Jesus chastised the religious elite of His day for their confidence in predicting things like the weather, but not being able to discern the signs of the times. In fact, He called them hypocrites. Remember? “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times” – Matthew 16:2-3. I wonder if He would say the same about His church today? After all, it appears we all seem to know everything about everything. Just ask us.
It seems we resemble those that Isaiah was called to address.
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and prudent in their own sight – Isaiah 5:20-21.
But there is one prophetic statement of Jesus regarding the times before us that is hard for many, including me, to understand. That is until today. Jesus said “because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12). Got that. He also promised that “a man’s enemies will be those of his own household” (Matt. 10:36). How is that possible? How can our love for our spouse or children grow so cold we will treat them as enemies to the extent of hatred and betrayal? (Matt. 24:10). How can that be true? What sort of perverted human would turn on his own family for the sake of himself? What kind of depraved mind or personality disorder would produce sociopaths with a love this cold?
In a word, it’s called narcissism. And it is the ultimate end-time personality disorder.
In general, narcissism or narcissistic traits can be described as follows:
• They have an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
• They have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration.
• They expect and demand to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it.
• They exaggerate their achievements and talents.
• They are preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate.
• They believe they are superior and can only associate with equally special people.
• They monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior (which is just about everyone).
• They expect and demand special favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectations.
• They habitually take advantage of others to get what they want.
• They have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others.
• They are envious of others and believe others envy them.
• They behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful and pretentious.
• They Insist on having the best of everything because they are entitled.
And they are everywhere! They multiply like kudzu.
Narcissism may very well be the ultimate personality disorder of the end-times. And it certainly fits the Laodicean church model. In fact, psychologists believe that in the last 15 years, over 30% of our population now registers on the narcissism spectrum. And that number grows daily.
So what are we to do? Great question. Keep listening to find out more.