In Matthew 24, Jesus delivered to his disciples his basic teaching on the end of the age. It involved wars and rumors of wars, nation against nation and kingdom against kingdom, famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in many different places.
He warned them that believers would be hated for His name’s sake, betrayed even by family and other so-called Christians. Because iniquity (lawlessness) would abound the love of many shall grow cold. Into this atmosphere the Antichrist will be able to set up his systems of control and abomination.
“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” – Matthew 24:12
Iniquity is a condition of being without law, more specifically without God’s law. That is certainly the situation in today’s world as Biblical morality is flouted, divorce and homosexuality are promoted, and the Biblical concept of justice and truth have ‘fallen in the streets’, as Isaiah lamented. We now have a president who regularly and openly speaks against and enacts rules against Christianity and the courts outlaw public mention of Christ. Many Christians themselves flout God’s laws accepting social standards of the day rather than face the world’s attacks, even voting for politicians who actively live in ways contrary to God’s laws, both Democrat and Republican.
New technology gives big government all the tools they need to control each of our lives and the ‘traditional church’ appears to have no answer to stem this tide of evil. The Doctrine of Political Correctness and the fear of losing their tax-exempt status seems enough to muzzle them from proclaiming God’s truths.
In the parallel passage of Luke 21, Jesus reveals that Israel will once again become a nation and that Jerusalem would once again be under Israel’s control thus ending the age of Gentile control of the world. This will be a signal to those who are watching that end is near just like the budding fig tree signals the beginning of summer. So we will know the kingdom of God is at hand.
“And they (Israel) will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. … Then He spoke to them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. “When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. “So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.” – Luke 21:24-31
Friends, this has happened. In 134 AD, Israel was dispersed by the Romans and the land renamed Palestine, after the Philistines. But Israel has returned to the land and Jerusalem is being restored to them – the “fig tree is budding”!
In light of the teaching of Paul to Timothy (2 Tim. 4:8) that a crown of righteousness will be given to those love His appearing, we should desire to learn all we can about these end time days. God always has a remnant of true believers and there is a true church in America and elsewhere which is preparing to stand and be faithful. In Matthew 24 and 25, Jesus gives us 7 strategies to be prepared for these times and I want to share these secrets with you in this article.
First is the problem of deception.
Jesus said “Take heed that no man deceives you.” There has always been deception. Satan deceived Eve in the Garden, but in the last days it will increase greatly. Many will be swayed by false doctrines, but remember this – people are open to deception because of their own rebellion. Our own sins set us up to be deceived. You don’t have to know all the false doctrines to be safe from them – you only have to know the truth. Then the false will be evident to you. As America prepares to elect a new president, the leading candidates of both parties are practicing deception raised to a new level. The
Democrat claims to be for anybody she can get a vote from, promising prosperity and foreign policy leadership, even though she is known for selling her influence to the highest bidder and her past ‘foreign policies’ have left the country in disrepute around the world. Yet, for the sake of a crumb many people will give her the whole cake!
The Republican runs as an outsider, thus capitalizing on the general distrust and disgust of the people for insider political leaders, even though he is as much as an ‘insider’ as any of those who are hated. His only concern has been the ability to make a deal (one that is good for him), even if he has to deal with the devil to do it! President Obama has spent the last eight years creating schisms between people groups but
Trump does the exact same thing, labeling people with hateful characterizations, turning the anger of those who have little against those who have much, race against race, always presenting a scapegoat for every problem of society. His followers, even so-called Christians, seem willing to use his ‘junk-yard dog’ attitudes to correct what they see as societies failures even though it means setting aside God’s standards –
“not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” – 1 Peter 3:9
Paul writes that deception occurs because of
“unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10).
The way to be delivered from deception and its power is to surrender to the truth of God and live righteously before Him!
(7 Strategies for the end will continue in the next post)