Can you tell the difference?
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. NIV 2 Tim 4:2-3
Can you tell when men teach to tickle your ears and to appeal to your flesh and when preachers preach the Word of God?
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. NIV Heb 4:12
Chances are, if you are having your ears tickled and your flesh fed (and you are enjoying it) and the teaching focuses on this world and this life (and the pride of man and focusing on self) rather than eternal things, the Kingdom of God, your sacrifice and self denial, your sin and your repentance, your complete crucifying of the old man and by faith living a holy and pleasing and acceptable life for the glory of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, then there is not a lot I can say or do because what I am saying to you is a Spiritual message and you enjoy ‘flesh teaching’ rather than the ‘Spirit preaching’. Only the Spirit of God can penetrate and enlighten our hearts but He is a gentleman and will not force Himself upon us especially if we block our ears to anything that interferes with our self justified and self centre lifestyle.
It seems to me, that when the Spirit is absent, men have to resort to preaching to the flesh in men and use all sorts of public speaking tricks to get results (ie: worldly results).
Conversely, when the Spirit is present, preachers preach prophetically in the power of the Spirit and this speaks to the spirit in men resulting in conviction and repentance, revival and salvation and the Word produces fruit that will last (a great harvest for the Kingdom).
I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. NIV 2 Cor 10:2-5
What troubles me…
The ‘people of God’ being disempowered and distracted and still living for self and this world and buying into all the faulty (and ‘nice’ looking and sounding) teaching that feeds the flesh rather than the spirit. May the reader be enlightened and have understanding.
I am sorry, I was going to go in depth about this but the Lord has told me to move on from this topic. There are plenty of resources and articles and messages on the internet to study over. The Lord bless you and wake your spirit, Steve.