“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:2-4
I’ve always been a fan of biblical Christianity. Call me crazy, but I believe that what God’s Word says is true. I believe that what God says about Himself in His Word is true. When Scripture tells us that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8), I believe that He never changes, and neither does His Word. Although culture will continue to change and what is socially acceptable and what isn’t will continue to change, God’s Word remains the same…yesterday, today, and forever. Call me crazy.
Throughout time, there have been many men and women who have taught God’s Word, some with great integrity and anointing and some without. You and I both need to be discerning people who hold God’s Word above us as our ultimate authority, not the musings of man. That is one reason why I always have my Bible with me at church. I’ve sat under some extremely godly men over the years, but I will always test their words against Scripture. The Bible calls that wisdom. I’m not talking about being critical. I’m talking about being wise. We are called to follow a message, not a messenger. Christ crucified, buried, and resurrected is the message. The men God appoints over the church to preach that truth are His messengers. And not a single one of them are immune to misspeaking or false teaching.
Hear me out. I’ve been teaching Bible studies to women’s groups now for about six years, and one verse in Scripture that always jumps out to me in the context of teaching God’s Word aside from 2 Timothy 4 is James 3:1. God holds those who would teach His Word to a higher standard, and that is something to not only be very aware of but something to be very cautious of failing in. The mistake that many of us are prone to make is to receive any and all teaching from the pulpit as rock-solid truth. Praise God that many of us are blessed to sit under godly men who DO preach truth on a regular basis, but unfortunately there are those who have strayed from the truth. And this is where the caution sign is flashing in neon lights before our very eyes today as we take a look at 2 Timothy 4.
There are some today who would, in the pursuit of inclusion and universalism, proclaim that because the times have changed, the church and their teaching needs to adapt as well. If modern-day norm is to embrace sexual sin, then the church shouldn’t call it sin any longer. Shocking to some of you, I know, but all the while, this lie is being preached and accepted among those who would claim Christ as Lord. 2 Timothy warns us of those who would come along and seek to offer a more “palatable gospel” in the name of tolerance. Do not be deceived. God’s Word stands alone and far above the thoughts of any man, no matter how great those thoughts might sound.
The point? In all matters, turn to God’s Word. If God’s inspired Word calls it sin, it’s sin. If God’s Word commands us to obedience in a matter, anything short of that is sin. Let’s train ourselves to hear the Word of God preached from numerous platforms while always running back to the very words that God breathed out of His mouth. Refuse to be one whom Scripture describes as one with itching ears, always desiring to hear what would make you feel good.
Do you have itching ears?