Look around you and see the great confusion over doctrinal issues – just look at this forum and others. There are many reasons why we get confused. Some of us are lazy in their Bible study, little Bible reading, poor church attendance, hearts of unbelief, bad hearts, sin, etc. These are some of the reasons why we just don't get what God has for us but I've narrowed it down to three basics – without these three there will be areas of doctrinal truths lacking.
1. The person may be lost (talked about this before) so he cannot understand spiritual things. No further explanation needed.
1 Cor 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
2. The person may have conflicting authorities such as multiple versions of the Bible, Greek and Hebrew lexicons, his church, pastor, or priest, or his commentaries, etc. All of the above will disagree so what is he or she to do? I just happen to believe that the final authority is God's word and that is found in a King James Bible.
3. The person doesn't know what portions of the scriptures first and foremost apply doctrinally to him. He tries to go to the OT, Gospels, Acts, Paul, Tribulation truths, etc. When the passages contradict he doesn't know how to straighten them out. He thinks the whole Bible is just lumped together and he is to apply it all to him doctrinally forgetting that all the scriptures were written for him but not all to him . He won't sacrifice a lamb for he knows some of the law is gone but other than that he just tries to reconcile the whole Bible doctrinally to himself today and gets in a mess. The Lord gave the apostle Paul the latest instructions for us today and when one starts there first then the rest starts to make sense:
2 Tim 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.
Now, what happens when #1 applies? There is no hope to have an understanding of doctrinal issues. One may learn and memorize facts and principles but have no real understanding though he will get some understanding of the word of God is quick and powerful. But the first thing he must do is believe that Christ died for his sins, was buried and rose from the dead and get regenerated by the Holy Spirit and then he can start to get understanding.
Psa 119:130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
Now, if he does get saved but #2 applies then he is still in a mess but at least he is saved. Now what does he do, he has multiple translations, lexicons, manuscripts, pastors, priests, churches, commentaries and they all say something different. How can one get sound doctrine on a regular basis if he has so many CONFLICTING AUTHORITIES ? Yes, study aids are good and men's guidance is good but what if they disagree ? Confusion reigns. I believe many saved people are experiencing this today – the average saint is confused and doesn't know which is the real authority.
Now, if the person is wrestling with #2 and #3 then chaos reigns! Not only does he have conflicting authorities but also now he takes those conflicting authorities and tries to reconcile the whole Bible to himself today forgetting the book is a book of progressive revelation .
Finally, if one is dealing with all three then he is as confused as a termite in a yo yo! NO hope. If one is saved and gets #2 settle but not sure of #3 then there is hope for at least he has an authority (I believe it is a King James Bible). If you have #1 there is much hope but if you add #2 you are going downhill and if you add to this #3 then it gets even rougher.
A lot of what is going on today is unregenerate church members with conflicting authorities going places in the Bible that don't doctrinally apply to them and this produces disaster in epic proportions.
I believe a lot of saved people today are wrestling with #2 and #3 and this is why so many saints today are confused over the major doctrines .