Every single day we hear humanity has lowered itself another level. If it isn't kids killing their parents or their school mates, it's parents enslaving children. Terrorists are torturing and killing indiscriminately and sometimes seem unstoppable. What's going on?
The skeptic says it has always been this way. "It's technology," they say. "We are just better informed than previous generations," they add. Is it true? Has it always been this way? Only a human ostrich with their head stuck in the sand would actually think it has always been this way.
Some years ago I visited the small country of Estonia. The time period was just two or three years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It was, in some ways, as though I had strapped myself into a time machine and gone back to the '60's or even the 50's! Young people walked about late at night without worry. Children were still respectful of adults and innocently trusting. It was wonderful.
Why? Because that was the world in which I had grown up. My mother never worried about anyone hurting us. We ran into the day with all the abandon of innocent children on a journey of discovery. So, no, it hasn't always been the way it is now. Parents cared about their offspring. Children cared about and for their parents. Wars happened, but they were mostly combatants against other armed combatants. People who wantonly kill other people not in the military are murderers; not soldiers.
So, what's going on? Is there an explanation for the meaningless cruelty we are witnessing today? Why are people becoming so hardened? In the '50's some sociologists were saying humankind had risen above its old base instincts. Perhaps a time of peace on Earth was at hand. What would those same scholars say if they could see the present?
Jesus said, "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold." (NIV 24:12) God says, "My Spirit will not always strive with the hearts of man." In the Darby Bible translation it says, "will not always plead with the hearts of man." Jesus and his apostles told us that God's spirit had a work to do in saving man. The Spirit would convince us of what we were doing wrong. He would bring God's Word to our memory and guide us into the right path. God's Spirit is our Counselor; He woos us to live in ways that bring God to light for others. We are guided by the Spirit so we may have the happiest lives possible in this present sinful Earth.
But each time God's Spirit comes to convince us that we're doing the wrong thing and we reject what He says, our consciences are seared. If we reject Him enough times, our conscience can no longer be affected. We go our way and the Spirit is grieved away. It is not that God has given up on us. He loves us supremely, but we have conditioned ourselves into possessing hardened hearts and have lost our way. Let me hurry to say, if this worries you, you have not gone too far.
The person who has grieved away God's Spirit does not worry about it. They are satisfied that they are in the right and nothing can detract them from that conclusion. This is how some people are capable of acts that horrify the average person. This explains why terrorists can kill children seemingly without remorse. There is hope for some of these misguided ones, but the only way is to be brought to Jesus and to see His goodness.
When Christ speaks in Matthew 24 about the loss of love among mankind, He is referencing the end of time. This is only one of the many signs Jesus said we would see prior to His Second Coming. While we witness outrageous cruelty and perverted persons among us, we may at the same time see reason for hope. With each earthquake, every catastrophe, every unfathomable human act of insane corruption, we may know that Jesus said it would be just this way before He brings it all to an end.
Christ Jesus saw it all before it came to be. Even in the chaos of these last days, we may look into the heavens and know that soon the Lord will come. He said the Good News of salvation would be preached in all the world and then the end would come. With you I am praying that our loved ones will not allow themselves to become hardened to God's Spirit. I pray our precious families will all surrender themselves to the Innocent Lamb of God. Time is of the essence.