Repost from March 2012 with some edits added.
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires.” (2 Timothy 4:3)
“False teachers are God’s judgment on people who don’t want God, but in the name of religion plan on getting everything their carnal heart desires. That’s why a Joel Osteen is raised up. Those people who sit under him are not victims of him but he is the judgment of God upon them. And they want exactly what he wants, and it’s not God.” ~ Paul Washer
We often think that the verse means that people who sit under a Joel Osteen or a Beth Moore are hapless victims, fallen prey to the insidious destruction of the prowling false teacher. No. The verse clearly shows us that people are the agitators, they are their own catalysts for false teachers being raised up. The people “accumulate for themselves” teachers who match their passions.
Notice that the onus of the act is on the people, NOT the teachers (not that I am saying the teachers escape culpability). But the people who have passions search out and look for false teachers that match those passions, and “accumulate for themselves” these teachers. And the teachers are only too happy to comply, because there is money in it, the usual reason false teachers want to be false teachers. (2 Peter 2:3). Paul Washer said someone like an Osteen is not making victims of the people he IS the JUDGMENT upon the people! In other words, they asked for him, they got him!
So people who want affirmation of their emotions in mystical visions, seek out a Beth Moore. People who seek prosperity and are greedy at heart seek out a Joel Osteen. People who are focused on the body and healing seek out a Benny Hinn. And so on. Prideful people who want to think they are earning their own salvation seek out the Pope. They accumulate for themselves the false teacher…
Here is Washer, explaining the verse:
[By Elizabeth Prata]