This is my first article since returning from Kaluga, Russia. I
was blessed to live in Kaluga, for about a month, preaching and
teaching the gospel to people who were hungering and thirsting for
While in Kaluga, I met several people who had believed a lie. Under
communism, the "state religion" was atheism. And to be
a member of the Communist Party, a person had to confess to be an
Russians are not the only people prone to believing a lie. It is
also possible for you and me to believe a lie. I imagine you have
told at least one lie that was believed by someone. And, I imagine
you have believed a lie only to find out later that we had been
After Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery they took his coat
and dipped it in blood to make it look like he had been killed.
Then, they took the coat to their father. Claiming to have found
the coat, they asked their father if it was Joseph's. Jacob recognized
it and believed that Joseph had been killed by a wild beast (Gen.
Later, there was a famine in the land and Joseph's brothers went
to Egypt to buy food. Eventually, Joseph revealed himself to his
brothers. Joseph's brothers had to go home and tell Jacob that Joseph
was still alive. At first, Jacob did not believe them. After Jacob's
sons showed him the evidence of Joseph's life in Egypt (Joseph's
words, the carts), Jacob finally believed that his son was still
alive (Gen. 45:26-28).
What did Jacob do? First he believed a lie for many years. Then
when faced with the truth, he disbelieved the truth until he was
convinced by the evidence.
The apostle Paul also believed a lie. He was Jew among Jews being
zealous for the law. He consented to Stephen's death and personally
went throughout the land throwing Christians in prison for their
faith in Jesus Christ.
Paul said of himself, "Men and brethren, I have lived in all
good conscience before God until this day" (Acts 23:1). Paul
thought that he was obeying God's will by persecuting Christians.
Paul had believed a lie.
Have you believed a lie?
There is only one way to find out whether we have believed a lie.
We must compare the teachings of men and the practices of churches
to God's word. Paul said, "Test all things; hold fast what
is good. Abstain from every form of evil" (1 Th. 5:21-22).
Paul warned Timothy of the false doctrines and religions that were
coming into the world saying: "But know this, that in the last
days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves,
lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents,
unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanders, without self
control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty,
lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having a form of
godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives
of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts,
always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth
. . . But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving
and being deceived. . . . All Scripture is given by inspiration
of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction,
for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete,
thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:1-7, 13,
Have you been deceived by evil men? Do you believe and practice
the doctrine of Christ (cf. 2 Jn. 1:9) or the doctrines of men (cf.