Matthew 24:11-12. “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”
One of the ways these false prophets and deceivers will fool many will be through the use of what my dad referred to as “entertainment preaching.” II Timothy 4:3-4:
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine: but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
We have a lot of this kind of preaching going on today, preaching that makes us feel good, that tells us what we want to hear, that promises health, wealth and happiness if we just follow a particular path. Sometimes the preaching is just the vehicle for the personality. Hundreds seem to be charmed, even thousands. Be careful. Sift everything you hear through God’s Word.
The truth is, that our love for God, for other believers, and for the lost will grow cold under this kind of preaching and teaching. The reason? It’s all centered on self, on being happy, on being wealthy and healthy, just name it and claim it. Self-centered Christians are not soul-conscious Christians.
We will find teachers who say what we want to hear because we have “itching ears,” which is an interesting little phrase. I came up with what I believe is an accurate description of the phrase, which appears only in this verse. The Greek word for itching is knetho. It means “to rub, to scratch;” and then “to tickle,” and here to feel an “itching” for something pleasing or gratifying. It feels really good to scratch something that itches, at least right at the moment. But if we tickle our desire to feel good about ourselves, to hear only that which makes us comfortable and not that which convicts our hearts, then we will indeed grow cold and indifferent to the things of the Lord.