“Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.”
— Matthew 24:12
As time passes, this passage becomes more frightening. Perhaps every generation feels that the signs of the end times are increasing. Perhaps the signs are increasing. Certainly the generations that are still living have seen plenty of earthquakes, famines, and wars. And certainly today we see an increase in wickedness, at least in some places.
The particular wickedness Jesus warns about in verse 12 could be called “lawlessness.” It goes beyond refusing to live God’s way, and it basically refuses to live according to anyone’s rules. It’s the attitude that believes “It’s only illegal if I get caught.”
The problem with this wickedness, according to Jesus, is that it works against love. It holds no commitment to another and has no willingness to sacrifice for anyone. In the end times most people will care only about themselves, and most people’s love will grow cold.
Taken to the extreme, that’s a bone-chilling thought. It will be “survival of the fittest” among people who are most violent and crafty. May Christ return before we become so lawless.
Spirit of Jesus, guide our lives to save us from lawlessness. Fill us with your love and wisdom, we pray. Amen.