One of the major marks of spiritual maturity is to be able to discern between good and evil Hebrews 5:14. This discernment (a clear distinguishing and discrimination) applies to things presented to our minds directly by satanic forces as well as indirectly through others in the way of false teachings. Real discernment is not merely the ability to recognize the difference between right and wrong but being able to recognize the difference between right and almost right (from Charles Spurgeon).
In 2 Timothy 3 and 4 Paul by the Spirit of God in writing to his son in the faith Timothy tells us that satan’s deception will enter in among the ranks of the professing Church through a simple doorway. We don’t have to guess about it because he tells us in 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts (desires) shall they heap to themselves (accumulate further/seek additionally) teachers, having itching ears. And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (speech, conversation, myth, legend, untrue stories and tales).
Satan’s deception enters through the door of false doctrine or teaching. In contrast, sound doctrine:
- Is from the Word of God 2 Timothy 3:16, 17; 4:2;
- Mentions coming judgment and future things 4:1;
- May be in season or out of season with the way people are living 4:2 (or it may be convenient or inconvenient to hear);
- Includes reproof, rebuke, and exhortation 4:2;
- Has elements of truth in it you may have to endure, bear up under and tolerate.
If you are going to a church and you never hear teachings that include these things you may not be getting sound doctrine. It is time to search the Scriptures daily to see if what we are being taught is in the Bible Acts 17:11.