“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
When I was drawn by the Lord in 1983, it was a powerful and supernatural event. I had searched for the truth about God for most of my life. On that unforgettable night, He opened my eyes and my heart, and I remember saying to the person sharing salvation with me, “This is it. It’s so clear to me now!”
I am not saying that we all have to have a dramatic two feet off the floor experience. But I do believe that it should be a memorable time when a person finally realizes that he/she is a wretched sinner – unable to save themselves and that God is HOLY and HE does the saving.
Another thing I remember is that I could not get enough of His Word. I would forget to eat food because I was immersed in His Word, and could hardly break away from it. I was told to start with the Gospel of John and I did. Then I went through all four gospels. His Holy Word became the most important thing in my life.
I knew that when I went to church, I should be hearing about sin and repentance. It was ALL about Jesus and Him crucified, and the love that sent Him to that cross. I yearned to hear a preacher open up the Word to me in a deeper way. The couple who had led me to the Lord were charismatic, so I went to my first church with them.
I was brand new in Christ, but I still knew that the sermons I was hearing were leaving me empty. One Sunday night I saw Charles Stanley preaching on TV, and I considered him a gift from Jesus at that time of my walk with Him. When he preached, he backed everything up with Scripture. He spoke of sin and repenting and growing in Christ. I considered him to be my pastor in those early years.
As the years went on, struggles increased and there were many times that God needed to discipline me. There was even a period of time that I felt snatched away from the Lord. I was angry at my circumstances and could not understand why the Lord was not changing those things. In later years I would realize that the Lord did not choose to change my circumstances because He was in the process of changing me.
During that time I felt that God had abandoned me. I didn’t realize that those thoughts were coming from the evil one. He is so slick and knows our weaknesses. He doesn’t need new tricks because the old ones work just fine. He had me believing that I was no longer worthy to be called a child of God. This was the saddest time in my entire life. I had not yet understood grace. I believe that the Lord used that time in my life to teach me about grace and how He loved me unconditionally.
I look back on my walk with Yeshua in two parts. Part one was before understanding grace, and the second part was when He taught me that I can rest in Him, that He has me in His grip, He is my shalom.
The apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9 said it perfectly:
“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
But during my entire journey with Him, I have remained under conviction that His Word is perfect and true, and that I must be diligent to study His Word to know His will for me.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
I wonder about the walk of those with itching ears; what went wrong in their walk, that they would be so deceived?
2 Timothy 4:3-5 says:
“ 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. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”
As I look around today, I see this passage of Scripture so clearly coming to pass. Perhaps there have always been many with itching ears, but I think that it is much worse in these last days. Are these people truly saved? How can they be so deceived? Did they attempt to come to God via the well traveled and very wide gate that God warns us to avoid? How can someone who has the Holy Spirit living within them want their ears to be tickled with heresies? Where is the discernment? It makes no sense.
The heretical pastors with mega churches need itching ears to stay in business. I call it a business because that is what it is. When I see Joel Osteen and his lovely wife (she is pretty) standing up in front of 30,000 fans, telling them that God just wants them to be happy happy, happy. It makes me sad and it makes me sick. WHERE does it say in God’s Word that He just wants us to be happy? But the tithes are paid and the ears tickled and everyone seems satisfied. But my Bible says that we will also have tribulation in this life (John 16:33).
The Word of Faith preachers love the itching ears. They preach that if their members will give sacrificially, that God will surely pour out financial blessings upon them – two and three fold. So the little old lady who is on Medicaid gives Kenneth Copeland her last twenty dollars, and goes without food for a week – but she is still waiting for that magical payment from heaven. It makes me want to SCREAM!
Are these people saved but extremely shallow and immature? Or is it possible that they never were saved in the first place? I can’t make that call, but it distresses me greatly to watch people who name the name of Jesus as their Savior, following after false teachers who preach a different gospel.
I do know that the false teachers will be judged harshly.
James 3:1 clearly states it:
“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.”
When I speak truth about false teachers to their followers, I am attacked and accused of judging. We will go in circles about this, but it always comes back to being told that I am a judgmental and mean-spirited person. I always show them the Scriptures which clearly condemn the heresies, but they will not look at God’s Word; or if they do look, they take it completely out of context. Sometimes I feel like ignoring these types, but then I remember that the Lord wants us to always speak truth.
Do you have itching ears? Do you remember a time that you finally saw yourself as a sinner in need of a Savior? Can you think back to the time when you asked Jesus Christ to come into your heart and be your Lord and Savior?
2 Corinthians 13:5 says:
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
If you cannot remember such a time, and the words of this article are making you uncomfortable, it’s not too late! Today may be the day of your salvation:
“For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).
Blessings in the Name of Yeshua.
6 thoughts on “The Wide Gate: Itching Ears Enter Here”
Thanks for your testimony, Geri! Heaven rejoices over every soul that accepts Christ. Yes, most of what passes for evangelical Christianity these days is the cotton candy, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren model.
Preach it, Sista! 🙂
You are a good Berean sister.
Some of these false teachers I think do have a heart for the LORD. They simply believe in an error. For them I pray that their eyes are opened. Others are clearly in it for financial gain, the love of money. For them I pray they repent. Discerning which ones are truly charlatans and which ones truly believing their errors,I won’t say or think. Only the LORD knows their hearts
Both are equally false teachers and as watchman we need to always speak the truth in love to/about both. It is a serious thing to lead HIS sheep astray.
There are three paths. What you (others) say, what I say, and what God says. I certainly won’t follow you. I certainly won’t follow me. That leaves the ONLY choice. What God says! Are you reading HIS word daily as food?
Yeah I SCREAM too……When speaking of errors about false teachers, I usually get the “Hey dude, don’t judge, or you’ll be judged”. Discernment and speaking truth in love is hardly judging. The Greek word for judge in Mat 7:1 is κρίνω (krinō). It means to condemn. It is right to say…”Benny Hinn is a false teacher because he says X, as opposed to God’s word, which says Y. It is wrong to say… Benny Hinn is a false teacher and will burn in Hell. Condemnation is God’s business not ours.
One thing I have learned from Dave Hunt. Always check me out. anything I write, say or do. If I’m wrong please tell me. Search the scriptures with me and expose my error. Iron sharpens iron! When wrong I want to know!!!!!
Let’s combat these false teachers with speaking the truth in love. And on our knees praying for them to repent.
2 Peter 3:9 (NASB)
9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for ALL to come to repentance.
Mega church’s…… If you die and miss a few weeks of church and your pastor doesn’t miss you. STOP and…….Find a new church!
Years back my wife and I had need of pastoral counseling at our church. So my wife had an initial meeting with an associate pastor. There he informed her that the sessions would be $85 ea. To that my wife said, “we can’t really afford that”. His reply, “it’s cheaper than divorce”
For weeks we tried to get a hold of the Sr Pastor to no such luck. All we wanted was to talk to a pastor!
More and more churches are hanging out the [swipe your credit card here] sign.
Mega guys…….YOU are supposed to feed the sheep. Not feed off them!
Amen Brother Brian!! Thank you for posting your experience because MANY of us has similar experiences. Bless you and Maranatha 🙂
Wow! they were going to Charge you? UN-Biblical!
A long time ago,my wife and I went to a Catholic church, (before I found my present church http://www.calvarychapel.com ) for some counseling also. I brought my Bible, and was sitting there looking at it when the “father” came in. The First Thing this “father” said was – Put that Bible away, we don’t need that……(???) I was shocked, and I only stayed because my wife called herself a catholic…. I will never forget that supposed man of God!
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