"The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?"Jeremiah 5:31
"For the time will come when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts;
and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside unto fables."2nd Timothy 4:3-4
Just like Israel before the Babylonian captivity,the people rejected the truth and received from the prophets and priests just exactly what they wanted.I believe the "they"that Paul is referring to in these verses is within the Church.This is people that seemingly have received Christ as their Savior and are rejecting the truth of God's Word.They have their own personal cravings and personal gratification in the forefront of their thinking.They have itching ears,wanting to hear something new,like the philosophers on Mars Hill and they pile up to themselves teachers that give them what they want to hear.The novelty wears off quickly and then the desire for newer.
Today some people do not want to hear of the total depravity of the human race,total condemnation and no works they can do to rectify that situation,and the need for salvation,justification before God and the only way to have that justification is through faith in the sacrifice of God's Son on the cross.His dying and shedding His blood and His resurrection from the dead.
They do not want to hear of the set apart life they can have now.The indwelling Spirit of God living the life of Christ in and through them.They do not want to hear of presenting their bodies a LIVING sacrifice now in this life.
Our justification is the basis for the set apart life that God wants us to experience now,a Christ centered life,knowing Him and experiencing His resurrected life living through us now.This is a mystery that no other people of God have been privileged to have.It's not religion it's life.The very life of God in us.Think about it.That cannot be explained through worldly wisdom.We are the most privileged dispensation of people of God that have ever existed.If Satan had only had an inkling of what God had in mind for this body of believers that we are a part of,he would never have wanted Christ to go to the cross.
They want to live the life in their own power,their way,not recognizing the warfare that Paul presents to us that we contend with everyday,the world,the flesh and the devil and our total helplessness of contending with this warfare under our own power.They do not want to hear of the total futility of this sinful nature cleaning itself up and being religious and trying to please God.
They do not want to hear that Christ is coming back for His Church and that could be any moment and that is our blessed hope.
They do not want to hear that God's Grace is being shed abroad today while He is building the Church for His Son and I believe that is the only reason He hasn't brought judgement on this world because of their out and out rejection of Him.We wonder why God put's up with so much,even within Christendom,with apostasy in the Church,well I believe that is the reason.
The sound doctrine that Paul taught is not enough.Condemnation,free justification in Christ,Christ living out through believers by the power of the Holy Spirit of God and Christ being manifested through our lives and the hope of Him coming back for His Church,isn't enough,it's too much of depending on God and not enough self-gratification.
When people avert themselves from the truth then they open themselves up to all kinds of Satanic influence and are easily turned aside to error.
The desire for something new or different can easily lead to Satanic influence and error.The teachers that are "heaped up" can twist the Scriptures to satisfy any longing ear that wants to hear something new or different.You can decide what you want to believe and they will be willing to provide you with Scripture to back it up and if Scripture doesn't agree then just disregard it or misapply it.First it's "Turn Away"from the truth and then it is "Turn Aside" to false or fiction.
Our belief system should be based on God's Word and not God's Word based on our belief system.