Summary: Signs of the Last Days
The Last Days Part 3
In my message last week I spoke to you concerning the signs of wars and rumors of wars. As we evaluated what has taken place in the last 2000+ years we saw that the number of wars have increased as the years decreased. We also realized that we live in a time where man has the capability to wipe out all of mankind with the push of one button, something that was not conceived of 200 years ago, let alone 2000 years ago. We also discussed the famines and earthquakes that have taken place since biblical times and once again we see that they are increasing and becoming more severe. This morning we will focus on what will happen when the love of Christians begins to grow cold and how that will also impact the relationship between family members.
I. Love Of Many Will Grow Cold
“And because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.”
“And brother will deliver brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.” Mark 13:12
These two verses together give us insight into our present day, but in order for us to fully understand what these verses are saying we must take a journey back in time to what living was like at the time that Jesus made these statements. If I were to tell you that when people stop loving one another and family members begin to turn on each other that it would be one of the signs of the last days many would say that it was just normal. In our day and age it is perfectly “normal” to hate. It is okay to not speak to your neighbor. It is okay to walk away from family members and never speak to them again. In this day and age, all of these things are normal. What we call normal is not only “not normal” according to Jesus’ standards, but is a definite sign that our days are running out. Let me share with you what life was like during the time when Jesus made this statement so that you will be able to clearly understand why the statement carried such importance. I will focus on two areas that I think speaks to these two Scriptures. The first area is hospitality and the second is the relationship between family members.
A. During Biblical Times
Hospitality: In Biblical times, sharing hospitality with others was something that was a vital part of their lives. For example, after a meal had been prepared, men were known to call out three times from a high spot in the neighborhood inviting others to come and share in their meal. People who had guests in their home (whether friends or strangers) believed that the guests in their homes were sent to them by God thus their hospitality became a sacred duty. Remember the story of Abraham when he entertained the three strangers? His enthusiasm in receiving the guests would indicate that his belief was that they were actually sent by God (and in that case, they were.) It is said that he ran to meet the strangers and asked Sarah to begin making a meal for them (Genesis 18:2-7). What is really remarkable was that even an enemy who entered a person’s home was safe and treated with hospitality.
Let me recount one story that you may remember. When Jesus was preparing for His last meal with His disciples (the disciples did not know this), they did not have a place to have this meal. The disciples asked Jesus where they would eat the Passover. Matthew 26:18 records the following: “And He said, ‘Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, the Teacher says, My time is at hand; I am to keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.” The disciples did what they were told and the man immediately accepted them into his home. It does not appear that Jesus had a relationship with this man, but for the sake of being hospitable, the man would not refuse Jesus’ request. Jesus made it clear that in no uncertain terms we were to be hospitable to one another and to strangers. In Matthew 25:34-40 Jesus says “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you, or thirsty, and gave you drink?’ And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? And when did we see You sick or in prison and came to you?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” Being hospitable was a crucial part of every day living during Jesus times yet as we will see shortly that is not necessarily the case in our times. Let us move on with a review of the family relationship.