“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold”(Mt. 24:12,) NIV
This verse was spoken by Jesus as he sat on the Mount of Olivet revealing to his disciples the “signs of the end of the age.” One of the glaring signs of the “end times” would be the departure of Christians from following the teachings of the first century New Testament Church as laid down by Jesus Christ and the Apostles whom he commissioned to spread His message to the nations. As the Apostle Paul warned:
“But even if we an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemed” (Gal. 1:8) NIV
The departure from the gospel is resulting in many Christians merely giving “lip service” to their spheres of influence, verbally expressing their devotion of Christ while at the same time portraying the “characteristics of Adam” who hid from God due to his disobedience.
The present generation of Christians, as referenced in Matthew 24:12, has “moved away from Christ and embraced the world. Gone are the days of “red hot Christian revivals” that literally turned cities “upside down”, now we are only left with flickering embers of the fervent past.
Passionate “moral positions” undergirded by biblical foundations that once were the lines of demarcation between Christians and the world have now been blurred to positions of tolerance and compromise. Subtle reasoning and philosophies of men is craftily interwoven into messages preached and lessons taught by individuals whose soul purpose is only self-aggrandizement and financial gain. In their wake they have left a confused, misinformed, ineffectual community of Christians who are unaware of their real purpose and mission, and who are unwilling to take responsibility for their spiritual growth, development and maturity.
We now live in an “anything goes church world.” What we are witnessing is an “enthroning of self” as the greatest authority rather than God. God is increasingly relegated to the role of a servant and massager of the personal will. The “message” delivered to many is: “Do what you feel, believe what you want, God understands, because we are human….and once born again, no matter what we do, we can’t lose our salvation.” Jude, in response to men of his day who held similar thoughts penned the following words:
“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God in a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home – these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. In similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding town gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as a example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority….Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion…But, dear friend, remember what the apostles of our Lord foretold. They said to you, In the last days times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires. These are men who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith, and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” (NIV)
My friends, these are “the last times – the last days” , wickedness has increased exponentially just as Jesus warned. Now more than ever we must stay vigilant and live life anticipating our redemption!
by Pastor Sherman L. Flakes, October 13, 2016