“Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.” —Matthew 24:12, NASB
In this quote, Jesus is referring to the conditions at the end of the current age of the earth. From the quote, you can see that this essay is not about the warmth of the earth’s atmosphere, but about the warmth of people’s hearts. Currently, on the earth there is an average level of wellbeing that all people fall back towards as an equilibrium state. For example, if someone feels very good, he knows that this good feeling will not last. Tomorrow, he may feel worse. A person’s feelings of wellbeing can rise and fall, but the average level of his feelings is pretty much the same as that of everyone else. The following quote summarizes my point:
Nobody does it better
Makes me feel sad for the rest
—Carole Bayer Sager
This quote is taken from the song, “Nobody Does It Better.” In the song, a woman rejoices in the happiness that her lover brings her. But in the second line, the woman says, “Makes me feel sad for the rest.” It seems that she cannot feel purely happy while those around her are not in the same happy state. Isn’t that the case for all of us? If we are very happy or successful, we often feel guilt or fear or doubt or some other emotion that lessens our happiness. If we make a lot of money or gain power, we may feel the envy or resentment of others, which usually causes us to feel bad.
In his essay, “Compensation,” Ralph Waldo Emerson discusses his observation that all advantages are compensated for by disadvantages, and that all bad experiences are balanced by good experiences. The following are some quotes from his essay:
“There is always some leveling circumstance that puts down the overbearing, the strong, the rich, the fortunate, substantially on the same ground with all others.”
“If you put a chain around the neck of a slave, the other end fastens itself around your own.”
“All infractions of love and equity in our social relations are speedily punished. They are punished by fear.”
“As no man had ever a point of pride that was not injurious to him, so no man had ever a defect that was not somewhere made useful to him.” “The death of a dear friend, wife, brother, lover, which seemed nothing but privation, somewhat later assumes the aspect of a guide or genius; for it commonly operates revolutions in our way of life.”
There seems to be a global balance or equilibrium state that exists between extreme joy and extreme suffering. Is it possible to shift this balance towards the joyful end of the scale? From my reading of the Bible, I believe that it is possible and that it will happen. In the Bible, Jesus tells what will happen at the end of this age of the earth:
“For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.” —Matthew 24:21-22, NASB
“The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” —Matthew 13:41-43, NASB
In other words, those who tend to pull down or depress the equilibrium state of the people of the earth will be removed from the earth. Those who remain on the earth will experience an elevated feeling of wellbeing that they have never known on the earth. The sorrow that will come upon the whole earth at the end of the current age will be converted into everlasting delight:
“Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world. Therefore you too have grief now; but I [Jesus] will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.” —John 16:21-22, NASB
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. —Isaiah 35:10, ESV
This information about the end of the age is often suppressed because people do not want to deal with the thought or the experience of the extreme suffering that will occur. All lives will be disrupted at this time, and many people will leave the earth.
“But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” —Luke 21:28, NASB
Those whose feelings are depressed by the negative emotions of others will be released from this mental weight, and the equilibrium emotional state of those on the earth will be elevated. The minds and hearts of everyone on the earth will be filled with joy and love.