My wife and I went on an emergency ministry trip this week, and we didn’t waste any time getting to our destination. What I mean by that is, if the speed limit was 55, I drove 55. If it was 70, I drove 70. But you would have thought that in every state I passed through, it was like we were parked in comparison to the vehicles that passed us. Now I’ve driven race cars in the past and am perfectly comfortable at high speeds, but years ago, the LORD told me in no uncertain terms that if I was going to represent Him, then I must obey the laws of the land, which includes the speed limit. Why, LORD? Pretty much everyone else speeds. He said, “You’re not everyone else, you’re working for ME, so act like it.” He only had to tell me that ONCE.
Well, I guess God does not approve of lawlessness, even if everyone else does. You see, even many of God’s children break the speed limit, because I see people flying past me all the time with Christian bumper stickers on their vehicles, so apparently they think it’s ok. Years ago lots of people had bumper stickers that said, “WWJD?”, meaning, “What Would Jesus Do?” Would Jesus drive over the speed limit? Would God be glorified by lawlessness? That “WWJD?” still stays with me to this day. What WOULD Jesus do, and what would He NOT do? Even if I don’t know everything He WOULD do, I know for sure He only did that which glorified His heavenly Father. As His disciples, it is each of our responsibility to do likewise.
Now in this passage of scripture Jesus dropped a notable nugget that we need to pay real attention to:
Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
Mat 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
Mat 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
Mat 24:9 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.
Mat 24:10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
Mat 24:11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Mat 24:12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
Mat 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Some churches warn us of false prophets, but many don’t. What exactly is a “false prophet” anyway? Is it one who says Jesus is not LORD? Or can it be those who don’t specifically warn us to do what is right in God’s eyes? The Lord Jesus said, And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. Did you get that? MANY! And the Greek translates that word to “the majority of”, and shall deceive “the majority of”. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
We are told by most that we are under GRACE, not under the law, so many people just do whatsoever they want, because if our sins are forgiven, then it’s ok to do whatsoever is right in your own eyes, right? The Apostle Paul had a lot to say about iniquity, that grace is not license to sin. I’ve preached for years on that, likening GRACE to a safety net under a tightrope walker at the circus. His will is to walk safely across the tightrope to the other side, but the safety net is there to catch him in case he falls off. On the other hand, GRACE is not a TRAMPOLINE like most people use it as an excuse for lawlessness. Even speeding is lawlessness. Plain and simple, it’s rebellion against God’s authority, for there are no powers that be, except that God has allowed it for His purpose.
Grace is a tricky thing, that if improperly preached, it is taken as license to be a law unto yourself. It is already in our fallen nature to “do our own thing”, and we can readily see it just by driving down the highway. There is no fear of God, no fear of the law, no fear of being stopped and given a ticket, no respect for anyone else’s safety or convenience whatsoever, it’s “Get out of my way!” We nearly got run off the road three times on our trip. I drive with the attitude that everyone I see on the road is out to hit me, because I’m also a motorcycle rider, so I’m always alert and preparing to take evasive action, and it pays off. I told my wife, I not only have to drive for ME, but for the idiots who are lawless or not paying attention. Don’t you know, the actions of others can destroy you, even if YOU are doing what is right, so you must always be alert. But even though iniquity shall abound, we as God’s children must not allow our love to wax cold.
It’s pretty obvious the love of many, “the majority of”, has grown cold because they have chosen to push God out of their lives, and do whatever is pleasing in their own sight. What is really sad, though, is how many of God’s children are the ones who have allowed their love to wax cold and have become just like the rest of the world, that is, lawless. And they think because they are under GRACE, that it’s ok. But it isn’t. I said, IT ISN’T! We need more preachers in the pulpit warning people to repent and get right before God, because it’s obvious by the Word of God that MANY will be lost to iniquity. And that certainly is NOT God’s will, however, He continues to give us FREE WILL, so we can choose our path. But that does not give us the ability to choose the consequences we will suffer as a result of our choices.
For example, we can choose to exceed the speed limit, some do get away with it. Others get a ticket, and they will try to talk the officer out of it, or blame law enforcement for the ticket, when in fact, it was their own lawlessness that got them stopped in the first place. They chose to speed, but they didn’t get to choose the consequences of the ticket, money and time lost, maybe lawyer fees, insurance rates going up, possible loss of their driver’s license, and more. We can choose to disregard God’s laws but we don’t get to choose the consequences. And we wonder why people’s love has grown cold? We wonder why people in churches just don’t have a lot of love for others that we would expect from “Christians”? The answer is plain and simple, INIQUITY ABOUNDS both in and out of the church.
Don’t be a part of the problem; be part of the solution. Do what Jesus would do, and tell others to do the same every chance you get. Lead by example: DO what Jesus would do! We cannot escape the eyes of the LORD, who sees and hears all we do. We want to do our own thing, yet expect God to answer our prayers? We want to be able to do what we will, yet expect God to bless our finances? Do we seriously expect God to heal us and keep us well, when we disregard doing what His Holy Spirit prompts us to do? Dream on, people, it isn’t going to happen. Only when we live in obedience to God’s will can we know we have God’s blessings. And when the devil comes to kill, steal and destroy, like he always does, we can demand he get his hands off our lives and off our goods, in the name of Christ Jesus of Nazareth, and he will flee from us. After all, the devil is the lawless one.
If YOU are having problems from the devil right now, make sure it’s him and not YOU that iniquity is abounding in. Enough said about that. You know what to do now. Just do it.