Earlier in this series, we discussed the spiritual condition of mankind during the last days. They will suffer from a strong delusion and will readily reject the truth in favor of lies. They will lack spiritual discernment and display an aversion to the absolute standards of God. They will chase after empty philosophies and beliefs being promoted by false prophets and teachers. Predictably, their spiritual blindness will become evident by their sinful behaviors. People will act shamelessly and unethically, showing little or no regard at all for doing what is right. Does any of this sound familiar?
The sermon this morning is titled “Rampant Immorality”. Spiritually deluded people are also morally depraved people. What we believe determines what we do. The heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9). The LORD is patient and longsuffering, but enough is enough. He will not permit wickedness and corruption to continue unchecked forever. A day of reckoning for sinners is coming.
This fact is clear - God judges the wicked. In the days of Noah, God regretted that He had created men and chose to destroy the earth with a flood. This judgment was brought about due to human corruption and evil (Gen. 6:5-8). In the days of Abraham, God rained fire from heaven down on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Again, this was the just consequence of their exceedingly grave sin (Gen. 18:20). In the last days, God will again judge and subsequently punish those upon the earth for their vile misconduct. Only those who have accepted Christ by faith will be spared.
The last days are depicted as a time of widespread lawlessness (Matt. 24:12). Society at large will not adhere to or abide by commands of God as implemented by its governing authorities. Criminal activity will be pervasive. Violence in the form of murder, assault, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and human trafikking will abound. Shockingly, these alarming acts of immoral behavior will be glorified in the media through the internet, television, and radio. Some, such as abortion, will even be accepted by the culture as morally permissible.
Those who do attempt to enforce the law and maintain the fundamental moral fabric of society will be demonized and despised. Police officers, security guards, border patrol agents, and others who seek to maintain order and implement justice will be treated with increasing malice and disrespect. In many cases criminals will face little if any accountability for their lawless behavior, and will often garner more sympathy from the population than even the victims of their crimes. Whats more, evil and sinful people will hold positions of power, enjoy elite status, and be held by the masses in high esteem. How detestable!
Lawlessness is the opposite of righteousness. It is contrary to the will of God. People who are prone to sin need laws to govern their actions. Apart from them, darkness and despair reign. Chaos becomes the rule of the day. Unfortunately, such will be the moral state of the world prior to Christ’s return. It is noteworthy that the Antichrist who will rise to prominence during the end times is sometimes called the “man of lawlessness”.
II. SELF-INTEREST AND MATERIALISM
The moral character of those living in the last days will be deeply troubling. For the most part, people will be preoccupied with themselves and their own interests while showing little concern for others. This is in direct contrast to the behavior God desires of His children (Phil. 2:3-4). Nevertheless, people will arrogantly believe themselves to be inherently superior to others. Such attitudes will lead to self promotion, bragging, and boasting. Furthermore, these haughty and pretentious people will be quick to criticize, castigate, and condemn others.
The strong desire for personal “success” will motivate many people. They will seek to acquire material gain above all else. The “love of money” will draw many people away from God. Dishonesty and treachery will become more commonplace, driven by an underlying greed for temporal wealth. Trustworthiness will be in short supply. The pursuit of fame and fortune will be used to justify all sorts of sinful behavior. Jesus warned His disciples about this and urged them to store up treasures in heaven rather than on earth (Matt 6:19-21).
When a person places themself and their own desires before God, they are committing a form of idolatry. This naturally leads to misguided priorities. Pride and conceit prevail, while humility and compassion suffer. Egocentric people feel entitled to things, rather than thankful for them. They become bitter and rude instead of being gracious and kind. They often lack basic decency, modesty, and purity. In short, they digress into an unholy and unrighteous state.
III. FAMILIAL STRIFE
One of the major factors leading to the moral depravity of the end times will be the breakdown of the family. Even today, the model ordained by God and layed out in Scripture for the family is being marginalized. Traditional marriage is under assault, as other types of non-Biblical relationships are considered equally viable. Same-sex unions, living together out of wedlock, and other alternative arrangements are increasingly common. While these may be acceptable to some, they are unquestionably inconsistent with God’s design.
Many view marriage as a temporary contract between 2 people rather than a lifelong covenant with God. Couples often approach marriage callously and with disdain, without any true commitment for one another. Often times the lack of fidelity results in adultery or unfaithfulness, regularly ending in divorce. The LORD hates divorce because He understands the lasting hurt that it can cause. Separations lead to broken homes, harming both children and adults, and inflicting damage to the society at large.
Fathers and mothers share the joint responsibility of raising their children to love and revere the LORD. Each has an important role in this process. When this takes place as it should, the moral and righteous behavior of the people is sustained from one generation to the next. When it doesn’t, all sorts of problems ensue. This societal failure will be clearly seen in the last days. Children will rage and rebel against their parents. Close relatives will betray one another (Luke 21:16). Love between family members will grow cold, resulting in widespread division and strife. Marriages will crumble, families will splinter, and communities will struggle under the weight.
Sin has been around since the fall of man. It is certainly not a new phenomenon. People have been rebelling against God and mistreating one another for centuries. This will be especially true during the end times. Though we have barely scratched the surface of this topic in today’s message, I trust that you get the point. There will be rampant immorality across the globe immediately prior to the Lord’s return, just as there was when God sent judgment in the past.
As dreary as this sounds, I want to close with a cheerful thought. In the end, the moral degradation and darkness of humanity will suddenly give way to the glorious light of Jesus Christ. When He comes to judge this fallen and corrupt world, a new day will break across the horizon. All of the carnal secrets and shadows will disappear. Sin and death will be no more. The glory and splendor of our victorious King and Savior will shine brightly and eternally. Hold fast and remember beloved - it is always darkest right before dawn.
“This is the storm, this is the storm...
The storm before the calm.
This is the pain, the pain before the balm.
This is the cold, the cold...
It's the cold before the warm.
These are the tears, the tears before the song.
This is the darkness...
Sometimes all I see is this darkness.
Well, can't you feel the darkness?
This is the dark before the dawn.” - lyrics by Andrew Peterson