In today’s culture and society it’s hard to decipher the sound and true doctrine of the Lord from the corrupt doctrine. This is mainly due to false teachers which teach a doctrine that satisfies their audience; the type of doctrine with which they gain favor, popularity and most important of all, wealth.
When we hear our pastor or listen to televangelists preaching away does their doctrine astonish us? Do we marvel and praise God for what has been spoken? Do we feel uncomfortable with what we hear and believe? The sound doctrine makes us uncomfortable because of our sinful ways. When people hear this doctrine the result should be astonishment – whether astonishment because it has convicted us and led us to repent or astonishment because we prefer the sugary doctrine and this one is too hard on the ears.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2Tim 4:3,4
If the Sunday morning sermon has not astonished us its humor and corny jokes and we leave without conviction (even of a minutest thing) then we’ve been deceived along with the pastor. (On a side note, I have no idea since when God’s doctrine has become funny!) If we’ve heard a televangelist say that we can demand and claim wealth and health and all things nice then we’ve just heard a doctrine that has not astonished us. Preachers who preach Christ and not themselves will astonish the congregation – those who take the risk of being hated and despised and gossiped about and yet teach Christ Jesus, these are the ones who preach the true doctrine. Some teachings which I’ve found to be astonishing are by preachers like David Wilkerson and Paul Washer. Not that I’m idolising them but I’ve taken them as examples.
The Word of God has to be astonishing to a human mind because it’s beyond comprehension; it’s of God the Almighty! How can it not convicted us? A compromised doctrine never astonishes even a heathen. When Jesus preached the Kingdom of God His doctrine was spotless, leaving His audience in awe and astonishment. He attracted followers as well as haters (to the extent of them wanting to kill Him). Remember His hearers were the same every time, yet they were at awe at His Word. Even when His Apostles preached and taught their hearers responded with astonishment!
“And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine…” Matt 7:28
“And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.” Matt 22:33
“And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.” Mark 1:22
“And the disciples were astonished at his words.” Mk 10:24
“And the scribes and chief priests heard it, and sought how they might destroy him: for they feared him, because all the people was astonished at his doctrine.” Mk 11:18
“Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.” Acts 13:12