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The Last Days Of The World XXI

 Matthew 24:11-13, “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”

Those who have studied the enemy's strategies know that he never eases his pressure. It’s all gas, no brake.  If he gains an advantage, he exploits it. If he’s met with resistance, he doesn’t pause to recover but redoubles his efforts to reach his goal. Our adversary is relentless, and the scriptures have warned us of this. Starving lions don’t surrender easily. They will stalk, bide their time, then pounce. If their prey is swift enough to flee, they’ll give chase, hoping to exhaust them, and one misstep, one wrong turn, one moment of hesitation, and it’s game over.

We see this more clearly in our modern age than at any other time. When a new law isn’t passed the first time, the devil’s minions try and try again until they wear down the opposition and get their way. They’ll change venues, go to different states, seek out sympathetic judges, intimidate, cajole, bribe, threaten, and manipulate until some horrendous thing is codified and becomes the law of the land.

As we draw closer to the end, the trajectory the world is on is not unexpected. What is truly disheartening is how effortlessly the godless are trampling over the people of God. We have grown complacent, easily swayed, and distracted, rejoicing in small victories while the enemy's actions continue to cast a shadow over our progress. While the godless are united in their advancement of evil, the household of faith is fragmented into factions, each striving for dominance in their own little circles, their distraction allowing the darkness to persist unchecked.

The enemy never wastes an opportunity to attempt to deceive. He’s never too busy to try and sneak one of his minions into the house of God, bring them to a place of prominence, and then have them teach all manner of things antithetical to scripture.

Here we are, fresh on the heels of being blindsided and being hated by all nations rather than loved as we were told we would be, with people being offended because they’re still here when they were told they wouldn’t be, and even before the church could catch its breath or muster its forces, a new wave of false prophets rise up deceiving many.

It’s been mentioned before, but it bears repeating that the word ‘many’ Jesus uses to describe the number of those who would be deceived is vexing. If the deceived are already deceived, who are the many these false prophets will be deceiving? It’s not as though the godless will acknowledge them as prophets; they don’t believe in such things. False as they might be, these prophets will pull the wool over many people’s eyes, insisting that they speak on behalf of God Himself and deceive many.

If there’s another way to interpret this text, I’d love to hear it. The only caveat is that your interpretation cannot be based on feelings, emotions, or what other people have said about the text. And, if perchance you use the Left Behind series as your eschatological confirmation, I will do my utmost to publicly shame you for as long as I have breath. It will be well deserved.

The quickest way to discern whether what someone is saying about a given scripture is in harmony with it is to get alone with God, read the text for yourself, and see if what you heard and what you’re reading match up contextually.

The devil tried to play that game with Jesus, insisting that if He was the Son of God, He should throw himself down from the pinnacle of the temple because it was written that He shall give His angels charge over you, and, in their hands, they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

It was the same sort of scripture twisting every prosperity preacher who has taken a verse out of context is guilty of. The latest one I heard that gave me a chuckle was good ole’ brother Jesse insisting that Jesus hasn’t returned yet because not enough people were forking over their hard-earned money to him. It takes Moxy to make that kind of statement, but most such men lost the ability to blush decades ago.

With each reading of this text, I am floored by the layers upon layers of prophecy contained in the Olivet discourse. I could imagine how improbable the things Jesus was saying seemed to the disciples. Jesus spoke of lawlessness abounding at a time when the church hadn’t even started. He had yet to be crucified, buried, and raised on the third day. He had yet to spend forty more days with them or ascend to heaven, yet here He spoke of a time when lawlessness would abound among those claiming to be His own.

Again, the lawless are already lawless. It would have been no great revelation to say that lawlessness would abound among the godless. It was, however, revelatory that within the context of the last days, the end of the age, and prior to His return, lawlessness would abound.

What is lawlessness? The Bible defines what lawlessness is, so we don’t have to guess at it.

1 John 3:4, “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”

To insist that Jesus was referring to the godless when He said that lawlessness would abound makes no logical sense. Sin is the natural state of the sinner, but it is not so with those who have been redeemed. Jesus foresaw the watering down of the gospel two thousand years before it began to manifest in churches, congregations, and denominations. He foresaw the turning away from righteousness and a pursuit of holiness to what much of the church has become, lawless men leading other lawless men to perdition, all the while insisting that God approves of their lawlessness and they have nothing to fear from the day of judgment.

The love of many growing cold is a direct result of sin and lawlessness abounding within the household of faith. If you’ve ever wondered why the church and the world seem interchangeable and why there is no discernable difference between the pursuits, desires, aspirations, or practices of those who live in darkness and those who claim to be of the light, now you know.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Posted on 15 June 2024 | 12:18 pm

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