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A Terrible, Horrible, No good, Very bad, Lie
1. What makes a Lie great?
a. A great lie is not great in how it is told
b. A great lie is not great because it is told by a great liar
c. A great lie is great in how greatly it is believed
d. In fact we might say this: The Greatness of a Lie is not in its being told, Nor in the Greatness of its teller, it is in how greatly it is believed.
2. The Great Sin in Genesis 3 is Unbelief
a. That great Sin is so mighty, yet so subtle – it happens right between 5 & 6
• Adam and Eve believed the Great Lie – “God Doesn’t Love Me”
b. Of this passage, John Calvin says:
• What was the sin of Adam and Eve? The opinion of some of the ancients, that they
were allured by appetite or lust is juvenile. The fuller definition of the sin may be
drawn from the kind of temptation which Moses describes. For first the woman is led
away from the word of God by the lies of Satan, through unbelief. So then observe,
that men then revolted from God, when, having forsaken his word, they gave their
ears over to the lies of Satan. Hence we conclude, that God will be seen and adored
in his word; and, therefore, all reverence for him is shaken off when his word is
despised and the lies of Satan are believed. Therefore, Unbelief was the root of
defection. Just as faith alone unites us to God. (Unbelief was and is that sin that
casts us from him).
c. The Jesus Storybook Bible – The Terrible Lie – “God Doesn’t Love You” – It’s not a Dream, It’s a Nightmare
3. Have you ever thought of Unbelief as Sin?
Usually we consider sinful acts of behavior as sin, while ignoring altogether those sins of the heart. And when we do look to sins of the heart, we usually look to lustful thoughts or prideful ideas or angry emotions as primary issues. But if we look a little deeper, Isn’t it true that Unbelief lies underneath it all. Isn’t our central sin that we resist believing and trusting in God and turn to believing this terrible lie that “God Doesn’t Love Me”. Do we Ever repent of Unbelief? Do we really believe that Unbelief is a significant sin?
4. This is Satan’s primary Work
• To perpetuate this lie, to tell it, over, and over, and over again
• Give the devil his due: He is a Great Liar
• He is:
o The father of all lies, and all lies rest upon this lie
o Lucifer – the great deceiver, telling this lie
o The Angel of light who is really the prince of darkness telling this lie
o Medusa calling us to look into his eyes so that he can tell this lie and turn us to stone
• Satan is the Siren Liar who sings this lie to us and calls us to our death. As Leonard Cohen would say, This lie sucks the Hallelujah from our lips and our hearts.
o Satan discourages by telling this lie
o He entices by telling this lie
o He instills fear by telling this lie
o He produces rebellion by telling this lie
o He drives us into depression by telling this lie
o He fuels pride, and anger, and hate, murder, all by telling this lie
But the Greatness of the Lie is not in its being told, Nor in the Greatness of its teller, it is in how greatly it
is believed. And this lie is not a dream, it is a nightmare.
5. This Lie is Not a Dream, It’s a Nightmare
o Adam and Eve believed it and plunged the world into darkness
o Cain believed it and killed his brother Able
o Job’s wife believed it and said “Curse God and Die”
o Abraham believed it and turned to his servant Hagar to produce the promised son
o Jacob believed it and lied to his father to steal the blessing
o Moses believed it and grew prideful and angry toward God’s people
o Samson believed it and trusted Delilah
o David believed it and slept with Bathsheba
o Elijah believed it and hid like a coward in a Cave
Because the Greatness of the Lie is not in its being told, Nor in the Greatness of its teller,
it is in how greatly it is believed
• Romans 1 says that when this Terrible Lie is believed, people become…
o Evil, covetous, and malicious,
o Full of envy, strife, and deceit
o They become gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, and boastful
o They invent evil and disobey their parents,
o They become foolish, faithless, heartless, and ruthless
Have I mentioned? This lie is not a dream, it’s a nightmare.
• When this lie is believed
o Marriages are Shattered
o Fathers abuse and Mothers abandon
o The unborn are Murdered
o Guns are loaded and triggers are pulled
o Bigotry is promoted and racism is embraced
o Money is horded up and the poor are ignored
o Beauty is worshipped and sex is degraded
o Anger is justified and Religion is use as a weapon
o Families are split, churches are split, nations are divided, and the world catches fire
It’s not a dream. It’s an absolute nightmare. Because, you know, I’ve heard that the Greatness of the Lie
is not in its being told, Nor in the Greatness of its teller, it is in how greatly it is believed
o John the Baptist believed it and he doubted that Jesus was the messiah
o Thomas believed it and doubted everything
o The 5000 believed it a cried out for bread when they should have cried for a savior
o The Pharisees believed it and picked up rocks to stone the Son of God
o Judas believed it and betrayed the Son of Man
o Peter believed it and sank in the water, feel asleep when he was supposed to pray, hacked
off Malchus’ ear with a sword, and denied that he knew the Son of God three times
o Annanias and Sapphira believed it and lied to the Holy Spirit and fell down dead
o Paul believed it and thought he was bringing glory to God by killing Christians
o And 2000 years ago, the crowds in Jerusalem believed it, as they stood before Pilate
screaming “Crucify Him, Crucify Him, Crucify Him!”
o And we believe it too. We believe that lie every single day, and just like Judas, just like
Peter, and just like the crowd, deep in our heart of hearts, we believe that terrible,
horrible, no good, very bad lie. We believe it every day, every hour, every moment. We
believe it with every breath.
6. The Only One Who Didn’t Believe the Lie – In fact, there was only one who did not believe that lie. In all the world, from the creation of the world, among all men and women who ever lived, there was only one who did not believe it. Even though it was whispered in his ear a million times, over and over again, every single moment of his life. He never, ever, not even one time, believed the lie.
He never believed that God did not love him.
o Though he was born in a manger,
o Though he had no place to lay his head,
o Though he had no form or majesty that any should look at him
o Though he had no beauty that any should desire him
o Though men hid their faces from him, and despised him, and esteemed him not
o Though he was smitten by God and afflicted, and wounded for transgressions that he did
not commit, and crushed for iniquities that were not his
o Though he was cut off from the land of the living and his grave was made with wicked
o Though he was tempted three times in the wilderness while starving to death
o Though he was abandoned and betrayed by his closest friends
o Though he was attacked in the garden of Gethsemane at his weakest moment
o Though he was spit upon, mocked, and reviled
o Though he was beaten and whipped and nailed to a Cross
o Even though the very Wrath of God was poured out on him on that Cursed Tree
o Even as he Cried out “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken Me…
Not even once, not for a moment, not even for a milli-second, did he ever believe that terrible lie.
Did you know that I’ve heard it said, that the Greatness of the Lie is not in its being told, Nor in the Greatness of its teller, but in how greatly it is believed.
7. The Only Way to Overcome the Lie – And I think that’s true. And the greatest of all lies then, must be the lie, that “God Does Not Love Me.” And the only time I don’t believe that terrible, horrible, no good, very bad lie is when I turn my eyes, and entrust my heart, and place my faith, in the one who never, ever, believed it.
For Jesus is greater than all our sin, greater than our idolatry, and greater than our unbelief. O Wretched men and women that we are, thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ, the Gospel is greater, far, far greater, than that Terrible Lie.
Listen Church. The lie is indeed Great, But Christ is greater still.
And so, when we enter our closet to pray or bow our knees to meet with Christ, let us not simply ask forgiveness for those things that we have done with our hands and said with our mouths. Let’s dig down a little further, a little deeper, way down into our hearts where that evil lie creeps around in the depths of hearts. And let us repent, not for what we have done, but for what we believe.
Lord forgive us for believing that lie. That terrible, terrible lie. Forgive us for doubting your love. Forgiving us for being unwilling to endure pain and suffering for the gospel. Forgive our betrayal. O how you love your beloved. O how you love us. O behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us, that we should be called children of God. O how he loves you and me,
Church. O how he loves you and me.