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  • Jason Shirley

Don’t Forsake Teaching

Updated: May 18

About a year ago I heard the Lord say to me, “Many have forsaken teaching in favor of inspiration.”  In Ephesians 4:11-12 we find five ministry gifts that Jesus Himself gave to His body.  They are, apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher.  Notice that inspirational, or motivational speakers are not listed.  There is nothing wrong with those speakers, but you will never be a healthy member of the body if you forsake the gifts Jesus gave to equip you, for buzz words and inspirational quotable phrases.

In 2 Timothy 4:1-5, Apostle Paul says, “I charge [you] therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season [and] out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, [because] they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn [their] ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

Preach the Word, not clever catch phrases.  He said, “Convince, rebuke, exhort.”  You can’t do that in a 20 minute, once a week speech that includes time for a joke and a poem.  Paul said, “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine.”  He said this requires “looooooongsuffering and teaching.”  That takes time and attention.  Paul was saying that people would not endure… this is saying they will not invest the time and effort required for sound doctrine.

I have heard the statement about itching ears used to refer to weak doctrine that approves of anything and everything carnal people want to do.  While that , I’m sure it true, many think this means if they are rude and offensive, they are preaching sound doctrine. But offensive phrases are no better than inspirational phrases. I would say they are actually worse.  Sound doctrine must involve a revelation of Jesus, what He came to do, His character and nature.  You’re not going to get that in a two minute sound bite.  That’s why sound doctrine has to be endured.

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