How do you intend to stay in love with God, and keep Him first in the crazy days ahead?
As Christians, when we hear the expression “end times” or “Last Days” we think of the danger of the Antichrist, the number of the beast, or earthquakes and wars. But there is something far more dangerous than these things in the days ahead.
Matthew chapter 24 is the premier passage of Scripture on the “end times.” It is here that Jesus said many of His people’s love would grow cold. This addresses our relationship towards God. This should concern us more than what He said about wars and earthquakes. Our love level for God should be more of an issue than the price of oil and the Middle East crises. Jesus predicted that many of God’s people will lose their desire for God. We should ask ourselves, What is it about the Last Days that will cool my passion for God?
For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Notice that Jesus said “the love of many shall grow cold.” He is not just speaking here about the people of the world whose love grows cold. He’s saying that God’s people will lose their love for each other, and ultimately lose their love for the Lord. People of the world don’t know true agape love; their love is already limited. He is speaking of people who know a vibrant love, but it grows cold. The context shows that He is warning His disciples of things to come. It is believers who will be persecuted for the name of Jesus (v. 9). In turn, they will become offended and deal harshly with each other. These things are coming on the world, but they will also infiltrate the Church if we let them. This is why He said, “He that endures to the end, the same shall be saved.” Jesus is speaking to all who know Him to keep their love strong for God and each other. We have to keep our hearts soft in the midst of fierce times.
God intends for you to love Him with all of your heart, all of your days. If you have received Christ and have a personal relationship with God, this should be your number one priority, not personal gain, or to get healed. These things are important to God, but first and foremost is our unconditional love for Him. We owe Him everything. You will have to guard your heart for God. As we saw in part one of this article (The Power of Your First Love), overtime we naturally lose interest in our possessions. Amazingly, we can even lose interest in the Lord.
Why Many Will Leave the Lord
What causes this great falling away that Jesus speaks of here? It’s hard to know exactly why so many in Matthew 24 are losing their love for God and each other. Jesus said that the world will face great calamities, so people in every sector will feel pressure. He also said that great persecution would arise against those of us who defend His name. Because people of the world will feel the pressure of calamity, and be convicted of their need for Christ, they will persecute the Church. In turn, the people of God will begin to compromise and turn on each other. Notice the progression in these verses: calamity, pressure, offense, betrayal, anger, deception, sinful practice, and finally a backsliding away from God. Jesus didn’t suggest that these things would happen; He said that they would happen. This is one prophecy of Scripture that you do not want to fulfill!
In our busyness we can assume that such things cannot happen to us, but this too is part of the deception Jesus refers to. If believers knew what was really taking place, and the end result, they would guard themselves better. Instead, it is business as usual for many believers, and their walk with God is slipping without their knowledge. Daily we must acknowledge the Lord and heed His voice.
How do you intend to stay in love with God and keep Him first? This is not automatic anymore than other relationships are automatic. Let me suggest a few convictions to keep straight in your mind to help you stay on track with God all of your days:
- Know that without God you’re a dead man. That’s blunt, but true; knowing this will keep you close to Him.
- Know that God owes you nothing; you owe Him everything.
- Ask God for things, but let Him ask you for things too. Put His things first.
- Remember that nothing lasts but God, so live for what lasts. Live your life in light of eternity.
These are things that we know when we first come to the Lord. These are the things that build in us our “first love.” If we keep these truths before us, there is nothing that can remove us from God.
I am thankful that we don’t have to cool on the Lord. We don’t have to be drawn away through the great deception coming on the earth. We don’t have to buy into the lies of the world and live after the flesh. That’s death! We can live for God with all of our heart, all of our days.
Stay alert spiritually for the days ahead. Let your love for God and others determine the strength of your walk with God.
This Article is written by:
Randall D. Waibel,
Founder of ExpectGod.com,
A Ministry resource site designed to
encourage the believer’s faith toward God.