"And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (II Timothy 4:4).
This is the last of eleven occurrences of "the truth" in Paul's' two letters to Timothy. He was not writing about the importance of being truthful in general, but about a specific body of factual information concerning Jesus Christ and its vital importance. Thus "the truth" was a very important theme in both of Paul's letters to this young pastor-and, by implication, to all God-called pastors.
Paul first speaks of "the knowledge of the truth" as required for salvation (I Timothy 2:4), then of his own teaching as "the truth in Christ" (I Timothy 2:7), then of "the church of the living God" as "the pillar and ground of the truth" (I Timothy 3:15), and of Christians as those who "believe and know the truth" (I Timothy 4:3). He stresses the importance of studying the Bible as "the word of truth" (II Timothy 2:15), and also that true repentance requires "the acknowledging of the truth" (II Timothy 2:25).
Paul also warns of false and covetous teachers who are "destitute of the truth" (I Timothy 6:5) and who therefore "concerning the truth have erred" (II Timothy 2:18). There will even be false prophets who "resist the truth" and are "reprobate concerning the faith" (II Timothy 3:8).
As a result of the teachings of these false teachers, there will be many so-called seekers of truth who are "ever learning" yet who seem "never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (II Timothy 3:7). The reason they never find the truth is because they "turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (II Timothy 4:4).
The fact is that Jesus said: "I am . . . the truth" and also that "Thy word is truth" (John 14:6; 17:17). For any who would say with Pilate, "What is truth?" (John 18:38), there is the definitive answer! HMM