For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
- 2 Timothy 4:3-4
Nowadays people will say things like, "I am not into organized religion; I am into spirituality."
Translation: "I make it up as I go. I take of a little of this and a little of that. Whatever suits me and my lifestyle, that is my faith."
According to 1 Timothy 4, one of the signs of the end times is an apostasy, or falling away: "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron" (verses 1–2).
The apostle Paul goes on to say, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (2 Timothy 4:3–4).
What we find in some churches today are people who say, "Give me a Christianity that caters to me. Don't bore me with Bible doctrine. Keep it lively. Keep it interesting. Keep it exciting. Keep it motivating. Don't judge me. Don't tell me to change my lifestyle. That is the kind of faith I want."
Paul's antidote for this is to "preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching" (2 Timothy 4:2).
There is only one God, and that is the God who is revealed in the Bible. He is the God who loved us so much that He sent us His Son Jesus Christ.
So a church should not focus on being the largest; it should focus on being strong-and more importantly, on being a church that honors God.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000
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