For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
There are five things I would like to point out in this passage of scripture that should make all of us concern:
1. The time is coming.
When one reads this verse it almost sounds like Paul is warning Timothy about something that was going to happen in a distant future. But Paul is not referring merely to sometime in the distant future but to a situation he expected Timothy to face or one he was already facing. It is not in some distant future – it is happening now, maybe in your church.
2. People will not endure sound teaching
If you ever thought that preaching was supposed to make you comfortable and happy; and not challenge and provoke you, well think again. All scripture is useful for Reproving, rebuking, and exhorting. All scripture is useful and should include—doctrine, instruction, correction, and encouragement when we share it. Anything less is not good enough.
3. Itching ears they will have.
Itching means to rub, to scratch; and then to tickle, and to feel an “itching” for something pleasing or gratifying. The words itching ears also show a yearning for novelty. The key word here is “Novelty” a strong preference to hear tantalizing theories, stimulating rhetoric and flowery phrases and not the word “which is able to make them wise unto salvation.”
4. They will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions
This verse has nothing to do with whether a preacher is popular or not. It has everything to do with the kind of message and lifestyle he promotes. This is what people are seeking. They itch for something to satisfy their passions, lust – that is, their own tastes, or wishes. “This is a state of endless curiosity, and an insatiable desire of variety.” This is the life of the church hopper, the life of a Christian longing for that next meeting/conference – the next evangelist to come to town.
5. They will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
There are many churches/believers today that have wandered so far away from the truth and they don’t even know it. A quick look at what they believe and teach about creation, sexuality, sin, marriage grace, love, heaven and hell (to name a few) will make you sick. Whenever we turn away from the word of God we expose ourselves to half-truths, cultural myths and fables – that’s when things get easily twisted. Half-truths do no good to the soul, it only leave it barren and corrupt. That’s why Paul told Timothy to preach the WORD! Be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
Therefore, I charge you today in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead:
Preach the word
Always be sober-minded
Do the work of an evangelist
Fulfill your ministry.
Fight the good fight
Finish the race