Summary: This is Cancel Culture applied to spiritual things; people demand to be told what they WANT TO HEAR, NOT THE TRUTH. This generation will end in deception. We look at six type of people who are deceived & the remedy.
2 Tim. 3:1-4:4
1. David Carver was in a movie theater trying to watch a movie, but he couldn't hear the dialogue because the two women in front of him were talking so loudly to each other.
2. Unable to bear it any longer, he tapped one of them on the shoulder. "Excuse me," he said. "I can't hear." The lady snapped back to him, "I should hope not. This is a private conversation!"
3. It’s amazing how many people have private conversations in public!
B. TEXT: 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 4:2-4
3:1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive....3without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.4:3...They will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” 2 Tim. 4:3-4.
1. Paul talks about people having “itching ears;” used only here in the New Testament, meaning, they demand to be told what they WANT TO HEAR, NOT THE TRUTH.
2. They "turn away their ears from the truth." It’s a sad phrase describing their rejection of truth.
3. The teaching of the Word of God -- teaching self-discipline, humility, and purity of heart and life, will be incomprehensible and revolting to them. To some people, the Gospel has become the object of disgust. There’s a culture war going on in America and around the world. The pagan worldview is trying to push out the Christian worldview that used to dominate the Western World.
4. Now TRUTH IS RELATIVE to the person: what's true for you isn’t necessarily true for me. Truth is evolving with society. But they are wrong.
5. There is a Living God, Who created the universe. He is the Author of truth. That’s why truth can’t change, because truth is consistent with God’s holy nature. The Bible is the depository of God’s wisdom and Word – THE ONLY WORD FROM GOD TO MAN.
6. This message is entitled, “ITCHING EARS.”
I. CHARACTERISTICS OF OUR TIMES (3:1-5)
A. WE ARE IN THE “LAST DAYS”
1. We’re in the “Last Days” now, a period Paul described as marked by so much evil. II Timothy 3:1-5 offers a sobering catalogue of corruption. The surprise is that many expositors believe these terrible descriptions are spoken about THE CHURCH! Many materialistic Christians are “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” and have “a form of godliness but deny its power.”
2. People often claim to know Christ, but don’t ever let Jesus revolutionize their lives or behavior. Where there’s no change, no repentance, no tears, & no conviction – the power of the Christ is not at work.
3. It’s a dangerous thing to think you can play with sin; it’s like thinking you can play on the edge of hell and not be in danger of falling in. Moses said, “In due time their foot will slip…” Deut. 32:35. It’s just a matter of time.
4. It’s frightening that we can be so close to the Second Coming of Jesus and people be oblivious that at any moment judgment may fall. God is real and hell is real. This is no time for half commitments. We need to sell out to Christ, throw away our idols, repent of our sins and turn to the Lord while there’s still time!
B. THIS GENERATION WILL END IN DECEPTION
1. Paul described the coming of the AntiChrist; “9 He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders 10...They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness” 2 Thess. 2:9-12.
2. You see, if we don’t “love the truth,” we become open to deception. This’s also why WE shouldn’t follow signs. THE PEOPLE WHO WILL FOLLOW THE ANTICHRIST WILL BE SIGN-CHASERS. Jesus refused to give them signs, Mt. 12:38. “Believers don’t follow signs, but signs follow believers.” Make your own signs, don’t follow someone else’s!
3. The Apostle John said, 1 John 2:18 says, "Dear children…the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrist's have come. This is how we know it is the last hour....This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world." 1 John 2:18; 4:3.