“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears,” 2 Timothy 4:3 (emphasis added).
For the time will come – and it has arrived – “Itching Ears“.
I did a bit of research, to try and understand, just who it is, this statement is actually talking about? Is it the people? Or is it the teacher?
Paul was telling Timothy to “preach the word.” He urged him to reprove, rebuke and exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. He clearly said, that there would be a time, people would not put up with sound doctrine. Many interpret, that folks want their ears tickled.
But there is a clear reference to the teachers. In this time, does it not seem that many who are supposed to be teaching today, are also wanting to say, what they think the people want to hear? It is easy however, to blame the leadership, and not fully address the fact that the people sitting out there, are allowing it. In days gone by, and even now, we’ve talked so much about doctrine, we may have lost what “sound” doctrine really is. I believe, it refers to what was told to Timothy. Preach “the word,” and not anything else.
It’s certainly not sound, when you do not have real scripture to back up what you are teaching or requiring of others. But this kind of “itching,” goes even far beyond that. They do not want to hear, what is truly sound, at all. Simply repeating what others have said to us, is not sound; accepting certain concepts, without actually studying the word for ourselves. Men and women stray. That’s why it is so important, to allow the Holy Spirit to teach us the real thing. Anointed people were called to Teach; but being led by the Spirit.
So many today, only want to hear what makes them feel real good about themselves. They want someone to pander to their very own desires; that which allows them to be comfortable and content with self. Accumulating wealth, is one of those strong desires today. It’s the reason so many preachers or teachers, cater to that. You see, too often, we don’t want or even will not accept, reproof or rebuke; even if it is done in the right spirit as Timothy was told to do it in.
Is it not possible, that many were false teachers from the start. But could it not also be true, that there are those who once taught that which was sound, but their own fleshly desires caused them to turn from that. There came a time, when perhaps they were also itching for numbers, and high buildings and affluent abundance.
Sound doctrine, is not all about commandments of men and our own self-proclaimed traditions either. Itching ears, do not grow.
Not seeking to totally rely and follow the leading of the Spirit, is a clear sign that we are not teaching the things we should be. Is it possible, that we have gathered great numbers, of those who give us what we want to hear. Whether it be entertainment preaching and music, or that which keeps us lulled and self-assured, we may have become starved, for true knowledge of the Spirit.
It’s no real wonder, that you can’t reach so many; they simply don’t hear you, and they really don’t care. We’re in that time. It’s here, even now.
~ Robert Blackburn