Many Are the Offended, Many Are the Deceived

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the apostle Matthew. More specifically today’s passage is found in verses twenty-two through fifty-one of this New Testament book. “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days should be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together” (Matthew 24:22-28).

 

            “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is night: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things b e fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:29-35).

 

            “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then s hall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill: the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore, for ye know not what hour the Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:36-42).

 

            “But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lor delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellow servants , and to eat and drink with the drunketn; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an h our that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 24:43-51).

 

            When you consider the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find the continuation of that which Jesus would both teach and show His disciples concerning the Last Days. I am absolutely convinced that if you want to truly understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you must needs begin at the beginning of this chapter and the words which the Lord Jesus spoke unto His disciples. At this particular juncture of this narrative the Lord Jesus would emphatically declare unto His disciples that except those days would be shortened there should no flesh be saved. Those days which the Lord Jesus spoke of were those days which were previously mentioned in the verses which came before. The Lord Jesus was very clear when speaking unto His disciples that those days would be days of great darkness and which would be incredibly difficult for the inhabitants of the earth .If there is one thing we must needs recognize concerning the words which the Lord Jesus spoke unto His disciples on this particular occasion it’s that the days in which he spoke of would not only be difficult for the inhabitants of the earth but those days would also be incredibly difficult for His disciples and followers. We must needs make absolutely no mistake about it when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture for both the elect and the unrighteous can and will be present upon the earth during these days. Jesus made it perfectly and abundantly clear when speaking these words that the Last Days and the days which would mark His coming would be days of tremendous difficulty, danger, deception, persecution, suffering and affliction.

 

            I have to admit there is something truly unique and astonishing about the words found in this passage of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the powerful reality of the Last Days and that which is going to characterize those days. The words which we find in this passage of Scripture are not the words of the apostle Paul, nor are they the words of the apostle Peter, nor even of the apostle John which was presented in the prophetic book of the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. The words which we find in this passage of Scripture bring us face to face with the words of the Lord Jesus—and not only the words of the Lord Jesus but also the words which the Lord Jesus spoke concerning the Last Days. There is something absolutely incredible about the words we find and read here in this passage of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to that which Jesus would teach His disciples concerning the Last Days. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this passage of Scripture for it calls and brings us face to face with the Last Days according to Jesus as He understood and knew those days to be. We cannot afford to miss and lose sight of the words which are found here for they help serve as the backdrop and foundation of the Last Days. There is a great need for us to recognize and pay attention to these words for these words would indeed be the first words spoken in the New Testament concerning the Last Days. The New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew would be the first book of the New Testament and these words would be the first words which would be spoken concerning the Last Days within the New Testament.

 

            We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of that which is found within this passage of Scripture for not only are these the first words found in the New Testament concerning the Last Days but they were also spoken by the Lord Jesus. There is something incredibly unique about the words which are present in this passage of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the great truth of the words the Lord Jesus spoke concerning the Last Days. As you read the words which are present in this passage of Scripture you are not only encountering the words which the Lord Jesus spoke but you are also encountering the truth of the Lord Jesus and that which He would teach and speak concerning the Last Days. The words found here in this portion of Scripture must needs be carefully considered and understood by the disciples and followers of the Lord Jesus for the original questions the disciples asked the Lord Jesus concerned the sign of His coming and the coming of the end of the age. The disciples would speak unto the Lord Jesus concerning His coming as well as concerning the end of the age and what we find in this passage of Scripture—and not only in this passage of Scripture but also the twenty-fifth chapter of this gospel—is a powerful description of the end times and the Last Days. This is something we have to recognize and understand for it calls and draws our attention to Jesus’ knowledge of the events which would characterize what we know and have known as “The Last Days.”

 

            If you want to truly understand the words which are found in the second portion of this passage of Scripture you must needs begin with and from the fourth verse. As you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find the Lord Jesus instructing His disciples to take heed that no man would deceive them. This instruction given unto the disciples to take heed and to guard themselves that no man deceive them must needs be understood when reading this particular passage of Scripture. I have previously written and continue to believe that the Last Days can and will be days of tremendous deception. What’s more is that as you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you will find three distinct realities in the Last Days which can and will deceive many who are unsuspecting and who aren’t discerning. Upon reading the words which our Lord spoke in this passage of Scripture we find the Lord Jesus instructing and urging His disciples to take heed that no man deceive them and then goes on to describe those man who would indeed and would in fact seek to deceive them. The more you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more you can and will be brought face to face with the call to guard ourselves from deception—and not only to guard ourselves from deception but also to ensure that we are wise and discerning in the Last Days which can and will come upon the earth. It is with this being said I invite you to consider the words which our Lord actually spoke in this passage of Scripture concerning these days and those who would indeed and would in fact seek to deceive many:

 

            “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:4).

 

            “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:10-14).

 

            “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together” (Matthew 24:22-28).

 

            If you truly wish to understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture—and not only the words which are found in this passage of Scripture but also the Last Days as they were described by the Lord Jesus—you must needs recognize that those days can and will be days described and characterized by tremendous deception. The Lord Jesus emphatically declared unto His disciples that they needed to take heed lest they be deceived. When speaking concerning the Last Days in response to the question the disciples asked the Lord Jesus would begin by instructing them to take heed that no man deceive them. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for the Last Days can and will be days of tremendous deception which will test the faith and the endurance of the saints. In all reality I would dare say that in the Last Days there can and will be two different realities which would test the faith, the patience and the endurance of the saints. The first is deception as it will run rampant within and throughout the earth during those days while the second is persecution, suffering and affliction. In order to truly understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you must needs recognize two of the enemy and adversary’s greatest weapons in his arsenal during the Last Days can and will be deception and persecution. What’s more is that directly associated with this deception and persecution would be iniquity, offense and the love of many which would grow cold. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this absolutely incredible truth for it calls and draws our attention to the inherent dangers which can and will characterize the Last Days.

 

            The Lord Jesus urged His disciples to take heed that no man deceive them and would then go on to describe those who would rise up in the Last Days and would seek to deceive many. Jesus would first speak of many who would come in His name professing and proclaiming themselves to be Christ and would deceive many. What we must needs understand concerning this passage is that this wouldn’t be the first time in this passage the Lord Jesus would speak these words unto His disciples. If you continue reading within this passage of Scripture you will find the Lord Jesus going on to declare and speak unto them concerning any who would say unto them, “Lo, here is Christ, or there;” believe it not. Moreover the Lord Jesus would go on to speak of false Christs and false prophets which would show great signs and wonders and would do so insomuch that if it were possible the very elect would be deceived. Please don’t miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for the words we find here calls and draws our attention to the great deception that can and will run rampant in the Last Days. During the Last Days—not only will there be those who come in the name of the Lord professing and confessing themselves to be Christ but there will also be those who would speak of Christ as though they knew Him and would attempt to deceive men into believing that He is in a place in which He was not.

 

            As you continue reading the words found in this passage of Scripture you can and will be brought face to face with the awesome truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and His understanding and knowledge of the Last Days. In this passage of Scripture the Lord Jesus not only spoke of those who would rise up professing and confessing themselves to be Christ, and He would not only speak of those who would speak of Christ as though He were present in a particular place but Jesus would also speak of false Christs who would show great signs and wonders insomuch that if it were possible the very elect would be deceived. As if this weren’t enough we must also recognize and understand the great truth found in this passage of Scripture for it calls and draws our attention to another group of people who would be present during these days who can and would seek to deceive many—namely, false prophets. If it weren’t enough for those who would profess themselves to be Christ and for those who would speak of Christ as though He were present in a particular place and false Christs there would also be false prophets which would rise up in the midst of the earth. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for it calls and draws our attention to the powerful truth surrounding deception that can and will be present during the last days. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the fact that there is a great need for endurance and patience in the midst of those days. Jesus made it perfectly clear and blatantly obvious that the Last Days can and will be days which would be characterized by great deception—deception that would be found among those who profess themselves to be Christ, those who are false Christs and even false prophets.

 

            I sit here today reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I can’t help but be absolutely and incredibly astonished with and by them. Jesus urged His disciples to take heed and guard themselves lest they be deceived. If there is one thing I can’t help but think about and consider when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture it’s how these days would be characterized by countless who would not necessarily make the profession, confession and declaration that they were Christ but would make the confession and declaration that they were Christ’s. What we must needs understand when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture is that the Last Days can and will be characterized by false brethren and false teachers—a reality which is evidence by false Christs and false prophets. To truly understand the words which the Lord Jesus spoke in this passage of Scripture we must needs recognize and understand the truly wonderful truth surrounding the Last Days and how those would indeed be days which are characterized by great deception which would run rampant in the midst of the earth. Those days would indeed be days in which many would make the confession and profession that they were disciples and followers of Christ. I am absolutely convinced that there will not be many who would make the confession and profession that they were actually Christ but that there would be many who would make the profession and confession that they were Christ’s—that they were indeed disciples and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am absolutely convinced that one of the greatest means of deception found in the last days can and will be false brethren who will make the confession and profession they are Christ’s and yet who are nothing more than imposters and those who masquerade themselves as angels of light and even as ministers of righteousness.

 

            As you continue on within this passage of Scripture you can and will encounter the absolutely wonderful truth surrounding the last days and how they will not only be characterized by false Christs and those who profess themselves to be disciples and followers of Christ but they will also be characterized by false prophets. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for the words we find here calls and draws our attention to the truly challenging truth surrounding false Christs and false prophets who would rise up in the midst of the last days. The Lord Jesus would urge His disciples to take heed lest they be deceived and He would then go on to speak of those who would come in His name, saying they were the Christ and would deceive many. Moreover the Lord Jesus would speak of false prophets who would arise and deceive many. Not only this but the Lord Jesus would also once more declare there would be false Christs and false prophets which would show great signs and wonders insomuch that if it were possible the very elect would be deceived. What we must needs recognize when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture is the word the Lord Jesus used when speaking of these Last Days. Jesus declared that there would be many who would come in His name and who would deceive many. What’s more is the Lord Jesus would also go on to later declare and describe that many false prophets would arise and would deceive many.

 

            There is not a doubt in my mind we must needs pay close attention to the use of the word “many” in this passage of Scripture. The words which the Lord Jesus spoke on this particular occasion powerfully and wonderfully demonstrates the fact that there would indeed be many who would be deceived—and not only many who would be deceived but also that there would be many who would do the deceiving. DECEIVING AND BEING DECEIVED! We as the saints of God and the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ must needs understand and recognize the words presented in this passage of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the great truth surrounding just how rampant and prevalent deception can and will be in the last days. The Lord Jesus didn’t declare how there would be some who would come in His name but rather He would declare that there would be many who would come in His name. The Lord Jesus declare that there would be some who would be deceived but that there would be many who would be deceived. Moreover the Lord Jesus didn’t declare that there would be some false prophets who would rise and that there would be some who would be deceived. The word which the Lord Jesus used four times in this passage is the word “many” which not only speaks of many who would come in His name professing themselves to be Christ but also false prophets. What’s more is the Lord would use the word “many” to describe those who would be deceived during the Last Days—and not only that there would be many who would be deceived in the Last Days but that there would be many who would be deceived both by the false prophets as well as those who professed themselves to be Christ’s.

 

            I sit here today thinking about the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I find myself being absolutely gripped with the use of the word “many” in the language Jesus spoke. When speaking of the Last Days the Lord Jesus not only declared there would be “many” who would come in His name professing they were Christ but there would also be “many” false prophets as well. Not only this but the Lord Jesus also declared that there would be “many” who would be deceived. What adds even more weight to this is not only the fact that there would be “many” who would be deceived but Jesus also declared there would be “many” that would be offended. Within this passage of Scripture we are brought face to face with the incredible truth that in the Last Days two of the greatest struggles men and women can and will face will be deception and offense. If you want to truly understand that which characterizes the Last Days you must needs stop and focus on these two words for they will pain a very vivid and clear picture of what many can and will face in the Last Days. What’s more is that if you take a look at the generation in which we are living in you will clearly encounter the truth that there are many who are indeed offended. Within this passage of Scripture Jesus declared concerning the disciples how they would be hated of all nations for His name’s sake, however, immediately after that Jesus would go on to declare that after this and as a result of this many would be offended.

 

            If you have paid attention to the events of this generation—specifically over the past two years—you will undoubtedly come to the conclusion that there are and there have been many who have been offended. What’s more is not only have there been many who have been offended but there are many who are presently offended. You cannot consider the days in which we are living and not encounter and come face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding offense and how easy it is to be offended. It was the Lord Jesus who would declare unto the disciples that it was impossible but that offenses come and would then go on to declare woe upon those through whom the offences came. This is something we must needs pay close attention to when considering the words found in this passage of Scripture for it calls and draws our attention to the powerful reality of the Lord Jesus and the words He spoke unto His disciples. When speaking unto the disciples at the mount of Olives Jesus would declare unto them how they would be delivered up to be afflicted, how they would be killed and how they would be hated of all nations for His name’s sake. What actually makes the words the Lord Jesus spoke on this particular occasion so incredibly unique when you take the time to think about it is when you consider His declaration that “many” will be offended. Not only did Jesus declare that many will be offended but He would also declare that many would betray one another and hate one another.

 

            I am absolutely convinced we must needs pay careful attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for it brings us face to face with a powerful description concerning the Last Days. We know and understand that many can and will be deceived in the Last Days, however we also know from the words which Jesus spoke that many would be offended as well. Not only this but the words which the Lord Jesus spoke on this particular occasion seem to indicate that there would also be many who would betray one another and many who would hate one another. There is not a doubt in my mind that the words we find in this passage of Scripture powerfully portray and convey the days in which we are living. I firmly believe that in the days in which we are living we not only see many who are offended but we also see many who are betraying one another. What’s more is that in this generation and in the days in which we live we see many hating one another. In all reality it’s quite interesting to read the words found in this passage of Scripture for the words we find here not only speaks of the disciples being hated of all nations for His name’s sake but it also speaks of many hating one another.

 

            The more I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the incredible reality of the Last Days and how men and women will not only hate but also be hated. The Lord Jesus emphatically declared that in the Last Days His disciples and followers would be delivered up to be afflicted and be killed as well as being hated of all nations for His name’s sake. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for within this passage we find the Lord Jesus going on to declare that during these days many will be offended and would betray and hate one another. I have to admit that I have read these words a number of times before and never thought for a single moment that the use of the word “many” concerning those who would be offended could also apply to those who would betray and hate one another. What’s more is I have always thought and believed that those who would be offended in the Last Days would be those who would be delivered up to be afflicted, those who would be killed and those who would be hated of all nations for the sake of the name of the Lord Jesus. I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the tremendous truth that it is indeed very possible that those who suffer persecution in the Last Days can and will be those who find themselves being offended. There is not a doubt in my mind that the ones whom Jesus referred to as being offended in this passage of Scripture are those who will experience suffering, affliction and persecution during the Last Days.

 

            As I read the words of this passage of Scripture I can’t help but come face to face with the fact that Jesus would use the word “many” when describing all those who would be offended. What’s more is there is not a doubt in my mind there will also be many who would betray one another and who would hate one another. It is indeed true there can and will be those who profess themselves to be Christians who can and will be offended in the Last Days in the face of persecution, suffering and persecution. I do firmly believe the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and how in the Last Days there can and there will be those who are offended in the face of and because of persecution, suffering and affliction. With this being said I would also declare that there will be many who will be in a constant and continual state of being offended. Jesus did indeed declare that it was impossible but that offenses can and will come and we must needs recognize and understand the last days can and will be described as days of offense and being offended. I firmly believe the Last Days can and will be characterized by those who will be offended and those who will do the offending. If you take a look at the days in which we are living you can and will come face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding men and women and how countless men and women are living in a continual state of being offended. You cannot watch the various major news channels and outlets and not encounter someone who is offended because of something another person said. Over the past two years I have seen offense and being offended at an all time high as men and women are not only offended but choose to remain in a state of being offended—and not only of being offended but also of holding a grudge toward and against others.

 

            I am sitting here right now thinking about and considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the Last Days and how we are indeed living during days in which men and women seem to be easily provoked—and not only easily provoked but also easily offended. It was indeed true the Lord Jesus declared that it was impossible but that offenses come and when speaking of and considering the Last Days we must needs acknowledge and recognize that offense and being offended is at an all-time high during these days. All you need to do is open up whatever social media app you’re using on your phone, or tune into any major television news outlet or even open up various video services such as YouTube, Rumble and others to see countless men and women who are offended. If I am being honest with myself and with you who might be reading these words I feel strongly within my spirit that one of the enemy’s greatest tactics in the Last Days is not only deception but also that of offense. There is not a doubt in my mind when thinking about and considering the Last Days that the enemy and adversary can and will use offense to his advantage. I believe with everything inside of me that the enemy has capitalized and will continue to capitalize on the offense of men and women within this nation—and not only within this nation but ultimately within and throughout the world. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it brings us face to face with the fact the enemy and adversary can and will use deception and offense to his advantage in the Last Days.

 

            Even as I think about this concept of offense I can’t help but see how this offense runs deep within and throughout the very fabric of our nation. What’s more is that offense not only runs deep through the psyche of our nation but it runs deep throughout all the various facets of our society. Offense does not care about race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or even political affiliation for it can and will seek to capitalize on such realities within our hearts and lives. This is something we must needs recognize and understand for in looking at and reviewing the past two years you will find men and women who have indeed been offended at virtually and almost everything. You have found the Black Lives Matter movement being offended with the established government and even against those whom they have perceived as being white. Critical race theory has been promoted and propagated within and throughout the media and has even made its way into countless schools within this nation. You cannot review this nation without considering whites who are offended with blacks, blacks who are offended with whites, and this reality even touches those of other races as well. At one point in time there was a subject of Asian hate circulating within and throughout this nation. What makes this truly interesting when you think about it is when you consider the fact that you have not seen nor do you see at this present moment any stories regarding Asian hate. What was at one point a problem within this country has seemed to go away over night and is no longer an issue in this nation.

 

            I am writing these words and I am brought face to face with the fact that offense truly runs deep in the political arena as there are countless individuals who are not only offended by the former President Trump but are also offended with those who have supported him. Not only this but during the days in which we are living there are countless men and women who are offended by all of the mandates that have been set up by state and federal governments. There have been and there are countless men and women present within our nation who have been offended because of mask mandates as well as vaccine mandates. Even this “Freedom Convoy” that has created so much havoc within the nation of Canada has escalated this concept of offense and being offended as there are countless men and women who are pushing back against the government over what is perceived as government overreach and control being violated by those in charge. This is something we must needs recognize and understand when considering the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for the words we find here calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding these Last Days in which we are living and how there can and there will be many who are and will be offended. Even as I am writing these words I am finding myself struggling with being offended with something that is so miniscule and minor that it shouldn’t even be a blip on my internal radar. What’s more is I am absolutely amazed at how easily we grow and become offended and even hold grudges within our hearts and minds. Stop and consider how truly easy it is to grow offended with others based on words and actions which we have perceived as somehow violating what we think and believe.

 

            In writing all of this I find it absolutely necessary to declare that in the days in which we are living it is and it has been so incredibly easy to be offended—and not only to be offended but also to act upon that. We find in this passage of Scripture the Lord Jesus speaking of men betraying one another and even hating one another and you would have to be incredibly blind and even naïve to not recognize and understand that this is something that has been problematic and troublesome within our nation. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular problem within our nation for over the past two years we have seen an overwhelming amount of hatred towards others. Over the past two years we have seen firsthand in great measure the same struggle which Cain found himself wrestling with from the beginning of time. Although men and women might not be offended over religion alone men and women are offended and seek to act on that offense.  If I am being honest with you who might be reading these words I would declare unto you that one of the greatest troubles and struggles with offense is not merely allowing it within your heart and soul but also acting on it. If I am being truly honest with you who might be reading these words I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the tremendous truth that offense is merely the starting point and serves as the foundation for a host of other grievances and actions that can and will result in action(s) being taken against others. Pause for a moment and consider the words which are found in the fourth chapter of the Old Testament book of Genesis beginning with the first verse:

 

            “And Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground as an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? IF thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; when thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden” (Genesis 4:1-16).

 

There is a great need to recognize and understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for it calls and draws our attention to the undeniable and unmistakable truth surrounding Cain and Abel. I am absolutely convinced this narrative is a powerful example of much of what we find and see within the days and generation in which we are living. Please don’t miss the question which Cain asked of the LORD when He asked him where his brother Abel was. It wasn’t enough for Cain to declare unto the LORD he didn’t know where his brother was for he would also ask the LORD whether or not he was his brother’s keeper. Oh this is something we must needs pay close and careful attention to for it calls and draws our attention to one of the core issues facing this nation during these days—and not only facing this nation during these days but is also present within the hearts of countless men and women. It is absolutely unmistakable that we are indeed living during days when men and women are living in a state of believing they are not their brother’s keeper. If you want to truly understand this concept of offense and being offended you must needs stop and consider the words which Cain declared unto the LORD for he would not only declare how he did not know where his brother was but he would also ask the LORD whether or not he was his brother’s keeper. We must needs recognize and pay close attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for these words bring us face to face with the truly incredible truth surrounding offense and how many among us are so free to be offended with others—and not only be offended with others but also hate and betray others—simply because they do not believe they are their brother’s keeper.

 

            The words and language we find in the twenty-fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew must needs be carefully considered and understood when seeking to understand the days in which we are living. I am absolutely convinced when we read and consider the words found in this passage of Scripture we are witnessing a powerful description of the days in which we are and have been living. I firmly believe that the days in which we are living and the days in which we have been living are days in which many are offended. Not only this but I also believe there are countless men and women who are not only offended but also who are betraying and hating one another. You cannot look at the days in which we have been living and not come face to face with the fact that there are many men and women who are not only betraying one another but there are also many men and women who are also hating one another. Perhaps one of the greatest truths I can’t help but think about when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture is whether or not many being offended is the underlying and root cause for betraying and hating others. I am finding myself thinking about and the words which the Lord Jesus spoke in this passage of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the truth that offense if it is left unchecked can and will lead to many underlying dangers and snares within our hearts, within our minds and within our souls.

 

            The Lord Jesus in this passage of Scripture not only declared how many would be offended during these last days but also how many would be offended. The underlying root of many being deceived in these last days is due to many who would rise up professing themselves to be Christ and many false Christs and false prophets who would rise up in the midst of the earth. With this being said I am convinced that part of the underlying cause of many Christians being offended during these Last Days is indeed walking through and experiencing suffering, affliction and persecution. I am absolutely convinced there are countless Christians among us within this generation—particularly and especially in the western world—who have not experienced suffering, affliction and persecution in their life nor even within this nation. I firmly believe there will be countless men and women who profess themselves to be Christians who can and will be offended if and when persecution, suffering and affliction arise within this nation. What’s more is that as you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you can and will discover the Lord Jesus declaring that “many” would be offended and would betray and hate one another. If there is and if there ever has been a description of the days in which we are and have been living it it’s these right here for not only are and have been many who are offended but there are and there have been many who are betraying and hating one another. We cannot be so naïve to think and consider that these words do not and cannot aptly and powerfully describe the days in which we are living and how we are living and have been living in days when many have been offended, when many have betrayed one another and when many have indeed hated each other.

 

            The more I read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more I am brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the generation in which we are living. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found here for they call and draw our attention to the absolutely tragic reality of our nation. What makes this all the more intriguing is when you consider the fact that should not be surprised and shocked by what we behold and witness within our nation during these past two years. There would be those who would look at what is and what has been taking place in our nation and are somehow shocked and appalled by everything going on and yet Scripture—and not only Scripture but the Lord Jesus Himself—predicted and warned it would happen Within this passage of Scripture we find the Lord Jesus intentionally warning and preparing His disciples to be delivered up to be afflicted, to be killed and to be hated of all nations for His name’s sake. With this being said we also find the Lord Jesus preparing His disciples for the reality that many will be offended, and many would betray one another and many would hate one another. It’s actually quite interesting the immense amount of hatred that would be present in the Last Days for we knew and understood the words which the Lord Jesus described unto His disciples concerning their being hated of all nations and all men for His name’s sake. Where it truly becomes intriguing when you think about and consider it is when you discover that hatred seems to be a prevalent factor in the Last Days.

 

            I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the words which the apostle Paul wrote in both of his epistles unto Timothy who was his spiritual son in the faith. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto this dear son in the common faith for by and through them we are brought face to face with a powerful description of the last days. With this being said is in addition to this hatred expressed and manifested in the Last Days we must needs understand that Jesus Himself would go on to declare that while hatred, while betrayal and while offense can and will run rampant iniquity would also abound. Not only would iniquity abound but the Lord Jesus also declared that the love of many would wax cold. Pause for a moment and consider the fact that as if it weren’t bad enough to read of many hating one another, and many betraying one another and many being offended the love of many would indeed grow cold. Stop and think about this particular reality for it calls and draws our attention to hatred running rampant while love grows cold. How absolutely incredible this truly is when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to the powerful truth concerning the days in which we are living. We cannot afford to miss this particular reality within our hearts and lives for I would dare say that at the very core of betraying one another and hating one another might very well be offense and love growing cold. As if it weren’t enough within these days to think about and consider all the hatred that is present among us we must also think about the tremendous truth of the love of many growing cold and many being offended.

 

            I sit here today thinking about and reading the words found in this passage of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the fact that within this passage of Scripture there was indeed another use of the word “many.” We understand that there will be “many” who will come in the name of the Lord Jesus saying they are “Christ” and would deceive “many.” We understand that in the last days “many” will be offended. We also know that there would be “many” false prophets who would rise up and deceive “many” in the process. What we also find within this passage is another use of this word “many” as the Lord Jesus declared that the love of “many” would grow cold. MANY WILL BE OFFENDED! MANY WILL BE DECEIVED! THE LOVE OF MANY WILL WAX COLD! Oh please don’t miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely incredible truth surrounding the words which the Lord Jesus spoke and what He revealed concerning the Last Days. The Lord Jesus described the Last Days and days in which many will be offended, many will be deceived and the love of many will wax cold—a reality which we are indeed and are in fact seeing within the days in which we are living. This is something we have a great need of recognizing and paying close attention to for it calls and draws our attention to the description of the days in which we are living. There is something truly unique and powerful when we think about and consider the days in which we are and in which we have been living for there is absolutely no doubt that we have been living in the days of many being offended, many being deceived and the love of many having waxed and gone cold. What makes this all the more intriguing when you think about and consider it is when you read the following words which the apostle Paul wrote in each of his epistles unto Timothy his spiritual son in the faith:

 

            “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving. For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness” (1 Timothy 4:1-7).

 

            “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort they are which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth; men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men” (2 Timothy 3:1-9).

 

            Please pay attention to the words which are found in this passage of Scripture—particularly that which is found in the second epistle written unto Timothy—for within this the apostle Paul would go on to speak of men in the last days men being lovers of their own selves. The Lord Jesus emphatically declared that the love of many would wax cold in the last days and the apostle Paul wrote how men would be lovers of their own selves. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the days in which we are living—days in which love toward others will wax grow cold and when love of self can and will be at an all-time high. There is not a doubt in my mind that when we think about the Last Days the first and second commandments which were mentioned throughout the gospels can and will go out the window for countless men and women will no longer love the LORD their God with all their heart, with all their mind, with all their soul and with all their strength. Not only this but men and women will no longer love their neighbor as themselves—and not only not love their neighbor as themselves but also love their enemies. Pause and think about the fact that Jesus instructed us to love the LORD our God with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul and with all our strength as well as loving our neighbor and enemy as ourselves. What we have seen within the days in which we are living is anything but this as men and women will not only be lovers of selves rather than lovers of others but they will also allow their love to grow cold. What’s more is these words remind me of the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the first chapter of the epistle which was written unto the saints which were at Rome. These words are incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to consider them for they call and draw our attention to the absolutely powerful truth concerning the days in which we are living:

 

            “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but becames vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like unto corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves; who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen” (Romans 1:18-25).

 

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Romans 1:26-32).

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