“At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” – Matthew 24: 10 – 14.
Yes, sadly, selfishness is on the increase, not the decrease. The whole idea of what love really means has come to mean something that serves the self rather than being selfless. But this was foretold. Some translations have rendered vs. 12 using the word “lawlessness”. I think it has an interesting context that is helpful here. G. K. Chesterton highlights a salient difference between legal and lawful when he says: “We are always near the breaking-point when we care only for what is legal and nothing for what is lawful….” People today tend to look disproportionately towards what is “legal” (which can be changed by the whim of the people) as defining what is “good” and “bad”, “wicked” or “not wicked” rather than to what is “lawful” (as defined not by man’s law which is changeable, but by God’s law which is not). As man (humans) turn ever more towards themselves as gods and away from the true and living God, we will have more selfishness. Because man’s aim is either to worship the “inner light” as Chesterton put it of the man who thinks he is righteous by his stoicism, or his aim is to worship anything that pleasures him and him alone: his pursuit of a dissonant call to happiness. It is striking then that God first identified Himself by name to Moses as the great “I AM”. If man were to choose a suitable and metaphoric name for his own godship it would no doubt be the great “I WANT”. Where God gives and gives generously, man takes and takes with an increasingly reckless and remorseless speed from his fellow man.
But there is hope. There is always hope. Finding God and then standing firm for the right conviction in Him gives us a basis for hope that selfishness will end: by godly salvation. It is through that narrow door that we find real and spacious freedom from selfishness and over all evils. They no longer master us though we may struggle at times as did the apostle Paul to do what is godly, what is right. We have the chance to be born again, a new creation, with a new focus that is emanating from the Holy Spirit which is the gift Jesus promised would come to live and guide us on the inside. And so, then our outlook is completely new: we do not want the old things that are attached to sin. We want to make them new as in Christ, as He has made us new. We run not from problems, but we now have strength to return them to their rightful and lawful form or endure them until God steps in with his favor or solution, not our own.
We are not born or made this way to remain this way. We are not monsters. We were made in God’s image and we have distorted that image by our own actions and with the discouragement of an enemy both of us and of God, Satan. That was by our wrong choice. By listening to the wrong message and the wrong voice. God has planned something better for us and He has made a real way out in His Son, Jesus. And that is to His real glory and ours, which is an honorable celebrity. Anything else is a lie. Ask for salvation through Him. Its free. Then allow Him and not yourself to be Lord in your life: http://bible.cc/revelation/22-17.htm