Before Christ comes again, the kingdom of heaven will grow, its influence will be powerful, and Christ’s enemies will be subdued. At the end of this glorious age, Satan will be released for a short time to gather the nations for one final battle against the church and there will be apostasy among professing believers.
Realizing that not everyone who appears to be a Christian truly is a Christian, we need to make sure we are not “stony or thorny ground” hearers. Is our relationship with the Lord real? Do we really love Him, or are we following Him for some other reason, such as for the things we think we can get from Him? If the Lord removed His common grace from the earth (and thus all restraint on sin), and all that remained was His saving grace in those who are truly His children, would we still find love for God and a desire to serve Him in our hearts?