“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine: but after their own lusts they shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears” (2 Tim. 4:3).
The importance of sound doctrine is a major and often mentioned issue in Paul’s Pastoral Epistles, and well it should be (1 Tim. 1:3, 10; 4:6,13, 16; 5:17; 6:13; 2 Tim. 3:10, 16; 4:2-3; Titus 1:9; 2:1, 7, 10)! The words teach, teacher, teaching are all translated from a form of the same Greek word that is translated doctrine! These epistles represent Paul’s “swan song” before his “departure” to be with the Lord (2 Tim. 4:6). Paul is a “preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles” (2 Tim. 1:11); therefore, his “charge” to Timothy carries with it great authority. His teaching is given much like a military instructor might give instruction. It is given as an order, a duty to which Timothy and all pastors are accountable (1 Tim. 5:20; 2 Tim. 4:1). It is not that Paul’s last words are any more inspired of God the Holy Spirit than at any other time but, rather, are especially underlined or emphasized by his repeated use of the word “charge” (1 Tim. 1:3, 5,18; 4:11; 5:7; 6:13, 17; 2 Tim. 4:1). As such, they may well be his most important or most urgent message to the church. Paul, by divine inspiration, is motivated to write the instructions and warnings in these epistles because he anticipates the problems associated with the “last days” and “perilous times” (2 Tim. 3:1; cf., 1 Tim. 4:1). One of the problems that the church will have to deal with is a new virus identified as “itching ears” – a problem caused by the church’s departure from sound doctrine (2 Tim. 4:3).
The new virus was a very highly contagious one that had infected the Ephesian Church. As a result, Timothy was sent there by Paul, The Apostle, to find a cure (1 Tim. 1:3-7). The virus was the infiltration of legalism, fables, myths and “endless genealogies.” Paul called it “vain jangling” and it stood in opposition and contrast to what he called “sound doctrine.”
The “fables” and “genealogies” describe a system of false wholesale mlb jerseys doctrine which leads believers away from the truth of Addiction the Mystery (Eph. 3:1-9). They are a satanic attack upon Church-Age doctrine. This is very plain when we take a closer look at 1 Timothy 1:4, which clearly says that the Judaizers were willingly and knowingly teaching their legalism rather than teaching the truth of the Dispensation of Grace. They did this in order to detract from the fact that Israel had been set aside because of their unbelief. It was an attempt to deny that the Dispensation of Grace had begun, and that the Body of Christ was now the agency through which the plan of God was to be executed. They acted as if the Dispensation of Grace didn’t exist. They labored to go right on with the Dispensation of Israel. This is not at all unlike what the teachers of Covenant Theology and many others are doing today.
Paul had installed Timothy as the pastor of the Ephesian Church in order to contend with and suppress the false teachings that were taking root there. The Church at Ephesus had been a strong “Grace” church thoroughly indoctrinated in the truths of the Mystery. 5-ая However, even in Paul’s day, knowing the threat that “seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Tim. 3:13), Paul warned that the day would come when they would not want what they really needed – “sound doctrine.” (Dispensational Theology, the doctrine of the Church, the Body of Christ, the believer’s heavenly hope, the blessed hope – Rapture, spiritually by grace, the Word of God, the filling of the Holy Spirit and the termination of all ceremonials and rituals!) Timothy must emphasize Dispensational Theology and, so must we! Bible-believing, fundamentalist, “Grace” Christians must take every opportunity to orientate believers to Dispensational Theology, even more so as we see the progressive and growing threat to the truth of the Word of God rightly divided! If we do not take heed and take a bold stand, all of our “Grace” churches will eventually become involved in false teaching. No pastor can lead his congregation to spiritual maturity or fulfill his ministry apart from dispensational truth! Yes, this will be difficult and perhaps painful consequences when fighting the “Itching Ear Virus.” “Yea, all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12).
Here’s How This Infectious And Contagious Disease Can Destroy A Church
First, concerning the health of the Church, the congregation “will not endure sound doctrine.” They are not driven by a desire to know the Bible doctrines that will cause them to grow in grace and be conformed cheap jerseys to the image of Christ. They do not want “sound doctrine” but, rather, seek or desire to experience what their “lust” dictates. They seek what they want not what they need. They are “lovers of pleasures” (2 Tim. 3:4), much like the theater goers and the sports enthusiasts of today. Such has long been the practice and pleasure of unsaved men – an endless search for fulfillment – even as the Athenians who “spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hearsome new thing” (Acts 17:21).
In another arena, the spiritual, moral and ethical health of our nation (Prov. 14:14; Ps. 9:17), the problem is similar and parallel. This problem has been seen in the public’s reaction to the immoral and unethical behavior of some of our national leaders! Where is the outrage? Where are the protests? Leaders who should be setting the example and pace for the spiritual and moral prosperity are often not to be found. Where are the voices of righteousness heard? Too often they are silent! Their silence is understood to be an excuse for sin. Why? Because to judge the men of unrighteous is a condemnation of themselves. It is because to condemn unrighteousness would be a condemnation of their secret sins and practices (Rom. 2:2-3). They practice or condone the same perverted values of right and wrong. They are not going to protest anymore than the people of whom Paul wrote:
“Who knowing the judgment of God that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Rom. wholesale nfl jerseys 1:32).
“When thou sawest a thief, then thou consented with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers” (Ps. 50:18)
They do not desire what is needed but pursue only what they want. Now, this is what prompts Paul’s concern as he addresses Timothy and the church. He is concerned that what has always been so much a part of the thinking, philosophy and values of the heathen – the unsaved world – will in the “last days,” invade the Church. This is a new virus – a disease of inappropriate behavior for believers. The problem is that:
Saved men: “Shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection. Trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away, For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, cake ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:1, 7).
Saved men: “Have turned aside unto vain jangling” (1 Tim. 1:6). They have “swerved” from “a good conscience and of faith unfeigned” (1 Tim. 1:5).
When we read this unsavory list of sins and deviations from sound doctrine that will overtake many believers, it seems unthinkable that there would ever come a time when saved people would ever be tempted to cheap jerseys China turn aside from the precious and satisfying truth of the Gospel of Grace (2 Tim. 3:5; Titus 1:16). But, such is the deceitfulness and power of the flesh in the “last days.” The possibility and temptation is there for all of us. No one is immune. It is for this reason that Paul passionately and earnestly pleads with Timothy and in a secondary sense, with all of us who find ourselves at that point of prophetic history called the “last days;” “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust” (1 Tim. 6:20). This sacred trust is being lost! The Church, with the speed of lightning, is turning away from Paul’s Gospel.
Saved men, are not:
to ИДЕЮ “strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers” (2 Tim. 2:14).
to, “give heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth” (Titus 1:14).
Saved men, are:
to “avoid profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called” (1 Tim. 6:20).
to “shun profane and vain babblings: they will increase unto more ungodliness” (2 Tim. 2:16).
to “refuse profane and old wives’ fables” (1 Tim. 4:7); to “avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the Law; for they are unprofitable and vain” (Titus 3:9).
to reject “a man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself” (1 Tim. 3:10-11).
To “study to show themselves approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).
to “teach no other doctrine” (1 Tim. 1:3) and, to avoid “foolish and unlearned questions, knowing that they do gender strifes” (2 Tim. 2:23).
Stay Tuned for Part 2!