Loop-legged brethren are always trying to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative in what they desire to hear and how they persuade sinners. The apostle Paul called this “itching ears”. Paul warned the young Timothy to, “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 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 Tim 4:2-4).
Some preachers have become crowd pleasers who act more like politicians who lie and exaggerate their way into public office than the preachers they were commanded to be. The blind leaders lead the blind and both are headed in the wrong direction (Matt 15:14). Yes, preachers must speak in love, but we also must speak the unadulterated truth. Preachers must avoid sugar coating the truth and tell it like it is and not like the crowd wants it to be.
No one can stand for what is right and what is wrong at the same time. We must take sides. John wrote, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth: (Rev 3:15-16). Many preachers don’t have the backbone to stand up against weak-minded Christians who are caught up in sin. Instead of teaching them what they ought to hear they are teaching them what they want to hear. It is time preachers did some stepping on toes regardless of the pain it causes those who don’t want to hear it. If we are true to the Word of God, we can do it and we will do it! Can one preach the whole counsel and do less? Definitely not (Acts 20:27)!
The principle of warning the wicked of the error of his way is as true today as it ever has been. “When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul” (Ezek. 3:18-19). James wrote, “Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (Jam 5:19-20). Paul made it clear that the truth we must teach is the doctrine of Christ and His apostles. “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Tim 4:16).
Are you against the wrong and for the right? Or do you go along with the crowd? Most of us stand for something, but do we stand up for God’s Word? As the old saying goes, “If we don’t stand for something we will fall for anything”. As Moses asked the children of Israel, “Who is on the Lord’s side? let him come unto me” (Ex 32:26). If we are on God’s side we will be teaching and preaching God’s Word. “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Tim 2:2). If we are on the side of the world, we will be teaching and preaching the philosophies of the world. “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col 2:8).