2 Timothy 4:3,4
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
What is new from the pulpit has become more important than expositional teaching on what God has written. Because of this emphasis, many do not know how to identify error, nor have a clue on what to do about it. Because of this lack of conveying doctrine to the assembly, we also find people that believe they can be Christian without the confines of doctrine. They like the moral teaching and higher ethics Jesus offers, they will emulate Jesus, but they do not find it necessary to do it by the book. Jesus becomes their mentor and helps reinforce their views of what they think is right in life.
Paul wrote to young Timothy who was trained in the Jewish Scriptures since his youth. 2 Timothy 4:3-5: “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. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
Paul spoke prophetically about that “time” which should be apparent to all…it has come. They “will not endure sound doctrine.” They will NOT put up with those who teach correctly. Why? Because they have a need to scratch their ears with something new (like the Greek philosophers). They intentionally turn from hearing the truth and appoint teachers that will speak (scratch) to what their itch (desire) dictates.
Some in the Church that have been persuaded not to sit under sound Bible teaching that will awaken them. More pulpit time is devoted to storytelling, jokes and illustrations (stories- fables and myths) than the exposition of the word. The sheep’s diet consists more of entertainment, with music, skits and dances with sermons that are like drinking warm milk that will only help them go to sleep.
To ‘hold fast’ to the word is someone who is to be Bible based, sound in understanding of what the Scripture says and does not say. To understand what God has said as God’s word is living and active today just as it was when it was spoken or written.
If you are firm in your belief of the doctrines of the Christian faith, you can be relied on to maintain and defend those doctrines. You can be expected to withstand those in opposition because you have become familiar and digested the faithful word.
2 Thess. 2:15: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, (holding fast) and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” Hold or stand fast is the Greek word steko, a perfect tense meaning to be stationary, to persevere: in other words we are not to be moved. Those who continue in sound doctrine have not moved from what they were taught, it is those who do not teach sound doctrine that have moved from where they once were.
By “Sound” doctrine, means healthy, like the saying, “sound advice,” to be uncorrupt (true in doctrine). A church becomes unhealthy not because the gifts are not being used, but because the consistent teaching of sound doctrine is lacking. This is a big problem today. To be healthy means we are growing to maturity, we are growing in love, in grace, not being dysfunctional. If you are sound in doctrine the gifts will flow out correctly. When we see people have an unbalanced obsession with healing, miracles and rigorously pursue experiences… it is because they have not been taught sound doctrine. They have neglected to train themselves in godliness that sound doctrine produces.
“The Faithful word” are the true doctrines. This means that we are to hold this, in opposition to those who would wrest it away, and in opposition to all false teachers we would encounter.
Titus 1:10 “For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision” Paul calls them unruly- rebellious people, deceivers. These are those that do not receive the sound doctrine, and are not willing to submit to the authority of Scripture. They are ruled by their own opinions, not Christ.
Many want to be a Christian without the confines of doctrine explicitly or implicitly stated in the New Testament. The theological implications of this separation is nothing short of disastrous, because it makes the church into a liberal organization that has no roots in the original church started by the apostles. The Pastoral and General Epistles are the revelation based on the new covenant of grace and are the instructors on how to conduct ourselves until Jesus Christ comes again. They are to be continually taught to each succeeding generation.
Scripture of the day: “The things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” ~ (2 Timothy 2:2).
Pastor Peter Okereke Jr.
The Living Word Ministries Inc.
Copyright Reserved, 2012.
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