“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves
preachit (Photo credit: Brent Nelson)
teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3–4)
“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, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” (2 Timothy 4:3–4)
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3–4)
What are the dangers of expository preaching?
Some would say that the danger is that of becoming a cold and dry academic preacher.
Others would say that the danger is that of becoming bogged down by details to the extent that one goes so slowly that the people are bored.
There is a greater danger. That danger affects the souls of the hearers in a way that is worse than the above dangers.
First of all there is the danger of despising expository preaching and turning to story telling. Paul warned Timothy that people would turn away from the truth and listen to the stories of those who would say what was pleasing to hear (See 2Timothy 4:1-5). This is extremely dangerous, because we reject the Word of God to the detriment and damnation of our own souls. Story telling preachers should beware lest they be found guilty of tickling people’s ears instead of preaching the truth.
There is also the danger of rejecting the truth of Scripture by desiring to hear only that which does not convict us of our sins. Isaiah spoke of those who called for smooth preaching and deceitful words (Isaiah 30:10). Smooth preaching is relative. For some smooth preaching is that which makes them cry, but never addresses their sins. For others smooth preaching is rough, tough, and harsh; but it only addresses the sins of society, or the sins of other groups of people.
There is too much that passes for biblical preaching these days that is nothing more than story telling. The preacher is the hero (or the villain who becomes hero) in most of the stories. The preacher takes a text, reads it, and then never truly presents to the people the meaning and intent of the text. It is often called biblical preaching because it deals with preferences that the preacher and the people have: preferences that are based upon shallow exegesis and not upon what the Scriptures truly say.
I speak from sad experience today. I understand what it means to see a group of people reject God’s Word. I know how if feels to see people one desires to help reject the help that God presents to them in His Word. I understand now more than ever that the there are many who will turn their ears away from the truth and listen to fairy-tale-like stories that move the emotions. Sadly said folks do so unto their own destruction.
Is expository preaching dangerous? Yes, it is extremely dangerous to the one who rejects it.