Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Importance of Doctrinal Succession

Temple Baptist Church - 9-29-2013
2 Timothy 2:2
A. One of the major problems with the end-time church is that of doctrinal ignorance! I am not talking about ignorance among the unsaved; I am speaking of doctrinal ignorance among the faithful within the local church. The problem can be for several reasons:
1. Not being in a good church after you are saved. Yes, it does matter where you go to church! Denominations and churches do not save you but, after salvation, you need to be in a good bible believing church under a good doctrinal preaching pastor!
2. Shallow pulpits! Many preachers of our day preach topically most of the time. Topical preaching is a necessity but the majority of our preaching should be expository in nature: line upon line and precept upon precept. Many preachers, when they have preached all of their topical sermons, have a way of moving on to another church. Expository preaching is a work that will never have an end and the church will be stabilized and strengthened through it.
3. Now, to the problem we face in verse 2: people who have sat in good churches and under good pastors who never learn either from the preaching and teaching of the pastor or to feed themselves.
Hebrews 5:11-14 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. (12) For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. (13) For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (14) But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
B. In our verse, we find a couple of things that we need to look at:
1. “Among many witnesses.” Here, I find a succession of teaching or, we may label it, good company! As there is a trail of blood throughout history (believers who have suffered and died because they would not compromise the faith), there is a succession of doctrinal pureness (the bible refers to this as “the old paths … wherein is the good way”). The doctrine that I teach is not new; it is as old as the scriptures.
2. “Commit.” To leave something in trust. In chapter one, Paul committed this same doctrinal pureness to Pastor Timothy. You and I will not live forever, therefore, there must be a generation to follow in our steps and they must be worthy of the “trust” that we commit unto them.
3. “Faithful men.” Paul is not chauvinistic in this statement as the Holy Spirit is speaking by interpretation to the teaching aspect of the local church. God does not call women to teach or to usurp authority (1 Timothy 2:12) over the man in the church. God does not allow women to teach, preach, or to be in spiritual authority over men!!!!! Like it or not, God said it. These men are to be faithful men! Paul is not just talking about being regular in church attendance because many faithful men in the local church do not know their doctrine. Paul is speaking of men who are faithful to hear, learn, and study!
4. “Who shall be able to teach others also.” Your pastor is now 65+ years old. I may or may not have “one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.” I would love to go to heaven today but feel that, with the lack of pastors in our day, remaining here is more needful. I do know this, I have a lot less days ahead of me than I have behind me and someone will have to “step up” one day to fill this pulpit. Not fill my shoes because that man will be different and be his “own man” but one who will be able to teach doctrinal correctness with love and longsuffering.
C. I have had people come to me and want me to explain to their loved ones why we believe what we believer or what the bible says on certain subjects.
1. Why we have eternal life and cannot be lost.
2. Why tongues and other sign gifts are not for our time.
3. What difference does it make if we are independent Baptist or not?
4. Why we are pre-tribulation rapture saints. About Eschatology, etc.
5. And the list could go on. I do not expect you to be able to answer every question but these questions should be ones to which mature believers have an answer.
D. I am not talking about such requests from newly saved people; I am talking about such requests from people who have been saved for years.
1. The danger of a lack of knowledge: it destroys God’s people.
2. The danger of doctrinal apostasy: it infiltrates the local church.
3. The danger of lack of adherence to sound doctrine: it undermines the testimony of the saints.
4. The danger of lack of personal study of the bible: it spiritually starves the believer and leaves him or her in a state of carnal babyishness.
5. The danger of not hearing and learning from your pastor: a failure to realize that God’s man is there to teach and preach the word of God and failure to hear and learn causes spiritual defeat and failure.
6. The danger of not being able to teach others, both in the home and outside of the home. The spiritual welfare of our families should be utmost in our hearts and minds and, then, those we love and those we meet that we do not know. We all can be spiritual leaders and teachers to those the Lord places in our way.

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