October 18

2 Timothy 4:1-5

“For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires…” vs. 3

Timothy, the young pastor, is advised in this letter to proclaim the gospel with conviction in every season and to have patience in his teaching. He’s warned that there will be a time when his little flock would be tempted to wander and follow other teachers. That sort of thing did in fact happen regularly in the early church and it continues to this day. People have itching ears, and they’re susceptible to the market-driven messages they hear on radio and television, and now, on the internet. The false teachers are clever and capable and present a message that appeals to the prejudices and preferences of their listeners. Some start new congregations and ministries and use an amazing blend of music and scripture to lure folks away from their faith families. Often there’s a financial dimension to their appeal and a few have managed to use the gospel to create empires and to live like rock stars. There’s not much that can be done about such charlatans–with freedom of religion in our land, they can do as they please. Thank God for those leaders and congregations that remain rooted in the true gospel of Jesus Christ! They may not be slick and fancy but they have a connection to the truth that cannot be shaken. In their ministries, the broken are healed, the poor hear good news, and mercy abounds–in them there is hope!

Thought for the Day: When do my ears start itching?

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