The Apostle Paul warned Timothy that the time would come when, "men would not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables." 2 Timothy 4:3-4
The word "sound" means opinions free from the mix of error. We are living in a day when many have turned away from "sound" doctrine to opinions that are mixed with error. When you turn away from the truth, and listen to opinions mixed with error you open yourself up to a lie. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. We need discernment from the Holy Spirit. Many are gravitating towards those who will say what they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear. Communicators who can scratch itching ears, instead of bring conviction to a wayward heart. Entertainers who dazzle an audience, instead of shepherds who feed the flock. Well crafted talks without the offense of the cross. A cross-less message is no gospel message. No bibles used, no sin mentioned, no blood of Christ, no power of the Holy Spirit...
What are we to do? We are to do exactly what Paul told Timothy to do.. PREACH THE WORD!
Preach the Word, be ready in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2
Convince: is also translated reprove. Which means, a rebuke that results in a persons confession of sin. The truth is that the word "sin" is not being used very much today. Some feel it is to offensive. The message of the cross is offensive.
Rebuke: it’s a little different then the previous definition. It means, a rebuke with the suggestion of impending penalty. Telling people the whole truth. Speak the truth in love, but speak the truth.
Exhort: is begging and pleading with people. It is the added and much needed gentleness to reproof and rebuke. This is to be done with long-suffering and teaching.
Whether you are convincing, rebuking, or encouraging, all is to be carried out with long suffering. Always remember how patient the Lord has been with you when you present His truth. Always recall to mind how long suffering He has been. Let us never be ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God unto Salvation. PREACH THE WORD!