Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Just before Jesus was to be crucified, His disciples wanted to show Him their glorious Temple, in their eyes the wonder of the world. As they were able to grasp that He was the long-awaited Messiah, they naturally associated His coming "kingdom" with the glories of their Temple.
Its coming ruin was the most ignominious national ruin in the history of the world (70 A.D.), more devastating than Nebuchadnezzar's destruction (586 B.C.), more horrible than the Sack of Rome (410 A.D.). In Matthew 24 Jesus lovingly cautions us of a similar devastation to come before He can return the second time. Imagine the disciples' bewilderment when He tells them that of its huge stones "not one ... would be left ... one ... upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
He was especially concerned that we not be "deceived," for over a dozen times He mentions some aspect of spiritual deception or apostasy that will ruin the souls of "many."
(1) The name of "Christ" or "Christian" will cover a huge amount of poisonous deception (vss. 5, 23, 24, 26). He cannot copyright His name.
(2) A large part of the "deceiving" will be "lawlessness," which is anti-agape in spirit (vs. 12; that's the word in the original).
(3) Because the agape will "grow cold," it means those who have that experience will have professed the service of Christ; in other words, they are church members.
(4) Anti-agape is the spirit that pervades the lukewarmness of the world church of Laodicea. Why? It humbles self.
(5) The experience of agape is what happens when the soul understands the "breadth and length and depth and height" of agape (Eph. 3:14-17), the love that drove the Son of God to go to "hell" to find us and die our second death (cf. 2 Cor. 5:14, 15); that agape "constrains" the believer to take up his cross and follow Jesus--it's the cross on which self is "crucified with Christ"(Gal. 2:20).
(6) But there's a big BUT in what Jesus says: "But ... this gospel ... will be preached in all the world ..." (vss. 13, 14).
(7) And there is the great angel of Revelation 18:1-4. Lukewarmness is impossible in the light of his message!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: June 17, 2007.
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