The Lord told me to write down his message for his people, so that it would be there forever.9 They have turned against the Lord and canâ€™t be trusted. They have refused his teaching 10 and have said to his messengers and prophets:
Donâ€™t tell us what God has shown you and donâ€™t preach the truth. Just say what we want to hear, even if itâ€™s false. 11 Stop telling us what God has said! We donâ€™t want to hear any more about the holy God of Israel. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Isaiah 30:8-11 (CEV)
Do I really want to hear the truth? Is the truth being taught and preached in the Church today?
I have to admit that I don’t remember this Scripture hitting me like 2 Timothy 4:3 has in the past:
The time is coming when people wonâ€™t listen to good teaching. Instead, they will look for teachers who will please them by telling them only what they are itching to hear.
It’s difficult to find a fellowship where the members come with their Bibles, well marked, and expecting to use it to learn on any given Sunday. Most people come, sit in the pew for no more than one hour, hear something they already know, and go home without giving it a thought again during the week. Statistically less than a third of a church’s membership come regularly to worship services and less than a third of that group belong to any Bible study group or Sunday School.
One of the best seasons in my life was a two year period after I made my commitment to Jesus. I devoured the word. I read 2-3 hours every day, usually late at night because it was the only quiet time I had with a full time job and a family. It was a time of richness. I believe that God was preparing me for a season of great hardship. During that difficult season, God’s words came back to me many times, strengthening me and reassuring me of His love. It would have been difficult if not impossible to have read and received what I needed to survive the hard times.
It is not if hard times or difficult situations will come to us, it is when they come the question will be: Am I prepared? God has been generous and loving to tell us to listen to Him. What God has to say is not always easy to hear. A wonderfully anointed evangelist I know describes God’s teachings as sometimes sweet like Twinkies and sometimes more like brussels sprouts, not necessarily tasty but nutritious and essential to our spiritual health. We should rejoice and thank God for those who will teach us the truth, God’s truth. No, it will not always be what we want to hear. It may be what we need to hear. Paul tells us to test everything and not to stop the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5). If we ask for wisdom and discernment, the Spirit is faithful to answer with His power.
So let us continue to meet together as that is important as the time draws closer to the final days (Hebrews 10:5). Let us have ears to hear and hearts to receive God’s truth. Let us pray for our teachers that they will have the courage and strength to speak as Jesus did.
Many of his disciples said, â€œThis is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?â€
61 Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them,â€œDoes this offend you? 62 Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again?63 The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.64 But some of you do not believe me.â€ (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didnâ€™t believe, and he knew who would betray him.)65 Then he said,â€œThat is why I said that people canâ€™t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.â€
68 Simon Peter replied, â€œLord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. 69 We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God. â€œ Â Â Â Â John 6:60-69 (NLT)
Be Thou My Vision written by DallÃ¡n Fargaill (6th century)