Last Sunday in the Church Year
November 20, 2022
(Matthew 24:12-13 NIV) "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."
In these chapters (24 and 25 of Matthew) Jesus is speaking of the last days.
I don’t think we have to be told about the increase of wickedness at this time in the world’s history. But Jesus tells us this will be a cause of the love of most growing cold. At a time when wickedness and evil are increasing we find more opportunities to speak of the hope Jesus gives for eternal life. Believers recognize that and really want to share their hope of heaven, so that people whom they hold dear on earth may also come to faith and be with them in heaven.
Jesus had just said to his disciples: "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people." (Matthew 24:9-11 NIV)
But there is hope. In the face of such persecution, he tells us that the one “who stands firm to the end will be saved.” It will surely be difficult, but we don’t have to rely on ourselves. Jesus told us just before he ascended into heaven and commanded his followers to preach the Gospel “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew 28:20 KJV)
O God, we ask that you rule and govern our hearts and minds by thy Holy Spirit, that being always mindful of the end of all things and the day of thy just judgment, we may be stirred up to holiness of living here and dwell with thee forever hereafter. This we ask through Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord. Amen