Dr. Waiters: The importance of sound doctrine
Too many believe it does not matter what one believes, so long as they are sincere. Doctrine affects our life. Truth leads to life and God; error to death and destruction.
Only a few people will say it does not matter what god we worship, so long as we are sincere; a few will also say it matters not what we eat or drink, so long as we relishe what we eat or drink. Sincerity is a virtue; but it is not the test of sound doctrine. God wills that we shall know the truth, and He has made provision whereby we may know what is truth. “God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thess.2:13).
Joshua did not think it immaterial what God Israel served: “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh.24:14,15).
The influence of all idolatrous worship is degrading (Rom.1:21-32; 1 Cor.10:20; 1 John 5:21).
We are to determine the truthfulness of all doctrines, and test or prove them. “Prove all things; hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thess. 5:21 ); “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them”(Isa.8:20).
The Bible is the test of all doctrines. Whatever does not harmonize and square with the Bible, is not to be received.
“There is but one standard of the everlastingly right and wrong, and that is the Bible” (T.De Witt Talmage).
We must be aware of doctrines: “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Eph. 4:14; Heb.13:9). Wind of doctrine is: “And the prophets shall become wind, and the word is not in them” (Jer.5:13).
Calling a doctrine a wind of doctrine does not make it such. A wind of doctrine is that which is not sustained by the Word of God.
All scripture is profitable because: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine” (2 Tim.3:16).
Young Timothy was given advice while preparing for the Gospel ministry: “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine; Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine” (1Tim.4:13-16).
A charge was given him concerning his public ministry: “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom; Preach the word; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine” (2 Tim.4:1,2).
Paul said this duty was imperative because: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts they shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tim.4:3,4).
Fables are legendary stories of supernatural happenings, often falsehoods.
Sound doctrine is an enabler: “Holding fast the faithful word he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers” (Titus 1:9). Danger attends the teaching of false doctrine: “Who, concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some” (2 Tim.2:18).
Jesus reminded us of the kind of worship that resulted from false teaching: “But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt.15:9).
Today, most have closed their ears to truth, and fail to realize they cannot remain innocent before God. The doctrines of men are the prevailing doctrines almost everywhere.
Bible doctrines have become irrelevant for modern man and the human spirit-directed church. “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination”(Prov. 28:9).
Jesus said of those who will to do God’s Will: “If any man willeth to do His Will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it be of God, or whether I speak from Myself” (John 7:17; 8:12).
Paul reminds us of what God will allow to come to those who reject truth: “Because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusions,that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasurin unrighteousness” (2 Thess.2:10-12).
The doctrines that many are to be misled in the last days are: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Tim.4:1; 2 Pet.2:1 ).
There is a fate that awaits blind teachers and their followers: “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matt.15:14).
The gates of the heavenly city will finally be opened: “Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in” (Isa. 26:2: Rev. 22:14).
Dr. Waiters can be reached at 704-636-3369.