2 Timothy 4:3-4, “3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”

Not only is the disciple commanded to stand against false religions such as Islam and Mormonism but we are also required to stand against false doctrines in the Christian church. In other words, if Satan cannot get us to forsake the Christian religion for another one on his “buffet of spirituality” he will try to introduce false teachings into the church itself.

In today’s passage, Paul listed three ways false teachers attract people in the church to believe them. First, the false teachings will suit your own sinful desires. The teacher will attract you by the lusts of your heart. Second, the unbiblical doctrine will tickle (scratch) your ears. It will be like sugar- sweet to the taste by unhealthy for the body. And lastly, they will preach myths as if they were truths. Their doctrine will sound more like a Disney movie than the book of Revelation.

Paul doesn’t hesitate in writing the consequences of such beliefs as seen in Galatians 1:8, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!” Paul even went on to write in Galatians 3:1 that the act of believing false doctrines about Christ is like being under a spell, “You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?”

Today in the church there are many false doctrines that the disciple has to be aware of. Some false teachings involve keeping the Jewish laws to be right with God, others may teach that once you are saved you will always be saved no matter how you live (this belief becomes like a “license to sin”). Still today there are false teachers that over emphasize the blessings of God and make prayer and the Christian life all about being rich and comfortable.

No matter the teaching or how convincing the teacher is, if it doesn’t line up with the Word of God it’s to be rejected.

Here are three ways to stand against false doctrines; (1) Study the Bible and know what it clearly teaches (2 Timothy 2:15). (2) Whenever you encounter a teaching that is not taught in Scripture reject it- no matter who teaches it. (3) Pray for those who have been deceived by believing unbiblical teachings to repent and return to the sound doctrine of the Bible.


What false doctrines have you encountered in Christian churches?


  1. Explain from the Bible why false doctrines are sinful. J.C. Ryle said, “We should no more tolerate false doctrine that we would tolerate sin.”
  2. Pray that God will use you to reach out to those who have been deceived by unbiblical teachings.
  3. Resources: “Systematic Theology: Revised Edition,” by Dr. Stanley Horton & “Biblical Doctrines: A Pentecostal Perspective,” by Dr. William Menzies.

One Year Reading Plan

Micah 5:1-7:20, Revelation 7:1-17, Psalm 135:1-21, & Proverbs 30:5-6. Click here to read online.