“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths. 5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but al! so to all who have loved His appearing,” (2 Tim. 4:1-8).
Devotion: Tickling Ears
2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires.”
Paul’s opening statement in this verse is so true. In our present world we are witnessing the denial of truth, the denial of the sound doctrines of Scripture, the increase of moral relativism, and an increase on the attack of religious faith here in America. Why? Because people want to “accumulate for themselves teaches in accordance with their own desires.” They don’t want God’s truth. They want their own.
When I look in the mirror, I would prefer to see an incredibly handsome, well-built man. The truth is different and all my wishing won’t change that. Still, I find that if I turn the light a little and I position myself just right, I can trick my eyes into seeing what I want. If I, a Christian who wants to follow God, still has a tendency to make things appear better than they are, how much more so the unbeliever?
You see, because of our fallen nature’s we have a tendency to desire lies. That is why self-deception is something we all participate in, Christian and non-Christian alike. That is also why we listen to people who have smooth, gentle, affirming words more than someone who speaks the truth. Ecc 7:4 says, “It is better to listen to the rebuke of a wise man than for one to listen to the song of fools.” But, what is better is not always what we want, is it?
Paul is telling us that those outside the saving grace of God in Christ will reject doctrine that is sound and adopt that which is false. The time is coming. The time is now.
As Christians we are to cast our cares, our sins, our trust, our hope, and our prayers upon the one who is God in flesh, Jesus Christ, who died, was buried, and rose from the dead for our sins (John 1:1,14; 1 Cor. 15:1-4). Only in him are we able to escape the snare of error and believe the sound doctrines revealed in God word. So, study his word and believe his word. This is what God wants for you.
God bless you!