I 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: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching (2 Timothy 4:1-2).
During the few years before Jesus returns, the most powerful and the most diabolical sermons will be preached. Some for revival and others for deception.
The phrase in 2 Timothy 4:2 of in season and out of season implies faithfulness in preaching even when truth is mocked.
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).
The phrase itching ears is found nowhere else in the Bible. The Apostle Paul, who wrote 2 Timothy, describes an end-time culture that listens to a pulpit promoting modernized viewpoints.
Acceptable, not Biblical, is the latter-day itching ear inspiration for truth!
Just as you desire to scratch a bug bite, itching ears desire palatable and non-offensive preaching. The Word of God will be attacked in the end-times – often by winsome Bible teachers who gently or sarcastically challenge you to rethink your previous thoughts about the Bible.
This approach will bring freedom, sensibility, and protection from undue narrowmindedness.
A quote from an itching ear end-times preacher:
Many Christians have been taught that the Bible is Truth downloaded from heaven, God’s rulebook, a heavenly instructional manual – follow the directions and out pops a true believer; deviate from the script and God will come crashing down on you with full force. If anyone challenges this view, the faithful are taught to “defend the Bible” against these anti-God attacks.
If you believe that the Bible is Truth and have popped out as a true believer, if you defend the Bible as inspired, and if you consider the Bible as history and not myth…
…shame on you!
You might not want to read Interruptions again, as I believe the Bible is a heavenly instructional manual. Call me nuts, but after 50 years of belief, I walk in blessing not possible without a simple faith in scripture.
I believe Paul anticipated end-times itching ear preaching when he wrote:
As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry (2 Timothy 4:5).
And Paul gave an example of an itching ear preacher in his day:
Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message (2 Timothy 4:14-15).
Paul’s message was full of directive and commands with consequence. He preached Jesus as the only means of grace and taught a defined morality. His message won’t itch ears but does give eternal life.
Itch bug bites, not the Bible.