I was looking through my notes as I prepare to teach the Winter session in Warsaw, Poland in a couple of months. The session is “Biblical Doctrines” and the study that we will “tackle” in order to learn Biblical doctrines is “Covenant” written by Kay Arthur. As I was looking through my notes I decided to write a post on what the Bible has to say about the dangers of not knowing “sound doctrine”. The word “doctrine” comes from the Koine Greek word “didaskalia”and it means “teaching, instruction, precept, explanation”. Doctrine informs us of what God wants from us, what is right and wrong, and how we can live by God’s standards. There are terrible consequences to not knowing sound doctrine. I would like to present what the Bible has to say about the subject of not knowing “sound doctrine”.
But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, (I Timothy 4:1)
We see that there is such a thing as false doctrine and we learn where this false doctrine comes from, Satan
False doctrine has its origins in the “father of lies”, Satan, himself. False doctrine has one purpose, to deceive you and make you turn away from true faith. It is deceitful so it seems like it is correct. It probably has a lot of truth mixed in with it but the ultimate goal is to turn you away. Satan used those tactics in the Garden of Eden with Eve and he used them in the wilderness with Jesus Christ. The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ doctrine has a lot of truth mixed in with it but the ultimate goal is to turn a person away from the entire truth, the essence of Christianity, that God is One in 3 persons. The same is true with the teachings of Mormonism. This should be no shock to us because the Holy Spirit warned long ago that these teachings would arise. They are dangerous because people who are deceived are led astray and do not even realize it. Have you been led astray by false doctrine? If you do not study the Bible to learn sound doctrine then you are automatically at risk of being led astray.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine ; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. (II Timothy 4:3-4)
Many will not be able to endure (receive) sound doctrine so they will seek out leaders who will preach false doctrine to them
They still go to church so that they can calm their conscience but instead of having their conscience pricked by the sound doctrine of the Word of God, they seek out teachers who will teach “ear tickling” doctrine supposedly from the Bible. They seek a feel good doctrine. They seek those who will tell them what they want to hear; that you are a good person, that you can do it if you put your mind to it, that sin can be tolerated because this is the 21st Century and not the 1st Century, etc. etc. Are you a church hopper who looks for a church that will preach what you want to hear instead of the clear teachings of the Bible? There are plenty of churches like that. Those that are affiliated with the “Word of Faith” movement. One of the more famous preachers and churches of this movement is Joel Osteen. His doctrine is a mixture of Biblical truth and myths as well as complete heresy. If you follow him or others like him (and many do) then you need to know that you are being deceived, led astray, and are not on the side that you think. You are on the side of the demons I Timothy 4 teaches us.
Following false teaching keeps you from salvation; you cannot be saved and continue following false doctrine.
For some that is hard to accept but it is reality. The same thing happened to Jesus when He walked this earth. He taught many yet few chose to follow Him. At one time a large crowd of people were following Him yet they could not endure sound doctrine so they left Him. They missed their chance at salvation because they could not handle sound doctrine. They preferred false doctrine to salvation. They left the source of sound doctrine to follow some other teaching (false doctrine). This illustration is found in the Gospel of John chapter 6. Are you paying close attention to the teaching that you are following? Is the source of your teaching the Word of God or what you denomination teaches about the Word of God? There is a huge difference between the two things. I have written an article on what to do if you have a brother or sister in Christ who has been or is being led astray by false doctrine. You may find it helpful. You can read it here.
I hope that you have clearly seen the dangers of following false doctrine. I hope that this has motivated you to seek to know sound doctrine. You can know sound doctrine by going to the source, the Word of God. King David says in Psalm 1 that if we want to know sound doctrine then we need to “meditate on the law of the Lord day and night“. Do you study the Word of God on a daily basis? Do you ponder on what you study? Do you talk about what you are learning with others? This is what the word “meditate” means, “to study, to ponder, to speak about“. God wants to protect you from false doctrine but in order to do so, you have to do your part. You need to be so familiar with the genuine article that you can spot the fake from a mile away. If you are struggling with your faith and in danger of being led astray by your emotions or false teaching because of a lack of sound doctrine then I would encourage you to read this article.
- Identifying False Teachers (codybateman.org)
- The Great Need For Spiritual Discernment (soulrefuge.org)
- The non-negotiable centrality of gospel doctrine (savouringthegospel.wordpress.com)
- Doctrine in Community (paul-reese.com)
- Why We Must Be Unapologetically Theological (pjcockrell.wordpress.com)