2 Tim. 4:3 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;
2 Tim. 4:4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
In today’s times quite a few people seem to be more careful of the type of diet they eat. There are all types of health products, articles, and nutritional information readily available that can really help you to obtain optimum health. I have said to believers for years that you are not going to live on a diet of Twinkies and stay healthy. I remember years ago hearing about some research being done and someone had taken a Twinkie and had it just setting out for years. It never decayed. As much as I loved Twinkies when I was a kid that can’t be good for you.
The same holds true for your spiritual wellbeing. Unfortunately there seems to be very little thought given as to one’s spiritual diet in life. If you want to experience a spiritual life that is full of God, getting to know Him and developing in the type of lifestyle He has for you, then you are going to have to take a look at your spiritual diet as well. One who does so and feeds on all that God has for them is going to experience God, and all that God is in a far greater measure in their life. Being a Christian is all about walking in the footsteps of Jesus and experiencing what He had while here on earth. That is what true Christianity is all about.
The apostle Paul speaking to Timothy here in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 was speaking of the last days church, and in that time period people would not endure sound doctrine. Sound doctrine is simply the whole of God’s truth that has not been corrupted by man-made doctrine. Another way to look at it would be for example the same as asking your children, “What you do want to have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday”. Imagine if your child came and told you that they only wanted ice cream for dinner and you not wanting to disappoint them said OK. How healthy would your child be?
Sound doctrine is not just the icing on the cake, it is first and foremost the meat of the message, filled with all types of things that at first you may not really in the flesh enjoy partaking of, but once you have done so it builds you up spiritually and you become a spiritually healthy child of God. You walk in the light of who you are in Christ because you have been given the nutrients of the Word of God that will help to build you up and make you strong. God’s Word has some dessert in it, but it has far more of the main course, which has all the types of things you need to be feeding on to become a strong believer who can stand up to anything and be victorious, no longer tossed around by the things of this life.
What is the reason why these people will no longer want sound doctrine, the very thing that will build them up and make them strong spiritually? Paul goes on to tell Timothy that people will, according to their own desires, heap up for themselves teachers to tickle that little itch of theirs. In other words they will want to chase after their carnal fleshly desires instead of God yet they will still want to feel like they are okay with God. So they will flock to preachers who do not feed them a healthy diet that is good for them, instead these preachers will give the people what they want to hear even though they are going against what scripture may say. “So you want ice cream, well I don’t want to disappoint you and have you leave my church or lose your approval, so I will give you ice cream”.
Paul then goes on to tell Timothy in verse 4 that these people will begin to turn away from the truth, and instead they will be turned aside to fables. That is a very sad statement. Jesus said if you abide in His Word you are His disciple indeed, you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free, not bring you into bondage. There are many today when you speak the truth of God’s Word to them they claim you are trying to put them in bondage, but that is a lie from the pit of hell itself. Walking in the light of the Word is not bondage, it is liberating.
It is sad to see believers who will actually take a stand for things that go against God’s Word. They have turned from the truth and have now gone after fables. Fables are man-made fictions or myths. It is what man says is true, not what God says is true. The people I see this happening to are those who ignore the truth spoken by ministers who don’t compromise in what they preach, or they are lukewarm Christians who are not passionately pursuing God, they fit God into their life when it is convenient for them. Lukewarm means to be indifferent. Some examples would be, “It doesn’t matter if I go to church, read the Word, pray, or give to God. After all, God loves me.” God does love us, but Jesus said if we are lukewarm when He returns we will be spewed out of His mouth (Rev. 3:14-16).
Prov. 19:21 There are many plans in a person’s mind, but it is the counsel of the LORD which will stand.
Everyone has their own opinion about life. But no matter what our opinion is about something, it is the Lord’s counsel that stands, not our opinion. This is the problem with lukewarm believers, or those who have flocked to ministers that are tickling their fleshly itch. These people have their opinion about every topic you can think of, and no matter what you show them from the Word of God they don’t see it. No matter how black and white it may be, they are unwilling to side with God and His Word because they feel their opinion is right.
That is only going to lead one down a road of failure, deception, seduction, and being overtaken by the darkness that is in the world. Yet when you try to lovingly correct these type of people they become very defensive, argumentative, and sometimes hateful. They think you are exaggerating the Word of God, or you just don’t know what you are talking about, or you are just from the “old school”. It has always been interesting to me how these who are walking by their own belief instead of God’s Word think for some reason that even though you spend hours and hours as a minister of God studying His Word, yet somehow they know more about the scriptures than you do.
This is like a parent who has lived years longer than their child and been through much of what they have been through trying to help their child not to make the same mistakes and yet the child thinks they are smarter than their parent. They think their parent is out of touch with reality and therefore they could not understand them, nor know all that they know. As Ecclesiastes states there is nothing new under the sun, what has been will be. Why would you as a parent, if you care for your child and love them, put restrictions and what your children can and can’t do? Because you have knowledge that child does not have.
2 Tim. 4:2 Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. [Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong.] And convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching.
Please look carefully from the Amplified version of 2 Timothy 4:2, which is what Paul told this young pastor Timothy he was responsible to do. He was to preach the Word! Not his opinion, nor what man wanted to hear. Whether this was favorable among the people or not, welcomed by people or not welcomed, he as a preacher of the Word was to show people in what way their lives were wrong. Through his preaching and teaching he was to convince, rebuke, correct, warn, urge, and encourage them. There are far to many pastors and ministers today who will only encourage people, but will not do the rest of what they are called by Jesus Christ to do.
We are not talking about beating people up with the Bible. But I can assure you if I was headed down the wrong path for my life I would want to know about it. The reason far to many don’t is because they have their hearts set upon their own desires and not upon God. God’s desires for us are always good. That does not mean we are always just going to hear an encouraging word. Look at the most popular preachers today and examine out of these requirements given to them as a minister of the gospel how many of these do they actually do? They will sound as if they really care about you, but what most don’t realize is that the minister who won’t do what God’s Word says is more concerned about being liked by you instead of sparing your life much pain.
Now more than ever we need to make sure we are not chasing our own desires. Those who do will not endure; they will not receive and apply sound teaching to their life. They are going to feed on spiritual junk food or fleshly things and this is only going to make them spiritually weaker and weaker. That is what satan wants. Don’t fall for this and allow him opportunity to take advantage of your life. Find a minister of God who fulfills the mandate given to him in preaching God’s Word. Get rid of your personal opinions about God’s Word and just stick to the Word, no matter what you think. Change your way of thinking to line up with God’s. If you are getting a healthy spiritual diet you are going to be strong spiritually and face the day fearless.
See You Again Next Week For More “Weekly Wisdom”
May God’s Best Be Yours!
Pastor Darryl Baker