Itching Ears

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.

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9 thoughts on “Itching Ears

  1. “Self-centered Christians are not soul-conscious Christians.” indeed it is so easy to be deceived or fall prey. My prayer is from Psalms 139:23-24, Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way. Amen.

  2. I never liked religion and I still don’t, but I love Jesus. Religion is of man and a personal relationship with the Lord is not. I have a problem with many that don’t recognize some preachers as being men of God simply because they preach hope into the people, which is exactly what Christ did. He told the truth, that’s all we need to do. Truth with tact because you have to say something if what they are doing will cost them their very soul. I have never heard any preaching that didn’t come from the Bible and don’t listen to those that make silly promises if you send in money to them. The Bible contradicts from old to new. Eye for and eye is not right, yet that is solid old testament. I follow what Christ told me. I run from those that condemn and judge others, even if what they say may have merit. Right now I have just started Bible study with my neighbor because I want to have my eyes open to all ideas and interpretations of the Good Book. Jesus wanted us to live abundantly through the truth, not through riches, which he said will only rust or be stolen. Sadly some still preach of “streets of gold” which is very odd to someone like me, but it’s the way they wish to see it. 😉

    1. I agree with much of what you say. I don’t refuse to recognize a preacher who preaches hope to our hearts, because that is why Jesus came in the first place. I do object to “ministries” in which the lead people become fabulously wealthy on the donations of the people they “minister” to. Pastors shouldn’t have to live in poverty, but becoming wealthy should also not be the reason for which they chose to become pastors. There needs to be a balance.

      I do my very best to just let the Word speak for itself. And I do appreciate your encouragement and comments.

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