The absence of Natural Affection is indicative of a decaying society awaiting God’s judgement.
TEXT: 2 Timothy 3:1-3; Romans 12:9-12
One of the features of the end-time that is gaining prominence both in the world and amongst Christians is the issue of indifference to the plight of others.
Simply put, the vice of “neighborliness” is far replacing the virtue of “neighborliness” as taught by the Lord Jesus Christ, Luke 10:29-37.
The center point of the gospel is love…. “For God so loved the world (of sinners) that He gave his only begotten son…”, John 3:16.
Concerns for mankind, demonstration of compassion and the provision of relief to those in distress characterized the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Since man is the only creature that God made after His very image and likeness, He expects that the activities of every Christian should revolve around the love of God expressed to man. We therefore cannot love God if we hate the man (or our neighbor) that was created after His image and likeness, 1 John 4:21.
End-time events show that most men and women are getting less concerned about the plight of their fellow human beings, be they Christians or unbelievers.
Nothing is big, valuable, or precious enough to take the place of the godly affection for mankind.
Natural affection may entail some sacrifice, pains or deprivations but such sacrifices for the man Christ came and died for, will not lose its reward!
The objectives of this study are:
- To understand what “without Natural Affection” means.
- To know how this sign manifests today.
- To know the end of those fulfilling this sign.
- To appreciate the features of natural affection.
- EXPLAIN WHAT IT MEANS TO BE “WITHOUT NATURAL AFFECTION”.
An attribute of God is, kindness. To be kind is to be sympathetic to the plight and conditions or our neighbors.
Man was originally created after the likeness of God, Genesis 1:26. It follows that since love is the nature of God, 1 John 4:8, this good attribute of God should naturally be shared by man who was created after His image and likeness.
To be “naturally affectionate” is to be kind, considerate and practically concerned with the problems of others. The story of the good Samaritan told by our Lord Jesus Christ, Luke 10:30-37, paints a good picture of a show of human kindness to one’s neighbor.
This is expected to be the nature of the redeemed man.
To be without natural affection is to be “blind” or to develop “thick skin” against the feelings of
others. “Lack of natural affection” is synonymous with wickedness.
Q2. DISCUSS SOCIETAL HABITS/ACTS THAT ARE CONSIDERED TO BE WITHOUT NATURAL AFFECTION.
Occultism is closely associated with wicked practices of its members against non-members.
Members upon initiation are subjected to such dehumanizing experiences as in: drainage of their blood for ritualistic purposes.
Members of different occultic organizations are found to engage in fatal ‘battles’ that sometimes lead to brutal murders and incapacitations.
The spate of murder and the activity of hired killers have grown at an alarming rate in recent times. These killings are carried out with such brutality and over mundane issues as to falsely suggest that human lives are ordinary and without value.
When such things as business deals, money or other forms of relationships are pried far above human lives, then, the resultant actions can be judged as being devoid of human affection. Any forms of kidnap (child or adult) fall under this category.
C. Child Abandonment:
Children are God’s gift to man. Such gifts are expected to be loved and cherished, more so when such children were created in the image and likeness of God.
A glaring phenomenon of the end-time is the decreasing love of parents and indeed some mothers for their children.
Some mothers are known to have either sold their children or dumped their children to die in gutters. What looked a far-fetched possibility in Bible times for mothers to forsake or abandon their children has in our present age become a daily affair. The question is, where is the age long motherly love for the children. The love of money, pleasure, self – is taking precedence over the love of lives.
D. Sexual Perversion:
There are various forms of sexual perversions. They range from sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality to incest.
The most appealing thing about sexual perversion is the “unnaturalness” in it.
Imagine a man taking in another man as his wife and preferring to have sexual relationship with the man-wife as a “natural phenomenon”.
Some women are also known to have their fellow women as their husbands with whom they (against nature) “enjoy” sexual relationship.
As if this is not horrible enough, some men and women are known to prefer having sexual relationship with animals, either as a form of adventure or for money.
Some of the houses we are living in today are perhaps bought with the proceeds of sexual relationships with Asiatic dogs in Europe!
These are age-long perversions that have assumed alarming dimensions in recent (end) times.
E. Wickedness – Armed Robbery, Dupes, etc.
Wickedness manifests in various forms but there is a common characteristic in all the cases. It is either someone is being forcefully, or craftily denied of his legitimate property or being mesmerized to achieve the same purpose. In all cases it is a matter of the strong oppressing the weaker. The fittest get all they want and the weak are denied everything. This incidence is so rampant now that it hardly draws any attention or surprise from the general citizenry. This commonality can only point to the close of this Earth’s sinful career.
- WHAT IS THE END OF THOSE WITHOUT NATURAL AFFECTION? Romans 1:32; Revelation 21:8
The same God that identifies lack of natural affection as sin also provides a definite verdict on those guilty of sin. The verdict is death. All who live and die unrepentantly of this sin are to find themselves in the lake “which burns with fire and brimstone”.
The severity of the punishment matches very well with the seriousness of the offence.
Those whose lifestyle are devoid of consideration (or natural affection) for their neighbors are haters of God, unloving and unmerciful.
Wickedness and other despicable acts done against our neighbor; particularly the poor and the less privileged are indirect offenses against their Maker, God, Proverbs 14:31. This explains why the word of God insists that those who love Him must first show proof of their love to their neighbors and fellow men, 1 John 4:20.
Now that we know that indifference to our fellow men’s plight and condition, as simple as the offence looks, also attracts the capital punishment of death, it behooves all believers to take seriously the required concern over one another by “loving our neighbors as ourselves”.
- DISCUSS THE FEATURE OF NATURAL (HUMAN) AFFECTION. Romans 12:9-21
The scriptures in Romans 12:9-21, enumerates the features of natural affection as follows:
A. Kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love.
This positive human disposition expects every person to accommodate his neighbor and to be on hand to do good to all, especially those of the household of faith, Galatians 6:10.
B. Giving Preference to one another.
This feature teaches humility, selflessness, acceptance and recognition of the areas other persons are better in than ourselves. Other persons are to be given room to exercise their gifts without attempting to overshadow them.
C. Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep and be of the same mind towards one another.
It is customary for man’s affluence and position to attract many “friends” and “well-wishers”. However, as soon as there is an adverse change in wealth and earlier position or status, such men are deserted.
It is those who actually remain to identify themselves with both the joy and the sorrow of their neighbor that are true friends. God’s love towards man is not seasonal, hence he equally expects our love towards one another to be non-seasonal.
Our attitude of love should therefore remain that of kindness at all times to all men, Proverbs 17:17.
D. Associate with the humble.
Some persons cherish identifying themselves only with those in authority, power, position, the wealthy or spiritually gifted.
Other groups of people will as a matter of policy associate only with people of the same social standing, graduates with graduates, businessmen with businessmen, car owners with car owners, etc.
It’s an end-time phenomenon to have the poor, lowly and humble to be increasingly despised. The level of attention that is paid to persons is increasingly getting dependent upon such mundane things as: type of car, cost of dressing, place of work, profession or occupation, place of birth and residence of such individual.
Our love is to be without dissimulation, pure and sincere enough as to be God inspired.
E. “Repay no one, evil for evil”
Vengeance is God’s, He will ‘repay’. We are to take any offence of man against our person as offence against God Himself, particularly since we know that our lives are now hid in Christ and Christ in God, Colossians 3:3, we know also that the wrath of man will not work God’s righteousness.
Where we are at pain to sincerely forgive any wrong-doing against us, we should learn to turn such wrong to God or channel the wrong through legally accepted procedures rather than taking laws into our hands.
F. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceable with all men.
G. This injunction recognizes the fact that it is not and may not always be possible or easy to live peaceably with all men. It nevertheless still admonishes that living peaceably with all men is the rule rather than the exception.
H. It is advisable therefore to avoid as much as possible head-on collisions over issues with our neighbors or fellow brethren.
Living peaceably with all men is not without a price. Such a price should be weighed spiritually with the scripture so that at all times, the glory of God is upheld, Acts 5:29.
DAILY LIVING APPLICATION
We cannot claim to love God is we do not love the man He created and sent His only begotten Son to die for.
We cannot afford to love money, pleasure, property, projects, programs, policies, traditions, cultures, etc., more than the very man these things were created or designed to serve.
The warning is clear, it is the righteous judgment of God that those who practice such things deserve of death and also those who approve and take pleasure in them.
“Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love.”