For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. “All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. “And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.”Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.”And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. (Matthew 24:5-12).
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith (Gal. 6:9-10).
I have been reading headlines of the past year, compiling events of the world since January 2011. I wrote at the beginning of 2011 that I was envisioning two things: 1) A year of Jubilee when prayers were going to be answered and God was going to move in a mighty way in the lives of those for whom we have long prayed; and 2) A year when we would see the Matthew 24 prophecies increasing exponentially.
I remember walking through my house thanking God that He was answering my prayers for a situation—this thanksgiving and praise rose nearly spontaneously from my heart and have remained a constant paean of praise since. The prayer has not yet been answered, but the promise has been given and the almost breathless expectancy is supernatural—otherworldly.
This is in sharp contrast, but not in any way contradictory, to the latter—a year of upheaval, and possibly even the beginning of sorrows.
As I am compiling headlines, I am observing the dramatic increase in the number and the size of earthquakes, natural disasters, tornadoes, as well as more and more “kingdoms” (translated “realms”) rising up against other kingdoms and “nations” (ethnos—tribes) rising up against other tribes. So much so that we are “disaster fatigued” and “news fatigued.” But the thing that causes me more concern than anything is lawlessness increasing and love growing cold.
I have long taught prophecy, and though it seemed as if I was speaking about certain events happening at the time of my teaching, there was always the sense that it was still far into the future. This year it feels as if all of it is coming to pass and with such speed that it defies the imagination.
At the beginning of 2011, I asked the Lord a simple question: “What are we, the body of Christ, to look like to the world during these times?” My question was based on the seemingly contradictory opinions of many believers—some who were stocking up, arming themselves, ready to fight; and others who were consciously determined to love their enemies even if those enemies might want to destroy them. Others were in complete denial, choosing to believe that things were going to get better: “This is nothing new; the country is going to recover.” And then there are those who choose to believe that none of the prophecies spoken by Jesus and the prophets of the Bible are actually going to happen—they are merely metaphorical/allegorical.
The Lord spoke to my heart at that time and this is what He said: “Child, the world will be in a time of utter hopelessness. The world will be without hope. You, the body of Christ, are the only ones who have the HOPE. They will be drawn to the Hope that is within you.”
What is the remedy to “love growing cold” then? It is Hope. What is the remedy to the mind numbing apathy that threatens to invade many who have served and loved the Lord? It is Galations 6:9-10—do not grow “weary” (utterly spiritless, exhausted) in doing good (making something excellent, precious, commendable, admirable, beautiful, abiding, banding together, journeying, tarrying), for in due season (your own set time) you will reap (harvest) if you don’t lost heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity (a short while), let us do (be engaged in or with) good (beautiful, valuable, virtuous things) to all men, especially those who are of the household (oikeois: domestic, a relative, adherent; those of his own house-hold) of the faith.
Who are those of my “household?” My immediate family and the family of the faith. The apostle John says “they” (the world), will know us by our love (for each other in the household of the faith).
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God (1 John 4:7).