Dear Christian: Stand Firm on Sound Doctrine
We live in a time like no other: technology seems to rule us. We carry with us tiny, hand-held pocket computers that do the work of several technologies (radios, calculators, televisions, computers, and more) had to do 30 years ago. We’re constantly connected to the world through media, social and otherwise. With this in mind, the world hasn’t changed too much either; we’re also connected to countless opinions, influences, and deviations from God’s truth. Just like Rome in Jesus’ and the Apostles’ time, a mix of beliefs, cultures (not speaking of people groups, but what was popular to follow vs. what was not), and government policies seek to capture our minds and enslave and indoctrinate us. Why? Because the Prince of this world, Satan, seeks to deceive, kill, and destroy. He’s already lost the battle against Christ, and he’s seeking to take as many down as possible with him. This is why so many false teaching and doctrines and teachers are prominent! Paul said to his protégé, Timothy, that people would give in to following myths, and be deceived by teachers who suit their “itching ears” (2 Timothy).
Too many of us get sucked in, at least part way. With the amount of information out there, the amount of teachings online (my own are on there as well, the irony isn’t lost on me), and the amount of partial truths out in the world (just true enough to be plausible), we must remain vigilant. How, though? How do we combat the ever increasing number of false teachers out there, whose words are like honey, but who have no substance that leads to eternal life in Christ? Stand firm on the Doctrine of Jesus Christ. The Gospel is not about you or I; it’s all about Jesus Christ, who lived as one of us, died to atone for our rebellion (sin) against God, and rose again to defeat death once and for all. He did all of this according to the Scriptures, to bring God’s rebellious children home again. We stand upon this Gospel through the word of God, through Scripture, and by the interpretation and guidance of the Holy Spirit. We need to depend upon the Spirit that God has placed in every believer, daily seeking God through prayer and the word. If we’re doing this, we won’t be easily deceived, as the Lord, by His word and Spirit will reveal the falsehoods to us directly. This does not exempt us from hardships, as the false teachers promise, rather, it gives us a guide through it all. Stand firm on sound doctrine; accept nothing but the Gospel of Christ through the Scriptures and let the Holy Spirit guide each thought, action and breath.
2 Timothy 3:1-17 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.
You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.