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The Most Terrifying Verse in the Bible

October 3, 2016
by Steve Johnson

I don’t know about you, but I’m not typically a doom and gloom kind of person.  I do believe we are rapidly approaching the Lord’s return, but I don’t get wrapped up in when or how that’s supposed to happen.  Ultimately that’s up to Him.

However, I am becoming more concerned with what I do with the time I have on this planet, whether I die or whether the Lord returns during my lifetime.

It seems that when I read prophetic Scripture and then turn on the news, they are saying the same thing, albeit from different perspectives.  Jesus talked in Matthew 24 about wars, rumors of wars, natural disasters and the overall increase of wickedness.  I don’t think any objective person can look at the world around us and deny that these things are happening with increased frequency and intensity.

But’s that’s not what really scares me.  I read through the chapter and then I get to verse 12, Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…  This verse stops me cold in my tracks every time I read it.  It sends shockwaves through my soul. 

Why?

When you read this verse in the context of the rest of the passage, Jesus isn’t talking about the world—He’s talking about us, His children, the ones who are supposed to the love the Lord our God with all our hearts, minds and souls and love our neighbors as ourselves!

How can it be that our love would grow cold?  And worse yet, if our love grows cold, how will others ever hear about Him?  We can’t share Christ with others out of a cold, hardened hearts.  In fact, Jesus said in John 13:35 that it was by the love we have for each other that the world would know we’re His disciples.


But here’s the worst part.  If we look at the attitudes and behaviors of many churches and believers, that’s exactly what’s happening.  I recently heard about a pastor of a large, respected church who is now carrying a gun in the pulpit and encouraging his members to bring guns to church to defend against a possible terrorist attack.  Now there’s an outreach strategy!

I don’t mean to sound critical.  I understand the dangers of our world.  But I think I can say with integrity that I would rather die loving someone who is lost than live in a sheltered existence hating those who don’t know Him.  But Jesus doesn’t say it might happen.  He says “the love of most will grow cold.”  I’m crying as I write this.

If I lose my love, how will the unreached ever hear?

Thankfully, Jesus says something after this terrifying statement that gives me hope.  “…but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

Yes, tragically the love of most will grow cold—but that doesn’t have to be you or me.  We can prevent it by His grace.  Jesus says we must stand firm.  Firm on what?  I hope I’m not reading more into this than He intended, but I believe He’s saying that if we stand firm on His love and grace, then it will continue to be reflected through us.

And thankfully, He leaves us with the end result.  In spite our loss of love, the gospel of the Kingdom will be preached to the whole world.  It might be in spite of us instead of through us.  It might be through a remnant of those who do not lose their love.  I don’t know—He does.

But I do know this: I never want to stand before the throne of God and have to confess that my love for the least and the lost—the unreached and the people trapped in darkness, got snuffed out because of my own desire for self-protection and a false sense of security.

Father, forbid that my love for you and those who don’t know you would ever grow cold.  I beg you in Jesus’ Name.