Thursday of Pentecost 19 – II Timothy 3:14-4:5

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 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. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

I have been given a chance to teach a general education theology class at the University of Portland, a local Roman Catholic institution. I had gotten to know the department chair there when we had similar duties. He needed some help this fall, and I had the time. It is good to be back in a classroom like that again. It is good to be in a room full of students again, talking about the most important things in the world.

Like any general education class, there are always a few who do not want to be there. This is a class they must take in order to get their degree and they see it as a hurdle to be jumped through. I probably thought the same way about some of my college classes. In fact, as I write this line, my basic chemistry class comes to mind. But there are some, a gratifying number in fact, who are really engaged in my class. One can see it in their eyes and hear it in the questions they ask.

Paul tells us that days come in which people will have itching ears only to hear what they want to hear. They will find teachers who will suit their own passions. We hear a great deal about various agendas which are being taught in schools today which seem to fit that bill. I am glad to see that there are some whose ears yearn to hear this Word of God. We may be in those times in which people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but praise God that he has kept for himself a remnant of people who hear the Shepherd’s voice and listen to Him.

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