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The love of many grow cold - Focused on Freedom
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I woke up yesterday morning to hear of the tragedy that took place in New Zealand. Even though I remembered being disheartened by the synagogue shooting last year in Philadelphia, there was

new zealand mosque muslim islam murder brenton racist evil wicked

“An increase of wickedness…” (Matthew 24:12)

something different about this mass shooting that I didn’t understand while reading about it then but I do understand now as I type out this post.

I see now that it was not necessarily what took place during this shooting but rather seeing the reactions of some of the brothers in Christ and the Spirit giving me an entirely new understanding of Matthew 24:12 which says… 

“Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold”.

“Depravity of all man” (the why)

The heart is wicked (Jeremiah 17:9) and apart from God there is no good in us (John 15:5). Those that live in wickedness do not truly know the love of Jesus Christ, understand the regenerative power of the Holy Spirit nor the sovereign grace of God alone. We truly understand the sovereign grace of God through His conviction of living in wickedness. It’s the small voice that speaks out to us to reveal our brokenness leading us to cry out for His forgiveness. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father expect through Him (John 14:6) but more importantly, no one comes to Jesus Christ unless the Father draws them (John 6:44).

In being drawn to Jesus through conviction and brokenness, we turn from the desires of this world and turn to our Father in humility and asking for forgiveness. In our humility of truly realizing our guilt of righteous judgment, through His grace we are born again, given a new heart with new desires (Ezekiel 36:26) and a new desire to study the word of God and share the gospel and Good News of Jesus Christ. His love is undeniable and His law is written in our mind and sealed on our heart (Hebrews 8:10) so that we will walk in obedience. So how is this relevant?

“Walking the narrow path” (the how)

Let me first state four things very clearly:

  1. Universal Love – There is no such thing as “universal love”. Many believe that loving one another is the cure for the issues of the world and will result in world peace and this is not true. Jesus Christ said that He came not to bring peace but to bring a sword (Matthew 10:34) rightfully dividing lies from the truth. As I stated earlier, the heart of man is wicked and us acting out love on our own accord is nothing more than placing a dirty rag on a gaping wound. Jesus Christ is the source of true love and truth. Standing on the word of God and sharing the gospel, despite verbal and/or physical harm, so that the lives of others can be saved is true love.
  2. Decency and in order – Everything must be done decently and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40). No government needs more laws; they need to enforce the ones already in place. No law should be circumvented based on emotions yet everyone should be held to the same standard as everyone else and if laws are broken then justice must be served accordingly.
  3. All must repent and follow Jesus Christ – Those that do not repent of the things of this world (Acts 2:38) and seek a true relationship with Jesus Christ, will surely perish (Luke 13:5). Muslims, Jews, Catholics living through the Pope and all other religions deny that Jesus Christ is Lord and unless they all repent and turn to Him, they will all perish. It is a sad reality but the truth remains that if God is truly good then He must punish wickedness (disobedience). Our good works are nothing but dirty rags on a bleeding wound. We all stand guilty through righteous judgment yet Jesus Christ stepped into the courtroom to pay a price that we could never pay. Even though millions upon millions deny Him, He is still loving to hold back His wrath so that more souls can be saved by turning to Him in repentance and faith (2 Peter 3:9)
  4. Vengeance it not ours – Even though many Christians are conservative, not all conservatives are Christians. As believers and followers of Jesus Christ, we are not caught up with the “left” and
    narrow gate broad path death life

    “Enter through the narrow gate…” (Matthew 7:13-14)


    “right” yet we keep our eyes straight ahead towards Jesus Christ. No matter the evil and wickedness of others, we are never to repay evil with evil (1 Peter 3:9) and while this seems impossible…we can do all things (resist temptation) through Christ (Philippians 4:13) and we walk the narrow path that few will find (Matthew 7:13–14).

Now we come to the new understanding of Matthew 24:12. We are in the last days and have been since the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:16-17). We know that things are getting predominantly worse since we are experiencing what what were warned about in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NLT)…

1You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

Based on what we see in verses 2 through 4, we can see why “sin will be rampant everywhere” in Matthew 24:12 is so true. When we read “and the love of many will grow cold” we can easily associate that with those that are living more and more in sin but does it end there? After hearing the news in New Zealand, I went over to my favorite men’s discipleship group on Facebook to see the discussion on this and was beyond shocked. There was a text image posted that read “Any Thoughts on what happened in new Zealand??” and I was shocked at the comments. Many said what was expected such as “terrible, wicked, sin, etc” but there were quite a few that said “it was bad but…”. Anytime you you hear a response followed by “but” it is safe to say that what is coming after the “but” is what they feel is more important than before it.

I read responses from those that claim to follow Jesus Christ use historical data to explain why things like what happened in New Zealand are guaranteed to happen and the only option is to send Muslims back to their countries. I am far from a globalist and will never accept a unified world religion but to hear those that say they love Christ, have little to no remorse regarding lives lost and instead the only thing to say was “send them back”, blew my mind. Where is the love of Jesus Christ? We love because He first loved. We cry at the sight of death because He cried at the sight of death (John 11:17-37). 

Months ago, a close friend (and brother in Christ) and I were discussing through Marco Polo one day about repentance and in our conversations, the Spirit gave me a deeper understand of the path that we are to walk on. In Revelation we read about how Christ addresses the seven churches of early Christianity (all very real and backed by archeology) regarding their issues and His commandment for them to repent. Quick context –  a temple and building is nothing but four walls and and a roof, the Church is the body of Christ meaning that the Church is made up those that believe in and follow the commandments of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Romans 12:4-5). There are two churches in particular that I jumped out to me:

  • Church of Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22) – This was the lukewarm church. They believed in and followed Jesus, did not live in wickedness but they allowed the comforts of the world to putcomplacency and comfort on their hearts. We are commanded to share the gospel and Good news of Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15) as well as warn non-believers about their wickedness (Ezekiel
    Laodicea Lycus Turkey

    “Laodicea on the Lycus” – actual church located next to the river Lycus in Turkey


    3:18-19)…yet Laodicea didn’t. Since they had a relationship with Jesus Christ they weren’t “cold” yet since they weren’t boldly telling the world about Him they weren’t “hot”. This does not please God and He warned them that they would be spit out and cast to the side during the return of His judgment. If you have a relationship with Jesus Christ yet aren’t warning everyone about living in wickedness then you just may be lukewarm. We are to be a living example of His grace but we must warn others of His judgment and wrath.
  • Church of Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7) – Ephesus played no games! They did not tolerate wickedness, they called out false prophets, persevered and endured for the name of the Lord….but they forgot their first love, Jesus Christ. When I was first born again and like Saul (Paul) when the scales were removed from his eyes (Acts 9:18), I began to see the evils of this world very clearly. Living of this world we become desensitized to sin. Violence is all we see and hear through the media, TV and movies. Sex scenes are all too common even on non-cable TV. When you are reborn in the Spirit, you see the harmful effect that consistent exposure to sin does to self and society and you begin to see how truly manipulative Satan has been and how he is leading many further and further away from God. My initial response was very legalistic. I rebuked everything around me and refrained because they were bad…but this was not the way to walk with Christ. 

We are given the Holy Spirit as our helper because apart from Jesus, we can do nothing on our own. Through my conversation with my friend on Marco Polo, the Spirit revealed to me “have the boldness to speak against wickedness that Laodicea never had but exhibit the love of Jesus Christ that Ephesus forgot”. This understanding rocked every inch of my soul!

The responses that I saw from other believers regarding New Zealand was nothing less than the spirit of the church of Ephesus. We stand on the word of God, share the gospel and Good News of Jesus Christ and call out wickedness….but we never forget the love of Jesus Christ who snatched us from the flames of death, welcomed us into His family, gave us a new heart and new desires and commanded us to go out share His goodness with others. In these last days we have to press closer into Him even as the elect. There is no pre-tribulation rapture, those that stand on the word of God will be persecuted and we must to endure until the end (Matthew 24:9-14). If we allow our hearts to grow cold then we will lose sight of our mission and purpose and ultimately it may cost us everything. We must be bold to profess the gospel despite the conformity of the world yet we never forget the love of Jesus Christ that shines bright through us.

“It is finished” (the ending)

Jesus Christ salvation forgiveness healing restoration born again everlasting life

Give your life over to Christ, there is freedom in the name of Jesus

We all stand guilty of God’s righteous judgment; no not one can say they are innocent (Romans 3:23). Our hearts are wicked and only yearn for wickedness. Our good works are nothing more than dirty rags on a bloody wound. Jesus Christ came fully God and fully man to point out the hypocrisy of our “good” works and show us the way. The Father loved us so much that He sent His Son to die a brutal death for Jew and Gentile (world), alike, where His perfect blood was the price paid for our rightful judgment and through His sacrifice we can now have the promise of everlasting life. He was raised from the dead, ascended back up to the Father and is patiently waiting and allowing us time to hear His voice, turn from the things of this world and seek His face before He returns to deliver His judgment. We are not promised tomorrow (James 4:14) so do now gamble regarding your eternity. Salvation is not in what you can do, it is in what Jesus Christ has already done for us all. There no sin too great for our Father to forgive. Turn from the desires of the flesh and go humbly to Him and ask for forgiveness. 

 

 

My prayers go out to all of the families of the victims and the entire Christchurch community.