By MARTIN MAWYER
“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” Matt: 24:12
When the disciples of Jesus asked, “What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of age?” Jesus replied that there would be “birth pangs” of wars, earthquakes, famines, persecutions and false prophets.
But He also said “the love of many will grow cold” because “lawlessness will abound.”
Consider for a moment the recent horrific murders in Charleston, S.C., that took the lives of nine Christians in the black community. By all accounts, these souls were loving, caring, accommodating and supportive of a stranger in their midst.
A relative of one victim said, “My cousin, being the nice, kind, welcoming person he is, welcomed him to his congregation, welcomed him to the Bible study, and he sat there for an hour.”
At least for this congregation, their love had not grown cold.
But now there’s talk of churches needing to arm themselves, just in case their “love” invites “lawlessness.”
Bishop E.W. Jackson urges Christians to carry firearms to defend themselves in church. "It's sad, but I think we've got to arm churches."
Bishop E.W. Jackson, senior pastor of Fall Church in Chesapeake, Va., told Fox News: “I would urge pastors and men in these churches to prepare to defend themselves. It’s sad, but I think that we’ve got to arm churches.”
Isn’t it strange that in order to “love” you have to carry a gun? What is the world coming to? Some might say: The end.
Shootings inside places of religious worship is not a new phenomenon in America. Six people were killed at a Sikh Temple outside Milwaukee in 2012 by a white supremacist. A pastor in Maryville, Ill., was shot and killed mid-sermon in 2009 by a 27-year-old man for reasons still unknown.
Stephanie and Rachel Works were killed by a gunman in 2007 at a Christian training center. Their parents wrote this book, "Gone in a Heartbeat," to help other parents coping with the death of a child.
In the early morning hours of December 9, 2007, a 24-year-old man opened fire at the Youth With A Mission training center in Arvada, Colo., killing two, while wounding two others. Later that afternoon, he went to the New Life Church in Colorado Springs and killed two more worshippers before being shot and wounded by a member of the church’s congregation. He then committed suicide.
Still, these senseless killings were not as sinister, deviant or callous as the church massacre in Charleston, S.C.
The Christian folks inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston invited their killer into the building. They gave him comfort. Sat with him. Prayed with him. One could easily imagine they were following Christ’s admonition found in Matthew 25:35:
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in.”
Dylan Roof was a stranger. And the good people of Emanuel invited him in.
Jesus had harsh words for those unwilling to show such kindness to strangers.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me. Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Matt: 25:45-46
Jesus clearly instructs us to do good for others, whether it’s feeding them, clothing them, caring for them, visiting them in prison, giving them a glass of water or simply inviting them into our home as a stranger.
It is Christian love that helps convert others. How else can we show the unsaved the love that Christ has for them. Christ loves everyone, regardless of their wickedness, sickness, tortured past, economic status or any factor that could lead a person to think he is undeserving of Christ’s love.
It is not surprising then, that Satan would make sure that demonstrating the love of Christ could come at a cost—possibly a deadly cost.
We have all heard tragic stories of people who were rewarded death for showing an act of kindness, people who were killed for picking up a hitch-hiker, or for inviting an outsider into their home, or for offering to help a complete stranger.
But showing an act of kindness can have other severe consequences, not just death. People have been defrauded, robbed, cheated, beaten, raped, conned and tortured after showing acts of kindness—that is, showing an act of love.
Love has grown cold. People nowadays barely trust their so-called “loved ones,” much less strangers. And this should not come as a surprise as lawlessness abounds all around us.
I’m not just talking about disobeying manmade laws. I’m talking about disobeying the laws of God.
It’s bad enough that so many prominent government leaders, teachers, politicians and the media no longer believe in an all-seeing, all-knowing, eternal God. But now that message is being beaten into the heads of children and adults of all stripes, colors, races and creeds.
The message is clear: There is no God, so there are no eternal consequences for committing evil. So why not do what is right in our own eyes? Even a manmade law carries no weight if you’re not caught.
Charleston killer Dylann Roof, forgiven by the grieving family members of his victims.
Dylann Roof hated black people. Such hatred is clearly wrong in the Bible. But if you don’t believe in the Bible, if you don’t believe there is a God who commands us to love one another, then what’s wrong with hating black people?
Our atheistic, humanistic, self-lauding leaders think they are smart by wiping out the mention and belief of God in this country. But when tragedy strikes, they are flapping their arms in amazement that someone acted out on his/her own set of laws, morals and system of right and wrong.
Why are they so surprised? Aren’t they telling people to make up their own morals, their own laws and their own beliefs? Of course they are.
In this game of life, you would like to know what rules the other guy is playing under before showing an act of kindness—yes, before showing an act of love. You wouldn’t want to play a baseball game where each team plays under its own rules. Someone might think that beating you over the head with a bat is a perfectly acceptable way to protest balls and strikes … because it’s in their rules.
This is lawlessness. And because there is lawlessness, and no set rules where people believe that God is watching—at all times, with consequences for right and wrong behavior—then you have no idea what the other person is thinking.
You may think, for example, that a person coming into you church is there to learn more about God, to study with you and to pray with you. But really, he’s there to kill you. Because he’s following his own set of laws.
So remember, if you want to show an act of love by picking up that stranger, inviting that unknown guest into your home or offering to help a perfect stranger, you have three options: You can carry a gun. You can risk injury or death. Or you can just let your love grow cold.
My love isn’t about to grow cold. Then again ... I live in Virginia.
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Martin Mawyer is the Founder and President of Christian Action Network, a non-profit public advocacy and education group based in Lynchburg, Virginia. He began his career as a freelance journalist and has authored several books, including “Silent Shame,” “The Pro-Family Contract With America,” “Pathways to Success,” and his most recent, “Twilight in America: The Untold Story of Islamic Terrorist Training Camps Inside America.” He has produced a number of documentary films, including Homegrown Jihad, Islam Rising, Sacrificed Survivors and America’s Islamic Threat. Mawyer has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity, Larry King Live, Pat Robertson’s 700 Club, NBC’s Today Show, Entertainment Tonight and Fox and Friends. His latest book, “Twilight in America,” co-authored by Patti A. Pierucci, details the activities of Islamic camps scattered throughout the United States operated by The Muslims of America. It can be purchased at Amazon.com in book or Kindle version.