Last night, I was praying and pondering these verses:

‘Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’  (Matthew 7:22-23)

And I wondered . . . how can we be sure He knows us?  Perhaps this is one of those times that God inspired the question.  Ordinarily I would have just though: If we’ve repented, trusted Jesus for salvation, and are living in obedience to Him . . . walking with Him, surely He knows us.  But that was not the answer that God impressed upon me.  Instead, this was:

‘He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.’  (1John 4:8)

And more Scriptures followed:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.’  (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

‘If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.’  (1 John 4:20-21)

‘My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.’  (1 John 3:18)

‘If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit?’  (James 2:15-16)

‘And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.  And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.  And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.’  (1 John 3:22-24)

The Bible tells us that in the latter days there will be a great falling away.  It also talks about deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons in the end times.  But here is how Jesus described that falling away:

‘And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.’  (Matthew 24:12)

How does iniquity (‘lawlessness’; ‘contempt and violation of law’) cause our love to wax cold?  I’m still waiting for revelation on that.  Could this be part of it though?  One of the reasons for the law, is that we would not trespass against one another.  When people don’t follow the law, they DO trespass against one another, and wound one another.  A lawless society is a ‘me first’ society.  When people are ‘looking out for number one’ they don’t seem to realize, or care, how much they hurt others.

When we are hurt, it can be hard to forgive.  When we are repeatedly ‘trespassed against’, we can get to the place where we HATE people in general, not necessarily even any particular person.  Technically, we may believe we aren’t being unforgiving, or aren’t hating, because we have no particular target in mind.  But when we get to the point where we hate people, our heart is hardened.  Could this be what Jesus was talking about?  Is there any of us who can’t identify with feeling this way?

How do we guard against this?  How do we watch the wretched things people do to one another, and not grow to hate humanity?  This is something that all of us who are living now are going to have to seek God about.  Certainly we must forgive others, AS GOD FORGIVES US (in the midst of our unworthiness), understanding that the debt we owed Him was FAR greater than the debt anyone owes us.  We can also remember Jesus’ words: ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’.  And we can keep in mind that the whole world lies in darkness and

‘ . . . we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].’  (Ephesians 6:12)

We must guard our heart with all diligence, because if we don’t have love it doesn’t matter WHAT we do, in the end it will profit us nothing.

‘Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life.’  (Proverbs 4:23)