Matthew 24:11-12 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. –ESV
We are living in a time when this prophecy is being fulfilled. In general, it describes the condition of the modern church. And yet the dominant movement of tolerance in the modern church is said to be rooted in love. Many say or imply that it is a form of Godly love to have little or no regard for sin in the church body. Sin is lawlessness and according to the above referenced verses, it leads to a waning love.
This is completely contradictory to the message of tolerance which has its grip on secular and religious societies alike in the western world.
People who have a great concern for sin and backsliding in the church are many times depicted as legalistic, judgmental and ultimately unloving. The definition of love has been bent and twisted on many fronts and this is no exception.
Let’s do a cultural contrast in time periods just to get an illustration of how this works.
During the time period of Christian dominance in America, the primary movement was the opposite of tolerance. Sin was regularly acknowledged as wickedness and condemned by most churches. Repentance was considered a necessary element of personal salvation and corporate revival. Accountability and church discipline was common.
Other things that were also common were hospitality, a strong sense of community, comradery, fellowship, humility and sacrificing for one another. These are trademarks of people who have an abundance of love and an intolerance for evil. Ultimately it’s the only way to have love. And ultimately it is the only way to have a predominantly Christian society.
Look at what our culture and the church look like today. There is an increasing unity between secular society and the church. Not because secular society is conforming to the church, but rather the opposite. Sins are many times looked at as mere mistakes and glossed over by a modern definition of grace. Repentance is not considered by many to be a necessary part of personal salvation—and who really cares about corporate revival anyway? Church discipline is certainly not practiced by many, and accountability is used sparingly by those who mutually agree upon it.
As much as these things are opposite to the church of early America, so are the features of love I had listed as well. Along with the rest of society, many in the church have waxed cold and do not love. According to the scripture in the beginning of this post, it is because of lawlessness and the lawlessness comes from being led astray by false prophets.
None of us are exempt from the dangers and deceptions of our time. Let’s be wary and shun evil. Let’s love like Jesus—not like the world.