Receptive to All Truth – II Timothy 4:3-4

by Pastor John Fredericksen

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We have known some individuals who claim to stand for the distinctive doctrines of Paul but reject the clear words of Scripture. One said, “I think Paul’s instructions on that subject are outdated. We don’t need to follow them.” Another said, “I know that’s what the Scriptures say, but you’ll never convince me my way is not better.” A Bible teacher said, “Yes, that is the biblical pattern, but that’s not what the people want. You have to give people what they want.” A fourth individual shoved the Bible back across the table and said, “I don’t care what the Bible says.” I could hardly believe what I was hearing, especially from Christians.

The Apostle Paul warned Timothy: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (II Timothy 4:3-4). While Paul was specifically writing to Timothy about the conditions at Ephesus, this writer believes our apostle had divine insight into the last days of grace before the Rapture. In I Timothy 4:1, he warned about characteristics of “the latter times,” when “…some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” In II Timothy 4:3-4, we believe Paul is readdressing the mindset in the last days. He warns of satanic efforts to draw believers away from following the doctrines and instructions for the local church laid out by our apostle of grace under the inspiration of God. Instead of following Scripture, some will gravitate to man-made doctrines, stubbornly clinging to them. When Paul warned the time would come when some “will not endure sound doctrine,” he was referring to believers not willing to put up with, or embrace, God’s instructions. How did Paul say this would manifest itself? They will resist truth, argue against it, become angry when it is taught, spread discontent in other believers, and try to find anyone who will teach what they want to hear. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can, and must, make the decision that we will consistently follow the instructions in the letters of the Apostle Paul.

If the Lord returned today, would He find you standing for His truth, or promoting error? Our Scripture reading today is a reminder to sincerely ask God to help us be loyal to following His Word in every area.

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Start each day with short, devotional articles taken from the book Daily Transformation by Pastor John Fredericksen. As Pastor Fredericksen writes in the introduction:

"We welcome you, as you journey with us..., to not only learn information, but to benefit from examples of faith and failure, and seek to apply God’s Word to every day life. Together, let’s transition from only studying theories of doctrine, to applying God’s truths in a practical way every day. May God use these studies to help you find daily transformation."