December 30, 2021
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved (Matthew 24:12-13).
The word ‘lawless’ (anomia) means illegal or violation of law; wickedness; unrighteousness. Jesus predicted that before the end of the age of Judaism, Israel would become increasingly lawless. We often think of lawlessness in terms of civil law, but Jesus spoke about spiritual lawlessness, which Israel had already become through the Scribes and Pharisees.
The Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees were very religious, but their religion no longer honored God or the Mosaic Law. Over 600 laws had been added to the Mosaic Law at that time that hardened the hearts of the people, discouraged them, and turned them away from God because they were oppressive and impossible to obey. Judaism made the higher ranks of the priesthood (Chief Priests, High Priest, etc.) arrogant, rich, and powerful, not humble and compassionate.
Jesus condemned the Chief Priest for their lawlessness (Matthew 23:1-39). The epitome of their lawlessness was in condemning and crucifying Jesus Christ, the Messiah sent by God to save Israel and establish His Kingdom in them. In this they openly defied God, rejected the words of John the Baptizer and Jesus the Christ, and broke the commandments God gave them through Moses. For this God judged the nation and carried out that judgment in A.D. 70.
The words of Jesus are a warning to the Christian church as well. As time progresses toward the end of the last days, spiritual lawlessness will increase until the Gospel will almost be unheard of and the name of Jesus Christ will be despised and hated inside and outside the church. The Apostle Paul wrote (2 Timothy 3:1-5), But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
You say, “We have that going on today!” Yes, we do. But as time progresses it gets worse and worse until Jesus comes again. Jesus said, For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows (Matthew 24:5-8).
“Lord Jesus, humble us in spirit that we may be found faithful and obedient to Your teachings, that we will not be those declared lawless when it comes to the Gospel. And may we not be afraid to teach others to be faithful and obedient to the Gospel, to Your honor and glory, Amen.”