The average church member in America could care less about Bible doctrine. These days it seems that churches are shallow in doctrine and deep into emotion. Now I will be the first to confess that teaching Bible doctrines will make the masses bored to tears. Iâ€™ll go a step further, most people will not listen to it. They will find a million things to do before they sit and study things like: the atonement, faith, nature of Christ, original sin, prevenient grace, the Trinity, suffering of the saints, or biblical missions and evangelism.
The trendy relevant pastor knows that these truths do not appeal to his audience so he (or she...) preaches on happiness, self worth, winning, reaching your potential, gaining wealth and losing weight. People love this stuff! They can leave a church service feeling good about their future knowing that â€śthey can do all things through Christ who strengthens them.â€ť Donâ€™t bother properly explaining that verse, it sounds better out of context. This kind of ear tickling will draw huge crowds and temporally encourage them.
But sooner or later the realities of life will arrive on their door step. This could be a death, illness, loss of a job or possessions, or maybe some of each. (Job ch 1-2) Try as they might they canâ€™t rebuke their problem. This leaves them with no explanation for the sudden turn of events. How can this happen to them? They were going to church, even Sunday school, they volunteered and even tithed. The only thing left to do is hold out for a miracle.
What happens when the miracle doesnâ€™t come? These doctrinally shallow yet emotionally deep people often turn away from God. I have heard it 100â€™s of times: â€śIâ€™ve tried God and He didnâ€™t work for me.â€ť That statement alone tells me they never knew God. God is the Creator and Sustainer of the whole universe. Heâ€™s not a used car that you test drive to see if you like Him or not. Heâ€™s not a cosmic Santa Clause either. Being good wonâ€™t get more toys.
Hereâ€™s the point of this little article: Doctrine is boring until you need it, and you WILL NEED IT. I remember the boredom of gas mask training in the Air Force. But when those tear gas canisters opened up, I was so glad I knew how to put the mask on. You need to learn who God really is so when tribulation strikes, your faith will not be shaken. If you know what the Bible says about man, you wonâ€™t be surprised by the way he acts. The more you come to understand your salvation, the more youâ€™ll appreciate your Savior. When the phone rings and you receive the worst news of your life, only sound Biblical doctrine will stand up to the trials of this world. The great Shepherd is always watching over His sheep, and His sheep know His voice.