In this chapter, Jesus is giving the signs of the end of the age. His disciples asked Him a question. "What will be the sign of Your Return?" Many theologians agree that we are in the season of His return. It is useless to try to determine when exactly that day or time is, because the Bible clearly states that only the Father knows that. But Jesus said we would kow the season, and it is now! Never before have we seen such prophetic fulfillment in the church, in Israel, and in the signs of nature itself. Therefore we can with a great deal of confidence say that we are in the time that Jesus talked about.
Jesus said that one of the signs of His coming would be: "Many will be offended...."Not a few, not some, but many! First we must ask this question though: "Who are these that will be offended? Are they Christians or non-believers? We find the answer to that question as we continue to read these verses. "and because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold." The Greek word for love in this verse is agape. There are several Greek words for love in the New Testament, but the two most common are agape and phileo.
Phileo defines a love found among friends. it is an affectionate love that is conditional. Phileo says, "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours," or "You treat me kindly, and I'll do the same to you." On the other hand, agape is the love God sheds abroad in the hearts of His children. it is the same love Jesus gives freely to us. it is unconditional. it is not based on performance or even whether it is returned. it is a love that gives even when it is rejected.
Without God we can only love with a fleshy selfish love-one that cannot be given if it is not received and returned. However, agape loves regardless of the response. This agape is the love Jesus shed when He forgave from the cross. So "the many" Jesus refers to are Christians whose agape has grown cold.
The Bible says he how sows to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the spirit reap everlasting life. and let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." (Galatians 6: 8-9). We must come to grips with the notion that when we sow the love of God, we will reap the love of God. We need to develop faith in this spiritual law-even though we may not reap the harvest from the field from which or in which it is sown or as quickly as we would like.
If we search the scriptures we will learn that in Jesus' greatest hour of need, His closest friends deserted Him. Judas betrayed Him, Peter denied Him, and the rest fled for their lives. Only John followed from afar. Jesus had cared for them for over three years, feeding them, teaching them, training them, praying for them. yet when He died for the sins of the world, he forgave. He released all of them including the friends that deserted Him to the Roman guards who had crucified Him. They didn't ask for forgiveness, yet He freely gave it to them. Jesus had faith in the Father's love.
Many times when people offend us, we wait for them to acknowledge their ]trespass against us. We make internal vows to ourselves, saying to ourselves, "that I'm not going to forgive him or her unless they come to me first.Or we make other kinds of vows like: "I'll never let myself become vulnerable to another man again." I said it before and 'll say it again: We have become a society of debt collectors. We are determined to make the offending party pay up for the wrong they have done to us. And we spend enormous amounts of time, and mental anguish waiting for that person to fess up, repent and make us feel better again. But the devil is a liar! The Lord commands us to forgive those who despite fully mistreats and abuse us. In fact He tells us to pray and forgive them. We are to release them from the debt that they owe us.
Come here Peter, Lord how many times must I forgive my neighbor his trespasses until 7 times? Jesus' response to his questions was: Not 7 times, but unto 70x70." What He was saying was every time you neighbor sins against you, and returns, repents from their sin, you are suppose to forgive them, let them off the hook, forgive them their debt.
When we consider how much debt we have run up, in terms of our own sin, and how great a salvation we have because Christ forgave us, the least we can do is offer that same grace to our fellow man. Pause and think about that! You and I have maxed out our credit card into the billions of dollars. We could work and save all our life time and never be able to repay that debt. But look at what Jesus Christ has done for us. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Now who wouldn't serve a might God like that.
I hope this helps. let me know what you are thinking. Stay Blessed and...
"Don't Forget To Say Your Prayers!"