School shootings in 2012-13 have many in the USA asking, “How much more of this can we take?” In 2012 alone, there were 16 mass shootings leaving at least 88 people dead. Of course the optimist will say, “These are just ‘copy cat’ shootings and random acts of violence.” Yet the Bible declares that men and women who “have insight among the people” (Dan 11:33), those who are discerning “the signs of the times” (Mtt 16:3), they are saying that these are the Last Days and that this is the lawlessness that makes “most people’s love grow cold.” (Mt. 24)
“At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Mtt 24: 9-14)
What needs to be further stated is that “lawlessness” is not just a lone expression of the “end of this age” (Mtt 13) but will lead on to an incredible apostasy that will grow and grow until the return of Christ. In fact, it is this apostasy, a “falling away” from the truth, that brings the armies of the nations to Armageddon in northern Israel to then later try and take the city of Jerusalem. (Zech 14)
This apostasy God Himself will fuel by giving people who no longer receive “the love of the truth” a “deluding influence” so that they might believe what is false! (2 Thess 2) It seems as though God will allow people to decide once-and-for-all which side they truly are on. That’s why the Old Testament prophets foretold of this day as “the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord”. (Joel 2:31)
If believers are wavering in their choice because of lawlessness and cold love in those last days, GOD will actually help them decide! INCREDIBLE. He will, in His mercy, send upon them a deluding influence so that they will link arms with a lie! The master of this lie will be called the man of lawlessness, the son of destruction — antichrist. The chosen one of satan.
Apostasy first then the man of lawlessness, Antichrist, revealed
To properly set the stage, let us notice that the day of the Lord will not come until an apostasy, a falling away, amongst believers, happens first. I clearly call them believers because I don’t understand how you can “fall away from the truth” unless you first believed it!
Paul, in anticipation of the Last Days, said as much when he wrote to Timothy:
“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons” (I Tim 4:1)
As events happen on the world, especially in the “prophetic earth” which is simply the outline of the old Roman Empire, believers will less and less embrace and receive the truth as stated in God’s Word. False prophets will come and mislead many. Lawlessness will increase on every street corner. Love will grow cold. Perseverance to keep “doing the right thing” will become harder and harder. The great harlot, BABYLON THE GREAT, will seduce nations by her immorality. (Rev 17) Good will be called evil. Evil will be called good. Pluralism (religious inclusiveness) will be the standard of the day. The attainment of wealth will be so dominating that truth will follow in its train and suffer.
On top of all this, God will Himself send a “deluding influence” to believers, a type of supernatural “mental wandering” for those who straddle the fence. This will allow them to believe “the Lie” and will greatly expand the apostasy, which will lead to the revealing of the antichrist, the embodiment in human form of satan. (2 Thess 2).
If I were to make a statement of these thoughts, it would be:
Lawlessness > Cold Love > Deluding Influence> Apostasy> Revealing of Antichrist > Return of Christ.
Let’s be clear. The return of Jesus Christ to this earth is undeniable. He will return to a world on the brink of war and full of lawlessness, just as in the days of Noah and Lot. (Luke 17) Our job is to be “lovers of the truth” and stand in opposition to the onslaught of Satan. He knows his time is short and he knows what’s his future!
“Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit. Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks.” (Luke 12: 35-36)