thing. He makes sin beautiful to the eye and greatly to be desired and while man yields to temptation he laughs with glee.

In 2 Corinthians 4:4 we are told that “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not." For centuries Satan has been setting his trap. He fills it with the choicest bait and catches men of every sort. But still there are some who say, “Yes, the others got caught, but he will never get me," and they go on in sin and soon they are in his trap.

III. If I Were Satan, I Would Hinder God’s Word.

God's Word is a powerful thing. It sinks into the hearts of men and women and brings them to Christ. No wonder the devil wants to keep the Word out.

There was a time when the Bible was chained to the pulpits of England. It could not get out to the people. Satan loved that. He hates for the Word to go out into the human heart.

In His parable of the sower, Jesus tells that some seed fell by the wayside and the birds came along and plucked it up. Often we sow the seed of the Word in the church here and the devil plucks it out of the hearts of the people before they can reach home. You hear a sermon on Sunday morning and then sit down at your dinner table before your family and criticize the minister, the sermon and everything at the church. Soon the children say to themselves, "What's the use? There isn't anything to Christianity." Years later you try to get them to attend church and they have no taste for it. You have allowed Satan to use you. The Word was sown but you helped to pluck it out.

We ought to dust off our Bible and read it every day and resolve that we are going to use it wisely in His service. Yes, if I were Satan I would hinder God's Word.

IV. If I Were Satan, I Would Try To Give The World Another Gospel.

The devil does not care if you are religious and go to church, if you will just leave out the one saving element--the atonement of Christ and His blood as a covering for sin.

Thousands of preachers today are preaching this bloodless gospel. They talk of world peace, the preservation of democracy and other social issues. These things are certainly appropriate in their place, but these preachers have not one word to tell others that they are lost sinners and that Christ alone can save them for time and eternity.

Galatians 1:8, "Though we, or an angel from heaven, preached any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."

Today Satan is preaching another gospel. What is the logic that he uses?

A. He preaches that God is too good to allow a man to be lost.

He is just saying that a man can go ahead and live as he pleases, defying God and trampling Christ under foot. Since God is too good to punish him, God will give him a seat at the banquet table of heaven. The Bible does not teach that and reason does not tell me so.

Satan preaches that a man should be good and honest and treat his family well, and thus shall he be saved. We are not saved by our own goodness. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God."?(Ephesians 2:8). He preaches that a man should join a church and then forget all about this matter of salvation. There are many who have done that, and apparently they know nothing of the saving grace of Christ. Jesus did not say that church membership would save. He did say, “You must be born again" (John 3:7).

B. The devil preaches that everyone is going to be saved.

But Daniel says, Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt" (Daniel 12:2). But the devil is getting many to preach his doctrine of universal salvation today.

Today there are some who are trying to preach a gospel that has stood the test of the centuries--the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ. But many are saying, "We do not believe this old stuff. Give us the gospel for today." Believe me, this is the Gospel for today. It is the hope for today. Some things never change. The Gospel is the same always, but it is just as modern as tomorrow.

V. If I Were Satan, I Would Get Men To Use More Excuses.

Jesus said to one man, "One thing you lack" (Mark 10:21). Usually it is not a multitude of things that keep us away from Christ, but just one thing. And Satan keeps that excuse ever fresh in our minds to keep us from being saved.

A certain man said, "One man kept me out of the church for twenty-five years. He was a big man in the church on Sunday but during the week he was a crook." Let me say this to you, do not let a hypocrite keep you out of the church. If you hide behind a hypocrite you are smaller than he is. The issue is between you and God. You must account for yourself to God and not for anyone else in the world. No matter what any church member does or says, just remember that you must face God one day and you are to be careful how you live.

In the railroad yards you can find a little thin-edged rail by the side of the big rail. It is this small rail which sends the train to the side track. So Satan often uses a small thing to cause you to sin and to get off the right track. He knows that if he does cause you to stumble it will hurt the cause of Christianity.

The devil's chief weapon is this, "You have plenty of time." He lets a person believe that there is a God, that Christ is Divine, that there is a judgment and eternity is coming but he tells that person to wait a little while, to put the matter off. And while that person delays in making his decision, death slips upon him/her and he/she goes to hell doomed forever. Yes, if I were Satan I would fill the minds of people with excuses and watch them drift toward the Lake of Fire.

This old, old message of Jesus and His love is the message that the world needs. Do not let Satan deceive you any longer.

VI. If I Were Satan, I Would Try To Destroy The Power Of The Churches.

He knows that one of the best ways to destroy the power of a church is to start a quarrel within a church. When the Jerusalem church was flourishing, Satan tried persecution, but the church still grew. Then he said, "I will start a quarrel on the inside."

Some of the people began to murmur over the neglect of a certain widow, and in a little while the church had a quarrel on its hands.

Ephesians 5:25, "Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it." He loves the church more than any man loves his bride. He said, "I will build my church." The church must be of God or it would not have survived the years. It goes on and on even though it is built of poor human material, because God is behind it.

Jesus told one church that "it was neither hot nor cold." The devil likes such a church. Billy Sunday said that he knew some churches that were so cold you could skate down the aisles on the ice. Yes, the devil does all he can to destroy the power of the churches--and he has succeeded in many places. God help us to keep preaching and teaching and praying and giving and living and serving so that our church might be a great power for Christ. If I were Satan I would try to destroy the power of the churches.

VII. If I Were Satan, I Would Try To Destroy Families.

Scripture is replete with examples of family conflict. Our world stands as an open book to show the weakness of families today. Even in our own church, multitudes of families are struggling for their very existence as we speak. Because of this, we are falling into Satan's greatest trap. The best way to keep children from knowing Jesus and following Jesus is to let them grow up in a home where there is constant strife. The way to teach a child irresponsibility is to see a father who abandons them or a mother who does not live a godly example before them. He knows what he is doing when he attacks the family. If I were Satan I would destroy every home I could. I would poison relationships and send children and parents in the wrong direction.


Satan is no fool. He is a creature of great cunning and intelligence. He knows how to work on people. He has been busy for centuries. Let us so commit ourselves anew today to the power of the Lord that Satan will have no place to work in our lives. Please remember the admonition of how to deal with Satan, "Fill up and crowd out." Let us so fill up our lives with the things of God that he is crowded out.