What is the greatest danger today to a Christian - and to one who is close to believing in Him?
“Many false prophets will appear and mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, the love of most people will grow cold. But the one who endures and bears up [under suffering] to the end will be saved.” - Matthew 24:11-13 (AMP)
Jesus made this statement during His discourse on the Mt. of Olives. It is the longest and most detailed discourse spoken by Jesus recorded in the New Testament. One of His most alarming and important statements is that quoted above. Why?
First of all, the four letter word “Love” is often subconsciously assumed to be a natural attribute of a Christian. Instead, it is perhaps the most unintentionally assumed or ignored of all the tenants of Godly character that Jesus preached. It is undoubtedly the most important tenant of Godly character.
There is no spiritual life apart from it. Without it, it is impossible to live a life in Christ. Without it, we are lost - eternally. We are told by a simple statement, “God is love”. The Apostle Paul writes a whole chapter of the Bible explaining what love is, and what it does. (1 Corinthians 13).
Love is most often given lip-service without love actions AND love words. It is at this time when one is being called to believe in Jesus as their Savior that many will come in His name saying that HE is the Christ (not that THEY are the Christ, but agreeing that JESUS is the Christ), and yet will “deceive many”.
Jesus’ meaning here is that many will come, just prior to His coming, to use His name regarding what they claim to be truth that is not truth, and thereby “deceive many” because they are using His name and using it to promote their own agenda. They will preach lies, and representations that are the diametric opposite to the truth that Jesus preached. Yet much that is presented as relating to Jesus teaching and preaching will seem plausible to the natural mind influenced by a false representation.
This condition of pseudo-Christianity has already begun. It has been a phenomenon since He came, but has become more and more active as the world grows closer and closer to His second coming. World conditions will have reached a time of world-wide spiritual chaos. The Apostle Peter describes the spiritual conditions prior to Jesus return:
“But [in those days] false prophets arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will subtly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways, and because of them the way of truth will be maligned. And in their greed they will exploit you with false arguments and twisted doctrine. Their sentence [of condemnation which God has decreed] from a time long ago is not idle [but is still in force], and their destruction and deepening misery is not asleep [but is on its way].” - 2 Peter 21-3
And Jesus Himself has given us the ultimate warning and a way of escape from these horrors. As world conditions continue to become more chaotic, confusing and dangerous, Jesus speaks to every Christian on earth:
“So you too, when you see these things happening, know [without any doubt] that the kingdom of God is near I assure you and most solemnly say to you, this generation [those living at that definite period of time preceding the second coming] will not pass away until everything takes place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. But be on guard, so that your hearts are not weighed down and depressed with the giddiness of debauchery and the nausea of self-indulgence and the worldly worries of life, and then that day [when the Messiah returns] will not come on you suddenly like a trap; or it will come upon all those who live on the face of all the earth. But keep alert at all times [be attentive and ready], praying that you may have the strength and ability [to be found worthy and] to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man [at His coming].” - Luke 21:31-36
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