You motivate me,I follow you… You entertain me rather than edify me,I send you a friend request…You charm me with your sermons rather than challenge me,I listen to your message on CDs…
TEXT:”For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.”-2Tim 4:3.
Before we look at the topic for today,let’s briefly consider what Paul meant as ‘sound doctrine.’
Sound means to be ‘in good health’. A man is said to be sound in health when every cell,tissue,organ and system in his body works in harmony with one another.Even though the heart is different in structure and function from a kidney,they work together in conjunction with other organs to achieve a purpose: Sound health to the body.When one is diseased,the others are affected.
a)Therefore a sound doctrine is a teaching that is in harmony/in sync with the rest of the scripture(both old and new testament).You can’t just pick a verse in isolation.When you do that,you quote out of context and you are like a man that removes his heart and expects the body to still be sound.You can’t pick a shadow of things in the Old Testament as a doctrine without seeing it under the microscope of the New Testament.However shadows must never be centres of focus when the SUBSTANCE has appeared.
“You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine”-Titus 2:1
“But as for you, teach what is consistent with healthy doctrine.”
“But as for you, communicate the behavior that goes with sound teaching.”
b)A sound doctrine must have the birth(coming in the flesh),death and resurrection of Christ as the PRIMARY THING AND THE BIG PICTURE. “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance : that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures”-1Cor 15:3-4.
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God-1John 4:2
Any doctrine/teaching that does not take its foundation/root from the finished work of Christ for believers is a false doctrine or has a potential to become a false doctrine.
Lets go back to our text and bring out some points from it.
1)This prophecy has gotten to the peak of its fulfilment now…If you are active on the social media,you will understand better.People now have specific ministers they listen to/follow.The (OSAS)hypergrace/freelancers folks don’t follow the holiness camp ministers and vice versa.
2)No Pastor/Bishop/Overseer can confidently say he/she has 100percent influence on his/her members again!The members are buffeted with various teachings from right,left and center.The era of coming to hear sermon on Sunday and be satisfied with that message throughout the week is over.People get exposed to many messages through the various platforms on social media these days.
3)Every believer now has an arduous task to differentiate between sound and fake doctrines.
4)However,between sound and false doctrines,Apostle Paul gave the latter an upper hand.He said people will no longer endure/tolerate/put up with sound doctrine!In other words,in terms of doctrinal issues,things will become worse! You had better get ready!
5)Rather than teachers looking for students to impart knowledge on,the latter are the ones that pick/follow the teachers of their choice based on their desires!Hence Bible says “they heap up teachers for themselves”. They desire to be mentored by these teachers.
6)These desires will cause a condition that Apostle Paul called ‘itching ears’/’tickling ears’. It is a figure of speech that refers to people’s desires,needs, or wants. It is a term used in the Bible to describe people who seek doctrines that follow their own lifestyle. Next point reveals what these ‘ears’ decide to do:
7)”They will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” “They will gather around them teachers to suit themselves”.(BLB) “Will surround themselves with teachers who cater to their people’s own desires.”(ISV). “They will accumulate teachers for themselves, because they have an insatiable curiosity to hear new things.”(NET) “Accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions(ESV)
8)That someone has many followers on social media does not mean what he/she is teaching is a sound doctrine.Many ‘likes’ or ‘shares’ are not to be taken as confirmation of the soundness of the doctrine. Let that sink!
9)Conversely,if you teach sound doctrine,you can’t use the number of your followers to determine the authenticity of your doctrine.Don’t expect too many likes/shares.Many of the disciples of Jesus ‘unfollowed’ Him too: “Many of his disciples said, ʻThis is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?’ . . . From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him” (John 6:60) .Sound doctrines are hard teachings especially for those with itching ears.
10)Teachers of false doctrine will never tell you they are deceiving you! They will rather behave as angels of light.So you need to be careful when they post their doctrines on social media backed up with Bible quotations and sophistries.
11)They will tell you what you want to hear.Their doctrines will be tailored towards what your flesh desires:Pleasures-centered and never self-denial.These false teachers have their own bible dictionary:
‘Sin’ is called ‘mistake’,
There is nothing like ‘hell’ because God is too loving to punish sinners in hell! Lies!!!
‘Hypergrace’ has replaced the need for ‘repentance’ :“For some people have slipped in among you unnoticed…They turn the grace of our God into uncontrollable lust and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus the Messiah.”-Jude 4
Every mention of ‘blessings’ in the Bible is almost always viewed as ‘money’.It must be interpreted in line with accumulation of wealth!Someone said: “Messages that tickle ears can fill a lot of churches, sell a lot of books, and buy a lot of time on cable Tv!”
12)These fake teachers love bringing out new stuffs/revelations from the Bible.Brethren take heed: That something is new to you does not necessarily mean it is a revelation from God. There are doctrines of men,doctrines of demons and doctrines from God. If it sounds too good to be true,consider the doctrine twice before you swallow it hook line and sinker:”Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world”-1John 4:1
If you already have itching ears against sound doctrine it is high time you repented.Stop using feathers to tickle your spiritual ears.You need the sword of the Spirit and the hammer of His word to pierce and break through the rock therein.
Take heed especially on social media, there are many false teachers out there.
Stay blessed and rapturable
Have you heard about the B-I-G Outreach…a commission with a mandate to teach the sound doctrine of Christ and bring healing to souls through the power of God and wisdom of God from Medicine?