Never before in my lifetime (or perhaps even in history) has there been such neglect of correct doctrine. So many of the problems facing the Church, as well as humanity in general, can frankly be placed on today’s ministers not preaching sound doctrine.
Paul told his understudy, and beloved son in the faith, Timothy:
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.longsuffering and doctrine. 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; – 2 Timothy 4:2-4
He told Timothy that no matter what, whether things were going good in the ministry, or going bad, to preach the Word! Whether there were two people in the congregation or two million – PREACH the Word! It is the Word of God, rightly divided, that the Church needs today.
It may not be fancy, nor slick, but it is through the Bible that we have everything we need pertaining to life and Godliness (2 Peter 1:3).
He went on further telling Timothy to “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” To reprove something means to convince of a fault, or make it known. In this age of “I’m OK, your OK,” it’s not “cool” to correct error, even the blatant errors, heresy, and even blasphemy that is spewing forth from many pulpits (or, in today’s Seeker friendly churches, the comfy chair and table, which is supposed to be inoffensive, opposed to the judgmental pulpit). Whereas to reprove someone would be to show the fault, Paul goes further, and tells Timothy to rebuke, which means to chastise, or correct the fault at hand. Once reproof and rebuking take hold, one can exhort someone, which means to encourage, embolden, cheer or advise.
There is only one way of doing these things, and that is through sound doctrine. Paul told Timothy that it was “with all longsuffering and doctrine.” When we are longsuffering we put up with abuse and injury for a long time. Another words, we are not to expect great things right away. It’s only through this process of patience and doctrine that we can truly experience growth.
A proper interpretation of the Word of God is important to avoid the pitfalls.
If you’ll take but a casual glance at the average Christian “church” today, you can see that indeed the fruits of “unsound” doctrine have taken root. The church has catered to the physical needs of people, not the spiritual – the forgiveness of sins through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary. The professing church has instead, with itching ears, turned to fables.
The lie of saying, “all truth is God’s truth” has made a whole generation that runs on feeling, instead of the TRUTH of God’s Word. Such fables as “Christian Psychology,” with roots going back to ungodly men like Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and Abraham Maslow, have taken the place of counsel from the Holy Spirit through the Word of God!
In place of sound Biblical theology, the modernists have placed the emphasis on “me, myself and I,” which glorifies self instead of Christ Jesus. It becomes a hodgepodge of psychology, new age beliefs, and even outright occultism. The new age priestess Oprah Winfrey would fit right in! We don’t need, by the way, New Age bookstores. Their philosophies are in the Christian stores and churches!
From those things we need to flee, and keep looking to God’s Word, rightly divided, to guide us. If you are in an assembly that practices these hedonistic, self loving practices, you need to get into a Church that preaches the Bible, and believes what the Bible has to say. Also, you need to read and study the Word of God on your own, keeping the context of the Scriptures in mind.
There is so much that could be said, but…. I’ll leave you with the Apostle Paul’s words from Acts 20:
And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: [And] how I kept back nothing that was profitable [unto you], but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. – Acts 20:18-21