Three Keys to a Solid Local Church

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

“Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:13 KJV).

Look at the Church the Body of Christ. What shame and heartache. The average church member knows as much Bible as someone who has never gone to church! Courtesy of most churches, hundreds of thousands die and go to hell every day, led astray by works-religion. Millions of precious souls are daily denied the truths of God’s Word because church leaders fear losing their “faithful monetary support.”

In today’s Scripture, what did the Apostle Paul urge Timothy to do to combat the false teaching that had engulfed Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3-11)? Develop a new church program? Schedule a revival? Pray? Organize a vigorous x-step process of re-dedication? Do nothing? (These are Christendom’s common “solutions” for carnality and disarray—especially the latter of “do nothing!”)

To correct false teaching, Paul gave Timothy a charge: “Give attendance [pay attention] to…:”

  1. “READING.” What were they to read? Denominational creeds? “Christian” bestsellers about the Bible? Advice columns written by lost people? Obviously, they were to read the Bible like the Bereans who “searched the scriptures daily, to see whether those things [they heard] were so” (Acts 17:10,11). The Colossians were urged to read the epistle Paul wrote to Laodicea, and the Laodiceans were instructed to read the epistle written to Colosse (Colossians 4:16). Ephesians 3:4 and 1 Thessalonians 5:27 also instruct believers to read the Bible. The Bible says to “study” it (2 Timothy 2:15).
  2. “EXHORTATION.” Christians should exhort (encourage) one another to continue in sound dispensational Bible study so the Bible can transform them for God’s glory (1 Thessalonians 2:10-12; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-18; 1 Timothy 6:1-21; 2 Timothy 4:1-5; Titus 2:1-15).
  3. “DOCTRINE.” Doctrine is important, for it separates us from the world’s religious system. Our doctrine for this dispensation is only found in Paul’s epistles: what God has to say to us today is in Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon (Romans 11:13; 1 Corinthians 14:37).

If Christians gave attendance to these things—especially #3—we would not be in this spiritual mess.