2 Timothy 4:3, For the time will come when they will not be able to endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers.
As I was reading yesterday morning, I came across this passage and it ensnared me.
What is it about sound doctrine that one would even associate the word “endure” with it?
You would think that sound would mean ease and comfort but I beg to differ.
The word sound translates in the Greek, uncorrupted. A few words that come to mind are unchanged, untouched and holy. When something is corrupted, it is made evil, defiled, morally degenerate or characterized by improper conduct.
Looking at the word endure, it means, to hold one’s self up against, repetition, intensity and reversal.
Sound teaching should provoke all of the above in us.
- Does our moral integrity and character hold up against what we’ve heard?
- The Word requires that we do what we have heard. Not just once but repeatedly.
- Like it or not, the Word should challenge us, instructing us, making us expert in the impossible.
When was the last time you heard extreme teaching that had you reeling, asking, “Is this really true?”
I’m not talking about the kind of moment that sends you off exuberant, singing the high praise of look what the Lord had done for me, me, me. What I’m suggesting is much different. The higher praise, would come from a heart disturbed at what hasn’t been done.
The Word should compel us to do what Father God does. Many would read something like this and say it’s blasphemous. I disagree. This is precisely what Jesus did.
If we are not enduring the Word of God, and that means doing it on a consistent basis, then we don’t know holiness. This has nothing to do with our praying one hour a day or all the religious things we do to pat ourselves on the back. Again, corruption is simply improper conduct. We can pray, read our bible, attend every church service, sing in the choir and teach Sunday school but if nothing is changing, it’s because we’re not changing it.
Certainly, we know enough to know that everyone who asks receives. Matthew 7:9-12 goes on to say,
Or what man is there among you who if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
The same rule applies for us when it comes to what God requires of us. Yes, you may have missed it but…
4. We do not have any problem demanding from God all of His promises. Does the Word of God not say, to whom much is given, much is required? This is the last definition of endurance, reversal.
Can we handle it when the Word of God is turned around on us? What has He asked for lately? Have I and are you giving Him stones rather than bread; serpents for fish? What did the man, Christ Jesus, do to me…to us? Have I done it also? Have we?
Good questions today God. Good questions. And I know it would sound so poetic at this moment to say that I will ponder them in my heart Lord but I know that’s not going to produce the bread and the fish you need. I’ve been pondering long enough. Forgive me. I know what you have asked of me. You know I know and I see the stones and serpents I’ve been putting in front of you. I’m going fishing now Lord. I’m breaking the bread. I need your help. Make me expert in the impossible. Thanks for loving me enough to tell me this. I see it now. I love you Lord.