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Six dangers to the church, part 6
pastor corner

Dr. Lawrence Butler, The Bridge Church, Pembroke.

Lesson 6: From Resisting, to Removing, the Truth II Tim. 4:3,4 We have already discussed the downward trend in the church from allowing the wrong spirit to gain a foothold among the congregation. It begins with unnecessary discussions that lead to disruption within the church. This results in division among the people, allowing strife and false doctrine to hinder faith in the hearts of believers. Eventually, apostasy occurs, a willful departure from the faith.

These things have been presented in an earlier lesson. The previous two lessons have shown how there was a turn in the hearts of men, and the problems became much more serious. Now we find that the people are not just “resisting the truth,” but are now removing the truth from their midst. “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; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Tim. 4:3,4).

At this point the people are no longer interested in even hearing the truth.

They are hiring false teachers who will tell them what they want to hear. The new instructors must not teach against their lusts or try to stop them from fulfilling their lustful desires. There can be no restriction upon or condemnation of their actions.

It is not the case that these persons want no religious leadership or instruction, it is just that they know what kind they desire and so they obtain it. They still have a desire to sooth their consciences, but do not want the constraint of the Lord upon their daily lives. Jesus requires the taking up “the cross daily,” and following Him. They desire to obtain eternal life their way, just as the builders of the tower of Babel. They desired to reach the heavens on their own, only to be brought to shame and failure. So it will be with all who try another gospel, or any way other than the cross.

Their complete rejection of the truth leads to yet another depth of sin on the road to destruction. They turn away from the truth, but then they “shall be turned unto fables.” Notice, they do not turn unto fables by themselves, but they “shall be turned” unto fables. Someone, or something, turns them.

They are no longer in control, although it is not clear that they are aware of it. It reminds me of Samson who rises from sleep and “wist not that the Lord was departed from him” (Judges 16:20). He became so comfortable in Delilah’s lap that he failed to realize the Lord left him and he was alone. Rejection of the truth, and replacing the truth in your life, will result in your being left alone, “having no hope, and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12).

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