by Cedric Fisher. | 06-07-2022
We should be aware that Christ warned us that there will be a viable threat to love and friendships in the Last Days.
“Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
“…and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.”
Matthew 10:21-22,36 (also, Luke 21:16-17 & Matthew 24:10 )
Consider the waning vitality and the impersonality of relationships in this period. Some people only have one good friend, other than his or her spouse. Other ones do not have even one good friend. There are reasons and I cannot find good logic in any of them. People, even families, do not visit each other. They seldom share a meal. Few people will tolerate a conversation of more than a few seconds. They may ask, “How are you doing?”—but they truly do not wish to know the answer if you’re having difficulties.
It is a time of “meism,” when anything or anyone that inconveniences people is summarily discarded. People want all the available time to themselves. They do not choose to waste it on someone or something that does not pay or gratify them in some way. The lack of compassion is considered strength. Kindness is considered weakness, or a “face” one uses to put people off guard. Loyalty has become an old concept too costly to maintain. Intergity is as dead as a smoked salmon. All it takes to be rejected as a friend is taking a solid stand against any popular lie.
Outrage over a horrible situation lasts no longer than yesterdays lunch. Deaths are mourned until a day has passed since the funeral service. People complain on Social Media (as I’m doing), but they do not know how to fix what’s broken. The large satisfied and happy quasiChristian faction have no worries because they have no discernment and fidelity to truth. They could fellowship with Satan if he kept the conversation to a minimum of words.
The youngest generation has solved the misanthropic issue by throwing caution to the wind and making everyone a spontaneous and temp friend. They understand one and two word comments and whatever silent “communication” means in a numerous situations. “It goes without saying” has taken on a new meaning with them. Those are the ones that bump you in a grocery store, almost knocking your bags to the floor, you say, “Excuse me,” and they reply, “Ok.” Sometimes they say, “No problem.”
Prosperity and “busyness”appears to have separated us. Technology has severed our hugs and handshakes. We text in an effort to have clinical relationships that costs us nothing to engage or to shut off. A big fat pink thumb will close any texting session. Or simply quit responding.
How can Society, much less Christianity, survive the Last Days. When people coalesce around selfishness more than love and friendships, truth loses its latitude to magnetize us to essential precepts. Friendship is based on trust and trust is a fruit of truth. I realize I’m being way too philosophical, but I’m tired of shallow answers to serious and complicated problems. Truth is essential to everything good and worth having in life. How can trust and brotherly love be restored in such a time of waning truth. How can there be mutual respect, love, and compassion for follow Believers if we no longer even tolerate truth? How can we know and keep truth, which is (in my opinion) much more demanding than knowing and keeping a friend, when we really do not know God?
Deficiency in love and friendship among the Believers in Christ has given the sneaky, flattering, heresy-spewing minions a double swinging gate opening into Christianity. Scores of them are rushing in to fill the their coffers and reap vain glory. They flatter and compliment, but they are not seeking friendship per se, but to snare souls. Facebook “Friend’s List” are not actually loaded with friends. Some of them are trolls and lurkers that are looking for opportunities to cause trouble.
A enigma in such a time of difficulty is knowing who you can trust. If one is not indwelled by the Holy Spirit, he or she cannot discern who can be trusted with friendship. In fact, and since lying has become an art form, some really gregarious people are not qualified to be friends. I’ve met and been burned by a number of them.
Elijah did not have a close friend. He remained alone by the Brook Cherith for three years. When Elisha came along, it was more of a master/servant relationship that God arranged. True fellowship and friendship among Christians in the Last Day’s muck of compromised values may not be possible, but that should not change who we are that love those virtues.
The solution is having genuine godly love for a fellow Believer—making him or her a beloved brother or sister in the Lord Jesus. It must begin with people genuinely indwelled by the Holy Spirit. Mere religion produces mere acquaintances. The fullness of the Holy Spirit produces brothers and sisters. No one has to provoke people who have devotion and love for God to have devotion and love for each other.
I do not believe that it is going to occur on a wide scale. We may be too content with Social Media friendships and texting relationships. But strong friendships reciprocate strength, wisdom, spiritual, and mental health. Good friendships cultivate more of what human society needs to live and thrive. Maybe that is why all wicked works are a damage to good will.
That said, if you have a good friend, maintain that friendship. Don’t let too much time pass before contacting them. If your spouse is your best friend, as it is with Cheryl and me, count your blessing daily. If you know God and are faithful and devoted to Him, He will consider you a friend. Just know that you can live without a friend, but you can’t live well without one. None of us can live without loving and knowing God.