At the Mount of Olives when Jesus was having a conversation with his disciples about the signs of the end times, he gave them some specific signs about the occurrences that would precede his second coming. In Matthew 24:12 & 13 Jesus prophesied saying this “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. But the one who stands firm to the end will be saved”. The recent attacks on the innocent people in Srilanka through suicide bombing once again reminds us that we are living in the days of extreme wickedness. It’s true the power of media and information creating a new world consciousness, focus, and awareness towards such acts of violence like never before, but still one could say these are truly unprecedented times. Of course, this is not new to the world which has seen many acts of violence in the past, from the time Cain killed Abel the world has seen violence in different forms and colors. War has been a legitimate practice for centuries to human’s quest for power, political supremacy and capturing land masses. Maybe some would say that the last 50 years has been the most non-violent years of the world comparatively where even domestic violence and verbal abuse became a matter of concern in many nations. Then why such a fuss about a terror attack that killed approximately 300 lives, is it worse than the Jewish genocide during Hitler’s regime? Certainly not, at the least quantitatively, but the seriousness of this issue lies in its nature and its time of occurrence. This new age terrorism patronized by political, religious and cultural radicalization is in many ways different than the yesteryear wars. Kingdom wars and religious wars of the past including the Crusades by the political Church came in a time where there was no universalized Education, technology, trade and travel as we see now, which makes the current generation more informed than all the ones before and also a generation which knows the consequences of hate,violence and war like any other generation before, yet after all such developments and accomplishments which demonstrates the power of human mind and will we still stand with our heads down in shame defeated by the same hate which we thought we would conquer with our much advancements remains the same yet in its most complicated form.
Looking at all these global catastrophes I somehow could feel that “Love is in the I.C.U” (Intensive Care Unit) its not a statement of hopelessness but a statement of urgency towards the need of our times.
The radicalization and counter radicalization in the political mainstream across the globe made hate a much viable option to demonstrate dissent and protest, the unseen radicalization through internet forms this global network of hate without much scrutiny. We can see that incidents like these inspire certain people to love more yet it inspires some others to hate more, the sad thing is they not only spread hate but validate it through their belief system and ideals. They make their followers believe that Hate is the only option in order to be heard and is worth dying for, and love is just a dangerous experiment. Hate destroys something in a moment which took Love generations to build. In a way, love looks defeated in front of hate. Even with all the technological advancements humanity seems helpless to resist hate. Our carefulness might help in some cases but Love alone can defeat it, the world is in desperate need of true compassionate Love and it cannot be in the I.C.U, it has to live well.
In this war between Love and hate one cannot forget the reality of truth, it is all bound to happen and that we have to be prepared to face this chaos. That’s what exactly Jesus said in Matthew 24: 12 & 13 that in the last days there will be “increase in wickedness”, the unrepentant human hearts neglecting Gods call for repentance and reconciliation through Jesus Christ cannot give solution to a hurting world. Only absolute truths can give permanent solutions but we hesitate to face the truth, we beat around the bush, carefully neglecting to insist hard facts and because of this compromise we get defeated to hate. Nobody insisted and demonstrated about love and forgiveness like Jesus did and yet the world doesn’t care about his call of Love, even those who claim to be his own still fail to understand the magnitude of his call to Love. This rejection of truth has cost us all a lot; nevertheless, it’s still imminent on us since it’s a prophecy and a sign to be fulfilled at the return of Christ. More than the sorrow it’s important for us to know the truths these incidents try to convey, that the world has to face the judgment of Christ on his return and before that there would be worst times mankind have ever seen (2 Timothy 3:1, 2 Thessalonians 2:7). We can beat hate not only with Love but also with the truth, hate can never be beaten without truth, speaking the truth in love is our call (Ephesians 4:15).
In the same verse, Jesus said: “In the last days, many love will grow cold, but the one who stands firm till the end will be saved”. The lack of love towards fellow human beings will be evident in the last days due to self-love, pride, and ungodliness (2 Timothy 3:1-5). But Jesus also means something else; because of the rise of wickedness, the love for God also will grow cold. Many will give up on faith but God expects us to stand firm in love towards him. We can see that in many parts of the world people are giving up faith in God because of the wickedness and disasters they witness. They feel God is not relevant in an unjust world. Their faith shatters more because of such incidents as these. They think the world can do much better without God, so they give up on God because of loveless people. It’s hard for them to understand Gods love unless we show them. They do not know that God has revealed the truth in the Bible that these things will happen and that he didn’t give false hope. When they know his truth, they will certainly know his love. Secondly, We should be able to stand firm in LOVE both towards God and fellow human beings. In these times of desperation and political polarization, even the household of God retorts to unforgiveness, vengeance, and mistrust. It slowly develops into hate and animosity towards others who are different than us. Christians in many parts of the world seek a political hero than Christ himself to further a political agenda which sometimes compromises on the values that Christ taught to reflect in our words and actions. We should stay alert that in finding fault in others we fall into the same pit of hate, it can slowly and steadily take over us and push us towards compromise. No matter what happens we must stand firm in Love for God and people.
Let’s approach the hate of our times with the truth of the Biblical prophesies and Love that comes from God. I believe in the days to come we will witness many such incidents and through which Gods truth can be revealed more. At the same time, we should remember that God is also our healer and strength and he is able to give us the grace face this truth. More importantly, he will do justice in the end. God calls each one of us to show his truth and love to others in these difficult times and the times ahead. Stand firm.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land. Psalm 37: 8-9