Matthew 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
We left off yesterday with the fact that there will be many false teachers during the Tribulation time. We have noted that there are many false teachers today as well. We are also seeing an increase in iniquity at this time. Crime rates are up in most major cities. In the more liberally minded places crime is even higher. Lawlessness begets lawlessness.
When false teachers abound, iniquity will be the result. The Bible warns that just prior to the start of the Tribulation, all the true New Testament saints will be removed from the earth. The dead in Christ shall rise first and the living saints will be changed and together all will rise into the clouds to be with the Lord for ever more.
We noted at the start of the Tribulation the man of sin will be revealed. The antichrist will be more wicked than any world leader of the past has been. We have seen some very wicked leaders in the past and we are seeing some very wicked leaders today. In Canada, whether at the federal or provincial level, all of our leaders condone or openly support the murder of unborn children. That is wicked. Those children have not even been given the opportunity to take one breath of fresh air. They have done nothing to deserve being butchered in the womb of their mothers. That should be a safe place for them and yet their mothers and fathers are consenting to have them tortured and murdered.
We also have the promotion of the sodomite agenda. That too is a wicked thing that is hurting many people. It may be difficult to believe that society could become any worse than it presently is, but the reality is that things will be much worse during the Tribulation time.
The things we have just talked of are a sure sign of the love of many waxing cold. However, Jesus tells us this will be worse during the Tribulation time. The cruelty of man will be revealed in a much greater way at that time than what we see now. Those that are saved now can certainly see that cruelty. Many of the lost just seem to take it in stride. This is all a grooming time for what Jesus is talking about here. When a person rejects the love of God, he or she does not know how to treat another person with love either.
There are more and more people who are just “shacking up” rather than getting married these days. They are operating on the basis of lust, not love. We are hearing more and more of parents who get into a fight with each other and they end up killing one another and killing their children as well. That is certainly not an expression of love. Too many couples get together because of lust, not love. They claim to love one another but that love is very selfish. If they do not feel as though their emotional and physical needs are being met, they are ready to dump their partner and find someone else.
The Bible teaches that many will have zero tolerance for God’s truth during the Tribulation time. The 144,000 Jewish virgin men who will be evangelists during that time will not have an easy time of it. The two witnesses that will be in Jerusalem will also be hated. When they are finally killed at the mid-point of the Tribulation, the world will throw a party. True love will be a rare thing during the Tribulation time.
Verse 13 is another verse that is often taken out of context and used to support works salvation and also the heresy that a person can lose their salvation. The context of that verse is not dealing with spiritual salvation. It is dealing with the physical salvation of individuals (mostly of Jews) who will be spiritually saved during that time and will physically survive to the end of the Tribulation and will enter the Millennium. No lost person will enter the Millennium.
Those who study the book of the Revelation to meet God’s approval, will see that the devil, and the antichrist and the false prophet will be working overtime to try to keep people from being saved and then they will be persecuting those who do get saved. Many saints will be killed during that short 7 year period. There will be some who will be protected by God and they will survive to enter into the Millennium.
Verse 14 follows the same context. It also is in relation to the Tribulation. The entire passage is dealing with the Tribulation time. There are those who teach that Jesus Christ cannot come back to take the saints out of this world until the Gospel has been preached in all the world. If we pay attention to the words of verse 14, it speaks of the Gospel of the kingdom. The Gospel of the kingdom is Jewish in nature and is in reference to the coming of the King. At the time that Jesus was giving this teaching, the disciples were not familiar with church. Jesus had already taught about that in Matthew 16 and 18, but it was a new thing for them. Paul wrote of the mystery that was before unknown but revealed more fully from the book of Acts and on.
In Matthew 24 & 25 the church is not mentioned. Jesus is answering the questions of the disciples as given in verse 3. He it talking of a future time that they did not see and that we today have not seen yet either.
Jesus Christ did not come at His first coming to be crowned as a king. He came to give His life a ransom for many. He came to lay down His life for the sheep. A king comes to conquer and to reign. Jesus Christ will be coming back at the second part of His second coming to reign as THE King. He will rule with a rod of iron at that time. No one will be able to fight against Him.
All nations that are on this earth during the Tribulation time will be exposed to the Gospel of the kingdom. Of course, in order to enter Christ’s kingdom, the person will need to be saved. Salvation is necessary to receive the gift of eternal life. Salvation is necessary to enter heaven. Salvation is also necessary for those who are on this earth during the Tribulation in order to enter into the Millennial kingdom. During the 7 year Tribulation time the Gospel of the kingdom will be preached to all the world.
The Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in preparation for those who will enter into the kingdom. The lost will hear it as well, but they will reject it and will grow in their hate for the saved. The saved will be taught how the kingdom will operate and they will be rejoicing and looking forward to that day. That will be part of the hope they will have to endure the difficulties of the Tribulation time that they will face.
The 144,000 will be busy and will be protected by God for the duration of their ministry. The 2 witnesses in Jerusalem will have the power to send plagues and do miracles and they will be protected until their work is done. The angel that will be flying in the sky at that time with the everlasting Gospel will of course be out of reach of the antichrist and his evil cohorts.
Keep in mind that Jesus is answering the disciples’ question regarding the time of the end. Jesus made reference to this at the end of verse 14. The end of the Tribulation time will come when the preaching of the Gospel of the kingdom has been declared to all nations. There are signs that will point to the end of the Tribulation time. There are no signs that point to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to remove His saints from this world prior to the Tribulation.
The Bible constantly reminds us of the importance of truth faith in God. It also reminds us of the importance of humility in our study of God’s Word.
Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
Those who want to know the truth need to come to God in the similar manner as the disciples did at this point. They did not come as the Pharisees did. They came with a sense of awe in Jesus and they desired to know the truth about things to come.
Those who are saved today may likely have heard some false teaching regarding the future. As lost people they will have clung to some of that because it offered hope to lost people. However, when a person gets saved, they put their trust in the true God. Now they need to let God correct their teaching, just as Jesus did for the disciples in many things. Jesus’ Words mean something. They are not empty words. We do not need to try to “de-code” them. There is no hidden meaning. God’s Word is given to guide us into the truth because It is truth.
God gave the disciples brains to think. He also gave them a different spirit to receive truth. That is what He does for all those who are saved.
Asking questions is important. It is also important to believe what God says. My thoughts are not greater than God’s Words. My thoughts need to be changed to align with God’s Words. As His child, that is my desire. Those who are saved will accept God’s truth and grow by It. Those who are lost need to get saved first of all and then they too will be able to accept God’s truth and grow by It.