I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 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. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the
righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his
appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and
exhort, with complete patience and teaching. (2 Timothy 4:1-2)
Paul makes a charge before the God of heaven and earth… a charge to Timothy, specifically, but also one that we need to take to heart as well. What is the charge Paul is making? … PREACH the WORD!!! The message that has been handed down to you, Timothy. The very Scriptures mentioned earlier in this letter... for they are from God’s mouth and must be utilized appropriately. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Also, “be prepared”, be ready, be on-call, at all times to preach the Word. In season or out of season. When times are favorable or not, the Word of God must be proclaimed. One example of this, is something we
would very much call a “current event” in our world today… Homosexuality, gay marriage and the
redefining of the term “marriage”. The desire from the culture is to “scratch the itching ears” of those who
want to live this kind of lifestyle, so that they don’t have to feel challenged or even convicted by their choices.
There’s a bill being talked about in regards to legislative matters… one that I first heard about 8 years ago. Then I heard it again 3 years ago, and finally, just a few weeks ago. The idea that is being discussed is to make it a crime of “hate speech” for instance, if someone like myself were to preach from the Bible on a Sunday morning, about God’s stance on homosexuality. If I were to say that it is wrong or detestable in the sight of God, I could be charged with committing a crime… perhaps fined or even arrested. Also, if you were to say something to a co-worker one day and what you said was overheard by someone who took offense at your words, you could be charged as well. This is just one example of the “itching ears” idea being played out.
The thing is, you need to prepare yourself for what you will do when the time comes. The time is coming.
I believe that there is an aim to “outlaw” the Bible from our midst. Speaking out on topics like abortion,
adultery, gluttony, divorce, sexuality, and many more could be considered “taboo” topics in the near future.
Therefore, the Scriptures, need to be preached, in and out of season… when acceptable or “illegal”.
Paul says, the day is coming (and I believe has already come) when people are not going to be satisfied with the truth of God’s Word. In fact, they will want the very opposite of God’s Word. “Itching ears” is the imagery that Paul uses – what do you do when you have an itch? Scratch it to relieve the irritation. These people want just that… They seek out teachers who will tell them what they “want” to hear, not what they need to hear. Teachers who will tell them the things that encourage, enable, and support the evil desires they have within. They do not want someone telling them what they should not be doing.
Is this not still true today…? Unfortunately, there are a number of “churches” out there today who do just this. They do not preach the Word of God as it is, but rather parts of it, that they can tolerate, but ignoring or re-writing the stuff that speaks against their sinful desires. This way, people can walk out of a service “feeling” justified or have that warm fuzzy in their hearts because they have not been challenged about the sinfulness in their lives. People will turn from the truth and will listen to anything that “sounds good”. They will stray after that which is false… which they “want”… Ignoring the truth… which they “need”.
I urge you to pray for the faith and strength that will be needed if you are ever on the receiving end of these charges that will come to Christians in the future. Pray for your children and grandchildren as well, as they may be dealing with such things more readily in their lifetime. The church of Jesus Christ “MUST” stand for the truth, especially when so many want nothing to do with it.
Remember, I’m praying for you,
we’re all in this together.