"You're going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food - catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They'll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you - keep your eye on what you're doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive, do a thorough job as God's servant." 2Timothy 4:3+ from The Message
Don't you love this pep talk from Paul to Timothy? I'm glad it's included in the Bible because as a Christian in this day, I need this pep talk too.
Are you, like me, noticing that people are satisfied with sermons and teachings that are less than the truth? They want to hear a sermon that will make them feel good not bring any conviction. How dare the preacher to stomp on toes! I've heard preachers who never referred to their Bible the whole time they spoke. Everything is positive - make sure they leave happy and feel good about themselves.
The scripture above warns against this. Let's face it, sometimes I need to leave church feeling conviction. How will I ever continue to become like Jesus, if I'm never challenged to examine myself?
My pastor/husband jokes that when God leads him to preach a tough lesson, we can get out of church to lunch much earlier. Why? People couldn't stomach it. They don't want to talk to him. Paul would tell him to keep his focus on the message and the truth no matter if the church parking lot empties quickly or not. His job is to keep the Message alive.
We are definitely in the times when many people can't stomach the truth. But, as Christians we must follow what Paul told Timothy. We have to keep our focus on the truth - Jesus. We have to continue to keep the message of Jesus alive. If we are God's servants, then this is our responsibility.