Posted by: SandreS | October 21, 2009

The Church in Ruins (Brief Thoughts on II Timothy), Part 43

They Will Not Endure Sound Doctrine

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 (II Timothy 4:3).

Paul once again tells Timothy that things are only going to get worse. Those who once held and embraced Paul’s special revelation would no longer endure it being taught. It is not that they would not endure teaching: they just would not endure sound teaching – they would only go so far!

Paul was not guessing here. Notice how clearly he states this, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine.” This is a part of Paul’s continuing prophecy of the future condition of the church, which is His Body, and it would find fulfillment in Timothy’s lifetime.

To satisfy their appetites for unsound doctrine they “after their own lusts shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”

A Heap Pile of Teachers

[They] shall invite teachers en masse. In periods of unsettled faith … teachers of all kinds swarm like the flies of Egypt. The demand creates the supply. The hearers invite and shape their own preachers. If the people desire a calf to worship, a ministerial calf-maker is readily found (Martin R. Vincent).[1]

So it is in our day. Could there ever have been a greater heap pile of teachers than today? Christendom is buried under such a heap, and the Body of Christ with it! We have a saturation of such teaching – teaching that does not suit this “dispensation of the grace of God” committed to Paul. It is everywhere. Endless religious radio and television broadcasts fill the air waves 24 hours a day. We have an incomprehensible heap pile of teaching through: books, booklets, pamphlets, tracts, study guides, magazines, journals, audio cassettes, video tapes, creeds, confessions, articles of faith, doctrinal statements, “churches,” “fellowships,” “ministries,” centers, schools, colleges, Bible institutes, seminaries, Sunday schools, and now through the world wide web. Has the Body of Christ ever had such a heap pile of unsound teaching – teaching that has abandoned Paul’s distinct revelation to the Body of Christ? We are drowning in it! There is every color, size, flavor and style of teaching to suit anyone’s fancy (“itching ears”).

(to be continued)

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2001, 2009 Bible Student’s Press

[1] Martin R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament, Volume IV, pages 320-321.


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