THREATS TO THE FAITH
Matt. 24:4-5,11-13; Matt. 24:23-26
Jesus answered, “Be on the look-out lest anyone lead you astray, for many will come in my name saying, `I am God’s Anointed One,’ and they will lead many astray.
“And many false prophets will arise, and they will lead many astray. And the love of many will grow cold, because lawlessness will be multiplied. But it is he who endures to the end who will be saved.
“At that time, if anyone says to you, `Look you, here, or here, is the Anointed One of God,’ do not believe him. For false Messiahs and false prophets will arise, and they will produce great signs and wonders, the consequence of which will be, if possible, to lead astray the elect. Look you, I have told you about these things before they happen. If anyone says to you, `Look you, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. `Look you, he is in the inner chambers,’ do not believe him.”
In the days to come Jesus saw that two dangers would threaten the Church.
(i) There would be the danger of false, leaders. A false leader is a man who seeks to propagate his own version of the truth rather than the truth as it is in Jesus Christ; and a man who tries to attach other men to himself rather than to Jesus Christ. The inevitable result is that a false leader spreads division instead of building up unity. The test of any leader is likeness to Christ.
(ii) The second danger is that of discouragement. There are those whose love will grow cold because of the increasing lawlessness of the world. The true Christian is the man who holds to his belief, when belief is at its most difficult; and who, in the most discouraging circumstances, refuses to believe that God’s arm is shortened or his power grown less.
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