If you just stumbled upon this, I have been progressing through Matthew 24. This is where the disciples asked him specifically about when the temple would be destroyed, what would be signs of his return to the earth in the role of Messiah, and when would that happen. The response from Jesus takes up the entire chapter.
Matthew 24:12 “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”
Sometimes you do not have to look very far to get clarity. The Contemporary English version translates the verse like this:
Matthew 24:12 AMP And the love of the great body of people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity,
Matthew 24:12 CEV Evil will spread and cause many people to stop loving others.
Dig into the sentence and you will find that the word iniquity is the Greek word anomia, and it means illegality, a violation of law, lawlessness, but whose law? Could lawlessness get worse, certainly, but the casual observer can see and sense the change.
Several translations state that the love of many shall wax cold. The Greek word for “shall wax cold” is psucho, and means to breathe (voluntarily, but gently, thus differing from a forcible respiration.) What does this tell you; that love will be diminished, but not completely put out. I do not know about you, but in every church I have been in, the majority of people in the congregation are barely breathing.
A commentary by Thomas Ice states, “’Lawlessness shall prevail;’ that is, complete anarchy will hold sway.” I want to think I would be bold and brave in the face of a dangerous enemy. Life was kind and I was not born in gang laden streets, but I have had knives pulled on me twice, and was twice told I would be shot by unsavory people. I felt more anger at the men that said they would shoot me than fear, and I cannot remember caring what the outcome would be. However, if they held a knife to the throat of my daughters I do not honestly know how that would affect me.
This verse is letting them know that it will get this bad. Living here in the United States, all fat and sassy, we have little idea of what a constant level of brutality feels like, or how it affects people. As I write this I am thinking about Nigeria, where their daughters are being kidnapped; this of course, is after having the church you were sitting in, as you worshipped, fire bombed. The violence against those outside of Boko Haran (Islam), is constant and deadly. Syrian Christians have also suffered horrible atrocities and wanton slaughter at the hands of the religion of peace.
Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
If my context is an increase in wickedness, then Jesus is conveying the endurance of violence against the people of this coming period. The religious imagery that the word endure brings to my thinking is, Pastor Richard Wurmbrand being tortured for Christ; or perhaps Paul chained between two guards. Yet, the Greek word hupomeno also means – to remain, i.e. abide, not recede or flee.
You cannot exclude the possibility that He is asking us to stay true to Him until we exit this earth, or he comes to get us.
Matthew 24:13 ERV But the one who remains faithful to the end will be saved.
If this speaks to me of anything, it speaks of people who will make it through the Great Tribulation alive, still not worshiping the beast. It also tells me that God will treat these as though they were martyred.
The word end means: to set out for a definite point or goal; properly – the conclusion. What end is he talking about? Since the context of the conversation had to do with His return, then he is talking about the time when He shall return to the earth and reign, as Israel expected. Considering what a horrible time these last seven years will be, endurance makes tremendous sense.
The period is that time almost immediately after the removal of the church from the earth, and physical violence is not the only thing that people need to be concerned about; we can see some of this in Revelation chapter 6. Some of the things the people of this time will experience will be:
- A great earthquake.
Hard to imagine, but some of us are almost used to them. That all changes as everything around you crashes to the ground and your economy comes to a quick halt. The only people with food and water will be heavily armed thugs.
You might treat this lightly in your mind, but this will be like nothing you have experienced before. There is only one example for this in scripture outside of Revelation. Of Noah’s descendants, there was one named Peleg. 1 Chronicles 1:19 NASB Two sons were born to Eber, the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided, and his brother’s name was Joktan. The term divided does not sound that bad; people are divided upon opinions all the time, but when you study out the word, you find that it literally means to split. I can remember the global maps they used to show us in school, and one how easily all the landmasses could have been connected. I contend that they were, for how do we explain the consistency in fossil records throughout the earth. That could have only happened with connected landmasses. This tells me that during the life of this young man there was an earthquake of such violence that the landmasses moved away from each other. Sadly, this will happen again, and those who are here may experience a rejoining of the landmasses.
- The sun becomes black like sackcloth.
Sackcloth has the properties of a burlap bag and light will penetrate it, but only marginally. Will you be able to see? To some degree.
- The whole moon became like blood.
That is not so hard to imagine, merely watch the moon rise through a dusty, smog laden sky. The smog is so bad in many parts of China that the government broadcasts a video of a clear sunrise on massive led monitors just so people can see it.
- “the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind.”
I do not know what to tell you about this. The word stars, means just that, but you consider how far away the nearest star is it seems so impossible. There may be other implications, and when you consider what the hot topic is, meteors; this might be what John saw.
- The sky will split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up
This would make no sense to me at all, if it had not been for the H.A.A.R.P. system being used, and seeing the bizarre effects, it has on the weather and clouds. Try doing a search for this on the Internet and you will see what I am talking about.
- “and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.”
I started this by telling you that there would be a great earthquake. We cannot discount the possibilities that this action will be associated with either that earthquake or from the impacts of meteoric strikes upon the earth.
All this will have a tragic impact on the impoverished, but the rich will not be excluded. –
Revelation 6:15-17 NASB Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; (16) and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; (17) for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”
Jesus answered the disciples’ questions, Jewish oriented questions about something they had an understanding of, the last days of earth as man understands it. What did I mean by that? Man’s understanding has everything to do with capitalism and hoarding; this will all come crashing down. Why is that important to most of us? Because as followers of Christ we have a hope; this hope is what motivated father Abraham to believe what God told him; it is what motivated the disciples to continue on, changing the world and giving themselves up to horrid deaths. And it is the thing that motivated the last remaining disciple to write: This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast.
Why sell hope? Because they heard Jesus’ words declaring that he would rise again, and He did it. There is the immediate realization that everything else He said to them must also be true; crazy things, like “I and the Father, are one.”
This is our hope as well. Proven and anchored in the one who upheld his own word and proved himself trustworthy. It is this Jesus Christ, the risen one, who will come back for his church, just as he said he would. One only needs to accept Jesus into their life, and allow him to affect His changes in you. You will be received as you are into the kingdom when He returns for those that are his.