When Jesus was asked about the signs before His return, He said “Don’t be deceived” and warned about false Christs, false prophets, and being hated because of Him. He then said something very telling; “And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold.” Matthew 24:10-12, KJV
Prophecy teachers put Jesus’s warning in Matthew 24 with 2 Thessalonians 2 and link love growing cold with apostasy. They don’t see the rise of a false religion where many shall be offended. The word “offended” is missing in later versions of the Bible, but you’ll find it in the King James version. The greek word aposticia is translated as a “falling away” before the man of sin (the AntiChrist) is to be revealed – but aposticia also means “departure”. It puts things in a different light when you get to the true meaning of the words.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 2 Thessalonians 2:3
Then shall many be offended
When Jesus said “then shall many be offended”, who do you think will be “the many?” Here are two cases of Muslims being offended, from the Police to the Pope.
In 2008 there was Muslim outrage over a puppy in a policeman’s hat! The Police apologised. Why? I can’t think of anything less offensive! Are British people listened to if they take offense to a burka? Who is going to defend the host culture if the police and government continue to back down like that in the face of Muslim aggression and intimidation?
The last Pope Benedict caused outrage in 2006 over a speech at a German university when he quoted the words of a Byzantine emperor who declared that Islam’s prophet had brought into the world “things only bad and inhumane, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”
The Pope maintained that the comment he had quoted did not reflect his own views, and he offered an apology to Muslims.
Even though current events have proven the Pope’s speech to be correct, the current Pope (Francis) is more careful with his words. In his letter to the Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott on the occasion of the G20 Summit; he blamed the root causes of terrorism on poverty, underdevelopment and exclusion, without naming Islam. The Pope avoided Islamic outrage but he’s not going to change the world. He’s about as effective as Neville Chamberlein, the man who tried to pacify Hitler with appeasement. This problem is not going to go away.
There is a problem within Islam. I think this picture sums it up →
Why Arabs are so Easily Offended: Westerners are brought up to think of anger as a sign of weakness, powerlessness and lack of self-control. In Muslim culture, anger is seen as a sign of strength. To Muslims, being aggressive is a way of gaining respect. When we see pictures of bearded men hopping up and down and shooting in the air, we should take it for what it is: these are the true role models of acceptable behavior. In Western culture, self-confidence is connected with the ability to meet criticism calmly and to respond rationally. We are raised to see people who easily get angry when criticized, as insecure and immature. In Muslim culture it is the opposite; it is honorable to respond aggressively and to engage in a physical fight in order to scare or force critics to withdraw, even if this results in a prison sentence or even death.
They see non-aggressive responses to such threats and violence as a sign of a vulnerability that is to be exploited. They do not interpret a peaceful response as an invitation to enter into a dialogue, diplomacy, intellectual debate, compromise or peaceful coexistence but the opposite.
I’ve only named two historic incidents of Muslim outrage. Here is a very good site listing various incidents where Muslims have been offended: The Religion of the Easily Offended and the people who accommodate it
Warnings from Jesus about the end times
In the west we have grown up in freedom because of the foundation of Christianity and Judaism combined with Greek thinking, but persecution will come.
Jesus warned the disciples what would happen prior to His return; Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:21
All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. John 16:1-4.