Rev. A. Martlew, L. Th., England
"WHAT SAYETH THE SCRIPTURES? "
WHAT is lacking in so many churches is sound doctrine. Many shy away from it, for even the name seems daunting. However, the epistles have over twenty references to it and Paul enjoins us to
"Give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine" (I Timothy 4:18)
He goes even further, and states,
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; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 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 their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (II Timothy 4:18)
If ever there was a warning to the churches, this must be it! The text clearly states that at the Lord's return there will be a judgment upon those preachers who turn the truth of the Scriptures into fables. The watchmen of Israel are blind and continue with their sleep whilst the nation crumbles around them. Isaiah was shown a vision of a sleeping church in Isaiah 56:10-12
His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
Yea,they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.
Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant.
Blind shepherds leading blind flocks! In synod, Biblical issues do not appear to be given pride of place. The church is so politically correct; it is frightened of its own shadow. The Established Church which was founded upon the rock of Scripture is destroying itself because it now ignores that rock. It is more concerned with environmental issues than with what the Scriptures say. The affairs of the world have become a religion in their own right. The church joins the world so as to be seen to be 'of the world'.
We who love the Lord and His Word are not part of the world. Of necessity we have our being in the world, for that is our lot until the Lord's return. However, it
doesn't end there, for although our physical being is designed to be dependent upon what the world has to offer, this is not the whole story. There is the spiritual
dimension which is ignored by the vast majority.
The Lord in His Sermon On The Mount stated a truth which is missed by the world. He said,
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
What a promise! But who believes it today? Only those who are not of the world.
So what does all this have to do with doctrine? The dictionary says 'what is taught, body of instruction, religious, political, scientific etc'. In the scriptural sense
doctrine means all that the Bible teaches.
It is a true and sad fact that the majority of clergy today, many of whom who have been ordained in recent years, do not accept the authority of the Scriptures. Those valiant ones who do, are often hounded, and even persecuted by the unbelieving clergy. It is a matter of urgency that all of us who believe, must keep the faithful pastors in our constant prayers. The importance of this cannot be overstated, for the sixth chapter of Ephesians is the key to our national survival in these critical days.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel. (Ephesians 6:13-19)
There is much which could be said on this text, but you the reader, will draw your own conclusions. However, it is verse 15 which is the key
Your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
Note, it is not peace for our time; it is peace for the future. Whilst we believers have individual peace in our hearts, the gospel of peace (a national peace) will only be realised when the Lord Jesus Christ returns as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
In the meantime it is our sacred duty to preach the Kingdom message however hard the opposition may be.
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