And because lawlessness is increased, most people' s love will
grow cold. But the one who endures
to the end, he shall be saved." - Matthew 24:12- 13
24:9- 14, Jesus is talking about the spiritual condition of those during the
first half of the seven-year tribulation period. It is not a pretty sight. Since believers will be persecuted and put to death, extreme
pressure will be on believers, especially Jewish believers to flake out and fall
away from serving Jesus the Messiah.
The Greek word anomia is usually translated as " lawless" or
" iniquity." It carries with it the
idea of deliberately disobeying a specific standard. In the context of this passage- God' s standard. Often the word " lawless" is used in
apposition to " righteousness" or " good deeds" (Matt. 23:28; Rom. 6:19; 2 Cor.
6:14; Titus 2:14; Heb. 1:9). Arno
" Lawlessness shall prevail;"
that is, complete anarchy will hold sway.
This too is clearly seen in the breaking of the sixth seal (Rev.
vi:12-17). The earthquake, the
darkened sun, the blood-red moon, the falling stars, the rolled up heavens and
the removal of mountains and island are all great symbols of starling political
events, which will take place in the first three and one-half years. . . . the
reign of terror and anarchy, worse than that of the French revolution and the
Russian revolution of today, all classes of men, the kings, the wealthy, the
rich and the poor, the bondman and the free, will be seized with terror. . .
. This is the sixth seal, and it
is precisely what the Lord saith: " Lawlessness shall prevail!" 
This time of
lawlessness is surely an unusual time in all human history. Leon Morris says that it is " a way of
life that refuses to recognize any divine law, which is identical for Matthew
with a way of life in which one' s neighbor no longer has any legal claim."  Our Lord has been expounding upon
the qualitative nature of the spiritual condition of unbelievers that will
characterize the tribulation period, specially the first half. This description of lawlessness strikes
a parallel to Paul' s description of the " man of lawless" in 2 Thessalonians
2:3. This passage (Matt. 24) is
building toward the abomination of desolation (24:15), which will be committed
by the antichrist in the middle of the tribulation. Paul, in 2 Thessalonians 2, combines the man of lawlessness
with the abomination of desolation when he says, " the
man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts
himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his
seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God" (2 Thess.
2:3b-4). Robert Govett tells
us: " It is this abounding of
lawlessness which gives to Antichrist his power both against the Jew and the
What does the
phrase " is increased" mean in this context. Commentators are in agreement that it means unusually rapid
or exponential increase. Morris
notes that " the thought is that in the days of which Jesus is speaking
lawlessness will not simply increase a little: it will be multiplied."  James Morison observes that " all other
passages where the verb (pléthuno)
occurs, it is translated multiply."  This clearly fits the idea of future
tribulation period where lawlessness will reach the highest levels in all of
human history. We think it is bad
today, cheer up it will be even worse during this unique seven-year period of
Love Will Grow Cold
The result of
lawless increasing will be that " most people' s love will grow cold." There is a cause effect relationship in
this passage. The phrase " most
people" is literally " the many."
Morris tells us that in this context, " ' the many,' indicates the
majority; . . . ' most of you.' "  This is one of the reasons I think it
is speaking of the unbelieving world, as opposed to believers. The rest of Scripture does not support
the notion that most believers will be characterized by apostasy during the
tribulation, instead, this is the state in which the world in general is
characterized. " This seems more
related to the general condition of the world," says Ed Glasscock, " than to the
followers of Jesus." 
What does Jesus
mean when he says, " love will grow cold."
The expression itself is clear:
loss of love. The main
significance is to see the cause/effect relationship between lawlessness and
loss of love. Morris explains it
But real love is impossible for the lawless person. By definition the lawless person is
motivated by personal, selfish concerns, not by any regard for others or for
the rules that govern our intercourse with one another. So with the upsurge of lawlessness
there is a cooling off of love.
The one necessarily involves the other.
It is in just
such an environment that will facilitate the man of lawlessness of 2
Thessalonians 2 to set up his image in God' s rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem. And, it is to just such an act that
Jesus' current discourse is moving (24:15).
The exact meaning
and implications of " the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved," is a
hotly debated passage. Some use
this passage to teach a Christian doctrine known as the perseverance of the
saints." While others believe that
it refers to a physical deliverance.
I hold to the latter position, primarily because it is the only view
that makes sense in this specific context.
The first issue
that must be dealt with in this matter is the meaning of the term " saved." Because the word " saved" is used in the
New Testament to refer to the time when one becomes a Christian (the moment of
justification as in), many just plug that meaning into this passage. The leading Greek lexicon of our days
says that the basic meaning of this word is " save, keep from harm, preserve, rescue."  This word can be used in relation to
the doctrine of salvation (Matt. 1:21; Acts 16:31; 1 Cor. 1:18; Eph. 2:8-9;
Phil. 1:19; Titus 3:5, etc.), or it can simply refer to physical deliverance or
rescue (Matt. 8:25; 14:30; 27:49; Acts 27:31; Heb. 5:7; Jude 5, etc.). The exact nuance is determined by its
context. " The problem begins with
the superficial hermeneutic of giving ' saved' the same meaning in every context,
which is not true of any word," declares Glasscock. " Words have no specific meaning apart from context. Here, ' saved' (sozo) means basically to ' deliver' or to ' rescue' - from
what and in what manner is dependent upon the context." 
on this passage fail to consider the contextual factors before they start
sermonizing on endurance in the Christian life. They make this into a passage that teaches the Christian
doctrine of endurance, even though it is not supported by the specific factors
in the text. Truly, there is a Christian doctrine of
endurance taught in the Epistles (Rom. 12:12; 1 Cor. 13:7; 2 Tim. 2:10, 12;
Heb. 12:3, 7; James 1:12; 5:11; 1 Pet. 2:20). This doctrine teaches that one of the many character
qualities that believer is to have is endurance. Why is this so?
It is true because endurance under suffering produces character (Rom.
5:3-4). Yet, none of those
references to the Christian doctrine of endurance speak of " enduring to the
end." Instead, passages that speak
of enduring to the end all occur within the same context- the tribulation (Matt.
10:22; 24:13; Mark 13:13; Luke 21:19; Rev. 13:10; 14:12). John Walvoord explains:
The age in general, climaxing with the second coming of Christ,
has the promise that those that endure to the end (Mt 24:13), that is, survive
the tribulation and are still alive, will be saved, or delivered, by Christ at
His second coming. This is not a
reference to salvation from sin, but rather the deliverance of survivors at the
end of the age as stated, for instance, in Romans 11:26, where the Deliverer
will save the nation Israel from its persecutors.
section is referring to the Jewish remnant, who, if they endure to the end,
will be physically rescued by Christ at His second advent and they will go into
the millennial kingdom in their mortal bodies (Matt. 25:21, 34). William Kelly explains: " It is evident that the language is
only applicable in its full force to Jews- believing ones, no doubt, but still
Jews in the midst of a nation judicially chastised for their apostacy from God
and rejection of their own Messiah. . . .
Thus there is a certain, defined period of endurance- an end to come, as
truly as there was a beginning of sorrows." 
are a number of parallel passages to Matthew 24:13 that support my
understanding of this text. First,
Daniel 12:1 says, " Now at that time Michael, the
great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And
there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a
nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found
written in the book, will be rescued."
Michael tells Daniel that this will be the time of tribulation in which
the elect Jews will be rescued, which is the Hebrew word for saved.
Mark 13:13, a direct parallel passage to Matthew 24:13 and says, " And you will
be hated by all on account of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he
shall be saved." The first half of
Mark 13:13 is a summary statement of Matthew 24:9- 12, which is followed by the
endurance statement in both passages.
Luke 21:18-19, also parallel says, " Yet not a hair of your head will
perish. By your endurance you will
gain your lives." This is the
clearest of all when it reads: " you will gain your lives." " Lives" is the normal word for physical
Third, Matthew 10:22,
also within the context of the future tribulation says, " And you will be hated
by all on account of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who
will be saved." Once again we see
an emphasis upon the physical deliverance of Jews during the tribulation after
a time of persecution.
the two passages in Revelation (13:10 and 14:12) which speak of the
" perseverance of the saints," also are references to physical deliverance. Both references are clearly within a
tribulational context and speak of physical deliverance when one endures to the
We have come to
an end of a section in Christ' s discourse. Speaking specifically to Jewish believers during the
tribulation (the remnant), He alerts them to the many dangers that will
confront them during this unique period of history. Having told them of the great trials of this time, Christ
promises that the ones who physically make it to the time of His second coming
will be delivered into the Millennial kingdom which will come at the end of the
tribulation period. Maranatha!
Continued . . .)