Tickle the Ears

by Fred Alcain on June 28, 2024


For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires… But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
2 Timothy 4:3, 4


In this final chapter of Paul’s charge to Timothy, he’s appealing to him to never lose the true message of the Gospel.  I’m 110% in on that.  This is basically Paul’s last stand, his last chance to make sure his successor gets it right.  And he fills his plea with everything you need to be an effective evangelist.

But then I look at verse 3; people won’t care about sound doctrine, they’ll want to be entertained, they’ll want to have their “ears tickled”.  Paul writes that “the time will come”, and I’m pretty sure we’re here.  Yes, there’s those who long for messages full of theology and sound doctrine, but Paul also says to do the work of an evangelist, and an evangelist by definition is someone who “seeks to convert others to the Faith”.  Yes, I know that’s not the end game, but we can’t jump to step 2 if we don’t effectively execute step 1. 


Full disclosure:

I’m not here because a Pastor’s message was full of Bible verses and in-depth study.

I’m here because the music was good.  The production rivaled any entertainment company out there.  And the talent on the stage was second to none.

I’m still here because I can see the value in both and have seen firsthand how both can bring people to Jesus and keep them there.

I believe we can both “tickle ears” and present sound doctrine simultaneously.  If we shove the Bible in people’s faces weʻre not wrong, but how much more effective are we when we “present the Gospel in a creative and relevant way”?  Like PW said, “people aren’t tired of the Gospel.  They’re tired of tired presentations of the Gospel.” Like Paul writes about to the Corinthians, we need to give them milk before solid food.  That’s not a watered-down presentation of the Gospel, it’s an effective one and I’d rather spend my life living the Word and saving lives rather than teaching the Word with no one listening.


Jesus, may my efforts never take the place of your Word.  I pray I may be an ambassador for You that is rooted and raised by You and You alone. Amen


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