How I answer the question in the title has a huge impact on my understanding of God’s word. Doy Moyer, minister and professor with the Florida College Biblical Studies department, asked a similar question on his Facebook page this week, “Are We Looking for Questions or Answers?” The person looking to please God will take the clear answers of Scripture and humbly, submit to them. The person who seems bound and determined to formulate an unanswerable sentence is usually uninterested in simply doing the things they can know please the Almighty.
Paul refers to this kind of character in his warnings to Timothy about the, “perilous times” to come, “in the last days”-II Timothy 3:1. The apostle tells the young preacher to watch out for false teachers who are, “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”-II Timothy 3:7. Paul warns these wolves have, “a form of godliness,”-II Timothy 3:5. Yet, they seem incapable of knowing or exercising the truth of God.
So, what is at the root of this problem? What is the solution? The problem is pride and a desire to fulfil the lusts of the flesh. In the same chapter, the apostle to the Gentiles tells us these men are, “lovers of their own selves…proud…(and) lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God;”-v1-4. They haven’t crucified the flesh and submitted to Christ as Lord! When they read the inspired word of God, they are not looking to understand and obey. They don’t want answers, they want the false confidence that comes from asking some obscure question. They know the Bible well enough to know what it does not address and those are the subjects they want to discuss.
Beware of teachers who seem sincere in their questioning but are really just clouding what is clear so they can throw their hands up and say, “Who can know what God wants me to do?!?!?” They do not want the clear sunshine of the gospel to shine in their lives. If they came to the knowledge of the truth, they might be in danger of actually having to live by the truth!
The Holy Spirit proclaims this will be prevalent in the church. Take note of anyone obsessed with bizarre questions. Most of the time, they know they are asking something that can not be known. “Can God create a rock he can not lift?” “How many angels can fit on the tip of a pen?” “Do angels have wings?” They ask these things because they want to plant a seed of doubt in your mind. Then they will say, “If you don’t know these things, how can we really know the will of God?” Beware the slick words of the wolf!
It’s one thing to recognize this behavior, how do we stop it? As Jesus says, “It is written,”-Luke 4:4:
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”-II Timothy 2:14 (KJV)
“but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,”-I Peter 3:15
If we are seeking to do the will of the Father, we can know our duty as children of the Most High. A heart looking for God’s answers is the antidote to cure false teaching.