The Plain Truth about Lies, & Truth, for a “Post-truth” Era

I John 2:21; Ephesians 4:25

No lie is of the truth.

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour.

GEORGE SEATON BOWES (circa 1820’s-1880’s): When the question, “What is truth?” was proposed at a Deaf and Dumb Institution, one of the boys drew a straight line. “And what is falsehood?” The answer was a crooked line.

THOMAS BOSTON (1676-1732): The lying tongue is contrary to truth. 

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): A lying tongue―the mischief of this is open and obvious…Every man hates to have a lie told him.

JOHN TRAPP (1601-1699): Liars pervert the end for which God created speech, which was, to give light to the notions of the mind.

THOMAS WATSON (1620-1686): Lying is such a sin, as takes away all society and conversation with men; how can you converse with him, if you cannot trust a word he says?

JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): This even heathens and antichristian persons are obliged to acknowledge.

JOHN GILL (1697-1771): This is a right and true judgment of the case; it is according to the nature and truth of things, and what is obvious and clear at first sight, and which every one must agree to…A tongue speaking falsehood, knowingly and willingly, with an intention to deceive others; to hurt the character of a neighbour, or to flatter a friend, is a most detestable evil; it ought to be so to men, and it must be so to God, who is a God of truth: nor is there anything in which a man more resembles the devil, who is the “father of lies,” John 8:44.

JOHN CALVIN: Nothing is deemed more precious by God than truth.

MATTHEW POOLE (1624-1679): It is certain that all kinds of lies are moral evils, and condemned by plain scriptures, that we must not “do evil that good may come,” nor tell a lie for God’s glory, Romans 3:7,8.

MATTHEW HENRY: Hypocrisy is lying; false doctrine is lying; breach of faith is lying. Lying, in commerce or conversation, is a sin which every good man hates and abhors—hates and doubly hates, because of the seven things which the Lord hates one is a “lying tongue,” and another is a “false witness that speaks lies,” Proverbs 6:16.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): It is a great deal easier to set a story afloat than to stop it. If you want truth to go round the world you must hire an express train to pull it; but if you want a lie to go round the world, it will fly; it is as light as a feather, and a breath will carry it. It is well said in the old Proverb, “A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.”

MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546):  A lie is a snowball. The longer it is rolled on the ground, the larger it becomes.

JOHN WYCLIFFE (1330-1384): I believe that, in the end, truth will conquer.

HORATIUS BONAR (1808-1889): Truth is not the feeble thing which men often think they can afford to disparage. Truth is power; let it be treated and trusted as such.

WILLIAM GURNALL (1617-1679): News may come that truth is sick, but never that it is dead. No, it is error that is short lived: “The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment,” Proverbs 12:19.

C. H. SPURGEON: Truth wears well. Time will test it, but it right well endures the trial…What a poor thing is the temporary triumph of falsehood! A lying lip is but for a moment! It is a mere gourd, which comes up in a night, and perishes in a night; and the greater its development the more manifest its decay.

ADAM CLARKE (1760-1832): Truth and honesty never wear out.

C. H. SPURGEON: We believe, brethren, in the power of truth―Next, let us remember that God’s truth is still the same. It does not matter whether fifty thousand espouse its cause, or only five, or only one. Truth does not reign by the ballot box, or by the counting of heads: it abideth forever.

MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): Let us remind ourselves that the Scriptures, while they speak to us eternal truth, are always relevant.

JOHN BUNYAN (1628-1688): Why, they are the Word of God, the true sayings of God; they are the counsel of God; they are His promises and His threatenings.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): One of the many titles given to the Holy Scriptures is “the Word of Truth,” 2 Timothy 2:15. They are such because they are a communication from “the God of Truth,” Isaiah 65:17, a revelation from Him “who cannot lie,” Titus 1:2.

THOMAS WATSON: Nothing is more contrary to God than a lie―How does this sin incense God? He struck Ananias dead for telling a lie, Acts 5:5. The furnace of hell is heated to throw liars into, “Outside are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoever loves and makes a lie,” Revelation 22:15.

J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): I know that all this sounds dreadful in many ears. I do not wonder. But the only question we have to settle is this: “Is Hell Scriptural?” Is it true? I maintain firmly that it is so…Where is the charity of keeping back any portion of God’s truth? What is the use of hiding eternal punishment from the impenitent and the ungodly? Surely it is helping the devil, if we do not tell them plainly that, “The soul that sins shall surely die!”

Yes, [and] heaven is truth and no lie―“There shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie,” Revelation 21:27.

Verily these are solemn words; they ought to make us think.

HUDSON TAYLOR (1832-1905): There is a living God. He has spoken in His Word. He means just what He says, and will do all that He has promised.

JONATHAN EDWARDS (1703-1758): And wicked men who now doubt His truth and dare not trust His word now, will hereafter, in the most convincing, affecting manner, find His Word to be true in all that He has threatened.


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