It is no secret, as people age, they tend to have fewer friends. There are many reasons why this is happening. We live in a world increasingly fixated on physical, material things, and less on personal relationships. The modern developments of cell phones and the rise of social media connects people in a different way. Although in some aspects this can be a good thing, it also adds to the negative influence of a society distancing itself from God’s laws. How do all these influences affect the human psyche? Jesus prophesied there would be a time when relationships would suffer. Why?
Jesus gives the clear answer in Matthew 24:12: “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”
In this verse Jesus gives two reasons why the love of many will grow cold in the last days. Number one, lawlessness abounds, and there is a rise of antinomianism. Many people will feel they are under no obligation to adhere to basic moral laws.
Secondly, the love of many will wax cold. The word wax is from an old Anglo-Saxon word, weaxen, and it means to grow. He says the love of many grows cold.
The word “love” here in the Greek is agape, and it is used in ancient texts to denote feelings for one’s children and the feelings for a spouse, and it was also used to refer to a love feast. Agape is used by Christians to express the unconditional love of God for His children and our real love for Him.
Four Primary Greek Words for Love
There are four of kinds of love mentioned in the Greek: First, philia is used to describe love among friends. Second, eros describes erotic or passionate love. Then, storge describes the love that parents have for their children and even sometimes describes the love of a wife for her husband. Finally, agape represents a sacrificial love. It represents kindness toward someone or something else that requires sacrifice of one's self. It also represents the person making the sacrifice not taking into consideration how the recipient will respond. The Father willingly sent His Son to sacrifice Himself for the world without consideration if His provision would be received or rejected. In the New Testament the human understanding of agape was applied to the spirit realm for the first time. In 1 John 4:8 it says, "God is love." His very nature is agape (1 John 4:8). According to Galatians 5:22, only the Spirit of God can produce this kind of agape toward the things of Christ and others.
It would appear that the context of Matthew 24:12 indicates that even the agape-type love shown among people, in a human sense, has dissipated to the point that every person acts from selfishness—setting one’s own self above all else.
Guard the Love God Has Bestowed on You
The apostle Paul was inspired to write about the end of this age: “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” (2 Timothy 3:1-4).
In this world we are surrounded by avarice and selfishness and greed, and many have the attitude of not caring about others but only themselves. This isn’t a surprising mentality in an affluent society where material gain is so important—a world founded on “get” and not “give.”
Jesus taught His disciples the importance of giving of oneself: “When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, ‘Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul’” (Mark 8:34-36)?
Jesus taught the “give way” of love and outgoing concern for others. He said, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).
The Test of Our Love for God and His Church
There is yet a third reason Jesus said the love of many grows cold. Satan has always strived to destroy the Church Jesus raised up nearly two millennia ago, but Christ said the gates of hades would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). The saints have often been persecuted. In the last days it will be intense for the faithful who must utilize the armor of God to remain standing in the battle against evil forces (Ephesians 6:13).
Our great test is to remain standing to the end of the spiritual war we fight. Jesus said in the end time there would be wars and rumors of war, famines, diseases and earthquakes in different places, but this was just the beginning of sorrows. Then He said, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many” (Matthew 24:9-11).
In our time, false teachers have arisen many times, and the faith of many has been destroyed; and in many cases they forsook the truth altogether going back into the religious confusion from which they were called. Some have even betrayed the Church, turned against it, and even blasphemed it.
When real persecution comes, there will be a tendency to be fearful because our freedom or even our lives might come into jeopardy. But remember, Jesus said in John 15:18, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.”
During that time some will betray one another, distancing themselves from the Church to protect themselves. We do not want to allow hatred or betrayal to be a part of us, but to retain love, an outgoing love for our great God and others. This will be the greatest test of our real love for God and His people, and whether we will hold fast and not allow anyone or anything to take our crown (Revelation 3:11).
This is my Perspective and the current edition of the Prophetic Times follows below:
September 21, 2023 spacewar.com reported:
Poland said Wednesday it will no longer arm Ukraine and instead focus on its own defense, as the two allies clashed at a key moment in Kyiv’s fightback against invasion by Russia.
In a mounting row over grain exports from Ukraine, Poland summoned the Ukrainian ambassador to protest remarks at the UN by President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The Ukrainian leader said some countries were only pretending to support his nation as it wages a counteroffensive to retake land taken by Russia. Warsaw took offense at this.
Poland has been one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters after Russia invaded in February 2022, and is one of Kyiv’s main weapons suppliers.
Much of the weaponry that the United States and other countries send to Ukraine passes through Poland, which borders Ukraine to the west.
Poland also hosts some one million Ukrainian refugees, who have benefited from various kinds of state aid.
September 21, 2023 voanews.com reported:
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared before the U.N. Security Council in New York on Wednesday for the first time since Russia’s invasion to garner support for his country and accuse Russia of carrying out ‘a criminal and unprovoked aggression’ that shatters the norms of war and the U.N. Charter.
During a somewhat contentious meeting, Zelenskyy promoted action taken, including arming Ukraine and imposing sanctions on Russia.
‘Helping Ukraine with weapons in this exercise, by imposing sanctions and exerting comprehensive pressure on the aggressor, as well as voting for relevant resolutions, would mean helping to defend the U.N. Charter,’ Zelenskyy said.
The council has met dozens of times and voted repeatedly since Russia invaded 19 months ago and has demanded that the Kremlin remove its troops from Ukraine, though it has been unable to take any action on the matter because Russia has a veto.
Zelenskyy urged support of the Ukrainian effort, emphasizing that his peace proposal begins with adherence to the charter that ensures the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all 193 U.N. member nations.
September 20, 2023 spacewar.com reported:
A Chinese blockade on the island democracy of Taiwan would be a ‘monster risk’ for Beijing and likely to fail, while a military invasion would be extremely difficult, senior Pentagon officials told Congress Tuesday.
Beijing claims self-ruled Taiwan as its territory, vowing to seize it one day, and officials in Washington — a key ally of Taipei — have cited 2027 as a possible timeline for an invasion.
The growing worries come as China has ramped up military pressures on Taiwan, holding large-scale wargames simulating a blockade on the island, while conducting near-daily warplane incursions and sending Chinese vessels around its waters.
Ely Ratner, the Pentagon’s assistant defense secretary for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, said a blockade would be ‘a monster risk for the PRC (People’s Republic of China),’ referring to China by its official name.
‘It would likely not succeed, and it would be a huge risk of escalation for the PRC, where it would likely have to consider whether or not it was willing to ultimately start attacking commercial maritime vessels,’ Ratner told the House Armed Services Committee.
‘A blockade would (be) devastating to the international community and would likely induce the broad-based wide deep response from the international community… that Beijing would likely be trying to avoid,’ he said.
September 19, 2023 wsj.com reported:
An almost uninterrupted rise in oil prices has pushed benchmark Brent crude close to $100 a barrel, posing a new challenge for central banks in their battle against inflation.
The rise is a victory for Saudi Arabia, which sought to bolster prices to fund a planned transformation of its oil-dependent economy. Russia, which depends on energy income to finance its war on Ukraine and joined Riyadh in slashing supplies, is another winner. The two countries sparked the rally early this month when they said they would restrict supplies until the end of the year.
Record levels of oil demand—fueled by unexpected economic strength—have outstripped production. As a result, traders and petroleum refiners are draining oil stockpiles at a rapid clip. Many analysts expect crude prices to keep rising, which would feed into higher fuel bills, quicker inflation—and, potentially, higher interest rates.
September 19, 2023 spacewar.com reported:
Dozens of Chinese warplanes were detected around Taiwan in a day, the self-ruled island’s defence ministry said Tuesday, as it called on Beijing to stop its ‘provocative actions’.
The latest sorties came a day after China flew 103 warplanes in the 24-hour window from Sunday to Monday morning around Taiwan, which the island’s authorities said was a ‘recent high’ number.
On Tuesday, the ministry said China flew 55 aircraft and sailed seven naval vessels around the island from Monday to Tuesday morning.
Beijing claims Taiwan as its own territory to be seized one day, and has ramped up diplomatic and military pressure on Taipei in recent years.
September 17, 2023 cbsnews.com reported:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is heading to the United States – with plans to meet President Biden at the UN General Assembly this week, as his country faces perhaps its worst domestic crisis ever. And it's not about the Palestinian conflict: it's about Israelis fighting Israelis.
Massive numbers have poured into the streets to protest the Netanyahu Coalition, Israel's most far-right government ever, and its move to weaken the court system. The judicial overhaul is seen as so radical, President Biden has urged Netanyahu to walk away from this; telling him on the phone to uphold our quote "shared democratic values."
This is what up to 200,000 Israelis across the country have done every Saturday night for over eight months. This packed protest is in Tel Aviv.
Some nights have turned violent – with police clashes, counter-protests and cars ramming into the crowds. It can feel like the country is unraveling.
The protests were triggered by the government's judicial initiative to sap the Supreme Court of much of its power. A wide majority of the country sees weakening the court as a power grab, since it is the only check in Israel on the government.
People who had never demonstrated in their lives, have poured into the streets – like Eyal Naveh. He leads a group of tens of thousands of military reservists, who are at the forefront of this democracy movement. They call themselves "Brothers and Sisters in Arms" – as it says on their t-shirts. They're pilots, fighters, intelligence officers, some are war heroes, many still go on dangerous missions.
The head of national security has had multiple convictions, including supporting terrorism against Arabs. The finance minister is a self-described fascist homophobe. As for Netanyahu – he's in the midst of three separate trials on charges of corruption.
The protestors say that laws his government has introduced – over 200 of them – would not only weaken the courts, but control the press and diminish individual rights, and that this is how democracies like Hungary became autocratic.