For centuries, many have wondered if they were the generation that would see the return of Christ. When you look at the headlines around the world, one can entertain the idea that this generation is living in what could be considered “the beginning of sorrows” described by Christ in his Olivet Discourse. Contemplate some of these headlines: New generation of killer: Shedding blood with internet winks, memes, livestreams; California church shooter motivated by anti-Taiwanese hate; Middle schoolers sued for sexual harassment for not using preferred pronouns; Pro-abortion protestor to pro-lifer: I don’t love abortion, I just f****** hate you; Russia moves nukes to Finland border. You can’t make this stuff up.
As a student of history, I am constantly reminded of the cruelty of mankind. Wars, persecutions, genocides, infanticides, tortures—you name it and mankind has done it to his fellow man. Christ said in his Matthew 24 chronology of the end times that there would be wars and rumors of wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes marking the beginning of sorrows. He said that his followers would be hated and persecuted for his name’s sake; that there shall be betrayals, hate and deception. Does any of this ring a bell just based on today’s headlines? If we are not living in the beginning of sorrows, we certainly must be standing on its precipice. One thing for certain, each day that these things escalate and Christ does not return means that it is only going to get worse according to prophecy.
Christ says in Matthew 24:12, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” The King James translation is very powerfully poetic. A word study on this verse reveals that “iniquity” is lawlessness, sin. He is talking about sin and the breaking of God’s laws—essentially a breakdown of society from the laws of God. King James uses the word “wax” referring to how the love of many becomes cold. The word study actually gives this meaning: “to breathe cool by blowing, to grow cold, ‘spiritual energy blighted or chilled by a malign or poisonous wind.’ Essentially, the poisonous wind of sin and spiritual blight blowing over the people causes their love to grow cold, like death.
The word “love” is mentioned over 400 times in the Bible. In Leviticus 19:18 the Lord God says, “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.” Christ repeated this many times. In Matthew 22:37-39 after being asked which is the greatest commandment of the law, Christ responded that the first and greatest is to love the Lord God with all your heart, soul and mind, “And the second is like unto it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In a world of hate, what is the prescription? As followers of Christ, a prophetic people, we must stand for righteousness, but we also must not be affected by the poisonous wind that causes our love to wax a deathly cold. Let’s resist being entangled in the hateful rhetoric and instead speak the truth in love.