When I think of the word “father” I think of: strength, honor, courageous, security, leader, punisher and hero who come to save the day. See, a father is someone you’re supposed to trust, who will protect, nurture, love, guide you. He’s to be an example for your children to follow after! A godly father should raise and leave a legacy of godly men and women. As the Proverb says “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” Prov 22:6. Sadly though, it is possible for a father and son not to truly be father and son. It’s possible despite your efforts for your son not to follow you in the same path you took as it pertains to your spiritual direction. Everywhere you look or read we see people around the world continue to fall to lies of this world and never realize their error until it’s too late. How is that possible? You take the formula of man’s depravity and the greatest deceiver; put them together and you have sin and death, which ultimately leads to destruction. All because they trusted in the wrong father! Satan the father of lies. Remember: Satan told the first lie in recorded history to Eve, in the Garden. After planting seeds of doubt in Eve’s mind with a question “you will be like God” He purposely contradicts God’s Word by telling her, “You will not certainly die”. With that lie, Satan led Eve to her death; Adam followed, and so have we all.
Many of Satan’s lies tend to have a ripple effect not only on them but us as well. Today, Satan still uses people to spread his lies for him. Erwin Lutzer said “Often, Satan uses emotional charismatic but foolish people to further his falsehoods, as in the case of false religions and cults.” Emotional driven people who lack discernment are easy prey for his deception and lies. As Paul told Timothy “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,” 1 Tim 4:1. He even went on to say to Timothy in his last letter “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, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” 2 Tim 3:1-5
Lying is Satan’s primary weapon against God’s children. He uses the tactic of deceit to separate people from their heavenly Father. Some of his more common lies are “there is no God,” “God doesn’t care about you,” “the Bible cannot be trusted,” and “your good works will get you into heaven.” What lies though…..but many will follow after these lies. We need to be aware or understand that Satan’s deception is a primary goal. Satan deceived the church as illustrated in Romans 1:25, “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator...”
Satan is trying very hard to get the Church of the New Testament to get away from truth! Again that’s why Paul said “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” 2Tim 4:3-4. Have we not seen this more so in the church today? People are more excited to seat and watch Canada win a medal, and then they are to hear God’s word on Sunday morning. People are more excited to read the latest news about Justin Bieber and the dribble of the world, the latest trends, fashions and entertainment than they over their devotional time. People are more excited and will arrive early to stand in line for a movie, concert, hockey game, school play, and then they are when it comes to church functions like bible study and prayer meeting. People are more excited about the next Gospel concert than they are their own church. See! I’m talking about people in the church and sadly many will fall to the lies this world system, many will fall for the father of lies.
Satan knows and recognizes human beings long for a sense of meaning, purpose, and a desire to fit in. That’s why he offers as John MacArthur said “the ultimate source of counterfeit hope.” False hope like false religion which deceives people into thinking there alright with God, when in reality they are not. It blinds a person to the truth and leads them to embrace the lie from the father of lies. 2 Cor 4:3-4 says “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.” Carter Colon talks about the deception in the church! Carter said “in this deception the last moments of your life the feet coming down the hallway are not taking you to Heaven. You can get through the deception your whole life you can even sing in the choir.” This passage confronts that issue of who is your father ……….truthfully! Jesus confronts [shatters] the religious men who are deceived to think they’re going to Heaven as their father Abraham. Let’s examine the contrast between Abraham and these men who claim the same promise as their founding father did when God made His covenant with him.
ABRAHAM WAS FAITHFUL TO GOD.
He was an extraordinary man of faith! He obeyed God by faith when he was told to leave his land and go to another land that God promised him. He was a pleading man of faith for lost individuals as we read him pleading with the Pre-Incarnate Christ over the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. Remember when he went to offer his son as a sacrifice because God told him to. His faith was so great; he was an example for us to follow! Paul wrote to the church as a reminder to their confusion of the gospel between faith and works “just as Abraham "BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS." Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed." So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT CONTINUE IN ALL THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO DO THEM." But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." Yet the law is not of faith, but "THE MAN WHO DOES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM." Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE"), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Gal 3:6-14
Jesus said to these men “If you were Abraham's children, you would do the works of Abraham.” (v39). Did they do the works of their father? According to the scriptures they were haters of God and to top it off they hated Jesus and were plotting to kill him. These men were self-righteous trying to win or earn favor with God with their own works. As Frank Sinatra said “I did my way” sadly our way leads to a path of destruction. Salvation is not based on legalistic effort, religious affiliation [Baptist, Lutheran and so on] and salvation is definitely not based on ethnic background. Remember what Jesus said at the beginning of John’s gospel? John 1:12-13 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” See this is exactly what the father of lies wants to see happen; sinners buying into believing his lies over the truth of gospel found in Christ.
ABRAHAM LOVED GOD
Though his act of faith and obedience to God his heart grew deeper in love for God as it says. Abraham `throughout his life he demonstrated what it means to love God with everything we have. See our love for God includes our emotions, our will, our intellect, and our labor. That was completely demonstrated when he took his son to mountain to sacrifice him for God. Gen 22:11-12 we read “But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" So he said, "Here I am." And He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." Scripture calls Abraham “the friend of God.” Isaiah 41:8 wrote "But you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, The descendants of Abraham My friend.” The root of the Hebrew word for “friend” is the word for “love.” God tells us through these scriptures that Abraham was someone who loved God. So if you truly love God, you would naturally love His Son.
This wasn’t the case for these Jews because Jesus said "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me.” (v42). In reality these men hated God because they hated His Son and wanted to kill him. This is evident by their tone and questioning and the response that Jesus gives them in this portion of John’s letter. (v41). There are some simple truths we learn from this portion of scripture that we can use to evaluate to see if we truly love the Father. All who truly love God, love his Son Jesus Christ. Men and women that pretend that they love God, and reject his Son, have no evidence that they are the friends of God. Men and women who reject the Bible cannot be the friends of God. Why? The answer is simple! If they loved God, they would love Him who came from him, and who bears his image.
This is evident in John’s epistle! “I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” 1 John 2:21-23. The father of lies wants you to hate Him and reject His Son because he knows the power of the gospel that saves that’s why He hates you and me! That’s why Jesus says to their question! “Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.” (v43-v45). He knows who your father is and he hates this and he will do whatever it takes to tare you down. Satan the father of lies will do whatever it takes to keep the unregenerate to stay unregenerate! As J C Ryle said “where there is no love to Christ, there is no love sonship to God.”
So the question that comes to mind as we look at a passage like this is……..Who truly is your father? Are you positive you are a descendent of Abraham according to Paul’s letter to the church of Galatia? Are you truly following in the footsteps of your father Abraham? You as an individual can only answer those questions! Your spouse, you parents, your friends and the church cannot answer them for you! God sees the heart and He truly knows who are his, we can fool each other but we cannot fool God! These men thought they knew their father but it seems that they didn’t know Abraham any more than they knew Jesus. This is a shattering truth! Either God is your God or He’s not which means you have another father! As Jesus said “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.” (v44-v45). Hear the warning of Jesus! Remember Satan is the great deceiver and imposter who imitates God. 2 Cor 11:13-14 says “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” He gives or offers God’s created children false religion, false righteousness, false hope and false security and this will never gain them entrance into Heaven
One thing Satan is good at and that is reminding us that we are sinners! Satan will always remind us that we are sinners and don’t deserve His grace. Satan will always remind us that we have disobeyed God and His commandments. Satan will always remind us when we sin that we are going to die and face judgement. Satan is right but he always forgets to remind us of one important truth! “JESUS SAVES” Jesus Christ came and laid down His life so that I go free without the guilt and shame. Jesus Christ came so that I could taste His grace and freed from the bondage of my sin. Jesus Christ came so that I could be declared His son and in turn reap the blessings promised to Abraham. As Jesus said a son will always have a permanent home “…..but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (v35-v36). So hear the warning and the promise this morning and embrace the truth found in Christ! What Christ is saying in this passage is that those who follow the devil are characterized by deceit!
- They deceive themselves about their own hearts
- They deceive themselves about the true meaning of life.
- They deceive themselves about Christ.
- They deceive themselves about the way of salvation.
The ultimate deception believes that you’re a child of God when you are not. So the question is………..”Do we [do you] love Jesus as Abraham did?”