7-30-2022 Sound Doctrine
II Timothy 4:1-5
Finished reading Paul’s second letter to his son in Christ, Timothy, and Father pointed out verses two and three in chapter four, specifically. Now, Paul also reminds Timothy of some faithful brothers but he also mentions some ‘brothers’ who weren’t so faithful.
In the first two verses Paul reminds Timothy that Jesus will judge ALL men when the time comes, then he encourages Timothy to be true in all that he has learned about Christ. Always. He encourages Timothy to correct, rebuke and encourage others while being patient as the Holy Ghost works in their lives.
Now comes the hammer! We should be faithful and true in all that we do because the time is coming when men will not listen to the sound doctrine of our Lord. They will seek after their own desires. They will seek teachers to teach them what they want to hear! They will no longer listen to the truth but listen to fables.
Seek their own desires
Scripture does say a man who doesn’t take care of his own house or family has not been doing what God says and is not worthy of our trust. He is even worse than an unbeliever (I Tim. 5:8)! He needs to have his own house in order before he can do anything else (I Tim 3:5) for anybody else.
Look at the world around us. Since the 1960’s we’ve been encourage to be our ‘own man (woman)’. We’ve been encouraged to ‘do our own thing’. The focus has been on ‘me’! What’s good for me? What works for me? What’s in it for me? Me! Me! Me!
For these next three categories think Jim Jones who was the leader of the “People’s Temple” and who created Jonestown in Guyana (South America) where @900 people died by either suicide or murder after killing U.S. congressman and investigator Leo Ryan in 1978. Or David Koresh who was the leader of the “Branch Davidians” noted for their mass suicide at the siege at Waco 1993.
People were pulled in by some smooth talking preachers who knew how to manipulate a people hungry for something better. These preachers sought their own desires (to be #1) and the people who followed them didn’t seek God but rather something that sounded good. They never bothered to check with God for the truth!
Teachers to teach what we want to hear
Our enemy (Satan) uses people to draw us away from God. He entices us with half-truths. He tried it with Jesus as Jesus fasted in the wilderness after His baptism by John the Baptist. Jesus fasted for forty days, being tempted by the devil (Luke 4:2) and the tempter said “If you’re the Son of God, command these stones to be made bread.” Jesus replied “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:1-4) What did Jesus say to the officials who asked him to hush the people as He entered Jerusalem? Jesus replied “I tell you that if these people should hold their peace, these stones would immediately cry out!” (Luke19:37-40)
Again the devil tempted Jesus atop from a pinnacle of the temple. “If you’re the Son of God, throw yourself off for it is written that God has charged His angels for your safety so you don’t hurt even your foot.” Jesus responded “It is written that you shall not tempt the Lord, your God. (Matt. 4:5-7)
And finally the devil takes Jesus to a high mountain and shows Him all the kingdoms of the land and all their glory and then says “I’ll give You all this if You just fall down and worship me.” (Mat. 4:8-9) and Jesus answered “Get away from Me Satan, for it is written ‘you shall worship the Lord your God and you shall serve only Him.” (Matt. 4:10)
Jesus is Emmanuel (God with us). He, the Father and the Holy Ghost are one, so of course He knew what the devil was up to and how to respond to him.
Today we have the scriptures (the bible) informing us how to respond to the devil’s temptations. We need to read and know it so we can, as Jesus did, respond appropriately to the devils entrapments. We need to renew our minds daily so WE can know what is good and acceptable to our heavenly Father (Rom. 2:2).
Reject sound doctrine
Satan operated like this from the beginning. Remember Eve in the garden? God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and devil for they would surely die (Gen. 2:16-17).
Our sin separates us from God so He will not hear us (Isa. 2:2). If we haven’t confessed Jesus (as Savior) with our mouth and believed in our heart that God (the Father) raised Him from the dead (Rom. 10:9), we are still in our sins separated from God. So, did Adam and Eve physically drop dead as soon as they ate the fruit? No! The bible doesn’t tell us how old Eve was when she died die but Adam was 930 when he died (Gen. 5:6). After all, they had to populate a world by having more sons and daughters (Gen. 5:4 – referencing Adam’s children, not Seth’s). Didn’t they?
The immediate death was not physical but a separation from the Father as they were expelled from the garden in Eden (Gen. 3:23-24). Though physical death lingered, it did come to Adam and Eve – and all humanity.
Sound doctrine is important. As Christians we believe Jesus shed His blood on the cross cleansing us from all our sin (1 John 1:7). So, if Christ is not risen, our faith is in vain (1 Corinth. 5:14) and there is no hope for the resurrection of the dead. BUT, we have the testimony of the empty grave (Matt. 38:1-20) that Jesus is risen and is, even now, interceding for us (1 John 2:2) so we can be with Him – forever. In John’s letter, the Greek word for ‘propitiation’ is hilasmos’ (G2434) which means atonement or expiator which is one who atones or pays the penalty for another. In this is our hope and promise of eternal existence with God, the Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord. And that is our sound doctrine!
Yes, there is evil all around us. So we need to be aware of what’s going on and endure and press through those negative things that come upon us, and continue to do the work God has given us (vs 5). Knowing that our eternity is secure because we have relationship with our Savior, re-enforced through our reading the scripture and our regular (even daily) communication with our Lord re-confirming and reassuring, in our heart that we are His and will be with Him in eternity.
So, is our sound doctrine based on the world around us? A world that is sinking deeper and deeper into destruction? Or in our faith that Jesus is our assurance of “forever”?