2 Timothy 4:2-3 - "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."
It's interesting how history repeats itself. Even throughout biblical history. In Isaiah's day, the itching ear syndrome was in full effect.
"Who say to the seers, 'You must not see visions.' And to the prophets, 'You must not prophecy to us what is right. Speak to us pleasant words, prophesy illusions ... Let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.'" (Isa. 30:9-11)
Not a lot has changed in our own itching culture. We love the illusions. We love make-believe. We want fluff, not truth. We spit out the meat while trying to choke down the bones with a big smile on our face. Our itching ears fit perfectly with scratched throats.
The worst part about it is this: v. 15 of Isaiah 30 says, "But the Holy One says, 'In repentance and rest you will be saved. In quietness and trust is your strength ... but you were unwilling.'"
This has got to be one of the saddest statements in Scripture - "you were unwilling." Where quietness and trust, repentance and rest are absent, itching ears and damned souls follow. Matt Papa says it perfectly in his song "Woe to You."
Where is the justice? Who's preaching the truth?
Your sermons are entertaining and your churches are cool.
You're grieving His Spirit and you're winning the lost
To a worthless religion cause you don't talk about the cross.
Woe to you, woe to you.
And your gospel is tickling our ears to death.
Woe to you.