2 Timothy 4:3-4 “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
It amazes me what we are willing to accept as truth. I remember in college communications classes being taught about the “sanctity of the written word”; the idea that people will believe anything that is printed. We have seen that principle at work for many years with the success of the “gossip” magazines at the checkout stand. But the opportunity to believe in erroneous material has only increased as the internet has expanded our access to information. How many times have you received an e-mail story that someone passed on to you as truth only to find out that one of the fact-checking organizations says it isn’t true, and then without question, accepted the fact-checking company’s word for it? If only people were so willing to believe in the sound doctrine (teaching) of God’s Word rather than wasting time on myths or fables. The Greek word for “sound” is hugiaino which means uncorrupted and is defined by the Oxford dictionary as unharmed by errors or alterations. On the other hand, myths are defined as widely held but false notions, and fables are defined as tales and lies. Why would we turn from the truth of God’s Word to tales and lies? Is it that we can’t handle the truth? Isaiah spoke of the Israelite’s attitude in Isaiah 30:10 & 11, “Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions…stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!” Has anything changed since Isaiah’s time? Are our itching ears so wanting to hear only pleasant things and be entertained that we don’t want to come face-to-face with God’s truth? So we seek out people to tell us what we want to hear and invent our own truth. We exchange “the truth of God for a lie…” (Romans 1:25)
We read in 1 Timothy 1:4 that false doctrines and myths “promote controversies rather than God’s work—which is by faith.” When there is no truth that everyone can believe in, then there will be arguments that will never end, and these disagreements will distract us from doing the work of God. In fact, we won’t be doing God’s work at all, if we aren’t looking to His Word to tell us what it is. But according to 1 Timothy 1:5, the sound doctrine of God’s Word will produce love which “comes from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith.” So, “Have nothing to do with godless myths” ( 1 Timothy 4:7 ), and “Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith” (1 Timothy 6:20 ). Instead, build each other up in love by turning to the sound teaching of God’s Word.
What do your itching ears want to hear? Is it the truth of God’s Word or the fables of the world?
What kind of fruit is the doctrine in which you believe producing?