Take your temperature. Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold.
Matthew 24 Signs of Christ’s Return
Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. 2 And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.”
3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. 6 You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8 But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
9 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10 At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12 Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. 14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Many people, seeing the instability and uncertainty in the world today are recognizing how what is happening aligns with what the Bible says will happen in the days before Christ’s return. Jesus says: “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.” That what we are experiencing are the birth pangs is undeniable. What is left to find out is how long the birth pangs will last. What the Lord has impressed on me over these last weeks, as I watch what is happening in the world and see the response of people, both believers and unbelievers, is verse 12: Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. There is no question that lawlessness is increasing. It has moved beyond the scriptural application of lawlessness defined as immorality or sin to the point where we have a portion of our society that truly believes anarchy, lawlessness is the right path for our future. They believe we should do away with law enforcement in favor of social programs which justify criminal activity, blaming society and history rather than the criminals themselves. Without those who enforce the law, there is no law. Without law, there can be no justice because each person becomes the maker of their own law.
The thing that concerns me the most, is not that lawlessness has increased and is increasing, but that we are seeing the result that Jesus warned us would happen, most people’s love is growing cold. True love can only be known by the love of God. 1 John 4:19 says: We love, because He first loved us. It is not surprising then that we see the love of unbelievers growing cold. Their love is based in feeling and emotions. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says: Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. The world twists this, rather than bearing all things, the world says that love tolerates all things. The world disregards that true love, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. The worlds version of love surely does not meet those criteria. Many today are most passionate about seeking their own, acting unbecomingly and taking into account every wrong suffered. We have become a culture that love to be offended by everything.
It is not surprising that the love of unbelievers would grow cold. Their love has no basis or foundation in truth. What is disappointing and concerning is that as Jesus said, most people’s love, including the love of many believers has grown cold. As believers, our love is to be more than emotion or feeling. It should fulfill the criteria of 1 Corinthians 13. Even more, it should fulfill the words of Jesus from John 14:15: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” In Luke 6:27-28 Jesus says: “I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” We are commanded to love our enemies. Romans 12:14-21 says: Bless those who persecuteyou; bless and do not curse.Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, butassociate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.Respect what is right in the sight of all men.If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.Never take your own revenge, beloved, butleave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Jesus overcame evil with good. In the midst of His suffering on the cross, He said: “Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.” That is the model for the perfect love we are to have for others. As believers we must never forget that: Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12) As believers our anger should not be toward the people who are engaged by the powers and forces of darkness. It surely should not be toward those who are deceived by them. Our love must not grow cold. Jesus says: “The one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” We need to endure to the end and the only way for us to truly endure is to abide in Him and His love.
The world calls us hypocrites because we do not love the way they say we should love. It is not though that we embrace the sin and unrighteousness of the world. In Romans 12 it says: Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. In truth, the greatest hypocrisy would be for us to embrace evil; to embrace the very things that Jesus died to save us from. Our love must be without hypocrisy. We must: Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Still, we must also bless those who persecute us and pray for those who mistreat us. If the world will know the love of God, our love must not grow cold. Jesus says: “The one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” We preach the gospel not only through our words, but also through our lives. Our love is a testimony to all the nations.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit, in response to Your love and in obedience to Your commandment, may my love be: patient, kind and not jealous; may I not brag or be arrogant. May I not act unbecomingly; not seek my own. May I not be provoked, not take into account a wrong suffered, not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; may I bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things. May my Love never fail or grow cold. Amen.