Lawlessness Destroys Love

As I was preparing for my men’s small group yesterday, I reviewed a portion of Chapter One of The Good And Beautiful Life by James Bryan Smith. He said Paul showed us how to ruin our lives without even trying in Romans 1:18-32, and outlined the path like this…(my words not his)…

1. We turn away from God (for whatever reason)

2. Our minds are darkened (we don’t discern truth)

3. Idolatry (we create a god, or gods, of our own)

4. God allows us to make our own choices

5. Our priority becomes pursuing pleasure (in the wrong way)

6. Sin becomes the norm in our life and culture (we call evil good, and good evil)

In my time alone with God last week, I was reading Matthew 24 where Jesus said as we get closer to the end times, the following things will happen…

“…you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness (sin) will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.” Matthew 24:9-12 ESV

Matthew 24:12 really caught my attention because I see this happening all around us. As lawlessness and sin is increasing, the love of many is already growing cold. When people show disdain and hatred for anyone who has a view that doesn’t align with their view (or their idolatry) their love has grown, or is growing, cold. Some who would paint “the other guys” as haters actually demonstrate a loss of love and their own version of hate. As Rick Warren said years ago: “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear them or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”

Hopefully, followers of Jesus, will set an example of God’s love for all people regardless of what happens in the days to come.

About bjrutledge

BJ & Janet were married in July 1977 They have three grown children who are all married: Jeremy & Whitney Rutledge, Chris & Julie Hurst, and Josh and Hannah Rutledge. They also have five grandsons, and a granddaughter. BJ says perhaps our greatest legacy is even though our kids are PK's, they love Jesus and are all involved in ministry in the local church. BJ has served at churches in Dallas - Bossier City, LA - Houston - and was at Fellowship of the Woodlands (Woodlands Church) in The Woodlands before coming to Grace Fellowship. BJ is the Legacy Pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise, TX.
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