Posted on Tue, Oct 1, 2019
2 Timothy 4:1b-4
You are writing a gospel, a chapter each day;
By things that you do;
By things you say. Others read that gospel,
whether faithless or true!
Say! What is the Gospel According To You?
You might be saying to yourself, “That’s a cute poem but I’m not a preacher and I don't have a pulpit.” I beg to differ. You do have a "pulpit" and it is wherever God's hand of providence has placed you! In defense of this argument consider Paul's present "pulpit" is a dank, dark, dreary prison cell in Rome and yet he himself says "the Word of God is not imprisoned" and so he "preaches a sermon" with his pen! Beloved, you have a pulpit and it has not been given you by accident but by purposeful providence! And not only do you have a pulpit, you have a charge to "preach" from your pulpit. Listen to Jesus’ charge (not a suggestion but a command from the General to His soldiers on the field) to all His followers..
“Let your light shine (aorist imperative) before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.” (Mt 5:16)
So beloved, don’t check out on me because we are all preaching a gospel to both the lost and the saved. The
question we all need to ask ourselves is what "Gospel" am I preaching in my "pulpit"? What was my sermon
like last week – dry and windy or wind driven by the spirit? Am I letting my Gospel light shine like a city on a
hill or a lamp on the lamp stand or am I putting it "under a basket" (Mt 5:14-15)? Let me ask it another way
so that you don't get caught trying to live by a list of do's and don'ts ("legalism"). Regarding whatever I am doing, ask yourself will it enhance God's reputation? Will those who watch me know that I know God from my behavior? Or will I have to apologize to them later? Ruth Graham defined a "saint" as "someone who makes it easy to believe in Jesus!"
Now, when we look at the text, it transitions to the audience and the sermons / teachings they hear.
Look, no one wants to hear a ‘hard’ word. We could do without all the, what most call ‘negativity.’ Preaching
about things like sin, judgment, and the like is not considered a good day in God’s house.
Most prefer to be told that everything is alright, or how good they are and definitely how good God is. Only there is a problem.What about the difficult times? How do I deal with temptation or the more weightier issues of life? You can’t deal with these types of things with just a simple smile, a scripture and a nice sounding slogan. Tell me how to deal with real life. Don’t give me candy, or sweet sounding remedies. Please, tell me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear!
St. Paul warns that the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine. We are there. I believe that now, more than any time in history, there has been an inundation of false doctrine that has entered the church.
The verse then says that at that time they will not endure sound doctrine. Who are the ‘they’ in this verse? Believers. It says that believers will not be able to endure or bear or even put up with truth.
Many believers these days are hungering for something fresh, new and different. ‘Don’t give me the same old messages recycled. Tell me something that will excite me.’ Look, if the WORD doesn’t excite you as it is, you’ve already veered off course. No one needs to add a little spice or sugar to it to make you feel better. The scripture goes on to say that in order to fulfill this lust for more, believers will seek out preachers and teachers who will tell them what they want to hear.
The itching ears referred to here is their desire to be audibly tickled. As we said, ‘Tell me what I want to hear; make me feel good.’ What immediately happens when anyone desires to have their ears tickled. They automatically turn their ears away from the truth. They choose poison over medicine. Notice that final
phrase in verse 4, ‘and shall be turned unto fables.’ If one turns away from what is true, they have only one recourse, that is to turn to lies, fables and myths.
The Apostle Peter tells us what we should be desiring. In 1 Peter 2:2 he says: “As newborn babes,desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”
Once again I say, Don’t Tickle My Ears - Tell Me The Truth!
Elias R. Reyes
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