Growing cold on the Eve of Destruction
According to God's Word, Christians are to live every day as if "the end of all things is near." We are to be always looking for His coming. We are to be awake and diligent, as servants waiting for their master to return from a long journey. With Paul, we should rejoice that we will be leaving this earth to put on our new bodies. We ought always to long to be with the Lord.
In my book, Set the Trumpet to Thy Mouth, I warned that a hydrogen holocaust is coming to America: that Russia will flood us with ballistic missiles from over the North Pole. It will be a massive first strike, aimed at destroying this nation before it can retaliate. (The CIA has recently discovered Russia's incredible underground cities which are equipped to shelter their government and all the elite of their society.) Ministers were enraged at this message - even charismatic pastors banned the book in their churches. Evangelists and teachers called me a false prophet. In fact, one even wrote a book using me as a classic example of a false doomsday prophet. He went on to say, "All bad news preaching of judgement and hell, this harping on sin - it's all false!"
By this definition Peter was a false prophet! Isn't Peter's epistle part of the gospel? He warned,
"But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness"
(2 Peter 3:7-13).
God's Fiery Judgments, Which Are Stored up and Held in Reserve Are Meant to Provoke Us to Holy Living
In the original Greek, 2 Peter 3:11 best reads,
"In light of everything being dissolved, what country are you of?" Are you of this earth, which will dissolve and melt away? Or are you a citizen of heavenly Zion, the city whose builder is God? Peter is saying that this knowledge God gives you of the destruction of the present heaven and earth ought to encourage you to holy living and to holding this world very lightly. Peter then goes on to say in verse 14 that we are not to dread the coming destruction, but to look for it, to anticipate it, and so doing, to keep our garments spotless!"... Seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless."
If Peter was resurrected and visited America today, he would be appalled by all the sugar-sweet, candy-cotton preaching of the pillow prophets! He would ask, "Why aren't they warning their people of the coming destruction? God gave me this message directly from the Holy Ghost! Why do they not believe it? Why aren't they provoking them to holy living with these warnings? Don't they know Jesus gave the same warning when He said, "The sun shall be darkened, the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken" (Matthew 24:29)? Isaiah, the prophet, says, "And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the wine..." (Isaiah 34:4). John on Patmos tells us, "... and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, ... and the heavens departed as a scroll when it is rolled together: and every mountain and island were removed out of their places" (Revelation 6:12-14).
The Willful Ignorance of God's Righteous Judgements
Peter was given these awesome warnings to stir up pure minds, to bring to their remembrance the warnings of the prophets (see 2 Peter 3:1,2). Even while Christ, the apostles, the prophets, and watchmen warn, there will come scoffing shepherds, walking after their own lusts, ridiculing the message of Christ's soon return. "...There shall come in the own lusts, and saying (teaching, preaching), Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation" (2 Peter 3:3-4). Peter calls these scoffing prophets liars! Things have not continued "business as usual" from the beginning of creation! These preachers are willfully ignorant of God's past dealings of judgement. "... They willingly are ignorant ...that...the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished" (2 Peter 3:5-6).
This is a serious charge by Peter! He is saying, "They know there was once a preacher of righteousness named Noah, who warned of judgment for 120 years. They know that God has already shown the world that He will judge wickedness and violence. They know God sent a ragging flood and destroyed all that breathed on the earth!" No! Things have not continued as they were from the beginning. But we have teachers, false prophets, and peace and prosperity preachers who know the Bible is full of warnings, full of examples of how God judges sin (e.g. the destruction of Sodom, the destruction of Jerusalem), but they willingly ignore it all. Why? Because they are walking after their own lusts! Their desire for acceptance, popularity, or bigness has made them willingly blind to all God's righteous judgments. It has caused them to embrace "kingdom now" doctrines, all of which cater to their lusts. They spiritualize the fire! They spiritualize the destruction, putting off the coming of Jesus to some distant future date, to a time after they have taken the dominion.
These preachers are killing off Holy Ghost conviction! They are now preaching the very opposite of the message of Peter and the apostles. Peter warned, "... We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless" (2 Peter 3:13-14). Today you hear, "Jesus is not coming soon, not until we take dominion - all this doom talk of fire and destruction is symbolic. We are here to stay - we don't meet Him in the clouds. So relax! Get yourself in position to be somebody in this new thing!" A pastor friend was involved in that doctrine was told that his marble company was going to be a "new kingdom" marble company - the biggest and best! It now sits bankrupt and he is free from that deception.
Here is the real gospel according to Peter: "... The heavens and the earth, which are now (our world), by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men" (2 Peter 3:7). America should have been destroyed by fire already! Those fires held in store should have already dissolved everything. The first one million abortions should have filled our cup of wrath! We are drowning in an ocean of child blood! The last million rapes should have brought down His fire! When little children by the thousands were molested, murdered, beaten, and maimed, God should have rained fire and brimstone upon us! The last ten billion dollars worth of drugs should have been the final straw, with all the robbing, stealing, and violence that goes with it. The day our Supreme Court thumbed it's nose at God by putting prayer, the Bible, and everything sacred out of our lives and schools - was that not enough indignity against God? While at the same time the murder of millions of babies became legal, along with the rights of homosexuals!
Why have we been spared until now? For the same reason God waited patiently for 120 years in the days of Noah. "... When once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was apreparing , wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water" (1 Peter 3:20). The Lord gets no pleasure out of the death of the wicked. Even now, He is "...longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). He is waiting now for the preparing of Zion, God's holy people of the last days. He is pouring out His Holy Spirit, bringing to us a spirit of mourning for sin. He is tearing down idols and calling out a people wholly given to Him, without spot or wrinkle, who are blameless.
Many Believers Will Be Led Away By a Great Flood of Iniquity.
Jesus warns that on the eve of destruction, at the midnight hour for mankind, the love of many believers will be cold: "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold" (Matthew 24:12). The New American Standard translation says, "the love of most will grow cold." In the original Greek it refers to "a great number; a large host." Think of it: Judgment is at the door with the angels of God standing ready to release the fires, to unleash a cosmic explosion that will engulf all of nature - and many Christians will be going the wrong way! "Wax cold" means "reduction of temperature by degrees; evaporation, little by little." Just when believers ought to be wide awake and expectant, when they ought to be aware, overflowing with zeal and love, they will be chilled by degrees! A great host will be decaying in their love.
There will be in these last days many deceivers and false prophets and many who will follow them: "For many deceivers are entered into the world ..." (2 John v. 7). "And many shall follow their evil ways; and because of them the way of truth shall be evil spoken of" (2 Peter 2:2). "For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers ... who subvert whole houses, teaching things they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake" (Titus 1:10-11). Satan is even now pouring out a flood of wickedness against God's people, in a last effort to "carry them away." "And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood" (Revelation 12:15). The President's chief advisor on America's war on drugs said recently, "We are losing the war on drugs - it's out of control." Our walls are down and drugs are pouring in from every border. Satan himself is behind this flood!
Pornography is now an unstoppable flood. In fact, child pornography has become the most popular of all! Incest, rape, and child molestation are being glorified. Husbands, fathers, and businessmen drink it all in. It is all right out of the devil's mind! The reason I warn Christians to rid their homes of television is that it is a floodgate of evil right in their houses! Jesus warned that iniquity will get worse and love will grow cold. In other words, if we refuse to stop the devil's flood of evil on our minds, we will be carried away from innocent purity and away from our fervent love for Christ. As you sit reading the message, are you loving Jesus passionately? Is your love for Him white-hot, fervent, and ever-growing? Can you imagine being one of the many who will slowly grow cold, the nearer we get to the midnight hour? The sad truth is that many who were delivered from sin, from dead churches, from false doctrines, from confusion and worldliness will turn back. They will be carried away with the spirit of this world, going after things, indulging in pleasures, being sucked in by the flood of filth. They will say, "I've come for enough. I can't take any more separation from the world - I want to enjoy life! Enough of being so on guard, of being so watchful! It's too demanding!" They will find teachers and churches who preach a gospel of ease! Their love will grow cold by degrees, becoming lukewarm, then finally cold.
Many are going to grow cold by turning away from what they believe is a "hard word." Jesus gathered his disciples and made them know He must be everything to them. Their very lives had to be focused on Him. His body was their bread; His blood was their drink. They were to have no other source of life on this earth. "Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? ... From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him" (John 6:60,66). They simply quit! They gave up, saying, "His message is too hard - we can't take it! We can't believe it has to be that hard! Enough!" (I'm not referring here to being "weary in welldoing." There are times that the most devoted of God's people have a dry and weary spell, a day or week when they slip out of His rest. But these will quickly return and grieve at the very thought of going back to the old ways of carnality).
Even God's "Woes" Can Be Honey From Heaven.
We must learn to accept every word from Him as honey from heaven! You can measure any believer's love for His Lord by how much he respects every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Those who truly love Him live by every word proceeding from His mouth. A preacher once said, "I can't serve a God of wrath! I will preach nothing but encouragement - no reproof! God is love! Enough of all those lamentations and woes!" He knows nothing of God's honey.
The Lord instructed Ezekiel: "Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee... I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day. For they are impudent children and stiffhearted... But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.. And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe" (Ezekiel 2:1-10).
God's woes were honey to the prophets. "Be not thou rebellious ..." How could Ezekiel be rebellious? By not preaching the truth about judgment that God gave him. "... A hand was sent unto me..." This was the hand of God! God's hand held out a scroll, written on both sides with "lamentations, and mourning, and woe" - all written by the finger of God. What does Ezekiel do with these very hard words of God? He is told to eat them! To satisfy his belly with them! "Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill the bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness" (Ezekiel 3:1-3). This was food from heaven, manna dipped in honey! "... Fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee...." Bowels represent the hearth. "Eat it" means "take it to heart- heed it!" "...Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness." Jeremiah said that all the prophets of old warned of judgment and woe. "The prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence" (Jeremiah 28:8). All the prophets lived by every word out of God's mouth - the sad word, as well as the glad word. They took it all in as honey!
David's love for the Lord never grew cold because he had respect for every word, positive or negative. "The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also then honey and the honeycomb... By them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward" (Psalm 19:9-11). By them thy servant is warned! Who is going to warn all those deluded sheep, whose shepherds shut out all the scrolls of woes and lamentations? They call this doomsday preaching, negative false prophecy! David and the prophets called it all sweet honey!
The sweetest, most merciful thing God is doing today for His people is to once again send fearless prophets and watchmen to awaken the church, to instill the fear of God. How sweet the sound: "Flee the wrath of God..." Honey! "Without holiness, no man shall see God..." Honey! "Except ye repent, ye shall die in your sins..." Honey! "The earth and also the works therein shall be burned up!" Honey! Can you say with Jeremiah, "Thy words were found, and I did eat them: and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart " (Jeremiah 15:16)? An angel gave John a book, full of God's final judgments: "... And he (the angel) said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey" (Revelation 10:9).
Only Those Who Endure to the End Will Be Saved!
Jesus warned, "... But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved" (Matthew 24:13). This speaks of those whose love never decays, but rather grows and perseveres through all trials. Timothy ties it to our attitudes toward sound doctrine: "For the time will come when they will no endure sound doctrine... and they will turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (2 Timothy 4:4). There is coming in these very last days a great resistance to pure, uncorrupt doctrine. Sound doctrine conforms hearers to godliness; but many will not put up with it - they won't endure it! There will be a widespread rejection of holiness preaching and prophetic warnings which will cause the great falling away. "... Because they received not the love of the truth ... for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).
There will be thousands of Christians so cold at midnight that not even the falling judgments will move them back to God. Like backslidden Israel they will defy God, as if to say, "Let judgment come! We'll just rise up and build again!" Judgment was falling on Israel - God's wrath was upon them - "Yet the people do not turn back to him who struck them, nor do they seek the Lord of hosts" (Isaiah 9:13 NAS). Jeremiah mourns for his people, "... Thou hast stricken them, but they have refused to receive correction..." (Jeremiah 5:3). We have this warning from Peter: "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness ... But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ..." (2 Peter 3:17-18). Don't be led away by sin or false doctrines, or by anger at the Word!
A minister friend of mine was given only a few months to live due to terminal cancer. I asked him, "What changes did this awful news make in your life? Do you pray more? Do you try to get more out of each day? Is Jesus more real?" He said, "Nothing has changed!" He seemed frozen in his emotions - what he was, he remained. Death did not move him to greater works! So it will be when horrible judgments fall. Cold love will grow still colder; a stupor will fall open them. Like many AIDS victims, their impending death will only harden them. In Revelation 9 we see God's terrible judgments and plagues falling on mankind. One-third of mankind will be killed by fire "and the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold... neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts" (Revelation 9:20-21). "And (they) blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds" (Revelation 16:11).
Cold love is like concrete: it sets and hardens! Love is easily measured - it is not mystical - it is not feelings. Herein is love: if we obey Him and heed His commandments! "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous" (1 John 5:3).