Be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations. (2 Timothy 4:2–5, NIV 1984).
Mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (2 Timothy 3:1–5, NIV 1984).
My Musings – I came across a couple great quotes from friends and family on Facebook this week.
“The Church does not determine what the Bible teaches. The Bible determines what the Church must teach.” (Charles Spurgeon).
“It is both dangerous and wrong to substitute personal preference for biblical principle, to place pleasing self above pleasing God. But it is inevitable that we will make this switch if we are going to make self-esteem and a sense of fulfillment the measure of our lives.” (Alistair Begg).
I believe that the greatest danger facing the Body of Christ is not persecution, but the perversion of the Word of God to make it fit our personal preferences or the current social mores. The cause? “Itching ears.” The effect? “Terrible times.” All one needs to do is look around to see that we are living in terrible times in terms of moral absolutes as contained in the Scriptures.
My fear? We “ain’t” seen nothing yet! As it was in the days of Noah? “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So, the Lord said, ‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth.'” (Genesis 6:5–7, NIV 1984). That is “every inclination…only evil all the time.” Every. Only. All. The world’s first cataclysmic judgement on mankind. The second is drawing near.
That’s what happen to the culture when personal preferences and itching ears determines spiritual “truth.”
My Advice – Is mankind fearful? Of nuclear holocaust, climate change, aliens from outer space, and weather balloons, yes. Of God’s judgement? No. They laughed at Noah then. They laugh at “the end is near” now. A worldwide flood and a future Armageddon have been set aside as myth or allegory. One day, the laughter will stop. Be ready for the day the laughter stops. Perhaps this Sunday’s Amusing is not so amusing.