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THERE WILL BE HATRED OF PEOPLE

Matthew 24:9-14

Matt. 24:9-10 “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.”

a. ILL.- A woman testified to the transformation in her life that had resulted through her experience in conversion. She declared, "I’m so glad I got religion. I have an uncle I used to hate so much I vowed I’d never go to his funeral. But now, why, I’d be happy to go to it any time."

b. As believers persecution and aggravation is going to increase, but we need our love and mercy to increase all the more.

b. “Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)... There are just some kind of men who - who're so busy worrying about the next world they've never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

c. As Christians, as the hate in the world increases, we are to increase our love exponentially while we are on this earth. Jesus talks about us radically loving others.

d. In fact, it’s the second greatest commandment. ‘Love one another as you love yourself.’ That’s a very tall order. Many times we are known for what we are against, not what we’re for.

e. For good reason, people who are interested in following Christ find this to be hypocritical.

f. Some real Facebook quotes “Traci Tyne Hilton I have been visiting new churches since March and the worst to me is when only the "official" person says hello. Talk about being alone in a crowd. Often enough it was clear that no one wanted us in their special group.”

g. Jaime Linder… Judgy people. People who are "full of grace" until your marriage falls apart, your child strays, you have a glass of wine, whatever...then they aren't there to support you. Church I visited Sunday tried to tell me I could only be friends with other Christians...what?! Won't be back at that church”

d. Pics that don’t work. Pics that Work

e. But Jesus says in spite of this, in spite of all of the good that believers have done for the world, in spite of the millions of believers who sacrifice for others that persecution and hatred will increase.
e.. I don’t like the sounds coming from this verse. You will be handed over to be persecuted and be put to death. And you will be hated by all nations. And many will turn away from the faith and betray and hate each other. Whoa! THAT IS NOT GOOD NEWS

f. I guess in some ways we shouldn’t be too surprised when people turn away from the faith, drop out of the church and stop going anywhere. It will happen to some people.

g. But if people drop out and stay out of any and all Christian fellowship then there is something seriously wrong. And you can expect some people like that to become very bitter and hateful and perhaps even oppose Christ and the church.

h. However, we should expect that the gospel will not be popular in our world. Jesus says we can expect some persecution and/or slander in this world if we take a stand for Christ.
i. Don’t let that deter you from telling people about Christ and His love. But when you do, you’ve got to live it.

j. Each year, 3 million people in America drop out of church. The reasons are complicated, some are a result our changing culture, others are the result of the church losing sight of the main thing, but much of it is fulfilled prophecy.

j. What can we do?  live out the gospel message, tell others your story, and expect opposition.
 

THERE WILL BE MUCH WICKEDNESS

 

Matt. 24:12 “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.”

ILL.- An orator in Hyde Park of London was speaking out against religion. He said, “My hatred of religion is honestly come by; my grandfather was an atheist; my father was an atheist; and, thank God, I’m an atheist, too.”

ILL.- Preacher G. K. Chesterton once said it is often supposed that when people stop believing in God, they believe in nothing. Alas, it is worse than that. When they stop believing in God, they believe in anything. And I would add, THEY WILL DO ANYTHING, ANYTHING EVIL OR WICKED.

  1. Atheism is not good. Since the true atheist does not believe in God. Now they do good works. But ultimately they are accountable to no one.
  2. Therefore, logically, they will only do good insofar as their conscience leads them. Which ultimately is not very far!
  3. Paul describes this in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”
  4. When wickedness increases, love will decrease. It’s as simple as that.
  5. Nearly every week we hear horror stories of people killing, raping, stealing, etc. Worse yet we hear the horror of horror stories of people abusing, raping, molesting and killing children and babies. HOW GOD MUST HURT WHEN HE SEES SUCH WICKEDNESS!
  6. And He sees it all. If you hurt and cry when you hear such things, just think how much greater God’s pain must be!
  7. What can we do? What must we do? Even though the love of most will grow cold, our love must grow stronger for people!
  8. People need to be loved.   Some will go to great lengths to be love.
  9. Actual Newspaper ad “This man’s ad addressed someone he’d met only fleetingly: “Hi. I am the guy whose house you tried breaking in to this morning around 9:30 a.m. on Gale Street,” he wrote. “Our conversation was short. You only said, ‘Oh my gosh, oh my gosh …,’ as you saw me staring back at you through the door blinds. Still,” he continued, “I feel we made a good connection, separated only by the door and the two locks you were trying to pick. Please don’t break into my house again. But if you’re up for a legal encounter, I’m game.”
  10. We must continue love people as best we can and as strongly we can in order to fight against the evil in our world!
  11. In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, "Do not waste your time bothering whether you 'love' your neighbor act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less."

I Pet. 4:7-8 “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins."

- THERE WILL BE MUCH PREACHING

Matt. 24:13-14 “But he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

  1. The one good thing that I see about the end of the world is that there will be more preaching of the gospel! God’s people will “step up” the pace in their preaching and witnessing. I say, SO BE IT! We all need to be witnessing more and speaking out more for Christ! And there needs to be more missions and missionaries.

ILL.- Feb 20, 2007. CHICAGO. For Oscar nominee Jennifer Hudson, there was no question where she’d celebrate her success in the week leading up to the Academy Awards - at her family’s church.

  1. "I don’t do clubs. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke," Hudson told a boisterous crowd at Progressive Baptist Church on the city’s South Side Monday night. "I’m not having no club party; I better have a praise party."
  2. Well, she won an Oscar that year for Best Supporting Actress.
  3. Thank God for Jennifer Hudson’s faith in Christ! Preach on, girl!
  4. We all can pray that God will increase our faith where we can witness more, love more and speak more.
  5. ILL.- When G. Campbell Morgan was a young Christian he used to visit several elderly ladies once a week to read the Bible to them. When he came to the end of Matthew’s Gospel, Morgan read, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age."
  6. He added,"Isn’t that a wonderful promise?" One of the ladies quickly replied, "Young man, that is not a promise. It is a fact!"
  7. It is a fact that Jesus will be with us to the very end of life, no matter how it comes. Therefore, Let’s preach Christ!

 

Conclusion

Ted Stallard undoubtedly qualifies as the one of "the least." Turned off by school. Very sloppy in appearance. Expressionless. Unattractive. Even his teacher, Miss Thompson, enjoyed bearing down her red pen -- as she placed Xs beside his many wrong answers.

If only she had studied his records more carefully. They read:

1st grade: Ted shows promise with his work and attitude, but (has) poor home situation.

2nd grade: Ted could do better. Mother seriously ill. Receives little help from home.

3rd grade: Ted is good boy but too serious. He is a slow learner. His mother died this year.

4th grade: Ted is very slow, but well-behaved. His father shows no interest whatsoever.

Christmas arrived. The children piled elaborately wrapped gifts on their teacher's desk. Ted brought one too. It was wrapped in brown paper and held together with Scotch Tape. Miss Thompson opened each gift, as the children crowded around to watch. Out of Ted's package fell a gaudy rhinestone bracelet, with half of the stones missing, and a bottle of cheap perfume. The children began to snicker. But she silenced them by splashing some of the perfume on her wrist, and letting them smell it. She put the bracelet on too.

At day's end, after the other children had left, Ted came by the teacher's desk and said, "Miss Thompson, you smell just like my mother. And the bracelet looks real pretty on you. I'm glad you like my presents." He left. Miss Thompson got down on her knees and asked God to forgive her and to change her attitude.

The next day, the children were greeted by a reformed teacher -- one committed to loving each of them. Especially the slow ones. Especially Ted. Surprisingly -- or maybe, not surprisingly, Ted began to show great improvement. He actually caught up with most of the students and even passed a few.

Time came and went. Miss Thompson heard nothing from Ted for a long time. Then, one day, she received this note:

Dear Miss Thompson:
I wanted you to be the first to know. I will be graduating second in my class.
Love, Ted

Four years later, another note arrived:
Dear Miss Thompson:
They just told me I will be graduating first in my class. I wanted you to be first to know. The university has not been easy, but I liked it.
Love, Ted

And four years later:
Dear Miss Thompson:
As of today, I am Theodore Stallard, M.D. How about that? I wanted you to be the first to know. I am getting married next month, the 27th to be exact. I want you to come and sit where my mother would sit if she were alive. You are the only family I have now; Dad died last year.

Miss Thompson attended that wedding, and sat where Ted's mother would have sat. The compassion she had shown that young man entitled her to that privilege.