- “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but will heap for themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” – 2 Timothy 4: 3-4
I hardly believe we’ve been around long enough to have what I’d classify as a “Classic Ministry Message”, but I believe that in light of the study we’ve been doing on the Battlefield of the Mind that this one bares repeating. I wrote this quite a while back, but I think that this might be a good time to bring this message back.
I recently read something that changed my perspective on what these verses really are talking about.
Usually when these verses are preached upon the emphasis is always on sound doctrine, but I agree with what I read. The emphasis really should be on “they will not endure” specifically…the word “endure”.
The word “endure” translates to the word for tolerate.
In this Burger King generation where everything has to be quick, my way, and entertainment…the church has sadly obliged people. The church has sacrificed sound doctrine for the sake of church growth.
There are some seriously dangerous doctrines and ministries out there that are more interested in making a buck, filling seats, selling books, and being seeker friendly…and this is all done at the cost of the Word of God. We all who are in ministry are exhorted by Paul to “Preach the Word”.
Their services have entertainment value, but they offer very little in terms of eternal value because they refuse to preach the Word of God. They also refuse to take the correct biblical stance on major issues…like gay marriage, Jesus being the only way to salvation, and they are very afraid to offend people…but have no problem when it comes to offending God.
I can only imagine what Jesus would write-through John today. I read the seven letters to the seven churches that He spoke to John in the Book of Revelation, and I can only imagine that the rebukes to some of these ministries and churches would be much…much more stern. In fact, where the Lord had threatened to remove some of the lamp stands of those churches…I believe Jesus wouldn’t threaten to remove them…He would walk right up…and remove the lamp stand.
I can tell you this. I believe there are going to be an amazing number of preachers who are going to stand before God on the day of the Great White Throne Judgment, and they are going to be rebuked sternly for leading thousands astray before they are sent to hell. Remember Jesus said that it would be better for them to tie a stone around their ankles, and drown in the sea than to harm one of His children. I think there’s going to be a large majority of pastors who think they’re going to heaven that are going to be shocked when Jesus says: “You denied me before man, and now I’m denying you before my Father. Away from Me you workers of iniquity…I never knew you.”
I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t want Jesus to say that to me. So, I am committed to preaching the Word. I am committed to taking stances on subjects like Gay Marriage, Abortion, and Jesus being THE only way to salvation the same way the Bible teaches them.
- Gay Marriage is wrong, it’s an abomination, and no matter what…there are no gray areas on this matter. The Bible is clear, and that’s the stance and side I’m going to be on.
- Abortion is wrong. As soon as a baby is conceived that means it’s a life, and no matter when it becomes a fetus or what anyone else wants to call it…as soon as a baby is conceived it is a life. When you take that life it is murder, and no where is it okay to murder. So, as far as the Bible is concerned Abortion is murder…and that’s the stance I have taken as well.
- Everyone is going to heaven. No…they are not. In John 14:6 Jesus says: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes unto the Father, but by Me.” There are no gray areas here neither. This verse is not open to many interpretations…there is only ONE conclusion to draw from this verse…the ONLY way someone becomes a believe and is assured of eternal life in heaven is if they believe in their hearts and confess with their mouths that Jesus Christ is Lord. Therefore, since the Bible says that’s the ONLY way to heaven…then I believe that the road to heaven is only as wide as Jesus’ shoulders. If you have never confessed Christ as Lord then you are not going to heaven unless or until you do.
There are many other areas that I could speak on, but those are the main ones that seem to come up in conversation. I used to be a big fan of Joel Osteen until I heard the interview he once did on CNN’s Larry King Live.
If I didn’t hear this with my own ears I wouldn’t have believed he said this, but he did. This is the kind of thing that’s dangerous to the body of Christ. He is a “rising star” in Evangelism. A number one selling author, but when it comes to the truth of God’s Word…he had the greatest opportunity to really give people the TRUE Gospel…and he chose to not offend people and offend God instead. Here are the words from the person who posted this video.
For Osteen not to say that the unbeliever is on his/her way to burn in hell for eternity, when the vast majority of Larry King’s viewers are unsaved, atheists, heathens, etc., is one of the most egregious sins a so-called ‘man of God’ can commit.
To say that Jesus told us not to judge another person’s heart is an out right lie. Jesus said that “every tree is known by his own fruit.” Luke 6:44; “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Mat. 12:34. Jesus told us to “judge righteous judgment.” John 7:24. “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” 1 Tim. 5:20.
There’s more that this poster wrote, but the point is that Jesus is not “a” way to salvation, but He is THE way of salvation.
I am not going to spend more time on this. There’s a lot more I could go into, but I’m not going to for the sake of time. I don’t want this to be a message about false teachers and prophets…and I’m certainly not picking on Joel Osteen…but what I am saying is that this was one of the “rising stars” of Evangelism…and he’s chosen to take a path of inclusion and least resistance instead of the path of truth, righteousness, and standing upon the Word of God.
Part of the blame is on the church because sound doctrine requires time, work, and study…and people have become too busy to do that.
The blame also falls on pastors who have become so concerned with attendance, finances, and making sure they are entertainment for a congregation that they will lose if it goes too far into the first half of the Cowboys game.
Also, in this desire of pastors to entertain is a turning away from the truth of God’s Word.
Some pastors are so busy doing everything else in the ministry that they short cut it when it comes to their messages. What do I mean by short cut? There are many online resources for pastors that have ready-made sermons complete with scriptures, notes, illustrations, and it’s all done. Just pick a subject, select a sermon, print it out, and you have a sermon.
Preaching the Word of God does require work. I may take quotes from other people’s studies, but the commentary is my own. The commentary I rely upon the Holy Spirit to give me unction and utterance for. I also do the best I can to make sure what I’m writing is sound, biblical truth…and it’s my own work. The quotes may not be, but the commentary is all mine.
I can sit and write anywhere from an hour to an entire afternoon based upon what I feel the Lord is leading me to do. I may write one message, I may copy and paste a Tweet, or I may do like I’m going to wind up doing today and writing three separate messages…but they are all written by inspiration of the Holy Ghost…and when you write that way it’s hard to not take a stand upon the Word of God because that’s exactly what the Holy Spirit does. Leads and guides us into all truth…what is all truth…the Word of God.
Most Christians today are hard pressed to explain what they believe, give scripture to back up what they believe, and do not know the basic foundational truths of Christianity.
Why? Because the time has come. The time has come where people prefer three songs and a short half hour message about some passage in Rick Warren’s latest book over really taking time to worship & meet with God, get a message full of sound life altering doctrine, and then doing something really peculiar…studying the Bible for themselves.
There’s a whole bunch that could be said here. Let’s take a bit to see what I can pull out of my message.
- Most Christians today have no idea what the basic foundational truths of Christianity are. They have no understanding of who or what the Trinity is, they don’t know what the ministry of the Holy Spirit is or what He does, they don’t know water baptism from baptism in the Holy Ghost, they have no belief or faith in Divine Healing, and I’m guessing that you’re getting the point of what I’m getting at by now.
- Most services today are a couple of songs, and a half hour message about half a verse, and what Rick Warren’s book says about it.
- There isn’t hardly any mention of sin, righteousness, and there’s no real challenge to anyone’s lives about anything. Why? Because challenging people will offend them, and offending people will cause them to leave…and the almighty dollar is at stake here too. Here’s a simple equation: Fewer people = less money.
I’m not going to labor the point here again. I think that by now you’ll have an understanding of where I’m going with all of this. I just wanted to give you some bullet points, things to think about, and maybe some motivation to get out your Bibles…dust them off…and start reading them again.
I, however, am still called by God to preach the Word. I still get out my Bible to study & show myself approved, and the football game…well…I can check the scores later.
God is a priority…scratch that…is THE priority in my life. I want sound doctrine, I hope that I teach sound doctrine, and I don’t go to church to be entertained…I go to meet with Jesus.
I’m tired of prosperity, I’m tired of feel good religion.
I’m tired of empty messages.
I want a real authentic walk with God…that only comes from revelation from the truth of the sound doctrine of God’s Word
As the pastor of Christlike Ministries NWA this is my pledge and promise to all who visit, like us, and read the messages. I am called by God to “preach the Word”, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I want to have a real authentic ministry that if Jesus would to write me one of those letters like He did to the churches in Revelations I’d like Him to write a good letter. I’m sure I’m not perfect, and that He’d have some things against me…but for the most part I would like to have Him have more good things to say…and I want one of them to be that we never strayed from His Word.
I hope that I can come back to this message again knowing that it’s still a timeless message, and that I’ve adhered to the pledge that I just gave. I hope that when I come back to this message I can be proud of the fact that I stayed true to the Word of God, and hopefully that I won’t have to spend so much time writing about people who haven’t.