Sola Scriptura 13

The man of God’s faithful obedience to preach the Word is not done in a vacuum.  It is to be accomplished while he is in the midst of a culture which hates him, hates God, and hates the Word of God. Unfortunately, it is not just the fallen world which expresses such hatred.

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4 ESV).

Paul warned Timothy that the time would come when he would encounter this attack from within the church. Paul was not speculating, but rather he was accurately predicting this certainty. The assault would be specific and decisive. The people would not endure sound doctrine.

The text states that “they will not endure sound teaching” (2 Timothy 4:3, ESV). The identity of “they” is significant. Who are these who will not bear to hear God’s truth? The preceding context of 2 Timothy 3:1-13 provides information as to their identity.

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 (2 Timothy 3:1-13 ESV).

The last days to which Paul referred could not only describe the day in which he and Timothy lived, but well our own. Keep on guard, O church!