By Steven J. Hogan
~ A Saturday Morning Post #43 ~
There’s a lot of sin in this world, and it’s going to get a whole lot worse before the return of Christ and the rapture of the church. “In the last days, difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving… lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God… evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse” (2 Timothy 3:1-3, 13). During this present evil age, we see all this sin, but this world will only get more and more wicked the closer we get to the coming of Christ.
Matthew 24 is all about the end times, and verse 12 warns us, “Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.” In these years before Christ’s coming, the non-Christians will increasingly be mean, cruel and hateful. Then there’s 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 8-12, and it actually calls the Antichrist the “man of lawlessness.” One reason why there will be this escalating sin in the end times is because this Antichrist, this man of sin, will not just be permitting evil, but will be promoting it.
What does this sin look like? 2 Timothy 3 gave us some details, but Galatians 5:18-21 further describes it by saying, “the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities… drunkenness, carousing.” In Mark 7:21, Jesus says, “out of the heart of men proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries… envy, slander, pride and foolishness.” In the years leading up to Christ’s return, unbelievers will be blatantly sinning, unashamedly sinning, defiantly sinning and greatly sinning. Sin will be rampant, openly seen in families, in leaders, in schools, in government, at work, on the internet, and in media, music and movies. I know you may not want to hear this, but this is the truth, this is what God says in His Word, and this is what He wants you to know.
In the end times this entire planet will be filled with people who have cast off moral restraint, who hate God and love their sin. 2 Peter 2:10 talks of “those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despite authority.” People will be shaking their fists at God, rejecting those in authority, and doing what is right in their own eyes. Sinful behavior will be completely accepted and normalized. It will be like the days of Noah when “the wickedness of man was great on this earth, and every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only continually evil” (Genesis 6:5). Remember the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” when Bedford Falls is imagined to be Pottersville, a dark, evil, perverted and partying place. Sadly, this will be similar to the condition of our world.
Let’s be honest, these latter days will be very difficult for Christians. I’m reminded of that wicked city of Sodom when “Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men… while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds.” But remember the promise that follows, “The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment” (2 Peter 2:7-9). Christians living on earth in these coming days will go through great tribulation for a short time, and then be raptured, and then be with the Lord forever. But God’s enemies will not escape His wrath, for they will be punished forever. And it won’t be by a flood like in the days of Noah, but by fire during the day of the Lord, and then in Hades for 1000 years, and then in the lake of fire for all eternity. Revelation 20:15
When you look at the world you see how people are so polarized, are on opposite sides in so many areas, but it’s only going to get worse. There will be right or wrong, light or darkness, those who do good or those who do evil. And then, like never before, the non-Christians will be hating and persecuting the Christians. But God is so patient, “not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). As we live in this dark world, might we too be patient, and see this as an opportunity for our light to shine (Daniel 12:3). Might we love our enemies and give them the gospel, knowing that some will turn from their sin and turn to Christ, being forgiven and becoming children of God. May God give you the grace to persevere, to stay the course, and to keep making disciples right up until the end of the age and the return of Christ (Matthew 28:19-20).
“Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved (raptured). This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:12-14
P.S. When life is difficult, we always need to have hope. I encourage you to read my article: You Have to Have Hope! It will be a blessing to your life!