“And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:12-13
First, I wanted to follow up with the couple who were to pick up the propane heater at Walmart. I did get an email from Walmart that said that it was picked up that day at 4:30PM! I was relieved to know that they had figured out a way to get it. The temperature here in the Hickory area is supposed to start dipping into the 20’s and 30’s at night. Please let us all pray for those who are homeless and who do not have shelter and warmth. It is way more folks than we can fathom or think about. It’s so heartbreaking.
I got up this morning to begin praying and studying more in depth the text that I will be preaching on Sunday. In our Lutheran tradition, we follow a 3-year lectionary. We are about to finish year A and then Year B begins the first week of December, which is Advent. We have been in the book of Matthew, and we are entering into Jerusalem and the disciples are asking Jesus about when the end times will be and how will we know. These final chapters of Matthew are interesting as I feel that Jesus is frustrated, especially with the Pharisees and Scribes, who just will not listen and open their hearts to what he is telling them.
In Matthew 23:33, Jesus says to them, “You snakes, you brood of vipers! How can you escape being sentenced to hell?” But as I kept reading, this is what really caught my attention: And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12) Wow! What a powerful statement and how true it is today! Immediately, I thought about how many cities and states defunded the police – Crime is out of control – There is no right and wrong anymore! Do whatever you want! You can even change what gender you would like to be! Playing God is fun! God will forgive you when you die! God is all powerful! I mean, isn’t that the whole reason Jesus died on the cross???? Isn’t the reason Jesus coming to earth was so that He would fulfill the Law – take away our sin; therefore, we can just do whatever the hell we want???
Well, for anyone who might be reading this…I pray you open your hearts and hear the Word of God…
Our Apostle writes: “For God so loved the World that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” Notice that it says, “MAY.” In other words, because Jesus Christ came to the world to die for our sins, therefore, Jesus made it possible for you and I – for all people, to have eternal life!
Jesus came for ALL people, but not all will accept his gift of salvation and believe in him. It is our responsibility as believers to proclaim Christ to non-believers. Secondly, if we do not recognize who we are as human beings, which means we are SINNERS! Then we are putting ourselves on the level as God Himself.
Jesus came to the world to fulfill the Law – because you and I cannot in anyway shape or form, obey the LAW! The first commandment: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul. I guarantee you that there is not a single soul on this earth that puts God first in everything that they do – day in and day out! As human beings, we fail at the first commandment – We cannot even get pass “GO!”
Therefore, the LAW is fulfilled in the sense that it convicts us as human beings and helps us to recognize who we are Jesus Christ! The Law convicts us as sinners, and we recognize that we need the gift of GRACE if we desire the hope of eternal LIFE!
The LAW convicts and brings us to our knees to repent and ask our Lord for forgiveness.
And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold.But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” I believe with all my heart that as Christians we have to stand up for Jesus Christ. This is not Cheap Grace as Bonhoeffer would put it. We cannot change the Word of God to fit our agenda. We cannot change the Law and say that God changes his mind; therefore, we can just do whatever we want.