“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.” (2Timothy 4:3)
Just recently, I watched a short video that was quite stunning.
In the video, a filmmaker wanted to get a gauge on the thinking of Christian believers these days… and so he posted an “experiment.”
On a social media site (frequented by several “Christian” groups) he posted the verse in Luke 4:7, with the simple instructions to post “Amen!” if you agree.
For the unfamiliar, this is Luke 4:7:
Within a brief period of time he had nearly 700 responses, most of which were emphatic “Amens!” with several extra comments praising God for all His goodness and blessings.
Less than 4 percent of respondents actually pointed out that Luke 4:7 is a direct quote from Satan himself (during Jesus’ time of temptation in the wilderness)!
Here’s the breakdown… 4% = “Hold on there!” 96% = “Amen!”
Now, we’re not talking about selected responses from the typical “man-on-the-street” interviews (which can also provide some unique insights into our current culture). We’re talking about church people. Who profess to have a relationship with Jesus, who believe the Bible, and attend church on a (semi-)regular basis (and invest at least some of their valuable time in social media sites with a “Christian” emphasis).
In short, people who should have known better (or, at least, should have checked out the verse before doling out any agreement or praise!) offered a hearty agreement to what Satan had to say!
What has happened that we are so easily fooled… and struggle to recognize the voice of the enemy… from the voice of truth?
It is a sad commentary that we are seldom any longer a people of The Word. We have become a collection of people who pick and choose what we like, or what serves us best, and ignore or reject what challenges us to abide in God’s truth.
And worst of all, we are not even aware of the depths of our problem. Christians are losing ground with our culture, and with our young people – because we cannot seem to grasp the essential importance of “abiding in Jesus’ words” alone. (see John 15:4-11) In large part, most Christians find it difficult to defend our faith because we do not spend the time and effort to dig into Scripture and understand truth from error.
It is easier to have someone else tell us what to believe. And it is easier to subscribe to the tenets of “what’s-in-it-for-me” because it requires so little of us… and promises so much for our personal gain.
In our verse for the day, the apostle saw this coming. I’m sure it tore at his heart to picture a Church where people would only seek after what they “wanted” to hear rather than what the Spirit of God wanted to tell them.
A self-serving gospel sounds so appealing… but there is no power within it to change our lives, or cause us to rise above the squalor of our culture, or impact the world in which we live, in any perceivable way.
Our only hope is to realize just how easily we can be deceived – and to set our hearts and minds on re-discovering the true voice of God for our lives.
It’s a simple fix… Set aside some time. Dust off our Bibles. And dig in.