Journal 2 Tim 4 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)

Scripture: “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 will wander off into myths.”  2 Tim 4:1-4

 

Observation:  Another “gird up your loins” message from Paul: still appropriate, still poignant, still challenging to practice patience about.  It can read like a “go get them” instruction but is an actual call for steadfast faithfulness to the Word of God, sound doctrine, and love.

Analysis:  Action words/phrases: Preach; Be ready; Reprove, Rebuke and Exhort.

Without thought and consideration of the complete scriptures, I can go on a wild sinner chase (not a goose chase, a sinner chase).  Considering ONLY these words, I can think that I have been given a green light to say and do anything I want in the Name of Jesus.

You know what just came to mind?  Paul (then Saul) received a letter of license to pursue the Church.  Seems like the same thing UNLESS I pay attention to the whole of the Scriptures and not just “cherry pick.”

There is no doubt that the evidence is clear: there are folks that will not endure sound teaching; there are folks that accumulate teachers to suit themselves and their own passions, thinking, convictions, and the like.

There are itching ears about.  Where do my ears itch?

Good, strong, candid, transparent, introspection.  The fact that I can ask this question, has a ring of health to it.  “O Lord, where do my feet go wayward in direct relationship to my thinking?  Do I succumb to “stinkin’ thinkin’ anywhere?”

Before I react to any of the injunctions concerning other folks, I should examine myself.  Paul strongly advised the Corinth church folks to do exactly that (2 Cor 13:5) I should take that to heart in this as well.  Why?

The mandate is to declare the Kingdom of God, not to specifically declare the condemnation of this world.  In declaring the Kingdom, the mandate carries with it a communication of the fact that Sin will encounter Judgment and subsequent Wrath from God.  My obligation is to communicate those facts, not engage in condemnation on my own.

False teachers twist the facts, minimize certain things about the Gospel, and sometimes make up stuff so that somewhere a message evolves that is all about the good things that appeal to flesh and/or worldly reasoning and is not the Gospel at all.  Ears itch because folks want to hear stuff that satisfies what they think is “right.”

Working at getting the Gospel right in all its aspects is hard work for a Believer.  Nobody gets it all and right at the beginning.  To present the Kingdom in all its astounding Mercy and Glory, takes effort, boldness in front of the mirror, and merciful practice.

Prayer:  I appreciate, Lord God, that I can put thoughts on an e-paper.  So many thoughts, so little effort to organize these thoughts without this instrument of grace.  I hope that in a year from now I can read this again and make subsequent corrections to get the Gospel right in my mind.

Cause revival.  AMEN.