Key verse: 2 Timothy 4:3
Big idea: False teaching cannot stop Jesus.
Joseph Goebbels, Nazi director of propoganda, is credited with the expression, "Believe a lie often enough and it becomes the truth." Psychologists call it the "Illusion of Truth." The more times you hear a lie, the more plausible it seems. That is why there are some ridiculous things that "everyone knows." The issue has been in the forefront of people's minds lately, as social media give people the chance to see the same false headlines dozens of times before they can be corrected. If something makes the people we like look good and those we don't look bad, then we believe it without thinking (and often without reading). Google Ngram shows the frequency of the phrase "fake news" from 1800 to 2019.
But what is dangerous for secular new is deadly for faith. Everyone knows that God will not give you more than you can handle, that all religions teach the same thing and that the Lord helps those who help themselves. Maybe your favorite Bible verse is the one about "Footprints in the Sand." Of course, none of those things are in the Bible. When something gets repeated over and over again, people begin to believe it, especially if it tickles their ears. If something is repeated and is what we want to hear, then it grows deep roots in our hearts. Throughout history, the truth of God's Word has been challenged by lies. Repeated over and over again, tuned to our preferences and quoted with enthusiasm, they threaten to lead people astray.
Yet truth is stronger still. A lie can be told a thousand times and the truth is not dimmed one whit. Although false teaching has sometimes been official teaching, God's Word has not been stopped. The message of Jesus has carved its way through the ages unbroken and untainted. No amount of false teaching ever changes the truth. What Jesus started is unstoppable.
Discussion idea: How does a Christian today best guard against being bombarded by lies of the world?
Prayer focus: Pray for a heart that yearns for God's truth.