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.

What a strange thing to say, Paul said that church people would have “itching ears”. He was describing some of the characteristics that would creep into the church in the end of days. Could he be talking about the time we live in now, if he is, what does “itching ears” refer to? Paul is talking about what happens when christians begin to lose their first love. They either want to hear something new and different or want to hear something that will justify the carnal lifestyle they have chosen to live.
The first category would fall into the area of new and unusual doctrine. Many times people who are bored want some new experience rather than solid teaching from the the written word of God. This could be an unhealthy emphasis on physical manifestations.Their focus could be things like gold dust, gold teeth, feathers, and various other physical manifestations. Don’t get me wrong, God can do anything but our focus is not on manifestations but on Christ. Paul warned us about these kinds of distractions, he said even if an angel from heaven preaches a doctrine more than what he had preached, let him be cursed.
In our modern, relevant world, we have been bombarded with a different kind of message. The itching ears of our generation wants to hear a message that makes allowances for all sorts of carnal behavior in the church. Martin Luther termed this type of teaching “antinomian”, meaning that salvation by grace liberates us from following the rules. It seems like the itching ears of this generation wants no absolutes, leaving us to be tossed too and fro by our own carnal desires. These teachers would emphasize only the mercy and love of God and ignore or make light of His holiness and justice. Our God is all merciful but He is also holy and requires justice.
For a true christian who has tasted of the sweetness of the grace of God, wearing the yoke of obedience becomes our pleasure and not a burden that we carry. We have been saved from the carnality of this dark world by His grace, His written Word has become our food, His Presence has become our living water that we drink. How can I remain uneffected by the “itching ears” doctrines of this age, by being satisfied with Christ and being saturated with His Word.

5 Replies to “ITCHING EARS”

  1. May the Joy of His quiet Word through the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit drown out the constant background noise of the material world We ask this through Jesus Christ the Only Son of the Father who lives and Reigns with the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.Amen. Amen, and Amen!

  2. This letter was penned from Paul, one called of God to feed His sheep (experienced), to Timothy, one called to feed His sheep (less experience). Paul is letting his disciple know what to expect as he fulfills his calling by God. Even though this teaching is from a leader to a leader all children of God take note.
    First we must guard ourselves against being tossed to and fro when we are offended by the gospel. Let this be a warning sign to examine ourselves and not search for a church/message that is more comfortable. The gospel of Jesus Christ is truth, is offensive, even for the children of God, perhaps even more so then the lost.
    Secondly, be prepared to be ostracized by many. Take comfort in acceptance by Christ and Christ alone. We must remain grounded in the word, study that we can present ourselves to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
    May our Father continue to strength those whose eyes are open to the truth that we endure to the end unashamed of proclaiming the gospel of Christ. These lyrics seem to fit this blog – focusing on all of God, not just the forgiving attributes:
    T’was Grace that taught…
    my heart to fear.
    And Grace, my fears relieved.

  3. It’s a scary thing when we start making God in our image instead of letting Him form us into His image. We’re to conform to the gospel, not the gospel conforming to us.

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