Matthew 24:3-14 (NKJV) 3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will bethe sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these thingsmust come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these arethe beginning of sorrows. 9 Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
The KJV version calls lawlessness “iniquity”. Iniquity is a unique word that isn’t used much any more. It means unrighteousness when measured against God’s righteousness. In this scripture is also refers to a pervasive wickedness. You can find it used in this manner 70 times in the Psalms.
Psalm 53:1 (NKJV) 1 The fool has said in his heart,”There isno God.”They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity;There isnone who does good.
Psalm 64:6 (NKJV) 6 They devise iniquities: “We have perfected a shrewd scheme.”Both the inward thought and the heart of man are deep.
The evil heart devises ways to sin and be unrighteous in God’s eyes. It’s that sinful nature we are born with before becoming Born Again. And, most of all, it’s satanic in nature.
Ezekiel 28:18 (NKJV) 18 “You defiled your sanctuaries By the multitude of your iniquities,By the iniquity of your trading;Therefore I brought fire from your midst;It devoured you,And I turned you to ashes upon the earthIn the sight of all who saw you.
There is also an inherent coldness of heart as a fruit of iniquity in mankind.
Isaiah 32:6 (NKJV) 6 For the foolish person will speak foolishness, And his heart will work iniquity:To practice ungodliness,To utter error against the LORD,To keep the hungry unsatisfied,And he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.
We are living in a day and age when the coldness of heart caused by this lawlessness mentioned in Matthew 24:12 has spread like a cloud over our society. Day after day we see stories on the news of the heartlessness of people against each other, against their loved ones, against the innocents – babies, children, animals – in such a manner as to shock you even when you think you’re beyond being shocked.
I read a story this morning that inspired this blog. It’s a very difficult upsetting read if you chose to read it. I cannot stop weeping for the pain and suffering of the 4-year-old girl in the story. My tears stain my cheeks as I type this. My grandson sleeps in the room across from me right now. When I look at him, I see the hand of God in his face and the love of God for him in my heart. I would give my life for his if so required and protect him with the last breath in my body.
I wish someone had felt that way about 4-year-old Gabby Barrett and every child that will be abandoned, rejected, harmed or even murdered this day. Instead another statistic will be added to the long list of those who are the victims of the influence of the man of lawlessness, the son of perdition, that is coming. My only hope is in the other Man that is coming, the Son of Man. The Lord’s Return is our only hope for humanity. It’s not by accident that the Lord follows this warning about lawlessness with the report of what will transpire when He judges the Nations.
Matthew 25:31-46 (NKJV) 31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides hissheep from the goats.33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;36 I wa snaked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’37 Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You,or thirsty and give You drink?38 When did we see You a stranger and take Youin, or naked and clothe You?39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did itto one of the least of these My brethren, you did itto Me.’41 Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’44 Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do itto one of the least of these, you did not do itto Me.’46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Until then I will weep, rail against the evil that the cold-hearted lawlessness creates and fall on my knees in prayer.
And, from the depths of my heart I will I cry Maranatha, Come Lord.