I was conned once. I picked up a hitchhiker who buttered me up with many nice words and false friendship. I had a Bible on my dashboard, and he pointed to it saying that he was also a Christian. After several minutes, he offered to sell me something at a fraction of its value. He said it belonged to a friend that needed the cash for house rent. I handed him thirty-five dollars, he stepped out into the night to get the purchased item and he was gone one second before I realized he would never come back. It was a valuable lesson for a young medical student who didn’t have $35 to throw away.

The con worked only because I was greedy. I wanted the things he was saying to be true. I wanted to get something for almost nothing. The conman played on my natural ambition, my desire to profit my poor economic position, and the thought of making a quick advance totally distracted me from common sense.

Put succinctly, I was a sucker.

A conman tells you what you want to hear and shows you a vision of something that you want to see. In the same way, when Satan deceives us, he doesn’t come as a horrid monster with horns, a tail, and a pitchfork. He is not the Lord of the Flies. Instead, he comes like an angel. He tells us what we want to hear as a way to manipulate us to his way of thinking. He is the Lord of the Lies.

I don’t have a Biblical reference to back this up, it is mostly speculation, but I think the primary lie that he tells us is that heaven and hell aren’t real, or perhaps he has the ability to push those ideas far to the back of our minds.

Think about it. We disciples of Jesus are going to heaven when we die, and heaven is described as being a place eternally lit up by the presence of God. If we really believed that there was a place like that waiting for us, in a relatively short amount of time, we would live differently. We would be in a constant state of thanksgiving and would marvel and rejoice over God’s grace; and our primary focus would be on trying to get others to go there with us.

And if we really believed that hell was real, and was, as the Bible describes it, a place of eternal punishment, then we would live differently. Because we aren’t going there, and do deserve to go there, we would be in a constant state of thanksgiving and would marvel, and rejoice over God’s grace; and, most certainly, we would go to incredible lengths, and use as much of our own resources as possible, to prevent others from going there.

There is no authority greater than the Bible and the Bible says that heaven and hell are real.

In general, Christians don’t live like heaven and hell are real. Therefore, I deduce that we have been listening to a conman—to Satan. He tells us that these post-life places aren’t real, we don’t want them to be real, yet, so we incorporate the lie into our lives, regardless of the damage that the lie might do.

Satan tells us that we can live the life that we want to live just like everyone else. He tells us that our own happiness is a worthy, and even a Godly pursuit, and that we deserve to be happy. The Satan-born thoughts then overflow into worldly behavior and we buy big houses, fancy cars and expensive toys just like the people of the world around us. Of course, they have an excuse. Lost people are supposed to behave like lost people.

But, we have joined in with the lost people, to live for this world, and to create something of a Disneyland to live in, and we really want this Disneyland life to be Real. We want our heaven to be now, and to hell with hell. We, even Christians, believe the lies because we are naturally greedy, and we want the lies to be true. It is all the ultimate conspiracy and almost everyone has bought into it: “Hell, what hell? Please supersize my order? I wonder what’s on Netflix. Do y’all want to have our drinks out by the pool?”.

Main Point: You have God’s Holy Spirit living inside of you. He is called, “the Spirit of Truth,” and, if you will listen to him, he will lead you into all truth. You don’t have to succumb to the con.

So What: The eternal placement of billions of people is dependent upon our, the Church’s, belief in the Truth.