One of the many or one of the few

Published 2:24 pm Thursday, March 24, 2022

BY PASTOR BRANDON YOUNG
Current events in our world have many talking about the end times. I have heard many Christians and pastors speak of the second coming of our Lord lately. Many end time topics are being discussed, however there is one subject that has not been mentioned. Jesus said in Matthew 24:12, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Hatred silently creeps into lives as love wanes. I do not want to be one of the many. When we think of end time prophecy and statistics, we think of wars, famines, pestilence, and lawlessness. The absence of genuine love is often overlooked. We must evaluate our own lives to determine if hate has infiltrated our hearts. Hate comes naturally to us all.
Matthew 7:13-14 proclaims, “13Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” Jesus stated only a few will find the way that leads to life. I want to be included in one of the few that continues to love in face of hatred. I want to love the way that Jesus does. Hatred is a poison that destroys us from within, producing bitterness that eats away at our hearts and minds. Hate destroys us and those around us!
As I researched the effect of hate, I came across great information from Medicine.Net. According to this website, “Hate is a feeling of intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or a sense of injury. It is extreme dislike or disgust. Hatred is an emotion. Extreme hatred can inspire violence. Hatred is a feeling everyone has felt and experienced at some point, especially after being betrayed or hurt physically or emotionally by someone. It is normal to have hateful feelings occasionally. However, feeling hatred over a long time and holding on to hate can be detrimental to the mind and body. Hate can breed more negative emotions. It can affect personal and professional relationships. Hatred changes the chemistry in the brain. It stimulates the area in the brain responsible for planning and execution of motion. This part triggers aggression while feeling hateful to either defend or attack. This also creates “fight or flight” responses and increases the levels of two hormones: cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can cause weight gain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and chronic illness. Hatred also triggers the mind to try to predict what the person being hated may do as a defense mechanism. This leads to further anxiety, restlessness, obsessive thinking, and paranoia, which affects overall mental health.”
We can see why Jesus warned us about hate. The Bible says in 1 John 3:15, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” This verse calls someone who hates a murderer. Hate kills everything good. I came across the following alarming statistics.
Dr. William J. Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education, presented some information comparing our welfare from 1993 with the year 1963 in Focus on the Family Newsletter:
Violent crime has increased over 500 percent.
Illegitimate births have increased 400 percent.
Divorces have increased 400 percent.
Children living in single-parent homes have increased 300 percent.
Child abuse has increased 340 percent since 1976.
Teenage suicide has increased 200 percent.
S.A.T. scores have dropped almost 80 points, despite huge increases in support for education.
I wonder how much worse these stats would be today in 2022 than in 1993. At the core of these issues, we find a lack of love and the evidence of hate. Many will hate, and few will love. To which group do you belong?
(The Solution Column is provided by Pastor Brandon Young of Harmony Free Will Baptist Church, Hampton.)

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