Why Some Choose to Believe Lies — Matthew 28
Also, on Resurrection Sunday, the guards who had been safeguarding Jesus’ tomb felt the great earthquake, saw the angel, trembled in fear, fell like dead men, saw the stone rolled away and the empty tomb. They knew the truth surrounding Jesus’ resurrection. Given a few more facts, these guards and the guards who attended the crucifixion of Jesus had sufficient evidence to believe that Jesus was indeed the Son of God (Matthew 27:54).
In addition, on Resurrection Sunday, the religious leaders heard the testimony of those who had guarded the tomb. These leaders had been closely following Jesus’ ministry for three years. They had tried Him and convicted Him and had persuaded the Romans to crucify Him. They would have wanted all the details of how Jesus had died, and how the tomb became “the empty tom.” They had all the evidence they needed to believe all that Jesus had taught about himself was true. Yet, in the final hours of Resurrection Sunday, they bribed the tomb’s guards to lie about what they had seen.
Why did the religious leaders choose to disbelieve all the evidence they had from so many sources (including their Scriptures and Jesus’ ministry) that Jesus was their Messiah, the Son of God? Despite all they knew, why did the guards choose to accept a bribe and lie about Jesus? Why were so many willing to believe the guards lies and pass on a lie from generation to generation of disbelievers? Closer to home, why are increasing numbers of people in the United States claiming to have no religion (according to recent polling)? Why are increasing numbers of those who claim to be Christians refusing to believe the Bible is the true Word of God written?
The Bible tells us why some disbelieve the truth about Jesus Christ and choose to believe lies, and why others lie and want people to believe lies rather than believe the truth. They refuse to believe the truth, and they lie, and they believe lies, because God is punishing them. Why is God punishing them? The Bible says, because they “took pleasure in unrighteousness” (NRSV); because they “took pleasure in wickedness” (NASB); because they “have delighted in wickedness” (NIV); because they “had pleasure in unrighteousness” (KJV, ESV).
Does this mean that all who believe a lie do so because they delight in wickedness? Certainly not! Good Bible-believing Christians can be deceived at times by those they trusted who tell them lies. According to the Bible, two facts must be present. First, the person refuses to believe the truth about Jesus, despite the fact that they have learned the truth and have learned good evidence supporting the truth about Jesus. Second, a person takes pleasure in wickedness or unrighteousness, and prefers to live in unrighteousness rather than repent and live according to the truth of the Bible. When these two facts are present, God will punish those who prefer wickedness to righteousness. Consider the verses below.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12, the Apostle Paul wrote, “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (KJV). The NIV reads, “For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” And the NRSV reads, “For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false, so that all who have not believed the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned.”
In short, those who refuse to believe the truth about Jesus and the Bible, and choose to believe lies instead, do so because they delight in wickedness or take pleasure in unrighteousness. Many people develop a nonbiblical theology because they want to live immorally (contrary to the Bible’s clear teachings) in one or more ways. Because of their wickedness, “they suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18).
Do you agree or disagree? Share your ideas here on the International Bible Lessons Forum, or make your comments below this posting.
Receive our periodic International Bible Lesson Forum Newsletter by becoming a Registered Member of this IBL Forum. Then, login and make comments to share with others. I add new members manually by hand (nothing automatic here); hopefully, every time I am near a computer I can add new members, but sometimes it does take 2 or 3 days (sorry for any delays!). In this way, so far, we all avoid SPAM.
PLEASE NOTE! I just learned that new members have not been able to login after joining the IBLF because a glitch in the forum software update is not automatically assigning Member roles to subscribers. From this time on, I will do that manually. If you try to login and cannot, you may be one affected (for I do not know how long this problem has persisted), please let me know so I can fix the problem for you. Sorry for the trouble this has caused you.
May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!
CLICK HERE To Go to the International Bible Lesson Commentary and International Bible Lesson for additional Uniform Sunday School Lesson Series Resources.
Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,