If there was ever a passage that is extremely relevant to this day and age it is 2 Timothy 4:1-4. Here Paul (the apostle) encourages young Timothy to proclaim the truth message - preach the word - as some translations put it. He tells him to do so whether it's convenient or not. The KJV says whether it is in season or out of season. I take him to mean most likely when it is popular or when it is not popular. Whatever the case, it is the word that must be preached. This is an oddity today, because most men who call themselves (or whom others call) pastors do not preach the word, they preach a "get rich quick" or "self esteem" message that is about as shallow as possible. In such, people are becoming less and less capable of listening to a genuine sermon/bible study becaue they think a sermon is a 20 minute lesson that exalts mans "goodness" and contains a hint of Scripture here or there.
Paul knew that such times would come, therefore he writes to Timothy that the time will come when people will not be able to tolerate sound doctrine. Does this sound familiar? It surely should because there are thousands of people in the church-world today who do not tolerate sound doctrine. They pick their "home church" based upon programs, music ministry, number of people, how good they feel, etc. They should rather ask themselves if the true message of Scripture is being taught from the pulpit and if God is being glorified rather than man. If a preacher never preaches expositorily or exegetically; if a preacher never teaches deep bible study; if a preacher's messages are always titled "You Can Make It" or "Living to Your Fullest Potential," the chances are you are going to one of the visible "Christian" churches in the world rather than to a true Christian assembly.
Paul tells Timothy that people will heap to themselves teachers having itching ears. The HCSB says that these people have an itch to hear something new. This translation then gives a footnote that says "or, to hear what they want to hear." People run to find a multitude of professing teachers so that they might be able to find a few that will lie to them and make them feel better about their sin. How often this is the case today. Paul concludes by saying they will turn away from hearing the truth and turn aside to myths/fables. It is sad, but such happens so very often with people today.
Paul tells Timothy in verse 5 to basically persist in teaching properly. He says that Timothy must keep a clear head, endure hardship (persecution for teaching Scripture), and continue in the work of the ministry. If you are a teacher out there, Pauls words are calling out to you today, and if you are a listener out there who wants there ears tickled, repent and turn to Yahweh's truths before you are cast into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.
Blog by Matthew Janzen. Lover of Yahweh, Yeshua, my wife and 5 children. All else is commentary.