December 18. “Do not lie to each other.” (Col. 3:9)
The Biggest Lie of All!!!
In thinking about this verse, I felt the Holy Spirit of Christ humorously saying to me “So, Paul, what do you think you have to add to this that hasn’t already been written by others a million times over?”
“OK, Lord,” I thought. “I could tell some of my own experiences…how I’ve hurt others and how I’ve been hurt by lies.”
So I decided to practice my own preaching and just listen.
“What’s the biggest lie of all, Paul?”
“That You are angry, list-keeping, punitive, have to be appeased, and have intentionally created an eternal torture chamber where you will put people separate from you and supernaturally keep them alive…even really good people…forever, so you can torture them in the most awful ways imaginable just because they never heard of you or didn’t say the right prayer or believed the wrong thing about Jesus or didn’t keep an arbitrary list of rules perfectly.”
“That’s it.” I heard a sad Voice say. “Lying is not telling the truth. I am Truth. The Truth is that Jesus, Papa and I are pure goodness. There is nothing bad, dark, evil, punitive or heinous about us. And We don’t do separation. EVER!
“That lie is from evil and that is what evil is like. ‘Hell’ is believing that I ‘should’ be like that. That’s where the older brother in the prodigal story was. But Papa was there with him…he never left.”
“Oh, I said.” Where’s that older brother now?”
“With Papa. Don’t lie to each other about that!”
(For great, well-researched information about this subject, I highly recommend Brian Zahnd’s book “Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God,” Jeff Turners book “Saints in the Arms of a Happy God,” and Brad Jerjak’s “Her Gates Will Never be Shut,” and Ivan Rogers’ “Dropping Hell and Embracing Grace.” Sadly, I had been an “evangelical” pastor for 20 years and never knew there was any other way to look at “heaven and hell” than “The Biggest Lie of All” – it was all I’d ever heard. I had been deceived. Hmmmm – who does stuff like that?)
PS – for “extra added credit” check out Colossians 3:9-11 from the Message: “Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.”