A Biblical Sermon In Avoiding False Doctrines
Text: 2Timothy 2:14-19
In our quest in understanding the words of Paul in the book of 2Timothy, we can see here that one of the main emphases of Paul is not only to persevere but to be watchful as we persevere. We are to endure hardships accompanied by watchfulness in our walk.
Here we see that whenever there are hardships, tendencies of falling away and believing to false doctrines might occur. This is why we have so many superstitious beliefs. We have undergone so many hardships and trials, and with the flow of circumstances, we fell into making “hasty generalization” which caused us to fall into false beliefs
What are we to do to avoid all these things to happen?
2Ti 2:14 Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.
2Ti 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
2Ti 2:16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.
2Ti 2:17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,
2Ti 2:18 who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.
2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
Step 1: Avoid Debate and Godless Chatter.
Funny, but many seminary graduates fall into this temptation. I still remember when I have first and last fight in the seminary is because of the argument of terminologies, and not so needed in the class discussion.
“Seems to be” brilliant theology students always debate with words. Some debate for a noble purpose, while others debate for fame and name which lead them to profanity.
But here verse 14, Paul is very clear in stating that we are to avoid quarreling about words. Paul knew that quarreling of words do not produce friendly atmosphere instead division among believers. How many times we see a debate during the meetings just because of simple terminology that is not so important to discuss has been brought up during a meeting.
Paul also made it clear that debates or quarreling of words are of no value. They ruin those who listen, and I would say that not only those who listen but also those who quarrels. This is simply because of the fact that quarreling is no t of the Lord and such causes division.
Now that we have division inside the church, people will go to either side and support it. Some who follows the right path, but there will be some who will be lead astray. This already happened to thousands of churches around the world.
The worst case scenario, once this division occurs, there are some far worst false teachers who will penetrate the divided church and the more they will cause division inside the church. One of the examples that use this system are the “Deformed Baptwist”. They try to penetrate a weak church, and then take over it once they will have a chance.
In 1 Timothy 6:3-4, Paul defined those people who indulged in meaningless talks;
1Ti 6:3 If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching,
1Ti 6:4 he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions
He described them to be false teachers, thus their doings result in envy, strife, malicious talk, and evil suspicions. This is when the church is weak, the more that each member of the body of Christ should be watchful against false teachings.
In seeing another picture out of this passage, what if we don’t debate and we just focus on truths and more beneficial things? There we can see a church that lives peacefully and promotes brotherly love.
Avoid Godless Chatter.
Let us first differentiate “debate” with “godless chatter”. They have similarities with each other but also have some differences. Most of the time, debate concerns with facts of our religious and spiritual lives. On the other hand, godless chatter concerns on things that affects our daily lives. They are more like fictions and self-made stories from hasty generalizations.
The similarity of both however, is that they can be both categorize as “godless chatter” or “quarrelling of words”. But for the sake of the biblical words that we can find here in the text, let us use for this one the “godless chatter”. Again, we are referring to the latter.
When a member says something that is not so good against another, the other member will react against it and will look for some more people who defend them until a simple comment will grow like gangrene and infect the whole body of Christ. This situations result to divisions, noncooperation, spiritual immaturity, and stagnant church growth.
But how can we avoid godless chatter? There is only one main rule, do not entertain it. It is very easy to detect a godless chatter. If someone speaks something against someone, just simply do not add another negative comment especially if such comment will not help anyone. Secondly, do not pass it to another one especially to the concern individual.
Step 2: Avoid Negligence.
Negligence is always in the front page of every newspaper and always a part of the headlines of every news on our televisions. Almost every night, we see from bicycles up to big trucks like ten wheeler trucks meeting accidents. And accidents like this normally have at least 1 dead and several injured. The major cause of these accidents is negligence.
Imagine if your pastor or one of your preachers is negligent in his studies of the word of the Lord? What kind of doctrines he will be introducing to his listener?
Or what if you are already a Bible Study leader? This is why we need to have trainings, working hard on your assignments is really needed to develop a sense of responsibility in handling the word of God. To always teach the truth and what the Bible says is our mandate as God’s approved workman.
We are not to be negligent in handling the word of the Lord. Laziness in studying the word is strongly discouraged. We must practice due diligence in handling the word. It does not mean however, that we have to be afraid in studying it. All of us are obliged to work on this part of our spiritual life simply because this is our spiritual bread. Mishandling of God’s word results to false teachings.
Studying the word of the Lord is like feeding our spiritual lives. Making it more healthy and strong against trials and temptations that stand as arrows of the enemies. False doctrines are like unhealthy foods that eventually destroys our spiritual lives. They cause our spiritual lives to become malnourished and easily tossed back and forth by the wind.
Christians that does not read and meditate their Bibles are those who easily give up from trials and temptations. They are those who see working in the Lord as an additional burden. They are those who easily give negative comments to ministries but were never there to help.
But look at those who “really” reads and meditates the Holy Scripture, they are the one who avoid giving comments, and always present to work in the ministry. They are the one who sees ministry as an “opportunity to serve” rather than an “additional burden”. They are the one who sees prayer meeting as a great privilege in meeting with God, rather than seeing it to be “just a necessity” of Christian life.
Responsible Christians enjoys being with the Lord. Negligent Christians feels nothing extra ordinary in meeting God.
· Is debate really necessary to prove that you are right?
· Does debate really have a little at least have a little benefit?
· Do you entertain godless chatter especially if this comes from your friend?
· Can we say that we belong to the approved workman?
· Are we handling the word of truth correctly?