The End Times and Itching Ears

 

   I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 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” – (2 Tim.4:1-4).

 

   In Paul’s day there already was a rising tide of apostasy, a falling away from the truth of God’s Word. A rising tide of defection and dissent against God’s revealed truth in His Word was developing. Now we are in the end times just before the appearing of Christ to set up His kingdom on earth and the time of itching ears is here in force.

 

   In the Old Testament one of God’s curses sent upon His people for turning their ears from the truth of His Word was the itch – “The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch…” – (Du.28:27). They would not hearken to God’s Word (Du.28:15) so God gave them the itch. And the worse possible itch you can have is a spiritual itch in your ears, an irritation of your inner ears that comes upon you when you hear the preaching of God’s Word in power and truth. You will not hear God’s truth, so God turns you over to a preacher who preaches the lie. A smooth preacher – “Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits” – (Is.30:10).

 

   We preachers are told to “Preach the word”, to proclaim the Word of God loud and clear. It’s a ‘rallying cry’ for God’s preachers, a motto to hold in front of us always and inspire us to keep on keeping on. Remember WWII and the rallying cry – ‘Remember Pearl Harbor’ and the Spanish-American war – ‘Remember the Maine.’ This is the rallying cry for God’s true preachers today. We are to preach the truth, all of it – the bad along with the good – hell as well as heaven. In season and out of season – when they like it and when they don’t. We are to reprove, rebuke, exhort and preach sound doctrine. If we did this, all the unsaved church members would leave the church or they would make us leave – so be it. Preach the word – preacher. You don’t need more college, you need more courage.

 

   But our churches have come to this place today, they will not hear sound doctrine. There are very few church members today who will endure sound doctrine – they don’t want to hear it. They want somebody who will scratch their itching ears. The demand creates the supply. The hearers invite and shape the preachers they hire. If the people desire an ear-tickling, sugar preacher, one is readily found. The modern pulpit is nothing but a sounding board that is merely saying back to the people what they want to hear.

 

   These smooth preachers and teachers scratch, in a spiritual way, the ears of those who eagerly desire to be scratched. They come to church, not to learn God’s truth, but for pleasure. They want religious entertainment from Christian performers who will scratch their itch. They have an itch for emotional movies, pageants, foot-tapping music, colored lights, etc. The man who simply opens the Bible is rejected, while the shallow religious entertainer becomes a religious celebrity. They desire a preacher who’s an actor, and acts out a sermon. One who runs around the church and jumps up and down behind the pulpit and entertains them. And verse 4 says that itching ears soon become deaf ears as people turn away from the truth toward the lie. They don’t want the Word of God, they prefer to be entertained. O how we love this preachers ‘delivery’ – they say. O preacher, it’s not how you preach, it’s what you preach.

 

   After their own lust they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. The true preacher preaches on fornication and adultery and the people in church who are committing this sin get very irritated at this preaching, they won’t repent of this sin and so it irritates and itches their ears and then they get angry. They desire a preacher who will scratch the itch and the more it’s scratched, the more it begs to be scratched. The itch never goes away, it just increases. They have a restless, constant desire to come to church and laugh and forget their sins. Not the itching of their physical skin but a desire not to hear about sin. It’s a sin-itching not a skin-itching they’re plagued with and they refuse the ointment of God which is repentance and so the itch gets worse. They have spiritual psoriasis – amen.

 

   Like politicians, they tell people what they desire to hear and don’t preach on sins that are destroying them. They preach a gospel of heaven but no hell. Most ministers have always followed the line of least resistance. They have always shunned preaching the whole counsel of God. The pride in their heart wants them to have big crowds and big buildings so they can be somebody important. They also want big money coming into the church treasury that they personally control. Many preachers have turned their church into their own private bank. There are only a few preachers that will preach the truth to people that can take his pay check away. Money preachers and itching ears go together.

 

   The worst new itching ears movement today is the Purpose Driven Church movement invented by Apostate Rick Warren of Saddleback Community Church near Los Angeles, CA. His books have sold millions and he has taught his heresy to 400,000 pastors worldwide to build worldly churches. His new version of Christianity is popular with the world avoiding the persecution predicted by Jesus to his disciples – “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” – (Jn.15:19). Warren is branded with the world-marks of a false teacher – “They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them” – (I Jn.4:5). ‘The world heareth them’ is the mark of a false teacher. The world has always gone after error, following the line of least resistance, and going after the things that are most spectacular and biggest and entertaining. The world hears the false teacher because he teaches to please the world. He is of the world, his standards and practices of life and his ‘purpose’ are of the world.

 

   Fun replaces holiness as the tone of the service. Warren’s ‘Purpose’ is not God’s ‘purpose.’ “Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to works, but according to his own purposed and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began” – (2 Tim.1:9). God’s purpose is to save us by his Son and make us holy. We become holy because God, having purposed to make us holy, washes us in the blood of Christ and indwells us by His Holy Spirit. Warren’s purpose is a purpose according to the flesh not the Spirit “or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh…” – (2 Cor.1:17). Follow God’s purpose not false teacher Warren’s purpose. May we who are born again of God’s Holy Spirit shun the lure of popularity and worldly success offered by his ‘itching ears’ Christianity.

 

   There are millions who file in and out of fashionable churches and they go there for the specific purpose of having their ears scratched. They don’t go to church to hear God’s truth, but only to be religious. They don’t want to be reproved, and rebuked and hear sound doctrine but to hear sugar preaching that tells them how good they are. “After their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And they shall turn away their ears from the truth”. They desire the devil’s lie rather than God’s truth and these gullible people will easily believe the lies of Antichrist.

 

   These itching ears church members of today are being programmed to receive Antichrist’s lies. They have turned away their ears from the truth to receive the lies and so become hopeless victims of their own delusions. They are willingly deceived – “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion; that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned, who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” – (2 Thes.2:3,10-12).

 

   The one who finally scratches their itching ears will be the Antichrist-Beast, who is described as a leopard, a lion and a bear – (Rev.13). And he will scratch with his claws and tear and wound and kill millions. They would not hear Gods’ truth about fleeing from idolatry and so they end up worshipping the image of the Beast and receive the number of the Beast in their foreheads or right hand. This end times itching ears will end with their ears being scratched by the Beast and his False Prophet. They rejected God’s truth and so they get the Devil’s liars and they believe them and end up in hell.

 

   I’m reminded of itching ears every time I preach because I’ve been wearing a hearing aid ever since I got saved in 1972 so I could hear the sermons better. My ear constantly itches because it is irritated by the hearing aid. Every day I must take out my aid and scratch the itch and my Lord continually uses this to remind me not to be a preacher and a teacher that tells people smooth things and things they want to hear but to preach all of God’s truth. “For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ” – (2 Cor.2:17). And you corrupt God’s Word not only by what you preach, but also by what you don’t preach. When a preacher refuses to preach the truth on controversial issues and sins that are destroying his flock, he corrupts God’s Word.

 

   And the one main itch of Americans today is the constant and compulsive desire of the lust of sex. The word ‘prurient’ defines it best. It means to itch, crave, (marked by arousing or appealing to unusual sexual desire). Our whole nation is saturated and obsessed with sex today and the itching ears crowd will not listen to preaching on fornication and adultery. Many unmarried church members are openly living together and cowardly preachers will not preach against this fornication. Adultery and sodomy abounds as this nation more and more becomes deaf to God’s truth.

 

   If you’re a born again saint of God you have no business going to a church that caters to itching ears. If you’re an unsaved church member depending on church membership and baptism or an altar call to save you, you need to be truly born again. Repent of your sins and by faith believe on Christ in your heart and you will receive forgiveness of sins. You will become a born again saint of God and become a new creature in Christ. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” – (Jn.3:6,7). “I tell you Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” – (Lk.13:5).

 

Repent and be saved today.