We've all been taught certain myths as we grow up and most
of them are frankly, harmless. But there are some myths
that are extremely harmful.
There are just all kinds of things that we've heard and
ab-sorbed, that the world has taught us that just aren't
true: Myths about yourself, myths about God, and myths
about life and the future and money and sex and
relationships, myths about heaven and hell. Some of those
bring with them some ex-tremely negative consequences.
One myth that undergirds so many of the others is it
doesn't matter what you believe as long as you're sincere.
Have you ever heard that? Sure you have. It doesn't matter
what you be-lieve as long as you're sincere. That sounds so
mature, that sounds so accommodating, so politically
correct. But the problem with this commonly accepted cliché
is, it's absurd. It's absolutely ridiculous, it's naïve and
As you go through life, you'll find that so many times
there are beliefs that are antitheses of each other; they
can't both be true, that's just an impossibility. A few
weeks ago, my wife and I had arranged via phone to be at a
certain place at a cer-tain time. You know how busy we get,
a two-car family kind of thing, and I misunderstood. I
believed I was to meet her at a certain place at a certain
time and that's not what she be-lieved. Now is it all right
to believe whatever you believe as long as you're sincere?
We were both sincere, but we never rendezvoused. It cost us
both about three hours out of our day. You see you can be
sincere, but you can be sincerely wrong.
I was channel-surfing the other night and came across the
middle of a movie about some terrorists who had gotten in
and rearranged the computer and the radar signals for major
airports. In this fictitious movie an airplane was coming
in to land. The pilot thought they were 300 feet above the
ground when in fact as they came through the clouds, the
runway was there and they crashed and burned. But you see
the pilot thought he was 300 feet above...he was sincere.
He was just sincerely wrong.
There are beliefs that we encounter that, if we don't
correct them, will cause us to crash and burn. There are
some very simple principles about belief. Some of these are
going to seem elementary and fundamental, that's because
they are. Some of these we aren't even conscious of, but
let's go right to the root and build on it.
1. You choose
what you believe.
It's true that there are numerous influences on our lives,
but nobody forces you to believe anything. If I don't want
to be-lieve something, I don't have to. If I want to
believe in some-thing, I can. Nobody can stop me. If I want
to believe the Bi-ble is the word of God, I can believe
that, and I do. If the Re-publicans and the Democrats are
at an impasse, you can choose to believe the Democrats, or
you can choose to believe the Republicans. It doesn't make
any difference, you can choose to believe whatever you
Nobody forces you to believe anything. The point is, you
can't blame anybody else for what you believe. My parents,
my teachers, my peers, they influence my belief, but they
don't control them. This is a key point as we analyze the
beliefs that we have. You may find you've embraced a belief
that's been wrong for years, but you can change that
God said in Proverbs 8:10 "Choose my instructions, instead
of silver." In Romans 1:25, Paul was talking about some
de-praved godless people and said, "They exchanged the
truth of God for a lie." Do you see the two things these
verses have in common? The idea is choice, choosing what
2. My beliefs
control my behavior.
In other words, they determine how I act. Proverbs 4:23 in
the NIV says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is
the well-spring of life." I like the way the Good News
translation ren-ders this particular proverb, "Be careful
what you think, for your life is shaped by your thoughts."
That's exactly right. The old King James Version says, "As
a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."
There is a belief behind every single action that you take
in life? When you sit down in a chair, you believe
consciously or unconsciously that it's going to support
your weight. Now for some of us that could take a great act
of faith, but that's the belief. When you went out to your
car this morning, put the key into the ignition and turned
it, you believed the car was going to start. Every action
we take has a belief behind it. The problem comes when my
beliefs are wrong; because my be-liefs will still determine
Look at some practical applications. If you believe that
you are an ornery person, how do you think you're going to
act? Pretty ornery. If you believe you are a clumsy person,
you'll find yourself stumbling over everything. If you
believe you can't trust anybody else, you're going to go
through life look-ing at everybody suspiciously. You'll act
like they can't be trusted. If you believe that you cannot
understand the Bible, you'll never read it. If you believe
that God doesn't really care about you, you will not pray.
If you believe God is out to get you, you will do
everything you can to avoid God. See every action you have
has behind it a corresponding belief. The point is, even if
your beliefs are wrong, they affect your be-havior, so all
our beliefs must be examined.
3. The world
bombards us with false beliefs.
I mean bombards us. One place to find these is the
check-out line in the grocery store. Look over the Enquirer
and Globe headlines. Every week there's a new cure for
cancer, if you will just eat this the cancer will go away.
I'd like to believe that, except right beside that article
is one about the latest alien to visit earth. A preacher
friend of mine clipped out one I really enjoyed. It said,
"New Discovery - Fat-Burning Prayers." The whole article
said, "You just pray these prayers and the pounds will melt
It's hard to know what to believe anymore, isn't it? We
used to say, "I'll believe when I see it." But you can't
even trust that anymore. Technology has come up with a
thing called, "Vir-tual Reality." They blend fact and
fiction so that you can't tell the difference such as the
movies Forrest Gump and Jurassic Park. So, we really can't
determine if what we see is real or not. The following are
my own top ten myths that are fostered on these television
talk shows. They are not funny. But these are some cultural
myths that people are buying into without exception.
a. My happiness comes over my
b. You'll be happy if you get what you
want. (That's a lie.)
c. The world owes you a living and
d. All beliefs are equally valid.
(Discussed in this lesson.)
e. You can have it all. (No you must
f. There is never any reason to feel
g. You shouldn't have to wait for
h. Man is basically good and
i. All your problems are somebody else's
j. The answer lies within you because
we're all God.
(Propagated on talk shows) If the answer was within me, I
would have figured it out a long time ago. Wouldn't
You see those are the kind of things that over and over
again, we're hearing. Over 2,000 years ago when he was in
his 90's the apostle John warned "Dear Friends, do not
believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether
they are from God" (1 John 4:1) and "For everything in the
world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and
the boasting of what he has and does-comes not from the
Father but from the world." (1 John 2:16) The world is
bombarding us with false beliefs.
A belief doesn't have to be true to affect your happiness
and your emotional stability. If somebody ran in through
one of the doors right now and began yelling, "Fire! Fire!"
but there's no fire. It wouldn't make a lot of difference
for a lot of us, be-cause as soon as you heard somebody
that emphatically screaming that alarm, you'd believe it.
Then a number of things would happen. Your pulse would
become rapid, your blood pressure would elevate, your
muscles would tighten, and your stomach would begin to
secrete acid. You would be-come just a nervous wreck, great
emotional turmoil, even though it's not true.
That happens all the time in everyday life, and you don't
even realize it. You worry about things that are not true.
You're afraid of things that aren't real. You rely on
things to give your life meaning and purpose that never
were designed to do that. The result is confusion and
misery. So even if a belief is not true, it still causes
emotional turmoil in your life. If you want to overcome
stress, guilt, anger, worry and emotional problems, you've
got to clarify and correct the mis-beliefs in your
I found a statement by a psychologist, Dr. Chris Thurman.
He said, "Truth is the road map for negotiating the
difficult chal-lenges of life. Without it we get lost and
develop emotional problems that tell us we're lost. We
often settle for half-truth or no truth at all because it's
easier." That's a great line, he's right. There are some
made by psychologists I don't agree with, but I think he is
right on target. He also said, "But truth is the only road
to emotional health, there is no other path." That's a
great quote, but Jesus had a better one. It was more
powerful and more concise and said essentially the same
thing. "You shall know the truth, and the truth will make
you free." (John 8:32)
The goal of this series of lessons is to expose the lies
that we've been taught and that some of us have bought
into. We're going to also unveil the truth, and the truth
will set you free from those things that bring misery to
5. The only
source of absolute truth is God.
Mark that well. He is the only source of absolute truth.
"I, the Lord, speak the truth; I declare what is right."
(Isaiah 45:19) Jesus, who was the Son of God, was God come
in the flesh. John said, "'I am the way, I am the truth,
and I am the life. No one comes to the Father except by
me.'" (John 14:6)
The fundamental question that you need to ask yourself and
every human being has to ask whether you're a Christian or
not is: What is going to be the authority of my life? What
is going to be my standard? What is going to be my compass?
What is going to be my guide? What am I going to base my
You have got two options. You can base it on the world, or
you can base it on the Word. You either have what man says,
and man will say a million different contradictory things,
or you can have what God says. You can build your life on
what culture says, or upon what Christ says. Which of those
two do you think is more reliable?
The problem is not just that man is often dishonest and
will share outright lies; the problem with man is that we
are so ig-norant that even when we think we're telling the
truth, we don't know all the truth. Newsweek magazine has a
section called Conventional Wisdom. Have you seen that?
Think about what that means. Conventional Wisdom means it's
wise today. Real wisdom is never conventional; real wisdom
is eternal. One of the problems with man is we're always
learn-ing more. So we have a hard time discovering what's
I noticed something a few years ago that some of you can
really relate to. Seventy-three million of us are Baby
Boomer children who were raised on the second best-selling
book of all time, second only to the Bible. Do you know
what that book is? Dr. Spock's Baby Book. He wrote it, "How
to Rear Your Children." An entire generation of Americans
was brought up on that book. The only problem is that just
a few years ago, in his seventies, Dr. Spock publicly held
a press conference and he said, "Whoops! I was wrong." You
were what? It's too late, I'm dysfunctional. What do you
mean you were wrong? An entire generation was reared on a
man's theo-ries and he comes to find out those were never
correct in the first place. That's Conventional Wisdom.
The average life span of a science text used at the college
level today is 18 months. That's the life span of a science
text. In that kind of environment, you don't put your faith
on some-thing that you can't depend upon tomorrow,
otherwise you might think you're climbing the ladder of
success and you find out it's leaning against the wrong
What am I going to base my life on? Jesus said, "'Heaven
and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass
away.'" (Luke 21:33) David said "Your word, O Lord, is
eternal; it stands firm in the heavens." (Psalm 119:89)
People, God's word has stood the test of time like nothing
else ever has or ever will. You can trust it as your
standard and your compass and your guidebook because it's
not based on conventional wisdom, it's based upon on the
very character and ultimate knowledge of God. He is the
only source of absolute truth.
6. Build your
life on God's truth!
It's the key. Now God's truth is found on every page of the
Bible. I encourage you to read every bit of it, if you
will. It is ultimately and most clearly embodied in Jesus
Christ. One of the reasons 1Peter 2:21 says Jesus came, is
that he came to give us an example. A lot of us hear and a
lot of us read, but most of us learn better when we
actually see a model. Jesus was God come in the flesh. He
said, "I am the way, I am the truth, and I am the life." In
everything he said, in everything he did, in everything he
was, it was the truth.
While recovering from knee surgery I decided to re-read the
gospels. I read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, because if
I'm going to teach you about truth, I want to know this man
who said, "I am the truth." Eighty different times in
Scripture, Je-sus said, "I tell you the truth." Isn't that
something? Eighty times, he says emphatically, I want you
to hear this. Twenty different times, he said, "Now you've
heard it said, but I want to say it to you." Do you know
what he was doing? He was clearing up myths that bring
misery. He said now here are things you've bought into, but
now let me tell you the truth.
As you study things Jesus said and things that other
biblical writers have shared with us that are true, commit
to three things.
Commit to seek the truth.
Have that desire on your heart. "Have nothing to do with
god-less myths and old wives' tales; rather, train yourself
to be godly." (1 Timothy 4:7) Later Paul warned Timothy, a
young preacher, "For the time will come when men will not
put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own
desires, they will gather around them a great number of
teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They
will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to
myths." (2 Timothy 4:3,4)
The point is test everything you hear, see or experience
against God's truth. The world, or people around me, may
say "It's hot, it's the in thing, everybody's doing it,"
The truth may declare it's not okay. I could take too long
right here giving you a classic example. Let me tell you
what pops into my mind. Astrology and the psychic hot
lines, those things have to be making millions of dollars,
there are too many on televi-sion not to be. I'm sure most
people that dabble in those things, some of them are
serious, some of them are for fun and some of them are just
a joke. God's word says it's not funny. I can show you a
dozen different passages that say it's wrong, it's evil,
stay away from it. I test everything by God's word, even my
One of the things our generation believes in is personal
ex-perience. It's the ultimate truth. If I know it, feel it
or sense it, it's got to be the way it is. Now you think
about that. If tech-nology can create a virtual reality
experience so life-like that I can't tell if it's false,
don't you think the devil can do the same thing? In fact,
don't you think he's had that power for years, and years,
and years? I test even the experience that I'm con-vinced
I've had against the truth of God's word, and if the two
clash, which do I accept? I accept the truth of God's word,
Pe-riod. Just because you've experienced it doesn't mean
it's right, true, or correct.
Most of us have seen the bumper sticker that says, "God
says it, I believe it, that settles it." It's not a bad
bumper sticker, but I've got a better one for you: "God
said it, that settles it, whether I believe it or not."
Whether I believe it or not, it doesn't make any
difference; God said it, that's the way it is. Truth is
truth whether I believe it or not.
The point is for me to seek it. But, where do I seek it?
Not from the grocery store check-out lines, (1) I seek it
in Christ. Jesus said, "I came to this world to testify to
the truth. I seek it in the word of God." (John 18:37) The
Bible says, "Thy word is truth." Proverbs 30:5 says, "The
word is flawless." (2) I seek it through his church. Paul
told Timothy, "You will know how people ought to conduct
themselves in God's household which is the church of the
living God, the pillar and founda-tion of the truth." (1
Commit to believe and embrace the truth.
It's not enough to seek it and it's not enough to know it,
it has to be embraced. The word, "believe," is another word
that popped out at me all the way through the gospel
accounts. John 3:18, states, "'Whoever believes in him is
not con-demned, but whoever does not believe stands
condemned al-ready because he has not believed in the name
of God's one and only Son.'" Even the devil has an
intellectual ascent of God, a belief and not an
Commit to live the truth.
I seek it, I believe and embrace it, and I live it. I obey
it. I do it. I start by obeying the gospel putting my trust
in the good news that Jesus is truth personified, God who
came into the world. This guidebook, His word, shares with
us the simple way that's done. It starts with the belief
that Jesus is God's son, a belief that leads to us
confessing him verbally, declar-ing to the world your
allegiance to him. (Romans 10:9-10) It says once you have a
commitment of your heart and your af-fection to him your
whole obedience to the gospel is culmi-nated by an
experience called baptism, a physical immersion into water.
Jesus, himself, said to Nicodemus, before he ever died in
that atoning death, "except a man be born of water and of
the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (John
3:5) "All of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were
bap-tized into his death? We were therefore buried with him
through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ
was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father,
we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:3-4)
Folks, that's the truth about the commitment to Jesus.
That's the truth about how you start your life as a
Christian, how you become a Christian. From that
commitment, you live loving him and walking in the light of
God's truth. But it's up to you. Remember you've got the
freedom to believe any-thing you want to believe. But
whatever you believe, the truth is still the truth.
But, there is a great warning, "They perish because they
re-fused to love the truth and so be saved." (2
Thessalonians 2:10) Somebody asked me the other day: "Will
smoking send me to hell?" I said, "Well, I don't know about
that, but it will smell like you've been there." But you
know let's don't start picking out little sin. We all
commit sin. Do you know what's going to send anybody to
hell? 2 Thessalonians 2:10 tells us, it is to refuse to
accept, love and follow the truth. God does not send
anybody to hell; he let's everybody choose what they are
going to believe and what they are going to do about those
beliefs. Teacher - Steve
Flatt - Amazing Grace Bible Class Program #1244
1. It doesn't matter what one believes as long as he is
2. One is free to choose whatever he wishes to believe?
3. What one believes does not affect their action?
4. My happiness comes over my responsibility?
5. You'll be happy if you get what you want.
6. The world owes you a living and happiness.
7. All beliefs are equally valid.
8. You can have it all without any sacrifice.
9. There is never any reason to feel guilty.
10. You shouldn't have to wait for anything.
11. Man is basically good and unselfish.
12. All your problems are somebody else's fault.
13. The answer lies within you because we're all God.
14. The source of absolute truth is
15. To build a life on God's truth one must
Commit to seek truth
Commit to believe and embrace truth
Commit to live the truth
There is no absolute truth