Wars and rumours of war aren’t indicators of Jesus’ return. Neither are famines and earthquakes. Jesus called those things “the beginning of birth pains.” First labor pains ordinarily indicate the start of an unstoppable progression of events but not the imminent conclusion of them. So what indicators did Jesus say would tip us off the time was drawing close? Among other signs, Jesus included this troubling thought:
12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, (Matthew 24:12)
The more we encounter wickedness, the more tempted we are to respond in kind. The recent sniping murder of Dallas policemen is a sad case in point. Somebody thought, “Enough is enough; I’m going to make someone pay.” That’s an extreme example. Maybe you would never go that far. But Jesus taught us to actually respond in the opposite way:
27 “…Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” (Luke 6:27b-28)
When most people find it too tough to respond to wickedness with love, that is a sign the end times are drawing to a close, that Jesus is coming soon. What do you think? Are we there yet? Has the love of most grown cold? If you had to make the call, based on your own attitudes, what would you say? For me, that is a sobering question.
But don’t give up! No matter what, don’t abandon love. That first quote above is only the beginning of Jesus’ sentence. Here’s the whole thing:
12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:12-13)
Stands firm in love.