Read: Matthew 24:9-14
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
Jesus began this chapter with two answers to the questions being asked by His disciples – “when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age? (Matthew 24: 3b).
Jesus spoke of two prophecies. One was near (the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 AD and the other is yet to come. We know that some of the words written above spoke directly to the destruction of Jerusalem, but others clearly point to our time and beyond. Like the first century believers, our culture is growing in its hostility to Christianity and we know there continue to be false teachers in religious circles, but the next statements are of particular interest.
Notice that lawlessness will increase. Morality without faith in God inevitably fails, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see many of the things happening in our world right now (not happy about it, but not surprised). As a result, our love for God and for our neighbors may grow cold.
But all is not lost! For those who remain faithful and endure, there is hope at the end of the day and the Gospel is being preached to the whole world today. Even in despair, we can find hope, so let’s keep this quote in mind this weekend –
“Beginning well is a momentary thing; finishing well is a lifelong thing.” – Ravi Zacharias