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.