As I reflected on Matthew 24:12, I wondered three things:
1) What is lawlessness?
2) Why would the increase of lawlessness cause most people’s love to grow cold?
3) Who specifically are these people who love less?
Lawlessness is sin (1 Jhn 3:4). It is intentional and deliberate disobedience to the known will of GOD (Jam 4:17, Num 15:30-31, Heb 6:4-6). It is a defiant response after receiving knowledge of the truth (Isa 22:12-14, Jer chptrs 42-44). It is a sin committed by one, who does not even struggle to do what is right or keep from doing wrong. With this sin there is no forgiveness only judgment (Heb 10:26-27), which leads to death (1 Jhn 5:16-17, Rev 20:11-15, Rev 21:8).
Reasons lawlessness affects the love of many
In these last days, the hearts of men will grow exceedingly wicked (2 Tim 3:1-7), just as they did in the days of Noah (Gen 6:5-6, Gen 6:11) and in the days of Lot (Gen 13:13, Gen 18:20, Gen 19:1-11). These men are comprised of unbelievers, outside the Church; and professing believers within the Church. These are men, who call good evil, and evil good (Isa 5:20); they defend the wicked and condemn the righteous (Pro 17:15); they tell wicked men “you are righteous” (Pro 24:24); for a bribe, they corroborate the wicked, and take away the rights of the innocent (Isa 5:23).
Wicked men outside the Church, openly hate GOD (Psa 68:1, Jhn 15:18, Jhn 15:24-25) and HIS people (Psa 37:32, Jhn 15:19, Jhn 17:14). These men have always caused GOD’s people to suffer, but in these last days, as the wickedness of men increase so will their hatred. They will cause the trials, tribulations and persecutions of GOD’s people to be more severe, and occur with greater frequency. Many who once followed after GOD, will openly desert the faith (Mat 24:9-10), rather than endure affliction (Job 36:21).
Wicked men inside the Church, will profess to know GOD, but their lifestyles will confirm they do not (Mat 7:15-20, Tit 1:16, 1 Jhn 2:3-6). Some of these false believers, will hold leadership positions within the Church, while others will be content to just be among the congregation. The false teachers and false prophets will mislead many by corrupting The WORD, with their false doctrines (Mat 24:11-12, 1 Tim 4:1), while others will continue in self-pleasing lifestyles rather than obedience to GOD (Eze 33:31-32, Mrk 6:17-20, 2 Ths 2:10-12).
People who love less
These are people who once loved our Beloved JESUS CHRIST and HIS WORD dearly, as demonstrated by their behavior (Jhn 14:15, Jhn 14:21, Jhn 14:23-24). They studied HIS WORD daily, being careful not to turn aside or stray from it (Deu 17:18-20, Jos 1:7-8, Pro 8:34, Mat 6:11). They gladly attended Church, always there when the doors opened (Psa 42:1-4, Psa 84:1-2, Psa 122:1) they were hungry for GOD and HIS WORD (Psa 119:131, Isa 2:3, Mat 5:6). That is until affliction, persecution, worries of this world, deceitfulness of money (Mat 13:20-22, 1 Tim 6:17) and the love of the things in this world (2 Tim 4:10, 1 Jhn 2:15-17), caused them to love HIM less (Rev 3:15-20). Some stopped loving HIM at all (Mat 24:12).
If you are reading this and alarms are going off in your heart, because you know you are willfully sinning (practicing lawlessness); or your love for HIM has declined in intensity. There is still hope, for your heart can still feel the alarms. It is no coincidence that this BIBLE study came to you at this time. It is HIS love for you (Jer 31:3), and HIS heart that does not desire for your soul to be forever lost (2 Pet 3:9). Please respond to HIS drawing you, by humbling yourself and accepting the fact, you are not your own boss (1 Cor 6:19-20). Talk to HIM, admitting your wrong doing (1 Jhn 1:9); seek HIS presence (Psa 63:1, Psa 143:6) through BIBLE study (Psa 119:20, Psa 119:30); worship (Psa 95:1-7); and assembling with godly people (Heb 10:25). Turn your back on your sinful lifestyle (Eze 18:30-32, Eze 33:11-13). HE longs to restore (Psa 19:7, Psa 23:3), refresh (Jer 31:25, Act 3:19), renew (Psa 51:10, Eph 4:23-24), and heal you (2 Chron 7:14).
For we will surely die
And are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again
Yet GOD does not take away life
But plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from HIM
2 Samuel 14:14