“Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27
Our LORD made it clear that His abiding disciples are only “clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” (John 15:3) This is not a one-time event but an ongoing experience of every true follower of Jesus who is abiding/remaining in Christ and not departing from the faith (John 15:1-6; 1 Timothy 4:1, etc.). Christ is going to return for a people who are being washed by His blessed Word. This we understand to mean that His true remnant are those who are enduring sound doctrine and not shunning anything that comes from Him in His written Word. Sound doctrine is an integral part of Jesus’ washing. Making oneself accountable to sound doctrine is evidence that one is abiding in Christ and not departing from the truth.
“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:” Titus 2:1
Those who truly know and follow Jesus hear His Word and do not shun “sound doctrine,” but rather fall on that blessed “sword of the Spirit” for continual shaping and circumcision (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12).
Enduring Sound Doctrine is Crucial
Are YOU enduring “sound doctrine”? – “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 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; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:2-4
To “endure sound doctrine” involves opening our hearts and lives to the full counsel of God’s Word. The word “endure” here comes from the Greek word anechomai which means to hold one’s self up against, to bear, endure, suffer. Are you suffering “sound doctrine”? Are you bearing “sound doctrine”? Friend, are you holding yourself up against “sound doctrine”?
“Sound doctrine” hurts at times and yet, later it will yield the greatest of rewards. Enduring sound doctrine requires the cutting away or circumcising of those things in our hearts, thinking, and lives that are not of God. It’s a cutting away of the old and of that which does not please our LORD. If you are like me, you still have things in your life that the LORD is dealing with.
The LORD is still working on us. Jesus said that when He causes good fruit to be born in our lives, He then purges us so that more fruit can be produced (John 15:1-6). So, we learn from this that our LORD’s purging is the result of measured victory and the facilitating of greater victory!
Why do we resist the blessed deliverance of our Father? It’s always a blessed outcome when He delivers us from something that is not of Him, right?
Guys, do you remember when you were a boy and got a splinter in your finger or foot? Everything that touched that splinter hurt and so you complained to your daddy and he got out the tweezers. Then, you resisted, pulled back, and said something like “But daddy it’s going to hurt if you pull out the splinter. Your father then still proceeded, going against your will, and forcefully held down your hand where the splinter was. He then plucked that foreign object from your body and you were immediately comforted and the healing began.
Yielding our will to our heavenly Father is so very important. Telling Him today that He is the One in control, and not us, is a good place to start.
Many among us migrate to smiling, entertaining, ear-tickling hirelings who refuse to preach on sin, the holiness of God, the need for repentance and confession of all sin, the daily cross, dying to self, giving of ourselves and substance to God and others, and judgment to come. If this is not amended, it will result in eternal damnation. Avoiding truth speakers – those who preach only God’s holy truth/Word – is deadly. Rebellious, unrepentant, backslidden Israel did just this and they called out for the phony false prophets to give them “smooth things.” (Isaiah 30:9-10)
“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. 5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” 2 Timothy 2:3-5
Jesus and His apostles never said that enduring hardness and sound doctrine would be easy. Yet, they did promise that the rewards will be eternal (Matthew 5:10-12; 1 Corinthians 2:9; 1 Peter 4:12-14, etc.).
Those who drop out of the race before the end will lose all (1 Corinthians 9:19-24; Hebrews 12:1-4). All things are being and going to be “shaken.”
“And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. 25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:24-29
Earlier in this chapter the Holy Spirit is speaking to us about the chastening of our LORD upon EVERY one of His children (Hebrews 12:1-6). If our Father in Heaven who loves us is chastening us, He is shaking those things from our lives that do not belong so that we may “remain” in the end and not be washed away in the tidal wave of His wrath, which He warned us that many would be – “many” who claim to know Him but don’t (Matthew 7:21-29).
Now, read 2 Timothy 2 and seek the LORD to properly “suffer” so you can “reign with him” and to “purge” out those things which don’t belong in your thinking and life. It’s only then that you can be His “vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” Pour prayerfully over our LORD’s words in this blessed chapter of 2 Timothy 2. Get this divine wisdom in your heart and share it with others. Underline, highlight, and put some of the verses in this royal chapter on index cards to learn, memorize, and meditate upon them.
Avoiding Sound Doctrine is Easy to do in this Last Hour
There are many options available to dodge and avoid enduring “sound doctrine.” Satan’s wolves are the overwhelming majority of all those in leadership positions in the apostate church world today. The LORD wasn’t lying when He foretold us of this hour. These beguiling, devouring wolves make it very easy to insulate ourselves from the truth. They entertain, tickle our sinful fancy, and do anything but preach the raw Word of God in the holy fear of God. They therefore lull their gullible, unrepentant, non-abiding, un-vigilant hearers further to sleep, burying them in Laodicean lukewarmness, and this will seal their eternal doom (Revelation 3:14-21). They once knew the LORD, but have since fallen away, allowing “the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust of other things” to choke out the Word from their lives (Mark 4:17-19).
Regrettably, most modern “preaching” is a joke. Those who preach are moral softies – pansies – who are woefully “at ease in Zion.” (Amos 6:1) They refuse to “Preach the word.” (2 Timothy 4:2)
Wolves always migrate to and morph themselves into roles and titles that hide the fact that they are antichrists – subversive to truth while claiming to represent Christ. Many today who claim to be watchmen are wolves. Beware! Hirelings do not wish to be detected. They must keep themselves hidden AT ALL COSTS! They are thriving on your dime as they deceptively scam you in order to build their church industry business. Did our LORD not tell us they would be disguised in sheep garb? (Matthew 7:15; 2 Corinthians 11:12-15) The wolf must at all costs speak ear-tickling, “smooth things” to you – to make sure he doesn’t interrupt your life the way it is, calling you to repent and truly lay it all down (Isaiah 30:9-10; John 12:23-25; 2 Timothy 4:2-4). The absolute necessity of the daily cross and personal holiness must never be mentioned (Luke 9:23-24; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 1:15-16). The condition and essential of enduring to the end with Christ and overcoming sin and Satan all means dying to self and so that must be left out of the message (Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Revelation 2-3). They have “crept in unawares (undetected)” and that’s how they are able to do their work of subverting truth in the guise of representing the LORD (Jude 3-4). They ever seek to remain hidden from the view – the discernment – of those they prey upon and are deceiving. This is exactly why the LORD gave us so much instruction concerning -knowing/discerning them by their fruits – namely that of their doctrine. We are told to “earnestly contend” against them and “mark them which cause division contrary to the DOCTRINE” our LORD gave us in His Word (Romans 16:17-18; Jude 3-4). Did not our LORD, the very “Great shepherd of the sheep,” repeatedly warn us because He loves and desires to protect us? (John 10:1-10; Hebrews 13:20) Dear Pastor
You see saints, ANY so-called “Christian” leader who is not teaching you to die is false. It’s real simple – Jesus taught the daily cross and it’s all over each of the 4 Gospels which feature what our LORD taught. Any writer, blogger, or leader who isn’t teaching what Jesus taught is a fraud. Paul said that the person who does this is an enemy of the cross of Christ and minds “earthly things” – anything except that which our Heavenly Savior said and therefore counted as important to Him and those who will know Him (Philippians 3:18-21).
“Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) 20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
“Whose God is their belly” – Regrettably, most people in ministry are out to make a name for themselves and not to make Christ Jesus’ name glorious. The remnant disciple has to be wiser than to patronize such and to thereby shun Jesus and do despite unto Him with whom we have to do (1 Corinthians 1:29-31). Sound doctrine teaches us that all glory goes to Christ alone and He will share that glory with no man (Isaiah 42:8).
“The Word of God is not about doctrine or theology, it is all about Jesus Christ and His Love, Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness. The Scriptures teach and guide us to a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ through the understanding given to us by the Holy Spirit….May the love of Christ be upon you all, Praise God for all glory is given to our Father in Heaven.”
Those things ARE doctrine brother. “Doctrine” appears 51 times in God’s Word. But you left out the uniqueness of Christ and how He – the only Messiah – fulfilled over 300 prophecies, holiness, the life and mission of Christ, repentance, sin, the soon coming of Jesus, the daily cross He commanded us to take up, etc. Now, do we begin to see why the Bible and studying the full-counsel of God’s Word is so important – so we are not misled by half truths and people who leave out so many truths from the whole message of God’s Word? Memorize 2 Timothy 3:16 in KJV and notice the very first stated reason God gave us His Word – “doctrine.” Sound doctrine is not legalism – it’s essential for the growth and protection of God’s people (Acts 20:20-32)
When people are being taught a feelings-based spirituality instead of biblical Christianity, they want to throw overboard doctrine but God says that’s EXACTLY why He gave us His written Word – so that His divine truth (doctrine) can be firmly established as the foundation of our beliefs and lives and protect us from false teachings that satan gives us through wolves in sheep’s clothing to subtly seduce us away from Christ (Colossians 2:4-10). Those who do not endeavor to learn and to disclose the full-counsel of God’s Word, selectively teaching half-truths, are preaching “another gospel” and “another Jesus” as fueled by “another spirit” and are “accursed.” (Galatians 1:6-10). They are fulfilling prophecy – on the wrong side of that which is foretold – “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 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; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:2-4).
This just in – Here’s a blessed testimony of a brother I was privileged to meet and go to Bible school with 20 years ago:
“Hi brother. I hope everything is well with you. I am going forward in the call of God. It’s been great learning so far. One thing that has become clear to me is the necessity of the minister (all who name Christ as LORD) to die to self, and daily at that. I’m starting to look for enough strength to get through one day and then worry about the next. Since I started learning this recently, I thought of you and your book (I Die Daily). There really is something to this dying to self thing. Any advice would be gladly received as my goal is the same as it was at IBC.”
Yeah, your book I Die Daily overwhelmed me the first time around. I think I am more ready for it now. I want all to count for Jesus.”
Amen. I am praying for you. Brother, you are hearing the voice of the Savior and are therefore dead center in His will …. Isaiah 37:31