Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Do You Have Itching Ears?


I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2 Tim. 4:1-4)

I charge: Paul underscores the importance of his command to Timothy by calling on God and Jesus to be witnesses to it. He reminds Timothy that Jesus will return in judgment (2 Tim. 4:1). Paul’s charge to Timothy is to preach the word. The foundation of any ministry is God’s Word. Preaching God’s truth is a sacred and demanding task, requiring perseverance and courage. Be ready means to take a stand. Timothy was to be alert at all times to his responsibilities, even when it was inconvenient. This type of ministry is not for a novice ( James 3:1).

longsuffering and teaching: Patience and instruction are two necessary components of an effective ministry. True spiritual growth occurs over a period of time, through consistent teaching and application of God’s Word.

"Be ready in season and out of season" means to always be ready to serve God in any situation, whether or not it is convenient. Be sensitive to the opportunities God gives you.

Paul told Timothy to "Convince, rebuke, exhort." It is difficult to accept correction, to be told we have to change. But no matter how much the truth hurts, we must be willing to listen to it so we can more fully obey God.  Are you listening to the truth of God's Word?  Are you allowing your pride and wordily views to guide you into believing false teachings?

We believe in Christ today because people like Timothy were faithful to their mission. It is still vitally important for believers to spread the gospel. Jesus is coming soon, and He wants to find His faithful believers ready for Him. It may be inconvenient to take a stand for Christ or to tell others about His love, but preaching the Word of God is the most important responsibility the church and its members have been given.  What have you done today to bring glory to God's Kingdom?

Word Focus: appearing (Gk. epiphaneia) (2 Tim 1:10; 4:1, 8; 2 Thess. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:14; Titus 2:13) G2015: This word literally means “a shining forth” and was used in Greek literature to denote a divine appearance. The English word epiphany is a close equivalent. The New Testament writers use the word to refer to Jesus’ first coming, the time when He entered this world as a man (2 Tim. 1:10). They also use the word to speak of Jesus’ second coming, specifically to His appearance to all the world (Matt. 24:27).

As followers of Christ we must be prepared for, courageous in, and sensitive to God-given opportunities to tell the Good News. Sound teaching is essential for spiritual maturity, but will not always be tolerated. There will come a time when people will seek out teachers to tell them what they want to hear and what makes them feel good.  This is happening in our churches today.  Is the preacher of the church you attend telling you and the congregation only what makes you feel good when he preaches from God's Word?

People will turn their ears away from the truth. This is the sixth time that Paul uses the word truth in this short letter (2 Tim. 2:15, 18, 25; 3:7, 8). He had used the word five times in the first letter to Timothy (1 Tim. 2:4, 7; 3:15; 4:3; 6:5). As Paul faced execution, he was evidently concerned that his son in the faith would be tempted to depart from truth, lured by deceptive false teachers.

Father God, it is my prayer today that I continue to stay focused on your Son and the truth of the Gospel. Give me the courage to witness and share the Gospel in all seasons and not be ashamed to say that I am a Christian. Lord I continue to pray for those who are hurting and need your comfort and peace. I pray for those lost souls who have rejected You and refused to accept Your free gift of salvation. I pray for the pastor's of our churches to have the courage to continue in the faith and preach the truth even if it hurts.  Heavenly Father, continue to search my heart and soul to clear out anything that may cause me to stumble in my faith. I pray this all in Jesus' name. Amen.

References: NKJV Holy Bible, Life Application Bible (NIV), and the Nelson Study Bible.

31 comments:

Denise said...

Amen brother.

Ann Best said...

Be ready in season of out of season. This is indeed crucial to staying close to Christ and doing His will. Thanks for these words of wisdom.
Ann

MTJ said...

Hi Lloyd,

May each of as followers of Christ embrace the scriptures and not be ashamed to express our faith in Christ to others.

Thanks for the reminder to remain steadfast and immoveable.

Blessings and peace.

MTJ

Terry said...

I very much enjoyed this post. Thank you so very much for inviting me to your blog, and for the time and commitment you put in to the sharing of God's word.
God Bless, Terry

dfish said...

We are repeatedly warned that the people will be less inclined to hear the Word as the Lord's return nears. The job of teaching the truth becomes more urgent as a result, although the response will probably decline.

Keep up the teaching.

Debbie said...

I think there are many people who only want to hear what their iching ears want to hear. I've heard a high profile preacher say that he wants to preach about God's love and not sin. He said that people don't need to feel bad.

Well, if we don't realize that we are sinners already condemned why would we need a Savior? I think it's so important to know the Truth. Yes, God is a god of love and grace and forgiveness but in order to receive that we must receive His gift of redemption first.

Keep speaking the Truth!

Blessings,
Debbie

Ian Curtis said...

Hello again.
I appreciate the call to diligence regarding God's truth; it is something that we cannot be reminded of too often. Let me pose a question (unrelated to your present Post): what is your understanding regarding the doctrines of God's foreknowledge and predestination? Odd place to ask, I know. I have been studying it in the Bible extensively lately, and would like to hear what other believers have to say regarding this. If you want talk via email, there's a link on my Blog. Just searching for additional counsel; thanks for bearing with me. Ian.

Zach S. said...

Thank you Lloyd for your encouraging word and prayer:

"Preach the Gospel" and overcome the fear of rejection. Know that many people are praying for you.

Blessings,
~ Zach S.

Amrita said...

This is very true people want to hear comforting things which do not disturb them.....positive messages, no mention of sin or repentance an d judgment to come..

We have to preach the whole word

Lou said...

Great post Lloyd. Love reading your stuff!

Blessings,
Lou

Anonymous said...

Olá irmão Lloy, obrigado por suas palavras, sabemos que o tempo está passando e nossa responsabilida é muito grande, falar de Cristo em tempo e fora de tempo é nossa meta.
Hoje o blog tem sido uma ferramenta importante para falarmos de Cristo, isso alegra muito meu coração pois sei que você tem esse mesmo empenho!
Um grande abraço, Deus te abençoe.
No amor de Cristo,
Sidney
(Papodedesenhista.blogspot.com)

Buzz and Ellen Ditto said...

Very interesting & true message. Often we preach a gospel more by our lives than by our words. We pray that all believers preach The Gospel of Jesus Christ in word & living. We invite you to follow our blog as we all seek to live full lives in the Kingdom now & forever.

Jane said...

Yes, we need courage and wisdom to preach God's Word to others. Let's continue to encourage one another to live for Christ, in words and in deeds.

RCUBEs said...

Amen to your prayer. What a beautiful way to end your post always...God bless.

Refracted Lite said...

Thank you for stopping by, I liked your recent post. Thank you for your encouragement to everyone out there. I like how you end in a prayer. :)
I never like having my ears tickled:)
God Bless~

Lloyd said...

I what to thank each one of you for your visits and gracious comments. God’s blessings too each of you. Lloyd

Terry said...

Hi Lloyd,
I am so glad you stopped by my blog and thank you for following me. I am now following you back.

I love the name of your blog...Solid Rock or Sinking Sand. Great Name!!!

Connie Arnold said...

Thank you for the good teaching in your post. Your reminders are so important, and prayer certainly is vital.

Dee said...

Lloyd You make everything so clear and I enjoy coming here. The world is infilterating our churches little by little and the people are not even aware of it. They think they are OK. Scary.

INSIDE THE SHRINK said...

Great post Lloyd. This reminds me of Galatians 2:20. If I am living that out in my life, all of these things you have mentioned here will be active and productive in my life. That is my prayer. Thank you for your teaching and taking the time to give out the message the Holy Spirit is prompting you to give. God's Word does not return to Him void. God bless, Bobbi

Jack said...

Hi,how are you today?I have surfed your blog serveral times, thanks for your information and photos. I will go on to follow your blog. If you have time, you can come to my blog and feel free give me some comment, more important thing is be follower!

(My blog is sharebooksreview.blogspot.com)

Shoshi said...

Amen to that, Lloyd. There is far too much "niceness" in the church today, with pastors being afraid to preach the Full Gospel (i.e. the wrath of God as well as the love of God, and just how fallen and without hope we are in the world without the Lord Jesus). This is a word in season! Your prayer at the end was so beautiful too.

Thank you for your prayers for me, and for your lovely message on my blog. May the Lord bless you richly, brother.

Shoshi

Lloyd said...

Bobbi - Thank you so much for your visit and gracious comments. May God have the Glory in all we ever do and say while we are serving Him. God's continued blessings too you.

Jack - Thank you for the visit and it is my prayer that the information on this blog will touch your heart and soul. I will definitely make it over too you blog. Blessings.

Shoshi - Thank you so much for your visit and kind comments. You are right when you say that today's churches lean over backwards in trying to get people to join. Now, in its self, this is probably not a bad thing to do as long as the "TRUTH" of God's Word is preached and taught. The problem I have is that some preachers only like to preach the parts of the Bible that makes a person feel "warm and fuzzy" so they might join their congregation. Blessings and continued prayers too you.

Family, Money and Stuff said...

Hi. Just came across your blog through MTJ's.

My continuous prayer is that I will not be deceived and drawn away from Christ. -that I adhere to Him and His truth.

I appreciate your mention of those faithful ones before us - and that we believe, in a sense, because they believed. ... how many others might believe if we are faithful?

Food for thought. Thanks!

Kimberly Dawn
www.littleminute.blogspot.com

Arts&Disability said...

Hi Lloyd,
We appreciate your efforts to really encourage here.... and on all your posts!

I think that many times people grow weary... and that starts a watered down message.... A kind word, wisdom sharing, encouragement.... of any type is hard to find in our World. Being salt you are! And, in purity to also act in Love.

Thank you for all... and for following our blog... as we all follow our Lord! {I am deeply touched about your son.... such things are in a realm beyond us.}

God Bless you, your wife & family!Your info & words are helpful.

Love in our Lord,
His Sonshine

The Angulo's said...

I'm still teaching myself out of the word on my blog. Maybe one day I will have what it takes to teach others free from hypocrisy.

By the way, I stoled your scripture tagger. It's really convenient. Thanks. :)

God bless you.

Mrs. A

Lloyd said...

Mrs. A - Thank you so much for your visit and comments. I visit your blog often and enjoy your posts. I know that our Lord has a mission for you to complete through your blog ministry. Never be bashful or intimidated when you do the Lord's commission of spreading the truth of His Word.

You are welcome to take the scripture tagger. It is really a cool little gadget. I copied it from another website that I visit often. God bless.

Mrs. Angulo said...

Lloyd, I really hope your right. Thank you for saying so. You always encourage me with your words.

Christ in you is evident. God bless!

Tam said...

Amen!!

crouserevealed05 said...

Now that was Awesome!!!! I loved the part about [There will come a time when people will seek out teachers to tell them what they want to hear and what makes them feel good. This is happening in our churches today. Is the preacher of the church you attend telling you and the congregation only what makes you feel good when he preaches from God's Word] When I first gave my life to Christ, it seems like every word that came forth Hurt my little feelings, but because I didnt despise correction, I could receive that word and correct my thinking and my actions...
God Bless you Lloyd!!!

Lloyd said...

crouserevealed05 - I want to personally thank you for your visit and encouraging comments. It is true that the Gospel flows against everything that the world has to offer and is very offensive to those that are not saved. However, when we are convicted by the Holy Spirit we are a changed person and the gospel is music to our ears. God bless and Merry Christmas.