2 Timothy 1:13 (NIV) "What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus."What is "sound teaching"? It's what Paul wrote in letters to Timothy. What's more, since Paul would never teach sound teaching one place, but not another, Paul's writings are all "sound teachings"! Here is further explanation:
2 Timothy 4:3 (NIV) "For the time will come when people 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."I believe that "sound teachings" are defined here! People want words taught which support how they live and since people live to please themselves, "their own desires" are unrighteous notions that they want to be taught. Let me explain by example.
Scripture is god-breathed. It's divinely inspired. The Bible testifies to its own infallibility and truth. There is only one pleasure that is ordained by God! It is most of mankind's pleasure not to suffer, either in this life or in the afterlife. God doesn't mind that we all desire eternal life or even a painless life. He felt our pain and he knows it's real. The desires that we have which are disgusting to the Lord are sins of the flesh. It's things of this world which makes us feel good. Because we want to feel good, that leads to "feel good" teachers and "feel good" doctrine!
Some desire a positive message. They want to hear only love, success, prosperity and joy. Preaching half a gospel is speaking only half the truth. It's "feel good" doctrine and by preaching the doctrine of pleasure, we are misled! We can never teach any doctrine that steps on toes can we (sic)? For me, if my toes don't get bruised, I'm not hearing what I need to hear because, not only am I imperfect, as you are, but I'm far from being entirely sanctified. I fail to live as holy a life as I should be!
Friends of mine invited their daughter and her boyfriend to church. The sermon was against the sins of abortion and living together. Although the preacher had no idea, this daughter and her boyfriend were co-habitating and she had recently aborted her unborn baby. The young couple, rather than being under conviction, got angry! Worse yet; the Christian parents were angry too and gave the preacher a "piece of their mind". They had no desire to hear "sound doctrine". Their preference was a desire to be lied to!
The full-gospel is not about speaking in tongues at all. It's about being honest about our choices and the rewards of each. If I love God and obey his commandments my reward is heaven! If I don't love God and rebel against his authority, I'm destined for hell; an eternal place of pain, desolation, hate and punishment. If only the "love of God" is preached, then the listener fails to hear the "justice of God". That justice is sinners getting what we deserve; spiritual death. Preachers who fail to preach sound doctrine and all of it, are accomplices with Satan. The damned owe a debt! They need to thank the preacher for where they will reside forever.
Churches have accepted much ungodly doctrine. (Itching ears want to hear this stuff!) Among those are:
- scripture is not god-breathed
- Jesus was only a good man
- Hell doesn't exist
- You go to heaven if you're good, etc., but also the following type of social thought:
- homosexuals are born that way
- alcoholism is a disease and can't be helped
- church is for the "self"
- divorce is a ready remedy for marriages in trouble
- anyone in sin can preach or teach
- membership is for any who want
- judging others is the Christian's biggest sin
- Christians can worship in unity with pagan religions and apostates
- Equal Rights for women supersedes scriptural doctrines
- Abortion rights
- Euthanasia, and on and on
Many of the churches which fail to preach "sound doctrine" put little emphasis on living holy lives. After all, we're saved by grace, aren't we, and being so, we can go on with our own desires. That's false teaching and 50% doctrine! We're to obey God's commands because we love God.
Apostate churches usually join unifying groups. There's a problem there!
James 3:11 "Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?""Sound doctrine" is "fresh water". Non-biblical doctrine is "salt water". They can't flow from the same spring, that spring being divine truth. One's wrong and it's not the one which is "sound doctrine"! If a church doesn't preach what Paul preached, then that church doesn't preach sound doctrine and is a church in apostasy.
Why do we not want to hear sound doctrine? It's simple. We don't want to change and sound doctrine says we must; not to receive salvation, but because we are to have a changed heart. Those who want teaching to "suit their own desire" want to continue to be the "old person" and have no desire to be a "new person" which salvation brings! Christians change. Those who fail to change should question the efficacy of their salvation. Were you sincere? Do you really believe? Are you ready to love God? Are you ready to live a righteous life? If that's not your desire then "sound doctrine" will be of no interest to you.